Grey Squirrel, North Military Road (Military Hill), Western Heights, Dover, Kent, UK

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Comments (4)

John Latter on November 14, 2009

Wednesday, 10th November, 2009: While walking up Military Hill on my way to the North Centre Bastion and Pre-Napoleonic Earthworks on the Western Heights, I heard, and then briefly saw, a grey squirrel zooming about in the trees that tower overhead from the slopes below.

There wasn't any time to adjust my camera settings (the squirrel was moving as if auditioning for a new Duracell advert), so I just kept bobbing up and down, moving this way and that, as I peered through the foliage and tried to get a lucky shot.

I probably wouldn't have got a picture at all if it hadn't been for the fact that the squirrel came to a momentary abrupt halt when it realized the branch it had just started to scamper up didn't actually "go" anywhere (because someone had sawn it off, probably to stop it from projecting too far into the road).

A second later and the squirrel disappeared from view forever, but I got my picture - a bit blurred and a bit distant, but definitely a squirrel!

His name's Fred, by the way :)

An extract from a Young People`s Trust for the Environment factsheet:

Grey squirrel: Sciurus carolinensis

Distribution: Native to North America. Introduced to Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.

Habitat: Prefers mature deciduous woodland but also common in parks and gardens in towns and cities.

Description: Winter fur is dense and silvery grey with a brown tinge along the middle of the back. Summer fur is yellowish-brown. White underparts. Bushy, grey tail. Ears without tufts.

Size: Head and body about 25 - 30cm; tail about 20 - 25cm. Weight: 350-600g.

Life-span: Some live up to 10 years in the wild although most only manage 3-4 years.

Food: Hazelnuts, acorns, beech mast, tree bark, fungi, buds, leaves, shoots, flowers; will also raid birds' nests for eggs and young.

The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century and after many releases it began to increase dramatically at the beginning of this century, mainly spreading from Woburn Park, Bedfordshire. It is now one of Britain's most well-known and frequently seen mammals, being much more common than the native red squirrel.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

Ralf_G. on November 16, 2009

Thank you for sharing this lucky snapshot, and for the funny description! :-D

I'm inviting you to have a look at my similar snapshot of two nutrias relaxing on the banks of a ditch.

Greetings from Germany, Ralf

John Latter on November 16, 2009

Ralf_G., on November 16th, 2009, said:

Thank you for sharing this lucky snapshot, and for the funny description! :-D

I'm inviting you to have a look at my similar snapshot of two nutrias relaxing on the banks of a ditch.

Greetings from Germany, Ralf

Thank you for your comments, Ralf :)

Your photo of the nutrias is very good - and I'm very impressed that you provided an interesting caption in both German and English!

Greetings from Dover, England,

John Latter

John Latter on November 22, 2009

The Glowing Tree of Autumn was taken from a little further up Military Hill, and on the other side of the road.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 14, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/11/12 10:44:08
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • Flash fired

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