Learn as much as you can about red squirrel behaviour
Peak activity times are dawn and dusk all year with a third peak in summer
They react to sound and movement, so stand still and keep quiet
In the spring they can be seen nibbling shoots and buds, so look up into the trees.
Scots and Corsican pine cones ripen in early summer, so find these trees and look high up in the branches, that is where the squirrels will be
Around the end of July the hazelnuts ripen, so find a good hazel coppice with plenty of light, often on the edge of rides. Hazel will not fruit if there is not enough light
In the autumn, beech and sweet chestnut ripen, so look for these trees at peak activity times. Squirrels also like fungi
Late autumn and winter is when those caches that were buried in the autumn are being used. Caching is usually in the ground but sometimes in the trees as well
Dreys are built high up in the fork of a tree
Look for used cones or hazelnuts. Squirrel notch the top of the nut and split it in half. Look for half shells with a notched top. Cones are stripped of their spines to extract the seeds
Where gardens back onto woods, squirrels are often fed and can be spotted as they travel to and from the garden. Take care not to upset the garden owner!
Try to avoid peak dog walking times
Parks and cemeteries have red squirrels as well as woodland
For more information on red squirrels and projects on the island, visit the IOW Red Squirrel Trust website.
You can easily and effectively help red squirrels by becoming a Friend of the Red Squirrel. Become our Friend.
Have you seen a Red Squirrel on the Isle of Wight?. Please let us know.