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39 minutes ago, Ttfjlc said:

great report @Mice! looks like you had a great morning, especially judging the weather correctly 👍

Cheers mate, pretty sure its rained all day since.

That's the perfect morning for me,  straight out after work, shoot for an hour or so then home to bed.

29 squirrels off here now since November,  lockdown isn't going well for the squirrels. 

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2 hours ago, Mice! said:

I had an opportunity today and grabbed it. According to my weather app it was raining this morning,  only it wasn't,  so I looked at something else and it showed a satellite image giving me till 830-9 before it rained. 

I was only planning on filling/ Checking the feeder, but the weather looks wet up here this week so a short trip is better than no trip.

I got in the wood, set up my brolly and net, then went and looked at the feeder, almost empty,  perfect.  I added some nuts and seeds then went back, got the gun out and settled in.

It was maybe 20 minutes and I've got a squirrel on the feeder! Came straight in, took some food and sat up Pfft CRACK, one down,  not sure why but the noise was different today, it might be because the pellet went straight through.

I'm watching the squirrel on the floor, making sure there is no movement when I realise there is another squirrel on the feeder, I'm looking out through the ghost net so the imagine isn't clear but I've no idea where it came from, Pfft CRACK again,  number two down.

15 minutes later a squirrel starts barking, really agitated,  it came down went up and around,  it would not settle,  and didn't go on the feeder.

Then it poked its head out, quick shot, and I pulled it, I was leaning right pushing the muzzle left and missed clean. Off it went, but it didn't go far, for the next hour this squirrel went up down and around again,  any time it sat still there were branches covering it, then it went down onto the floor and strangely enough picked something up to eat from next to the first dead squirrel??

It was then head down facing me, Pfft Crack no mistake this time, I checked the time 8:20, at half past I started packing up, took the photos and typed a msg saying I was leaving, it was just then that it started raining,  absolutely perfect. 

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The bottom two were the first two squirrels,  both big girls, the top one is a skinny male, probably the smallest I've seen here.

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The lid was already a bit battered but the chewing on the side is new! Someone posted on FB last week that chewing can be caused by a dominant animal keeping others off the feeder?

Some running repairs to do next week.

Nice morning.  Put an alloy lid on it, or even a steel one

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On 18/02/2021 at 15:22, ratchers said:

I got a call the a week ago saying a place I had shot squirrels from last year needed me back as  two greys where robbing his bird table of nuts etc. I went up to his house and peeked around the corner to the bird table, nothing so I went and changed the feeding box that was still there from last time and topped it up with wheat. Left it a few days and then returned, I looked at the bird table but nothing again so got my gear out of the car and was about to go to the hide when a car pulled up and a lady got out, here I was standing in my camo gear with a gunslip and I didn't know her, thankfully it was the mans daughter and I expalined I was the volunteer from the red squirrel group. Sadly she had come to do some gardening for her dad which meant she was too close and would disturb the ambush,no problem I said I'll just check the feeder and top up if neccessary,guess what Mr Squirrel was there tucking in on the feeding box and must have been hungry as it was half empty. I'll be back.

 These things happen! Lucky she was happy for you to continue. I have at least 4 houses where the owners have looked  after the trap for years and I cull any greys caught. However if their adult children are visiting, they have to hide the trap, because they don’t want to upset a 30year old!

@ratchersI think there is more activity your way than round here. I have only had 1 grey sighting reported and no sightings in gardens. My feeders are hardly being touched. Our greys are still fat and living on acorns and staying in bed when it’s cold or wet.

@Mice!great report as always, I have nearly finished my refurb/decorating duties and should be back out on the grey hunt next week.

 

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1 hour ago, Sciurus said:

Mice!great report as always, I have nearly finished my refurb/decorating duties and should be back out on the grey hunt next week.

Cheers mate, at least you have plenty of people keeping an eye out, timed your refurb just right.

1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

Nice morning.  Put an alloy lid on it, or even a steel one

It was Walker,  I've got some thin steel plate ready but the lid has been damaged for a while now, hacksaw blade going along the sides,  let's see them chew that. 

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I've recently been requested  to return to a golf course permission , that has had a change of head greenkeeper. It was a previous permission , where there was some excellent rabbit and squirrel shooting to be engaged in.

A change of Head Greenkeeper , changed that , as the incoming incumbent decided she no longer required pest control , by what she termed as 'archaic' methods. So it was lost to me for nearly two years.

The latest incumbent happily has decided rabbits digging up greens , and particularly grey squirrels raiding the feeders and bird boxes is not on. So , we are back.  There seems to be hundreds of squirrels around , but only one place I can shoot them. And that is in the compound where they keep all the ground keeping equipment and the bird feeder within .  They visit randomly, and I can spend hours just sitting there to get one or two , or as today three.  The bird feeder is what they are raiding , which contains fat balls and general seed mix.  I put maize and peanuts under this in front of a pellet backstop to encourage them in, which keeps them on the floor, as the feeder is suspended from a tree , and they jump to get on it.

Have you any suggestions of any way I could encourage them in to this point , other than what I'm doing?

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2 hours ago, Longbower said:

Have you any suggestions of any way I could encourage them in to this point , other than what I'm doing?

I'd say put up a decent sized feeder in the compound that won't run out, flip top of course, the squirrels will keep coming if the food is always there, as well as coming for the bird food. Then put up a trail camera to see what time the squirrels visit, the staff probably won't notice as they'll be busy getting on with their day.

I used to sit for hours at the reserve and see nothing only to then shoot a squirrel off the bird table, they new the food was there.

Are there no clumps of trees out of the way where another feeder could go?

Congrats on getting the perm back as well.

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Teaser.

Let's have a little bit of fun, and don't worry I'm worth it :)😜

So what would you do, you have to walk past where your big feeder was and in the trees behind the smaller, bound to be empty feeder you can see two squirrels.

Do you A, stay there and see what happens.

Or B, walk the twenty minutes up hill to the unknown and see what happens at the newly positioned feeder?

I'll be back later:).

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I think a purpose built flip top feeder large enough to keep them supplied between your visits would solve the problem.

See if you can get some GAMEKEEP locally, yes it is £35 a tub but will last a very long time.  Mix 80% whole maize with 20% peanuts pour half a bottle of cheap cooking oil over it and mix well then spinkle on the GAME KEEP and mix well again.   They love this.   I drill half a dozen 3/8 inch holes in the front of the feeder so little birds can come and fetch a peanut and they act as decoys. If your using and air rifle then easy to put a shet of steel on one side.

Picture later

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Went back to the sydicates wood this afternoon as the weather was sunny, I don't normally like to go in the afternoon as I find it quieter wildlife wise and I was proved correct, never saw any squirrels, maybe due to the two buzzards squawking and squealing overhead most of the time.

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6 hours ago, Morkin said:

It must be  B ,but watch this space I just can't wait HA Ha .I hope it's big numbers?with R 10

As it happens it's a trick question,  the answer was C, do both.

I saw the squirrels and thought I have to chance it, I've shot nothing from here this year despite a few visits,  I couldn't resist knowing the squirrels were about.

I got under the holy tree and then put some nuts in the empty feeder and waited.

The birds came in for breakfast, and I'm thinking should I have just gone straight up the hill?

I decided I'd give it till half 7 them move up the hill,  hoping I hadn't shot the morning. 

One appeared to the side of the feeder at 7:30( just ten minutes more) ish bold as brass, and collapsed with a JSB heavy to the head, then 5 minutes later another is sprinting through the trees behind the feeder probably 10-15m behind the feeder, then it stops and sits up, with a Sycamore behind it, and just sits there! 

I gave it an inch of hold over and it just pitched forward out of sight, I'm up and moving, the squirrel is dead on the floor with a lot of blood around it, I saw two shot two both skinny skinny males. 

More to follow.... internet is.... going.... slow

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Make a brew fellas, I had a busy morning. 

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These pictures give an idea of what the ground up on the HILL is like, I should have taken a pic of the feeder and its surroundings but I had gloves on so next time.

So the twenty minute walk to what I'm now calling the Hill feeder was more like 35, full gear and stopping to look around, as you do, your going up, then where the feeder is goes up again almost like a hill on a hill, lots of Oak, Yew, Holy and others, I'm moving to where I want to shoot from and there are squirrels moving around one here one there, and I'm smiling.

I get under my Yew tree with a dry stone wall behind me, there are blue tits on the feeder, one fat ball left but the suet block has completely gone! Looks good.

Beyond the feeder the trees are shaking, no word of a lie, I'm losing count at six maybe seven squirrels moving around:):)

After maybe ten minutes they are still just running around the Yews and Oaks, not coming near the feeder when one pops up to the right on a log, PFFT whack and falls off the log, nothing changes the others just keep running around ?

This is where the intrigue kicks in, what's going on? It carried on for maybe another twenty minutes, they'd all sit still then boom off they go again, but this time they went off to my right and away.

I guessed the feeder had to be empty and that's why they'd ignored it, I moved forward picking the dead squirrel and went to the still full to the brim feeder?? Very odd.

So I followed the 'pack' of squirrels, I've never seen behaviour like it, over the next hour I shot another six squirrels out of the trees, but they never left the area, I'd pick one or two off and they'd move over a tree, I clipped a few branches, but they never just vanished, they were making loads of noise and seemed to be completely ignoring me , they'd run down, along the ground and back up again only to sit again while I picked another off.

I was shooting up almost in a small valley, leaning against trees and trying not to slide back down, but I never went more than maybe a hundred meters, they just stayed in that general area.

Time was getting on, two that had dropped had needed another shot, i must have hit them high shooting upwards, enough to knock them out of the trees but still not dead, one was hung up and stayed there.

I made my way back up collecting the squirrels as I went, it's the first time I've wanted a sling on my rifle, I only managed to find 5 squirrels so one was missing, hopefully I just missed it.

So 8 dead and one missing, something of a red letter day for me, and an answer to the strange behaviour.

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Who wants to guess at what the behaviour was caused by?

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The view walking back down the HILL,

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The weather said it was going to stay dry, but it was raining squirrels 👍

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A cracking day, I have seen this sort of behaviour but in the canopy of yews and in the autumn. Who knows what goes on in a squirrels brain? 

It all adds to a more varied shooting experience! 

They were probably celebrating that the rain had stopped for a few hours!

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41 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

I thought for one moment you would wake up in a cold sweat:lol:  but no, it was all true. Brilliant well done. That looks a suprb bit of country. I'm envious, mind my old legs could not cope these days.

Its beautiful really is,  when I stop though it's not to catch my breath it's to look around, honest it is.

37 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

A cracking day, I have seen this sort of behaviour but in the canopy of yews and in the autumn. Who knows what goes on in a squirrels brain? 

It all adds to a more varied shooting experience! 

They were probably celebrating that the rain had stopped for a few hours!

The lack of rain might well have thrown them off there game, I've never seen anything like it, I expected to get one out of a tree then have them vanish.

28 minutes ago, Martlandhw100 said:

Great result mate well done that definitely is a red letter day 👍 still strange how the feeder wasn't touched though. By the sounds of it your in for some great shooting there mate 👍

I was sure it was going to be empty,  and none of the squirrels had any real size to them. 

25 minutes ago, Fisheruk said:

Brilliant day mate 👍

Cheers, I've got your trap from J.

24 minutes ago, Ttfjlc said:

great day mate you deserve a morning like that, was 'love in the air' causing the stir?

It must have been love, but it's over now 😅😅

I'm tempted to go again tomorrow,  but I've never had great days back to back??

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58 minutes ago, Martlandhw100 said:

Never say never mate its always worth a go at bagging a few more 👍

 

58 minutes ago, Ttfjlc said:

🤣, as the saying goes, you'll never know if you stay at home 👍

Golf courses beckons,  I need to do a few bits there before they reopen,  but I might just have to call afterwards,  I can take a quick look, travelling light as I know the feeder is full, gun, sticks, thermal, sitting/game bag, really light 😅😅

I've just checked the weather,  it couldn't get better, I'll just have an hour😳😳

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1 hour ago, Martlandhw100 said:

Nothing wrong with a quick hour 😂 my bag is packed all being well and nothing changes I'll be at the big wood in the morning for an hour 👍

Get in there, fill that bag.

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