With a colder start this morning, the bird reports were a little slower than normal. I managed to see the Cuckoo as I was opening up, and a gorgeous Marsh Tit was a the feeders for most of the morning. Whimbrel are plentiful in Poole Harbour at the moment as too are still the Black tailed Godwits. Best action was coming from the Kestrel nest box camera in the visitors center where the male was busy bringing back Sand Lizard after Sand Lizard for his wife......I guess Kestrels don't know Sand Lizards are a protected species?
Terns are still arriving at Arne, with both Common and Sandwich Terns being seen today as they dive bombed small fish from above. Spoonbill and Dartfords are still an Arne favourite and can be seen from Coombe Heath, although the Dartfords are staying a bit low out of the wind.
Hopefully the rain will hold off for the bank holiday weekend, so visitors can enjoy the reserve and the wildlife in all its glory.
An extra early start for me, as I was determined to see a Male Pied Flycatcher on the reserve this spring and........no, i didn't !!!!
The walk did produce some cracking views of Dartford Warber (within 3 feet), and Stonechat. A Cuckoo was seen flying in the distance, as my first 3 Whimbrel of the year probed around in the mud below. Grey Plover, Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank all busied the Middlebere channel, with the long staying Pintail and Teal.
Reports of an Osprey came through at around mid-day seen flying towrds Middlebere. Thats 6 days in a row now that Osprey has been reported in this Area of the Harbour.....is it the same bird?????
All Warblers were in full voice with 1 lone scratchy Sedge Warbler song coming from the reedbeds at Middlebere, with Woodlark being heard right on the roadside about 200m before the carpark entrance.
The first Dragonfly was photographed emerging from the merky depths of a heathland pond, whilst Sand and Common lizards dashed about fixed on finding their next meal.
Yet another hot day at Arne which started perfectly as the sun poked its head up over the Harbour, allowing one of our early bird volunteers to catch a glimps of Cuckoo singing at dawn, and 4 freshly arrived male Wheatears. Today was a busy day with numerous RSPB groups and school groups touring the reserve, which is excellent as that means 20 times more eyes looking for wildlife, and sure enough those eager eys managed to find 3 Med Gulls amongst our commoner black headed gulls, a woodlark sitting perfectly camoflaged on a tree stump and 2 Marsh Harriers hunting on a distant marsh. Some excellent photos of Dartford Warblers were taken today, and you'll all be glad to know that a count of 52 terrirtories was made over the last 2 days, which is fantastic count. The day continued to provide good records of Whimbrel, Sanwich Tern, Raven, and to top it all off.....an after walk strole involving myself and stve one of our volunteers produced the sighting of a Goshawk flying/hunting over the Wareham channel.......basically a GIANT sparrowhawk, but alot rarer !!!!
Highlights today were (excuse the alliteration) Hobby, Hoopoe and Honey Buzzard! The Honey Buzzard on passage, the Hobby hopefully staying put and the Hoopoe....who knows!?
Once again Pied Flycatcher were seen down by the farm, and larger numbers of Sandwich Tern gathered over the Harbour down by the beach. Trees that seemed bare yesterday have sprung into springtime and have a very fetching green tinge to their branches, which an array of tits have spent the sunlight hours chasing each other amongst. The Barn Owls in the nest cam box have somehow managed NOT to break their egg, even though the mother to be seems to be very clumsy footed!
Oh and yet another Osprey graced Coombe heath today, tucking into a Grey Mullet much closer to the path than the birds usual spot, giving surperb views to lucky visitors.
If you're thinking of getting out of the house soon...come to Arne!
Once more plenty about at Arne today. Osprey, Kestrel, Tawny and Barn Owl were all seen, as were a few Bank Voles hoping to stay off the menu. The nest box camera on the Barn Owls revealed that Mrs Barn Owl is sitting on one egg!
Siskins and Linnet flitted around on the heath entertaining those waiting to spot a Dartford Warbler, whilst out on the Farm a stoat was spotted. Lots of activity down by the waterside as Damselflies begin to emerge and Raft Spiders lurk. Once again reports of Whinchat among the Stonechat, and lovely views of the Spoonbill down on Middlebere. Whilst from the double-decker hide overlooking Arne Bay more sightings of Whimbrel feeding close to the resident Curlew.