Visiting Brownsea island in Poole Harbour for my birthday is becoming something of a tradition. despite my birthday being in the middle of October, I usually get good weather and this year was certainly no exception.
The drive to Poole is always a bit of a chore - the distance makes it right of the edge of what we can do for a single day trip.
We arrived in time for the noon ferry crossing from Poole Quay, and had a bit of lunch in the excellent cafe before we set off around the island. Initially, family groups with small children making loads of noise kept the squirrel sightings quite fleeting.
We walked up to the south side of the island first, passed the church where a Pea Hen was fussing over a couple of chicks...
Then up to the cliff overlooking the Sandbanks ferry.
My first shot of a Red Squirrel for the day - he was really moving fast across a path.
Then he stopped a couple of feet up a tree.
Futher along the south shore we came across a young Sika Deer, who seemed completely oblivious to the cameras. I'm sure loads of people will have taken excellent photos.
Later in the afternoon the light changed and the paths got a little quieter, and that's when the squirrels really came out.
We managed to get on a ferry before the last one for a change, so got a tour of Poole harbour on the way back to the quay.
Happy birthday to me!