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Thursday, 11 September 2008

Brownsea Island

We took a trip to Brownsea Island yesterday as that was what I wanted to do as my birthday outing with Andy...we took a boat from Poole Harbour. Poole Harbour is the second biggest natural harbour in the world...second to Sydney. But where Sydney is deep, Poole is shallow.

'We have to stay between the posts so we don't run aground,' our jovial guide informed us, adding, 'like yesterday.'
There were many comments like this.

'There are still pirates in Poole today. One of them is our boss.'
You get the picture.

I was desperate to see one of our native red squirrels, especially after failing to in Northumberland, and Brownsea Island, apart from the Isle of Wight, is the only remaining place in the South of England where you can find them. Basically the grey squirrels haven't managed to run them out of there because it's an island... Although apparently up North the Pine Marten, traditionally the red squirrel's arch enemy, is now helping them - the non-native grey squirrels are heavier so can't get out to the tips of the finest branches, and thus they are helping to control the grey squirrel population a little...can't remember how I know that. It was probably on Springwatch.

Anyway, we ended up seeing five, which was delightful, none close enough to take a good photo, but still we had a good view through binoculars - delightful. Here are my two 'spot the red squirrel' pictures:



Can you make it out??




They move very fast....

There is a nature reserve on Brownsea Island, which includes a lagoon with lots of birds...I wrote them down but can't find the piece of paper right now so will have to list from memory...kingfisher, avocet (dozens), black tailed godwits, bar tailed godwit, 3 greenshanks, redshanks, oystercatchers, cormorants, shoveler ducks, common sandpiper, grey plover, teal, moorhen, little egret, black headed gull, greater black backed gull, terns.

A lovely day, although I was exhausted last night (& dopey today). Yesterday was actually sunny in places, which is frankly astonishing at the moment. It was very well timed.

Wednesday: 5/10, medium low

Today: 4/10, medium

3 comments:

Tricia said...

Ahhh...nature and wildlife watching. We're looking forward to doing some of that during Mike's vacation next week.

Did someone make the mistake of importing our gray squirrels over to your country? I apologize if that's the case. Those things are brats. I've never had the opportunity to see red squirrels in person (thanks for the squirrel-in-motion photos), but as I recall, Squirrel Nutkin in Beatrix Potter's book was a red squirrel. Silly little thing, wasn't he? :-)

Lucy said...

Yes Squirrel Nutkin was not very sensible - and yes he was a red squirrel. And yes, someone did bring your grey squirrels to us...but then I think someone took our house sparrows to you and caused the same problem for the bluebird, didn't they?

Tell you what, I'll round up all your grey squirrels and you round up all our sparrows and we'll do a swap. That shouldn't be too complicated.

Tricia said...

Right. I'll pull out the nets. :-)

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster