Daylight robbery at Strathmashie
Staff at The Laggan Forest Trust were delighted when Laggan Wolftrax was included in a leaflet publicising red squirrel "hot spots" in the Highlands. The Trust now welcomes a steady stream of squirrel fans who come to check the squirrel feeder at Strathmashie.
The feeder was installed for Laggan Forest Trust by Juliet Robinson, who is Red Squirrel Conservation Officer with the Forestry Commission Scotland, and she has made return visits to Laggan to lead popular squirrel walks with Laggan Forest Trust for the public and for the pupils of Gergask Primary School.
This week LFT staff Sandra Grant and Iona Malcolm were visited not by squirrel fans, but by an actual squirrel. She helped herself to seeds from the bird feeder which is attached to their office window. "We are very used to seeing Chaffinches, Coal Tits and Great Tits at the bird feeder, but on Thursday we heard the patter of tiny paws on the roof and then a wee squirrel face peeked in the window!"
"We have named the two squirrels who visit the squirrel feeder Cyril and Hazel, and could tell that the sneak thief who was raiding the bird food was Hazel." Iona told The Strathy."Neither of us have ever seen an animal eat so voraciously. Hazel treated the bird feeder like a trough, and fed steadily for 40 minutes. We wondered if she might be expecting kits, since she was certainly eating for two! She even got completely into the feeder at one stage, to reach every corner"
"We hope that readers enjoy seeing the photos we took of Hazel. She was not at all shy, and didn't even run away when we used the flash, or held the camera right beside the bird feeder. She has been back to see us since that first burglary, and we hope that we'll be seeing her again. We may have to get another bird feeder!"