Monday, June 19, 2006

A Squirrel Day

We went up to Ainsdale Sands on Saturday. Every year P takes a couple of coach loads of students up to the sand dunes for field work and he wanted to make a video of the dunes and wildlife therein for the preparation work before the visit.

It was a lovely day and as we drove along the clean, flat beach the wide expanse of it reminded me of the beaches in France near Mont St Michel where they stretch out forever into the distance and where they tend to have their garlic festivals, complete with jazz bands and Elvis impersonators, on the sand. We wandered around the dunes filming and taking photos and generally saying good morning to ramblers, dog walkers and joggers. Then we walked on the sand banks down towards the sea.

After we’d popped into the visitor centre we drove over to the National Trust Red Squirrel Sanctuary at Formby. We ate our picnic lunch and then wandered under the cool of the trees and were rewarded by a pair of squirrels who after attracting our attention by ‘chittering’ proceeded to run up and down the trees, jump over logs and chase each other, all the time venturing closer and closer to us until they were just a few feet away, looking at us with their curious little button eyes. I was completely captivated by them.

I do remember seeing Red Squirrels as a child on holiday in the New Forest and in Cornwall but I hadn’t seen any for ages, they are so much smaller than the greys with their wispy summer tails, a rare treat.

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