The squirrel tree

Out the window of my home office, across the road, there’s been a lot of squirrel activity lately. My eye is drawn to the comings and goings of the squirrels because of their rapid movement in the leafless trees – and because even though I’ve lived in the UK for over seven years, squirrels are still exotic animals to me.

I was watching a pair of them run backwards and forwards the other day, when I realised that the big tree straight ahead of me must be where they live. And then I saw the nest – or the ‘drey’ as Wikipedia tells me it’s called. It’s a clump of leaves and twigs halfway up the trunk of the tree – about the size of a football… and it has a little hole that the squirrels come in and out of.

At dusk, that’s where they disappear to. Not that I’d given it any thought, nor come up with an alternative hypothesis about where they go, but I was surprised to learn that they build these dreys and live in them. Makes sense though, I suppose.

If you look hard you’ll see the clump of leaves about halfway up the trunk. That’s it there.

Of course, now I’m seeing them everywhere. Hopefully, I’ll get to see baby squirrels in the Spring. I’ll wait and watch patiently – a bit like David Attenborough.