Monday, 8 February 2010

Alien Encounter

Sunday morning was dismal, grey cold and a million miles from Spring. I set out on another Timed Tetrad Visit which was hard going. I finished somewhere up near the site of St George's Hospital which was originally called Northumberland County Lunatic Asylum. All of the old buildings still stand although they are fenced off with cameras everywhere but I did note quite a few access holes that could be used by Little Owl, or Barn Owl for that matter.

Walking back I turned off the beaten track to head through the woods east back to the bottom of Whorral Bank and on home. The woods were a little misty but quiet. It was here that (I didn't think I'd ever write this) I had an alien encounter. I think it saw me first as when I caught sight of the small grey shape it was already moving off through the vegetation. No mistake though, an alien. No warning, not like the TV, no lights shining through trees or strange humming noises, just this small grey figure hurrying away.

I rushed to try and capture an image and in doing so stepped back too far and slipped down the muddy bank behind me, camera, bins and me doing a 'Glastonbury' in the mud. At least I assume I slipped, I suppose it could have been the alien although I felt no force.
I reported it of course to the relevant authorities, they may even have been out trying to catch up with the beast today although I haven't heard anything. Of course if they are behind the security fences at the old hospital there could be lots of them and unless access can be gained, well we won't know until they take over. We have to take action though, protect the natives and all that.

It was a shock, first Grey Squirrel I've had this far north.


Holywell Birder said...

I was at a talk on Wednesday from the conservation officer for Save Our Squirrels, by the sounds of it the Reds are struggling to keep hold, and will most probably only survive in areas of high density coniferous plantations such as Kielder and areas of Cumbria.

Their having difficulty convincing certain areas of the public that they should be culled, but also certain organisations which are putting Reds and Greys in basically the same basket, as most Reds in England are Scandinavian imports.

Think the figures per hectare which deciduous woodland can support were 0.43 Reds, which in the same sized area could support 2.5 Greys.

He also mentioned that theres two diseases which seem to be being passed from Greys to Reds, as well as the interspecific competition.

In an ideal world Pine Martens could be reintroduced to sort the Greys out :)

Gary said...

Hate seeing these blighters about. Used to have red squirrels in the garden on the feeders 10 years back. Now its just Grey Squirrels, last Red I seen was in 2005 at Chopwell woods. There long gone from here, shame.