Sorry about the awful bird pun, but today deserved a good joke. The reserve was jam packed with visitors, but the wildlife really stole the show. The highlight again was the 5 Ospreys using the harbour, with 3 being seen flying down the Middlebere channal, and other various sightings from different spots. Migrants were in full flow with 4 redstarts, 7 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whitethroat, Willow Warblers, Garden Warbler, Hobby, Wheatear and much more. 10 Spoonbill was a great count, which shows that their numbers are slowly increasing. Peregrine Falcon, Marsh Harrier and kestrels helped out the Raptor count, whilst Sandwich and Common Terns held the fort for sea birds. Greenshanks, Black Tailed Godwits and an Avocet were out on the mud before being spooked by an Osprey. Even the reptiles were quite obliging as Slow Worm, Grass Snake Common and Sand Lizards were all seen.
All in all a great day at Arne and thoroughly enjoyed by everybody that visited.
It seemed there were Osprey everywhere today. Excited visitors were regularly returning to the visitor centre reporting views of the magnificant birds fishing in middlebere channel, eating fish in dead trees at shipstal, flying over wareham channel and roosting in trees at combe heath. After long debate we decided that at least 4 osprey are in and around the reserve and that number will only rise as we move into september. Peregrine falcon, marsh harrier and sparrowhawk also putting in appearences and the now usual batch of migrant willow warbler, whitethroat, redstart and flycatchers can be seen flitting around.
A hawkeyed visitor spotted the amazingly flashy sycamore moth caterpillar today, bright yellow and orange spikes with white spots down its back. For a few days we've given the pretty caterpillar a new home in the visitor centre to show him off to the public.
Autumn migration is now well under way. A trip to Arne at the moment could produce pretty much anything. An early morning walk could produce anything from Redstarts, Lesser Whitethroats, Pied and Sptted flycatchers, Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears to Marsh Harriers, Ospreys, Merlin and Hobby and maybe even an early returning Hen Harrier. Autumn migration is well known for throwing in a nice suprise every now and then, so keep your eyes peeled for a possible Red Backed Shrike, Wryneck, Melodious Warbler or even a first for Dorset like the Red Necked Stint that was found at Ferrybridge two days ago.