Hooray....For any of you that got totally addicted to the Barn Owls on our Webcam, you can now sit and watch our new super sharp 'Feeder Cam'. This is a camera we have had set up outside the visitors centre for over a year now, but with the magic of technology we can stream live into your home! What will come and have a top up next? This feeder is an extremely popular feeder with Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker, but look out for crafty Robins, Chaffinch's and even Wood Mice. Get a real 'Up Close and Personal' view of these stunning birds fattening before the winter. http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/a/arne/webcam.aspx
Sightings today consisted of 3 more Osprey soaring around the Middlebere area before heading high and north at about 11.00am, and then a wonderful sighting right in front of the Shipstal hide in the afternoon, with everyone sitting inside getting fabulous views. Five out of the Fifteen (yes...FIFTEEN) Spoonbill were at Shipstal and the Middlebere, with Avocet, Knot, Black Tailed Godwit, Greenshank and a Ruff there too, and Wheatear, Redstart and Whitethroat making the most of the warm sunshine. Thousands upon thousands of Swallows and Martins were all heading south along the coast (an amazing sight), whilst the Winter Finch trail started to live up to it's name with good numbers of Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch taking advantage of the rich seed crop.
Just found this photo amongst my collection......had to double check what it was...do you know?
M-sqaured has supplied some shots of birds he is unsure of....can you help him out?
Yes, yes yes there are osprey, peregrine falcon, hobby and marsh harrier down off Coombe heath, flocks of mistle thrush, meadow pipit, black tailed godwit, dunlin and curlew. There is a rather obliging grey seal at Shipstal and plenty of raft, wasp and 4 spotted orb spiders around the ponds but I just thought I'd drop a quick blog to once again big up my favourite bird.
Today I was stuck in the carpark when Michael was swanning off on a walk, when I started watching a nuthatch, after a while a noticed a treecreeper loitering around too, then in came a gang of around 40 long tailed tit, they hung around making a huge racket and then dissappeared, wow I thought, nothing too rare or exciting, nothing to excite a twitcher but what a lovely scene. But then WHAM! Two firecrest appeared straight in front of me, I was soon gathered by a small crowd as we had spell blinding views of this amazingly tiny bird. The firecrest is a relative of the much more common goldcrest and the easiest way to tell them apart is the prominant white eye stripe of the firecrest, I always like to think that the goldcrest looks quite gormless and empty headed where as the firecrest looks like they're up to something a bit sneaky. if you want to see them yourself, we had around 5 stick around all last winter (hopefully they'll do the same this year) and the best place to find them is believe it or not in the carpark. They love the holly and ivy and flitter around eating insects. They are absolutely brilliant birds.
As many of you know we always like to talk about the different wildlife on the reserve. Recently we have been getting good views of a seal in the harbour. Although It isn't a particularly unusual sight it can sometimes be a bit elusive and is always great to see! On Saturday it ventured right up the Middlebere channel and was seen swimming right in front of the Coombe heath hide for at least 10 minutes. It was seen today basking on long island in front of Shipstal beach. To prove that it does really exist here is a picture taken by forum member 'littlemoocow' last week.
Ospreys are still being seen on the reserve and the best place has been looking towards Brownsea Island from the viewing screen on Coombe heath. Lots of wheater are on the heath and a surprise on the reserve today was a juvenile cuckoo. Most of the adults will have left for Africa back in July and August but some of the young birds remain for a lot longer.
Spoonbills are still creating excitement and up to 8 can often be seen on the saltmarsh from the double decker hide and they even venture round to Middlebere when the tide is right.
This picture of spoonbills on the middlebere channel was was taken by Dom Greves - nice reflections!
The Arne Raptor Weekend. Some would say it couldn't get better than last year, with Osprey sitting in tree's literally 100m away. Well, the weather forecast didn't look promising, and the poor group that was stood up on our West Track view point at 11.30am yesterday morning narrowly avoided a complete drowning thanks to a quickly assembled marquee. But......after a while the sun broke through and Raptors started to appear. It started off with Sparrowhawk and Kestrel being spotted by Graham at West Track, and then Rob quickly called to say he was watching Marsh Harrier from Coombe. A very brief sighting of Osprey from the Wareham Channel was called through, but not great views. Two Hobby put on an amazing show infront of a wet but eager crowd up on West Track, whilst 2 more Osprey were spotted fishing together out in the middle of the harbour at about 14.30, only seen by a handful of people unfortunately. Today was a totally different kettle of fish. I started my morning up on Coombe watching out towards Brownsea with a small crowd of about 5 people. 'Osprey' I shouted to the watching crowd....'and another' I blurrted out, 'no way, and another'. Yes 3 Osprey all fishing together out in the middle of the harbour. Luckily by this point a nice crowd of about 50 people had gathered to watch the spectacle. One eventually came quite close and dropped from the sky to catch a fish...just amazing. To make it even more mouth watering, at one point a Marsh Harrier came in and started mobbing the Osprey. Hobby put in more appearences on Coombe and West Track, and to top it all off a Peregrine was seen taking a wader from the double decker hide. So...over the whole weekend
Osprey x 3 (maybe 4)
Marsh Harrier x 3
Hobby x 2
Peregrine x 2
Buzzard x 6
Kestrel x 2
Sparrowhawk x 2
Other great sightings from the weekend were 8 Spoonbill from the double decker hide. 2 Firecrest in the car park briefly, 10 Yellow Wagtails, Greenshank, Knot, 1200 Bl.Tailed Godwits, Teal, Blackcaps, Yellow Legged Gull, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Kingfisher and much more.
Now, I have heard on the grape vine that my bird ID game can sometimes be too easy. I thought I would up the game a touch with two very special birds that were seen in Poole Harbour this weekend. The only clue I'll give you is that you can thank these strong SW winds for the arrival of these birds !!!
These photos aren't of the actual birds seen, but are photos taken off the internet. Good Luck
Both taken at Arne..........Good job my photography is so bad, otherwise these would be way too easy !!!!!!!!!