The red squirrel is a lovely looking animal. Pity it's been pretty much comprehensively ousted by the grey squirrel. They're a voracious and clever beastie.
Unfortunately, my mother is more interested in attracting birds to her garden than squirrels. Over the years, both my parents spent a lot of time and money trying to get bird feeders to be squirrel proof.
Seriously. I mean, they have looked out the window a few times and seen a squirrel literally dragging an entire feeder across the lawn. That's when they can't break into them in situ, of course. There have been plastic domes over the feeders, thick wire cages - even grease on the poles supporting the feeders. Nothing has proved to be too much of an obstacle for the furry buggers.
One of the most recent - and effective - ploys has been a plastic tube with metal fixings that are really resistant to rodent teeth.
As you can see, it's a solid piece of kit. There is another fixing on the opposite side, and they're secured by a heavy-duty screw that is housed within the feeder itself. You can just see the Phillips head in the picture above.
I have just returned from a visit to my mum. After a six-hour journey, two hours more than it should have been, I was glad for a cuppa.
Stood in the kitchen, talking to Mum, I looked out of the window and saw that one of the feeders was almost empty. I commented on this and suddenly found myself in the middle of a righteous fury - aimed at the local squirrels.
Somehow - we have no real idea how - the squirrels have managed to dismantle the metal parts of the feeder and all the food poured out. Even worse, after a search, I could only find one of the metal fixtures - and no screw. Damned if I know what the squirrels are going to do with a single piece of bird feeder. Use it for lessons, perhaps?
Mum, in the meantime, was obsessing over how the squirrels had managed to break the feeder apart...
Perhaps, but I doubt we'll ever see a squirrel with a power drill...
In the meantime, here's a funny picture of a squirrel that appears to have been a little too hungry for its own good.