Sunday 10 February 2013

10/02: SUE 1 .... SQUIRREL 0

Continuing the long-running battle with the squirrels in our garden, I'm pleased that the last lot of bird feeders we bought are semi-successful in stopping (or slowing) squirrels from raiding the sunflower seeds and peanuts.

We have lots like this with reinforced metal feeding perches and holes - the cheaper feeders have plastic inserts which the squirrels simply chew through to release all the food onto the ground.   You may notice the not very elegant taping up of the ornamental stand.  

We've watched several wildlife rescue programmes where squirrels have got their tails trapped/pinched in the metal bars of these stands and they are pretty vicious when being rescued.   We know they can chew through wire mesh so no way do I want to risk trapping a squirrel and having to release it (even wearing thick gauntlets)

So, the squirrels still raid these feeders, hanging upside down to get to the sunflower seeds - but at least they can only take one at a time so it slows them up

This is the most successful design we have.    The metal cage fits over the inner feeder and is inaccessible to the squirrels.  The little birds love it!

We couldn't find exactly the same design for peanut feeders - this one is similar but it has a plastic lid on top which closes with a metal catch.     The squirrels have worked out how to release the catch to get to the top layers of peanuts .... not sure if they could squeeze all the way down to the bottom but wouldn't put it past them to try.

so I did a 'quick and nasty' upgrade on the lid/catch this afternoon - a strong bulldog clip now adds extra security.

So far so good.    David and I watched a very frustrated squirrel tugging away at the lid earlier this afternoon without success.   How long before they work out how to spring the bulldog clip I wonder?

but it feels good to have outwitted a squirrel at last !!

I have started work on the family group portrait today.     I'd hoped to work on the new Derwent watercolour paper which I've read so many good reviews about.    I ordered a pad from SAA which arrived on Friday.

The paper is A2 size (23.39 x 16.54 inches) and I was so busy laughing with the delivery guy about the instructions on the delivery label to 'Post through letterbox if possible' (who has a letterbox this large)?  that I didn't notice the damage to the back of the packaging - sadly 8 of the 12 sheets is badly buckled inside the packaging.  4 sheets are probably usable.

So I'm awaiting instructions from SAA about returning/replacing the pad.   I needed to start work on the portrait so am using light grey pastelmat with coloured pencils.

Its been sleeting/snowing all afternoon here in Whitstable and the light is dreadful so I've outlined the family group and made a start on one of the children.    This is a horrible photo taken tonight in poor light - I'll try to get a better shot tomorrow.

Its a large drawing - on full size pastelmat sheet (approx 20" x 26") to accommodate the 5 family members.  Its going to keep me busy for a while!

Early days yet, but this is where I got to this afternoon


  1. Yaaay, Sue! It's really hard to outwit a squirrel so congratulations!

    I think you've made a good start on your family portrait. Too bad about the paper but hopefully it will get replaced quickly and you'll have it for another project.

  2. Glad you gained one point against the squirrels Sue. They really are a damned nuisance aren't they? I wonder how long it will take them?

    Love the beginnings of your family portrait.

  3. i give it until the end of the week until the squirrels figure it out ;)


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