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Squirrel Challenges in my Tawny Box!

This year’s tawny box at Yew View has been a real challenge this year! We had great success in this box early this year and I was keen to get it even better for next year’s nesting season.

I have installed new camera angles and spent a lot of time very high up the tree fiddling with cabling, camera angles and settings!

Just as I thought I had finally got it all sorted, the squirrels moved in. Normally, I clear their leaves out as soon as they collect them and then they leave ands one of the other boxes on site. This year, they have been very persistent and we must have cleared the box ten times! I have tried ground coffee in the box as the smell is meant to deter them. This worked for a few Das, then they were back in!

The tawnies start re-establishing themselves with the nest box late in the year, ready for breeding season. It is important that they can get in the box and are not scared off or choose somewhere else.  They will visit several times  in the week and often stash food in the box, as in this clip early in the month.

They have still looked in, with the squirrels in residence! They are not impressed. This competition must happen a lot in the wild. There is lot of competition for good nesting sites.

This week, I spent all morning up at the box. I have made some adjustments to the internal camera and then cleared out the box again. I have had some ideas, via social media , on how to deter them. Extra strong mints was suggested and also the droppings from another animal, such as a ferret or similar. I couldn’t locate any ferret poo, so had to settle for some badger! I raided a latrine and then mixed it in with some rough bark clippings…

I sprinkled some on the platform too! The squirrel did not seem impressed.

Fingers crossed, this works as I won’t be back on site for about 3 weeks.

Checking the other cameras this week, it was wonderful to see these two muntjac coming up to the lit badger feeding area. This is using a Hikvision ColourVu camera which has white LEDs at night that illuminate the area. As with the badgers and foxes, these deer do not seem worried by the lights..

Yew View, once again is flooded by the Severn. The levels were creeping up as I left this week. I hope that by the time I return in the second week of January, the rain will have stopped and I can start sorting out all the sodden camera connections at the far end of the garden! What a winter of rain…. roll on the Spring!


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