Sunday, 3 January 2010

Red Squirrels in Cologne!

Red Squirrel
Originally uploaded by Alastair Rae
I watched, with my delighted son, a red squirrel hoping around in the snow covered garden this morning.
We see the chirpy little follow keeping busy quite often in all four seasons: but you do get a better / longer show when he's contrasted nicely against the snow.

I remember being VERY surprised by my first red squirrel encounter in Cologne.
In the Uk we've been invaded by the North American grey squirrel which has driven the native red squirrel out to the fridges. There are a couple of strongholds, with the largest numbers (I think) in Scotland.
Despite living in Scotland before I came to Germany I only occasionally caught glimpses of red through trees, or a quickly disappearing bushy tail, with conclusive sightings on only a couple of occasions. So crossing paths with this most timid wild creature in the S├╝dstadt, on a housed street, with no trees in sight was somewhat of a surprise!

Since then I've got more used to having them pop up unexpectedly all over Cologne; providing a welcome wildlife experience.