I was on about the arrival of spring a few days ago and the weather has just got even warmer this weekend!
There have been even more insects out and about and we saw both red tailed and buff tailed bumble bees outside of the visitor centre. A couple of days ago the first brimstone butterfly of the year was reported and there are a few early moths about. Today 5 raft spiders were seen at the Shipstal ponds.
This picture taken today by warbler sums up the weekend with a host of different birds enjoying the sunny weather. classic poses from the cormorant and spoonbills. A few brent geese are joining in as well and the two great blacked back gulls seem to be taking up residence at the end of this sand spit.
On the Arne forum Paul (yes I know he can't keep away) has started an ‘Arne springtime sweepstake’ where you can have a guess when certain species will be seen or heard on the reserve this spring. It is just for a bit of fun and it would be great to know all of your early spring sightings at Arne. So if it is your first house martin or swallow of the year or your first dragonfly or common lizard then we want to know! Tell us if you hear a cuckoo or a chiffchaff singing or spot an osprey returning from Africa. http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/arne/f/12301/t/69484.aspx
Yesterday a firecrest was singing in the car park which suggests that they might be getting a bit territorial and we are wondering if they are planning to breed in the area. Firecrests are a rare breeding bird in Britain but are probably a bit more widespread than sometimes thought.
The grey seal was spotted today from the Shipstal beach. This is not an uncoomon sight but it hasn't been seen for a while.
On the screen in the visitor centre we have recently linked up to a buzzards nest and there has been a bit of activity on it already. Both male and female have been seen at the same time and they are both bringing in fresh nesting material and the nest is really starting to take shape. Yesterday we saw them a few times but at the momment the visits are fairly brief but it should start to get really exciting in the next couple of weeks. I will keep you all posted as to what is happening and it will definately be worth coming along to reserve to have a look!
There have been quite a few sightings of displaying woodlarks. These are early breeders and the female lays the first clutch of eggs in a nest on the ground before the end of March. They can have up to 3 broods in a year.
This picture of a woodlark was taken by nikon4pete on Saturday - your patience payed of Pete!
It did Michael..thanks..:-)
Great afternoon at Arne, ants back out in their thousands, saw Dartford Warbler on Coombe Heath, 2 Firecrests near Toilets, 13 Spoonbills and Marsh Harrier Shipstal - just to name a few!
Sounds like a great afternoon! (Don't let Pete read about the firecrests though!). I popped up at the end of the day and went around Coombe and one of the big ants nests was looking pretty active!
Missed the Woodlarks though!
HaHa Michael..I will get them one day..:-)
Have just realised I left out Woodlark in my Arne 2011 tick list, know we saw one on one of the guided walks pointed out by Ranger as well as hearing one on the Dawn Chorus walk - so much to see one got left out!
I hope spring is here this weekend..I am being let loose with my camera..:-)
What's the earliest previous date for returning ospreys being sighted Michael?
Can someone add a Forum link at the top for buzzard cam? It still has broken link to Kestrel Cam.
A fine woodlark Pete.
thanks Dom..the Buzzard webcam was on in the vc last weekend..online it isnt not working..
Dom - I will have to check what the date was last year for the first Osprey - think it was fairly late because of the good weather and they were passing straight through with out stopping! I guess a probable time could be the last week of March.
I have been off at a conference and am off for a couple more days - I am planning to do an official launch for the buzzard wabcam shortly - we had to tweak a couple of things and were waiting for the web team to put the correct information. We have been monitoring the camera in the centre - so if you can bare with me and I will set up a forum thread soon like I did with the kestrels last year.
Couldn't find any woodlarks today(10th March) as some bad men with diggers were pulling up all the bushes near to where the woodlarks were..how inconsiderate to do it on a saturday..!!