Posts Tagged ‘Red Squirrel’

Venturing farther afield today as I travel to the eastern part of Dorset to visit Brownsea Island. The island lies in the middle of Poole Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The island is owned by the National Trust and is famous for a number of reasons. It is one of the few places in England where it is possible to see the native Red Squirrel, which has been lost from most of the mainland. It is also the site of the boys camp which led to the foundation of the scouting movement. What is less well known is that the northern half of the island is managed as a nature reserve by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. It consists of a large lagoon and woodland.

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

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Arriving at the island by boat from Poole I made my way to the first hide. Looking out over the lagoon I notice a large white bird, a Spoonbill, a once very rare species which has become more common in southern England over the past 5 years and has recently nested in East Anglia.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

There is plenty of activity on the lagoon including Greenshank, Avocet and Sandwich Terns, which nest on islands in the lagoon.

Avocet

Avocet

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern

Greenshank

Greenshank

Continuing around the lagoon there are a party of Black-Tailed Godwits, many of which are in fantastic colourfull breeding plumage.

Black-Tailed Godwit

Black-Tailed Godwit

By contrast the woodland was relatively quiet but I did see a couple of Red Squirrel, one of which stayed around long enough feeding on nuts to enable me to get some photographs.

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Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Yellow-legged Gull [sp] (Larus michahellis)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Returning to London today but before I catch an afternoon train an opportunity to go to one of my favourite spots on the Sefton coast at Formby.

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The reserve here comprises 3 zones Sand-dunes backed by deciduous woodland which gives way to a coniferous woodland. This latter area is very good. Excellent views of Coal Tit and Nuthatch.

Coal Tit
Coal Tit
photo by Sergey Yeliseev (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

The other great thing about Formby is that it is the only place on mainland England where you can see Red Squirrel. I was fortunate to see 3 of these lovely creatures although all managed to keep well hidden enough to prevent any photos.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

photos by Robert Engberg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rengber/)

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)