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So here is a post based on what the blog is named after, a camera trap in Cornwall. I had a lot of chicken pieces left over from dinner and...

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Brownsea Island's Red Squirrels and Scouts: An Expensive Day.

Last week I was once again in Poole, Dorset for Easter. This week we had 2 goals, to see red squirrels, a new species for me, on Brownsea island and visit monkey world rescue centre.  One was worth the money while one was a rip off. Brownsea was the rip off although we saw a wide range of great wildlife. Monkey world was very good and worth the money. 

Red squirrel in a tree.

First the rip off story: Brownsea.
We looked on the internet site which said there was parking available but when we arrived the car park had changed allowing a maximum stay for 1 hour. Not very good for a place which needs a few hours to see. So we dropped my aunty and uncle off and drove to the next nearest car park about 10 minutes walk away. The cost was £10.50! We didn't pay and went back to pick my aunty and uncle up but as we arrived the where in the ticket queue. I jumped out the car and was faced with traffic boarding a ferry to Swanage so had to wait for it to pass. By this time it was too late and they had bought 4 tickets at £5.75 return so we went and paid for the car park.

A leaping red
We got on the boat for a 2 minute crossing to the sland. The staff where unfriendly and acted as if we owed them something. On the boat we where told that the price did not include entry to the island so we had to hand over £5.60 each. We went around and here are the positive points to the day. We spotted a spoonbill, unusual for the U.K. We also saw a firecrest displaying in bright orange "traffic cone" colours. We saw a dartford warbler, only my second sighting. And of course the red squirrels. We saw at least 2 maybe 3 as we lost sight of one for a while before spotting another.

Two red's
On the island was a separate reserve which we where not warned about until we got to the gate. This require a further entry fee which we didn't pay instead we carried on on the part we had paid for. Brownsea is the birthplace of the scout leader Baden-Powell. Unfortanetly if this is why you visited the island you will be disapointed. The building he was born has no public access and you can only just see the roof of it. In the Baden-Powell information centre the staff had no idea. We asked them simple questions and they couldn't answer so we left. On the back to the ferry a scout group was walking to the campsite except they didn't carry any equipment. This was put in a trailer behind a fire engine and transported to the camp for them. What Baden-Powell would think of this who knows but I don't think he would be happy.

All in all we saw what we went for and 3 other spottings which would be great on there own but it came at a very expensive cost. I would not recommend here unless you where very desperate to see a red squirrel. 

My next post will be about monkey world and the rest of the week. this post was longer than anticipated.