|Please note: these aren't real squirrels.|
Brownsea Island has been visited every last Friday in Autumn half-term for a few years now. It's a family tradition. There are peacocks, chickens and spoonbills to be seen and admired on the island, but better than all of these are the adorable red squirrels. Smaller than the alien (but well-established) and more familiar grey squirrel, the red squirrel is officially Britain's Cutest Squirrel.
Every year, if we are quiet enough, the shy little creatures reveal themselves, carefully leaping between the branches of the numerous trees, or sometimes scampering around amongst the leaf litter with a hazelnut in their tiny paws. And every year, we count each squirrel and total them up at the end of the day. And every year, within weeks, we have forgotten how many we saw.
So, this year, I am writing down the number of red squirrels seen on the trip to Brownsea Island in 2010.
And the final total this year was...21! This may have been a record number, but as I have never written the total down before, it equally well may not be!