A RED squirrel quickly scales the side of a pine tree, heading for a small ledge from which it can bravely jump into the fauna below.

But after reaching the fungus shelf and peering at the steep drop, the wild squirrel seems to have a change of heart.

After three or four minutes, it calmly climbs back down – head fixed on the safer ground below.

Retired dog breeder Sylvia Fresson, 72, watched him climb the 40ft pine tree – only to run straight back down again when it realised how high it was.

The mother-of-two, from Blackboys, near Uckfield, said: “I think the squirrel probably realised it was too high a leap for it.

“It just climbed back down the tree – head first.

“It was absolutely amazing and really cute – a real privilege to have seen.”

The squirrel, captured near Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, took less than a minute to climb to the ledge which was, in fact, just a clump of fungus on the side of the tree.

Standing upright with paws by its side, the little red creature looked as if it was bracing itself to jump.

But at 15ft up, even the ledge was too high for the squirrel, prompting it to run back down the tree in less than a minute.