Photos of mammals

see copyright notice. Page created 1-Jan-2020 updated 21-Oct-2023. Use the button groups above to navigate quickly around the site.


The presence in my garden of several trees, including a horse chestnut, has attracted a more-or-less permanently resident grey squirrel. There's been more than one incumbent, but I'll use the generic name SQL. Photos 1-4 are examples of SQL's appearances at various windows, when I happened to have a camera handy. The next two demonstrate its skill at clinging, upside down, to almost any vertical surface. There are few sounds more irritating than SQL scurrying up and down the pebble-dashed walls in the early morning (often accompanied by the patter of dislodged pebbles hitting the ground). The final image shows the spring occupant of a nice roomy hole in a chestnut tree in Hart's Wood (Brentwood), alongside the green woodpecker I photographed the previous summer. Perhaps the "treehold" became available for peanuts?

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From time to time, following the appearance of a companion, SQL's attention switches from chasing nuts to collecting material for what I presume is drey (nest) building. In the first 3 photos, it's struggling to pull dead leaves away from a flag iris. SQL is fond of eating my carefully nurtured produce, such as Japanese quince fruits, and even the fleshy buds and shoots of the horse chestnut. The squirrel in the final photo has just rescued a whole flatbread from a waste bin in Westcliff; afterwards, it had some difficulty carrying it in a straight line, owing to a strong crosswind!

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Foxes also set up residence in my garden, from time to time. The youngster in the third photo was an unusual sight though. And 5 years later a similar one wandered right up to my window, providing a superb photo opportunity; a friend suggested it couldn't decide which was its best side! The last fox could pass for a pet dog, as it sits quietly evaluating its surroundings.

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