Black Squirrels and Muntjac Deer Spotting 11 May 2012
Having heard that there were populations of black squirrel and muntjac in Letchworth Garden City, my friend Sally-Anne and I headed up there today to investigate. The Letchworth Tourist Information office staff recommended a visit to Norton Common, a 63 acre common and park in the middle of Letchworth. We parked up nearby and went on our hunt not sure what wildlife we might find as it seemed quite a busy park area with lots of dog walkers and children. Surprisingly, within minutes we spotted a muntjac in amongst the trees, a small deer, about 45-52cm in height. She was very shy and darted off. A few minutes later we spotted our first black squirrel! Over the course of the next two hours we spotted at least 10 muntjacs, and 8 black squirrels. Black squirrels are found in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire and the first official UK sighting was in 1912. Muntjacs were introduced to Woburn Park, Bedfordshire, and to parks in Hertfordshire in the early 20th Century. A successful wildlife safari on our doorstep! Here are a few photos from the day – you will see a grey and a black squirrel playing together, also an Orange Tip butterfly.