A little update on whats been happening at Arne recently as the wildlife has definitely been busy!
We have had swallows around since Easter Sunday, but arriving in greater numbers now. Cuckoo was first seen and heard at Arne exactly two weeks ago, and has been heard regularly since.
In our visitor hut you can have a look at various cameras around the reserve - we currently have barn owls sitting on two eggs and the kestrels have two eggs in their box too!
Other spring arrivals include woodlark, redstart, willow warbler,wheatear,whinchat, sedge warbler, and we are still getting daily sightings of spoonbill, dartford warbler, sandwich and common tern, shelduck, stonechat, treecreeper, nuthatch, oystercatcher, redshank, curlew,raven, kestrel, green woodpecker and siskin.
A good time for reptiles too with lots being spotted all over the reserve, adder and common lizard have been seen in the car park! With grass snake, slow worm, and sand lizard being seen regularly further afield in the reserve.
Butterflies include holly blue, orange tip, brimstone, speckled wood and peacock.
With Spring now in full flow, our team here at Arne have been kept busy over the past few weeks with some final tree felling and hedge laying.
Hedge laying provides huge benefits for nesting birds and other wildlife including small mammals. Over the past few weeks we have been laying a hedge of Blackthorn, which was planted over ten years ago. We have chosen traditional methods, armed only with hand tools such as bill hooks and loppers, we started by reducing the thickness of the upright by cutting away the wood on one side of the stem, each remaining stem was then laid down towards the horizontal, along the length of the hedge. Creating a denser and thicker hedge, this provides plenty of cover and then can continue to regenerate.
Running alongside the hedge laying we have also been spending time at one of our other reserves Lodmoor in Weymouth. Lodmoor is very close to Radipole Lake near Weymouth’s town centre. It is a summer hotspot for breeding Common Terns.
We have been clearing the island in readiness for their arrival in April. This has involved us boating out on to the Tern islands, carefully clearing vegetation and recovering the islands with fresh shingle/gravel to slow down the re-growth of vegetation. We have also provided the Terns with a safe retreat and shelter from predators.
Be sure to check out Lodmoor around late April.
We are very excited (or should that be eggscited...) to announce our 1st ever Arne Easter Egg Hunt!
I must admit that I’m struggling to think of a better setting for an Easter egg hunt. Beautiful old trees, sweet smelling gorse on the heaths and loads of birds singing away. What could be better?
You're almost certainly desperate to know when this is happening? Well, it's on Thursday 9th April.
The trail will be open between 11am and 3pm with activities to do, questions to answer and even an egg at the end. Suitable for little kids up to big kids and the trail will be buggy friendly. There’s a small charge which will help us continue to run future events. It’s just £1 for RSPB (Wildlife Explorer) members and £2 for non members.
Look forward to seeing you and if you like, give us a tweet @rsbparne to let us know you’re on your way!