As the temperature is finally starting to drop, the familiar Autumn colours are starting to show which is wonderful to see. At Arne over the past few weeks we have seen large numbers of avocets, brent geese and lapwing moving in, as well as the spoonbills which many people have come to see after their famous appearance on Autumnwatch..
Brent geese at Arne taken by Keith Rogers.
There are also good numbers of teal and wigeon in the harbour, as well as good counts of black-tailed godwits, curlew, redshank and oystercatchers.
Flock of teal & wigeon at Shipstal Point, taken by Keith Rogers.
As well as many waders appearing, the colder weather has meant great viewings of firecrests in the car park. Thanks to some gardening behind the hut that has cleared the ground, we have been lucky enough to see brambling out from our famous glass hut window which has been very exciting. This weather has also brought the arrival of the first goldfinch and great-spotted woodpecker to the feeders.
Goldfinch at Arne taken by Keith Rogers.
This morning we were lucky enough to see a sparrowhawk flying over the car park which alarmed just a few of the birds on our feeders.
Arne has also welcomed many winter thrushes with sightings of fieldfare, mistle thrush and redwing across the reserve. We have also experienced the arrival of hen harriers to the reserve although I am yet to see one!
Hen harrier taken by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com).
As December fast approaches we are all looking forward to Pull a Pine here at RSPB Arne. If you would like to find out more information about this wonderful Christmas event then please click here.
Hi guys, I’m Lindsey and new to the team here at Arne! You’ll find me hanging out in the hut this winter, and I’m really thrilled to be here. I’ve recently finished a post working in Salisbury as Community Engagement Officer of the Wessex Stone-curlew Recovery Project, and have also worked on projects on the Somerset levels, Isles of Scilly and London for the RSPB, but am really looking forward to my first chance to work full time on one of our nature reserves, and find out about the things that live here.
Stone-curlew on Salisbury Plain by Andy Hay RSPB Images
There was a good turnout today for the Remembrance walk on Saturday who was telling visitors about Arne’s significant role in WWII, unfortunately monsoon conditions struck shortly after the walk started ensuring that everyone on the reserve was soaked to the skin. If you’d like to find out more about the military history of Arne, please ask at the visitor centre!
Path to Coombe Heath by Lindsey Death
A brief respite from the downpours on Sunday morning gave me a good chance to explore Coombe Heath and the fantastic Dartford Warbler habitat. I’d been hearing about how the heath is managed particularly for spiders, so that the Dartford Warblers have plenty to eat during the winter. With the gorse covered in morning dew and catching the sunlight, the vast numbers of spider webs really stood out and it’s great to know that the management is really working to attract and support these vulnerable birds.
Spider web on Coombe Heath Lindsey Death
Hi I'm Stewart one of the RSPB Dorset Wardens,
I'm responsible for the practical management of our 9 fantastic Dorset reserves. As you can imagine we have our hands full.
On Sunday 2nd November we're holding one of our first practical volunteering days at RSPB Arne; our 'Heathland Bash'.
The event runs from 10am - 3pm, all tools and training will be provided (as well as some hot drinks and biscuits). The events are a fantastic way to help wildlife and also meet others with the same interests and throughout the year we will be carrying out a variety of different tasks around the reserve.
Our Heathland Bash events are the 1st Sunday of every month until March, but what will we be up to this November?
We've got two tasks this month:
1) We're very happy that we have finally secured some generous funding through the Coastal Communities Fund to acquire and renovate the old Toy Museum by the Arne car park. Before the main work begins however there is a important task to do. There is a substantial growth of the UK conservationists worst nightmare: Rhododendron! This needs to be removed in the right way to stop it spreading and is notoriously hard to get rid of for good, although it's a very satisfying job when you get it right.
We'll have a nice warming fire (not that we seem to need it this Autumn) and the task will include lots of sawing and chopping.
2) Once we've tackled the Rhododendron we'll be headed just round the corner to our Invertebrate bank
The picture above shows it the last time we cleared it and it is now overgrowing on the edges and so we'll need to bash some scrub and scrape some rotten humus off the surface making it perfect for burrowing bees and wasps.
Some nice sightings recently around the reserve; plenty of firecrest around the car park (so we may be lucky enough to have some for company on Sunday), a Great White Egret is putting in appearances from Coombe heath and hen harrier numbers are growing in the harbour.
Hope to see plenty of you at Arne on Sunday! We'll meet at the visitor hut in the carpark.