Yesterday, inspired by the latest issue of the BBC Wildlife Magazine with the red squirrel on the front, we set off from Poole Quay on a ferry for a day trip to the National Trust owned Brownsea Island.
Brownsea Island has a unique spot in the middle of Poole harbour with woodland, heathland and a large lagoon which attracts lots of waders. It is one of the last strongholds of the red squirrel in the south of England. There is a population of approximately 200 red squirrels on the island and we hoped to spot one or two while we were there.
We were lucky enough to end up seeing at least four running, jumping and chasing around the woods. The best place to see them seemed to be the area managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust as it wasn’t as busy as the main part of the island. You have to pay a little extra to go in here but it was worth it to see them and the stunning lagoon full of waders. Have a look at this slideshow for more images.
Brownsea Island Nature Reserve run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust
We saw lots of avocets in the lagoon which was at high tide.
Here’s an avocet resting on one of the islands in the lagoon.
Cormorant on a post
I think this is a redshank.*
Common lizard basking on a log
While we were at the island we had a good view of the Bournmouth airshow too!
Grey Heron from the reed bed hide
Fabulous view from the lakes hide
Wood ant nest
Red squirrel doing the high wire acrobatics
Good opportunities to see red squirrels at the bird feeders by the villa.
Jackson is a young person with an active interest in natural history. He has been asked to be a Local Patch Reporter, writing a regular nature blog about the wildlife in his area for BBC Wildlife Magazine.