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The small squirrel that terrifies people in New York City

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This is not a Beatrix Potter’s story, this is real life in New York City. No one knows if it’s just one squirrel or a gang of them and why they have turned aggressive. It might be that they have caught rabies but that’s thought to be unlikely.

What we know is that a number of people have reported an attack by a small squirrel in the past few days.  These people were simply walking and minding their own businesses when suddenly the Lone Squirrel came out of nowhere and bit them.  A man actually reported that he ended up wrestling with the squirrel who wouldn’t let his finger go. 

Apparently squirrels traps have been set up in the area, but so far no one has been captured. 

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Nature

Why is the London plane tree so special?

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You might not know that the London plane tree is a species in itself. They are in fact called Platanus x acerifolia and are probably a cross between the oriental plane tree and the sycamore tree.

Now about half of London’s trees are plane trees. It was planted in large numbers in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution when, due to smog, many more trees could not survive. Now it’s a tree so widespread that we don’t even notice it.

In London these trees can reach a height of 35 meters, but if grown in the countryside they reach 45 meters.The beauty of this species of tree is that it is completely adapted to the London climate, it does not suffer from pollution or lack of space.

It has been known for at least a couple of centuries and no London plane trees are known to have died of old age, so no one can say how long they can live.

Take a look at the bark of the London plane tree for example, you can see that it is patchy, but if you get closer you will see that they are pieces of bark coming off. This is a way for the tree to eliminate smog, pollution and toxic substances that have settled there. And perhaps one of the reasons why it manages to live well in London.

A famous London Plane is in Brunswick Square

To see a great example of London’s plane tree, go to Brunswick Square in Bloomsbury / Camden. A tree probably planted at the time of Jane Austen, late 1700s or early 1800s. It is also particular because unlike other city trees it has not been continuously pruned and therefore has low branches. It has a different shape from that of other plane trees in London.

 

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Nature

Where to see seals and dolphins in London

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London Zoo has created a map with all recent sightings of seals and dolphins along the Thames.

Many of these sightings have been reported by ordinary people and if you see seals or dolphins along the Thames you can report them here. If you think seeing a dolphin is a rare thing, you are quite mistaken, dolphins often make their way to central London.

Don’t forget that the River Thames up to Teddington Dock is tidal and also has salt water. Seeing animals such as dolphins and even whales is not a rare thing. As for seals in 2020 alone, 467 seals have been sighted and the farthest from the estuary were at Hampton Court. Whales are less common and are often in great trouble when they come to the Thames.

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A reason to feed the birds!

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By feeding birds, your garden or even balcony may become a little haven for many types of birds. It’s a wonderful way to connect to nature wherever you live in these days of being confined to our homes. Kids will quickly become fascinated and involved with nature.

You’ll be amazed at the variety of birds that will come to your feeder throughout the year.It’s in winter that you will probably get the fastest results from putting up feeders, but all year round you will find an extraordinary array of different species attracted depending on what you have on offer. A little research and time spent watching will give you fabulous results. 

At this time of year, put out food and water on a regular basis. In severe weather, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon.The birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden so that you can benefit from watching them at a time to suit you best.

Birds require high-energy (high-fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. 

It can be fun to keep a track of the birds that visit and see if a pattern emerges, we learnt how to identify birds from their calls when they visited our garden. The woodpecker was very distinctive and we found that if we had forgotten to put any food out he would ‘ shout ‘ very loudly from a near tree to tell us off!

It has to be said that it takes time and effort to constantly feed birds the most nutritious and most attractive foods, but there are many benefits of bird feeding that we can all enjoy far beyond simply seeing the diverse array of beautiful birds.Birds eat much more than seeds and feeding birds in your garden also invites them to feast on the insects, worms, snails, and spiders,this is ideal organic pest control !They aid  flower pollination resulting in pretty flowerbeds and beautiful bird-friendly areas.

The most obvious benefit of feeding birds is simply the enjoyment their company can bring us. While birds will naturally visit any backyard, adding feeders  will bring more and a bigger variety.

Feeding birds can be fascinating for all ages. By changing feeder styles and food types you can learn more about the birds that visit, and jobserving the birds will help you learn about behaviors, identifications, personalities and how birds change season by season.

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