Another Fine Mess..


They’ve done it again.

Those pesky squirrels have now started to gnaw around the sides of the industrial strength mesh I’d found for the bird feeder. Pointy bits of metal began to stick out from the wood and I was worried about damage to small birds’ eyes. I’ve pushed them back in as best I can. But until it can be properly reinforced, the feeder will need defending.


It has to be said, it was not our finest hour.

A pair of squirrels have taken to working the bird table together. Mike decided that co-ordinated action was required. A sort of pincer movement. Timing was critical. The squirrels have figured out exactly how long it takes us to get from the kitchen, through the back lobby, out on to the path and into operational range. They nibble away until the last possible second before leaping off the feeder and into a yew bush located conveniently close to hand. Or paw.

The strategy went something like this: Mike was to run out of the front door with a large jug of water. I was to follow, out of the kitchen door, with the water pistol.

Unfortunately I discovered the flaw in the plan a split second too late. As I burst out of the kitchen door weapon raised FBI style I realised that both of the squirrels, disturbed by Mike’s exit, were now heading straight for me.. They swerved off in opposite directions.. Mike’s water, of course, did not.  All two litres of it hit me squarely in the chest. The situation deteriorated rapidly. I still held in my hands the fully charged pistol. And Mike was in range. When we got back indoors via our respective routes we were both dripping water on the kitchen floor, although me rather more than him.

No prizes for guessing we will NOT be trying that again.

As far as I know the squirrels escaped entirely unscathed. The thought I cannot shake off is the imagined sight of them, rolling about on the ground underneath the rhododendrons, having to hold on to their sides because they are laughing so much.


Another Fine Mess..

pin it?


2017-11-06T22:10:39+00:00November 5th, 2012|Tags: |


  1. Sue November 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    I’m sure shared activities such as this help keep a relationship young.

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      It was childish, I admit.

  2. Susan T November 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I would have done exactly the same thing, childish or not.

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      It was almost worth getting wet for..

  3. rachel November 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    You have to get up early to outwit a squirrel! However, one of my allotment chums put a length of drainpipe round the feeder pole – very tricky for small squirrel arms and paws to reach around to grip…..

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      Now there’s an idea… could be quite amusing to watch them try it too!

  4. Sue November 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Squirrel entertainment….I bet they love you, they’ll be telling all their friends to come and watch the strange human antics!!

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Oooh, I can just imagine it. All sitting up in the branches with points cards ready to hold up…

  5. BadPenny November 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    That I would like to have seen !

    The squirrels are probably laughing to themselves saying, ” Those people are nuts ! “

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      Sadly, I think they are probably right!

  6. simone November 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    That definitely sounds like a youtube moment!

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      OMG. Hopefully a video camera is too difficult to operate with paws…?

  7. Josephine November 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Lol…sorry couldn’t help but laugh, a priceless moment

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Damn squirrels. It’s all their fault..

  8. Vera November 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Oh now that was funny!

    • Jessica November 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      And no Bailey’s. We’ve RUN OUT! We used to have some, I know. I can’t find the bottle anywhere…

  9. CherryPie November 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Grey squirrels are very tricksy. Some friends of mine had squirrels nesting in the roof of their house, the squirrels had eaten through the eaves on their house. They boarded up the hole and the squirrels came back and re-entered. They then cut down the tree in their front garden that was allowing the squirrels and acrobatic launch to carry out their attack on the house eaves…

    Yup I think your squirrels are chuckling away to themselves at the antics 😉

    • Jessica November 6, 2012 at 12:06 am - Reply

      The photo is of our most frequent visitor (bite out of ear!). They sit on the bird table like that and glare at us through the kitchen window. A sort of ‘come and get me if you dare’ glare..

  10. Rosie November 6, 2012 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Sorry you both got wet but you made me laugh so much! I can just see those squirrels rolling around under your rhododendron bushes, clutching their sides and being wonderfully entertained. We certainly have three squirrels visit our garden as they are all different shapes and one has a thinner tail. Yesterday one scooted across the lawn followed by another, followed by a black cat then a grey cat. Wish I’d had a camera handy:)

    • Jessica November 6, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply

      That would have been a good picture! It’s funny how you come to relate to these creatures. One thing I’ve learnt from living here is that animals are a good deal smarter than I ever gave them credit for. They have their own individual personalities, and they love nothing better than a good game!

  11. Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden November 6, 2012 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Your wildlife is certainly challenging and all of them getting the last laugh by the sound ot it. This place of yours is certainly an adventure.

    • Jessica November 6, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

      I suspect they will always have the upper hand. By their sheer numbers if nothing else. They will soon learn that I do not give up though…

  12. ropcorn November 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Lol! Smart squirrels! Cute too, and BIG! Better luck next time. ;p

    • Jessica November 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Next time I’ll use a hose, so I can keep out of the way!!

  13. wherethejourneytakesme November 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I think it is great that you provide entertainment for your wildlife!!

    Luckily Squirrels are the one thing we don’t have to worry about in our Scottish garden. I don’t think they like being to close to the beach – all that sand in their claws and a diet of seaweed is somehow not appealing!!

    • Jessica November 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      Aaah, but you have the wonderful red ones. I’d be wanting to encourage those..

      • wherethejourneytakesme November 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm - Reply

        Yes we see them over the other side of the Peninsula at Portpatrick. I like to see them on our visits but then leave them there – like having grandchildren I expect all the fun and not the responsibility!!

        • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 12:11 am - Reply

          That sounds about perfect!

  14. Ali November 7, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I laughed. I’m sorry. And I think you’re probably right about the furry rodents joining in too.

    • Jessica November 7, 2012 at 11:29 am - Reply

      It’s quite OK, Ali. Welcome to rusty duck!

  15. Natalie November 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Have you tried a squirrel baffle? These worked really well for us. We had to put them up after RATS started appearing in our birdfeeders at the farm.

    • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the info, Natalie. That’s a REALLY neat baffle. So much nicer to look at than the big domed ones I’m used to seeing here. Our current pole is too thick though I suspect, and we can’t get it 4′ off the ground 🙁

  16. Rose H November 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    It must be a hoot living at your house! It was the last paragraph that got me.
    Rose H

    • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      It’s like the old saying, Rose. If you didn’t laugh about it, you’d cry.

  17. knitsofacto November 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I’m laughing, and I’d guess, yes, the squirrels are too!

    Husband and I once watched open mouthed as a squirrel crossed a local road by running out in front of a car, turning to run along underneath it in the opposite direction to the car, and then carrying on across the road. Not a fluke as it repeated the action coming back. I vowed then never to mess with a grey squirrel!

    • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      GOOD GRIEF!!!!

  18. sHERIDAN November 10, 2012 at 7:11 am - Reply

    That is soooo funny. Can see the squirrels under the Rhodos. We do not have squirrels here in Queensland. Athletic possums on the roof in the middle of the night – have become immune to them. Just love your blog.

    • Jessica November 10, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Sheridan, and welcome to rusty duck.
      I’d trade! We’ve had a lousy summer in the UK, in fact a run of them, and I’ve been thinking a lot about Queensland lately!

  19. Sheridan November 10, 2012 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Forgot to say – never ever run out of Baileys!!!!! Certain things are essential in life.

    • Jessica November 10, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Agreed. It’s about to be put right!

  20. Bilbowaggins June 20, 2013 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Every relationship needs a good water fight occasionally :}

    As for the grey tree rats . . . once upon a time in another part of the country I thought they were cute. Then we moved to Bag End and are blessed with our wonderful native red squirrels visiting the garden every day. Costs a ruddy fortune in hazelnuts but so what.

    With such wonderful wildlife in the garden your perception changes, rapidly. I can’t see a grey without wanting it trapped and shot. Which is pretty much how I feel about the Victorian idiot who introduced them from America. Rant over.

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Red Squirrels! I am envious, and I would be feeding them too. The greys are a real problem here, they work the bird table in packs and just steal large quantities of the food. But worse, they attack birds’ nests as well.

      • Bilbowaggins June 20, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

        Jessica, greys are a problem nearly everywhere, they also cause widespread damage to woodlands and timber production. You only have to live with the reds for a while to become in favour of a nationwide cull of greys. Sadly, that is never going to happen. Look at the debacle over badgers …

        (PS: comment on previous post from “B” was me failing to get WordPress to accept my login)

        • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm - Reply

          Yes, I’ve seen the bark stripping on some of the trees in the woods, and even some of the ornamentals that I’ve planted.

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