First published: 11-May-2011
In the last few years I have spend a great amount of time photographing red squirrels. In the forests in Inverness-shire there are still a lot of red squirrels. I discovered some squirrels in a local forest about two and a half years ago and I put up a feeder. They became used to me quite soon.
When I visit them I put out additional hazelnuts as well. The squirrels find them irresistable. Quite soon they started associating me with the food and they often come running towards me as soon as they notice me. They are such inquisitive and funny creatures. It is very rewarding to see their behaviour over the years and the interaction between them.
In March and April there was a lot of interaction between the squirrels because it was mating season. However, since May photographing them has become much more challenging. They don’t show up as often and if they do they don’t hang about as long. There is plenty of other food for them in the forest and the females are probably staying close to their drey to look after the young.
When I do see them it is not easy to get good photos. The grass is higher than the squirrels and the forest is much darker with the leaves on the trees. With the dolphin season starting I visit them less frequently. Last time I was there this male was shedding its coat. The long ear tufts gone and its coat is all patchy. At least, I hope this is due to moulting and not some disease. He looked healthy and