Bill Oddie opens Shepreth Wildlife Park’s Education Centre

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Adult squirrel noms acorn and peanut

Why Evolution Is True

My squirrel tending proceeds apace, involving repeated purchases of nuts and seeds (bird-feeding has somehow become included). While the three juveniles continue to feed, there are one or two adults who join them (and drive the juveniles away when they appear).

Here’s one adult making short work of an acorn; I think this rodent is a male. Notice that he abandons the acorn at about 2:25, picks up a peanut to take away, and, before he leaves, has a sip of water and puts the peanut into the water to keep it away from thieves.

Note too the gnawing marks on the windowsill: the shiny silver rubbings that appear at about 1:20. I now learn that squirrel teeth grow about six inches a year, and I’m supposed to provide them with something to gnaw on—like sterilized deer antlers! Have you ever tried to find sterilized deer antlers on the…

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Wind farms, birds, and that pesky thing called the rule of law

UK Human Rights Blog

bp_whimbrel_15_240409_500Sustainable Shetland, Re Judicial Review, 24 September 2013, Lady Clark of Calton  read judgment

The current storms brought down a turbine in Teignmouth: see here for good pics of this and other mayhem. And the rule of law recently brought down a massive wind farm proposed for Shetland. The Scottish Ministers had waved aside a request for a public inquiry, and ended up drafting reasons which ignored the obligations in the Wild Birds Directive in respect of this bird – the whimbrel. Lady Clark quashed the consent on this ground, and also decided that the wind farmer could not apply for the consent anyway because it had not got the requisite licence which she concluded was a pre-condition for such an application. 

And there is a very good chance that the NGO which brought this challenge would not be entitled to do so if Mr Grayling gets his way…

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Friday squirrel report

Why Evolution Is True

I have discovered that the last litter of squirrels includes three offspring, whose genders remain indeterminate. But they’re all feeding voraciously: I can hardly put out enough seeds to keep them from eating more. And they’ve learned how to open the seeds more quickly, as well as to appreciate peanuts and corn (which they previously eschewed).

They also interact in strange ways when they’re together. This video, taken yesterday, shows both nomming and interacting. I can’t figure out whether they’re playing, being affectionate, or even feeling the first stirrings of amour.

This one is now fond of both acorns and dried corn (they eat only the inside of the corn).

Acorn

It’s especially cute when they drink from their bowl, almost like little cats:

Water

Another catlike behavior they’re evincing is getting my attention by running up and down the screen in my office, which makes a horrible racket.  Two of them…

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