Despite the rain, a bird filled day was to be had at Arne
today. It started off with a cracking Osprey circling the car park for a few minutes
heading off towards Middlebere. Then as if by magic the 2 car park Firecrests
appeared in the big oak right next to the visitors centre, this is their 3rd
day in a row now, so they could be here all winter...lets hope so. Down in the
Middlebere Channel it was wader-tastic with a fantastic mixture of large and
small wading birds. My first 12 Avocet of the Autumn were busily feeding away
amongst at least 400 Black Tailed Godwit. 20 Knot were are great sight, as we
rarely get these in the Middlebere Channel. All 3 Shanks were represented with
15 Common Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank and 2 Greenshank. Oystercatcher, Curlew,
Dunlin and a Lapwing all featured, while over at Shipstal 2 Spoonbill put in a
brief appearance. Osprey were sighted throughout the day too, with Coombe being
a hotspot. If you do go up on to Coombe, then keep an eye out towards the
Wareham Channel, as this is another favourite spot for the Osprey. Spotted
Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, 8 Yellow Wagtail and a few Whitethroat
held the fort for migrants whilst the resident Siskin and Nuthatches
entertained on the feeders. Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Marsh Harrier
made up the rest of the Raptor-fest, and yesterday even a stunning male Hen
Harrier showed up!!
I've said this many times before, but this is my favourite
time of year. No other time would you get such a diverse range of species....we
even have Teal, Wigeon, Pintail and Shoveler back in the Harbour. Winter truly
is just around the corner....sorry guys.
Some quick news from yesterday, a lady kindly saved an
injured Nightjar from her Garden, and brought it to the reserve. It was
horribly under weight (20g less than it should have been) and couldn't fly. I'm
not sure what happened but maybe a window victim or even Sparrowhawk. Below is
a quick photo I took of this stunning bird before putting it in a box to rest.
I will keep you posted on its recovery.
now for today's bird ID ..........I took this photo this afternoon after work.
I have purposely not mentioned it in this blog, so there are no clues. The only
clue I can give you was it was taken on Coombe Heath....Good Luck !!!!!!
Wowee what a claim. But I'm afraid I saw my favourite bird today, or rather 2 of them so even though I saw 3 osprey on the reserve today (best place to go is on Coombe heath or come on our raptor weekend in september) the two little firecrest were by far my highlight of the day.
These tiny little chaps are closely related to the goldcrest but are much less common. Last winter some of you may remember around 4 spending most of their time around the car park in the holly and ivy (their favourite hunting grounds) it seems that 2 have come back a tad early this year and the most amazing thing was they were singing! Not calling, but singing.....I'm looking into if this is usual for the species outside the breeding season...but they definatly didn't do it last year....bizarre. Another truimph was the fact that I first saw them this morning on the new wildlife log pile and pond area that we made a few months ago....only goes to show what can be done with a few old logs and some spades....
Elsewhere as i said there were at least 3 osprey, marsh harrier, raven galore, redstart, whitethroat, spoonbill (go to the Shipstal hide) and the ponds are still teeming with raft spiders, check the long grass around them too for wasp spiders and young common lizard.
Plenty of fungi are emerging too, but being no expert myself I should think the best thing to do would be to get onto one of our fungi walks which are occuring in september and october (see our events list)
Basically, September is, I think, one of the best times to be at Arne....so what are you waiting for...?
Numbers of birds in the harbour are on the rise with 2 Spoonbill arriving back at Shipstal and still 2 Osprey around. Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail and lots more Willow Warbler were seen today, whilst a massive movement of Swallows, House Martin and Sand Martins passed overhead. Teal and Wigeon are even starting arrive back in very small numbers, whilst Knot and Grey Plover are nice autumn waders to see in the Middlebere Channel. Marsh Harrier were hunting at the end of Middlebere.
I have decided to up the challenge, as you all seem to be getting my bird ID quizzes pretty easily. Try these for size.......
Rob wasn't wrong about the amount of amazing wildlife there is around at the moment, and this morning started off with a real bang. I was woken up at 07:15am by one of our RSPB researchers telling me 'I need to see this'!!
The RSPB have been involved in the monitoring of a VERY special bird for almost 15 years now. This research involves specially trained and licensed conservationists putting out mist nets in certain reedbed's throughout the UK to try and catch and ring the extreamelly rare Aquatic Warbler. The researchers have been monitoring a secret location within Poole Harbour for over 15 years now without so much as a sniff of this rare bird (apart from one heard singing very briefly in 2005). There hasn't been an Aquatic Warbler ringed at this secret site since 1983, so it was due a re-appearance soon, and today was that day. Below is a picture of the first Aquatic Warbler seen at this secret site (which isn't Arne) since the early eighties.
To get a full understanding of this bird and the pressure it is under click on this link below which explains the work we're doing to help it........
I think the first line sums it up though... 'The Aquatic Warbler is the only globally threatened passerine bird in mainland Europe' (world population: 10-14,000 males).
This is a migrant warbler heading back south to Africa and it uses the UK as a motorway to get there. Over the last 20 years it has declined massively as a migrant bird within the UK hence the special conservation efforts to monitor it.
How amazing is this!!!
Well what a strange day. A truly horrible morning, which saw some heavy downpours, but then blessidly the sun came out and wowee what an afternoon! When the sun comes out after rain it really is a great time to see some of the heathland and migrant birds and there certainly were plenty around....
Willow warbler, chiff chaff, blackcap, stonechat and meadow pipit were all happily flitting about. Woodlark and redstart were my particular favourites, woodlark which are resident here and redstart which are just passing thorugh. The car park is literally full of siskin, if you have never seen these tiny finches get down the the feeding stations! Plenty of raft spider and wasp spider as usual on all of the ponds. Whimbrel, curlew knot, common sandpiper were joined by the ever growing flocks of black tailed godwit and the first 3 of our wintering avocet.
Possibly the most exciting news is that osprey continue to be seen all over the reserve, and hopefully (bet I've just jinxed it...) will be hanging around for some time to come....If you want to learn more about these amazing birds I suggest you come along to our free weekend long event on the 10th and 11th September where we will be opening up special osprey watch points. Also a little further down the line we have the first fungi foray weekend (see our events page for details) where we will be taking a closer look at the many species of fungi that are springing up all over the woodlands....