Sunday, 27 November 2016

Return of the Squirrel

As predicted it has not taken long. My garden is once again besieged by squirrels. I looked out the other day and my largest peanut feeder was simply a writhing mass of grey fur. In the past week they have scoffed about 150g of nuts, 200g of seed, and shredded one of the feeders. The seed came out just fine, but that wasn't enough. No, it wanted to put its whole head inside so it simply gnawed through the plastic. Thanks squirrel, I'll just buy another one then.

There are two of course, the news is out. As I type, squirrels from as far away as Kent are packing up their belongings and setting off. Destination Wanstead. Their greed knows no bounds, their appetites are enormous, their metabolisms supersonic. They arrive at first light, starving, and they stay all day. As dusk approaches they stagger off, bloated, but still no doubt mildly peckish and looking forward to the next day. 

They're indestructible so no point trying to harm them, and chasing them off lasts about a minute before they come sauntering back. In under a month they have learned to climb the palm tree, jump the gap, skip along the greenhouse gutter, run along the apex and then dangle down onto the feeder. With that emptied, they turned their attention to the main feeding station closer to the house. The ease with which they can shimmy up the pole is extraordinary. Straight onto the seed feeder above, which they destroyed in a couple of days. As well as guzzling the contents of course.

It is getting expensive. Whilst buying a replacement feeder I noticed something called a squirrel baffle - a plastic cone to place on the pole. Hah! As if something as cunning as a squirrel is going to be baffled by a mere cone. So like a sucker I bought two, and another squirrel proof feeder - £60 the total bill. They arrived during the week and I spent a bit of time putting them all up yesterday. They look ridiculous, like giant fireworks sticking out of the lawn, and I am not confident that they are going to hold back the assault for long. As I returned back inside, the lead squirrel came to have a look. Slowly it paced around the base of the pole, looking up. Salivating. Then it started to climb up the pole.... And almost unbelievably it was foxed by the baffle! It simply could not work out how to get past the cone, and had to turn back. You could see it looked angry...

This morning whilst enjoying a leisurely breakfast the whole family observed the squirrel zip up the monkey puzzle tree, trip daintily along a branch and in one leap land on the pole above the baffle. 

I went outside and took the feeder down. I've placed it with my pride in the shed. 


  1. Feeders surrounded by a cage is one solution. The other; which I found more amusing, was actually feeding the things cheap biscuits. They would come along the window sill and take them from my fingers. Filled up with Bourbons, the stuff in bird feeders is by comparison, poor fare.
    Nine squirrels on the lawn is the current record.

  2. Squirrel baffles work! We invested in those clear plastic hemisphere ones. Those placed below the feeder last 9 years and counting. The ones placed above the feed (where the feeder hangs down from a tree, for example) last up to five years before the squirrels have gnawed enough off the edges to be able to flip themselves round the edge). Only challenge is placing them sufficiently far from a squirrel launch pad, since they make a wide landing pad from a long drop or 6 - 8 foot long jump -easier to achieve than other anti-squirrel devices. Matt