Good day today as 2 hobby were seen as were two marsh harrier on opposite sides of the reserve. Cuckoo are singing all over the place as are woodlark. Plenty of dragonfly about and palmate newt and raft spider are quite easily seen out on any of the ponds. Dartford warbler today singing nicely as usual on Coombe heath and a few days ago a nice sighting of crossbill.
Well it's all kicked off here today in the nest box with two of the 5 kestrel eggs hatching, the male has brought back quite an array of food too; field vole, blue tit and lastly a sand lizard! If you want to check out the live stream its here...http://bit.ly/jpQANu
And it is the last of these meals which is the focus of the latest video diary; REPTILES! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/kPTEdq
Let us know what you think...the next topic is Nightjar!
With all the excitement happening in the kestrel nest our great tits have taken a little bit of a back seat in recent days, but they are still there. They have diminished in numbers a bit. First we had the one taken by the woodpecker which I talked about last week and this morning I returned from a day off to find only four chick left in the nest. It looks like two more have died and I think they are in the corners of the box. Im not sure what has happened but it looks to me that the adults aren't visiting as much as they should be and I have only seen the female coming in with any food at all! It may be possible that the male has disapeared and it is difficult for the female to cope on her own. The parents will stop feeding the chicks as often when they are close to fledging to encourage them out of the box but these stil look a couple of days away from that. (Note - have seen the female coming in a little bit more often as I am writing this!)
This is the time when lots of young birds are starting to fledge and it is common to find seemingly stranded youngsters on the ground. The best thing to do is leave them where they and not be tempted to pick them up. The parents will probably be close by and will come down and feed the chich until it is strong enough to take of again. Picking the chick up or getting too close will scare the parents away and there is a chance of it being abandoned.
The Kestrel has now got 4 chicks with one egg left at the momment, you can read about all the latest developments on our Kestrel forum http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/arne/f/42066/p/44904/294948.aspx#294948 or check out the live pictures at http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/a/arne/webcam.aspx
It has been pretty windy the last couple of day, so it has been a little bit quiet on the heath but we have still had reports of dartford warblers, stonechats and woodlarks and a visitor has just shown me a nice picture of a Dartford warbler near the pond on Coombe heath.
Insect wise I have seen my first common blue damselfly of the year in the visitor centre and the reserve is a great place to come and see a huge variety of dragonflies and butterflies. It's the perfect time to go reptile watching at the moment, but before you do watch our own reptile expert Paul in the latest Arne Video Diary here http://bit.ly/kPTEdq
This is an important message to anyone who has tried calling the reserve in the last 4 days. Our computer systems have failed, which has also had an effect on our phone line. This means we are unable to retrieve voicemails. If you have tried calling the reserve and left a message regarding booking/cancelling a walk or event then please can you call Paul on 07717697958, between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
There are also major road works on the approach road down to Arne that are supposed to finish by 5pm Wednesday 25th of May.
Well an eventful few days both on and off the reserve. Firstly Michael and I helped out on one of the RSPB Poole bird boats that goes out from Poole Quay out of the harbour and out alongside the cliffs in search of some of our seabirds. What a great trip it was too; Med gulls, common and sandwich tern, black tailed godwit and oystercatcher were seen even before getting out to sea. Some brilliant views of the Jurassic coast were only beaten by gannet, rock pipit, peregrine falcon, fulmar, kittewake, 300 or so gullimote and amazing views of 11 puffin at Dancing ledge. If you'd like to go on your own trip get down to the reserve to pick up next years schedule! This year there is a new boat on the look out for the migrating osprey that will be fishing in the harbour- not to be missed!
On the reserve we now have 4 Kestrel chicks that have hatched, will the last one hatch? It didn't last year so keep your fingers crossed! Check it out live here http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/a/arne/webcam.aspx
Downy Emerald, broad bodied chaser, 4 spotted chaser, emperor, brown hawker, hairy, small red damselfly, large red damselfly, common blue and emerald damselfly are all out and about with loads still to emerge, so get down to the ponds! Two hobby have taken to hunting said dragonflies over at Shipstal too so keep a sharp look out. Plently of Cuckoo all over the reserve and sundew is now fully out (check down in the boggy heathland for these bright green and red carnivourous plants).
Almost in reply to the new Arne Video Diary on reptiles (watch it here http://bit.ly/kPTEdq) the female sand lizards are starting to egg lay in sandy banks. Look out for the tell tale D shaped test burrows, but please don't touch!
Congratulations to our kestrels : The first chick hatched this morning at around 8:26 am!
We are getting glimpses of the tiny fluffy ball when the female moves her position. We have seen the male come in with a field vole and meet his baby for the first time. He did look a little bit confused but soon got the hang of it.
Join in with thediscussion on the 'Kestrels - Life in the Box' forum, and let us know what you see!