13 Jul 2022

13 Jul 22 - The Hassles Of Moving Home

Back onto Brownsea for my regular Wednesday volunteering on the DWT Brownsea reserve. This week I was first up on the entrance desk meeting & greeting visitors. After about thirty minutes, two ladies arrived & asked about where to see a Red Squirrel as that was what they really wanted to see. I didn't even have time to start answering when I saw a pale flash in the grass. Over recent weeks, I've picked up Red Squirrels best at a distance by an unexpected pale movement. Asking the ladies to give me a minute, I moved a couple of metres & confirmed I had the pale movement was a Red Squirrel's tail. After pointing out the directions to the two ladies, I moved again to get a clearer view. There was something odd about this Red Squirrel as it had something in its mouth.
Red Squirrel: There was something interesting in the Squirrel's mouth
Red Squirrel: As suspected from my first sighting, the interesting object was a third-sized baby Squirrel & the parent was moving it between dreys
Red Squirrel: Having moved the baby, the Red Squirrel came back & posed for us on the entrance bridge. It's possible to see a nipple in this photo, so it's a female
Red Squirrel: More posing
Red Squirrel: The posing has increased to mimic the DWT sign
Finally, the Red Squirrel crossed the track & lay down on one of the branches on a nearby tree. I had seen a Red Squirrel do this a couple of weeks earlier on the same branch & assume it was the same female. On that occasion, the Red Squirrel was quite happy to pose for about fifteen visitors & allowed prolonged views.

While today's Red Squirrel was posing for the next couple of visitors, I saw a group of twenty-five to thirty small children, teachers & teaching assistants from Talbot School coming along the boardwalk. One of the teachers said they were going to stay on the NT side of the island, but they really wanted to see a Red Squirrel. I couldn't say no to that request, but explained they would need to be quiet. Fortunately, the Red Squirrel went along with this & soon there was a class of happy small and quiet children watching her. It's great to be able to show the next generation something exciting. It was nice how many of the children said "Thank you" on their way off the reserve.
It was great to see the next generation enjoying their first Red Squirrel sighting