Who’d have thought I’d be in the office on Easter Saturday writing a blog... It should be lovely and sunny with Arne bustling with enthusiastic visitors spotting all the signs of spring. Well, that’s exactly what happened yesterday!
It was a stunning day and provided everyone with the full Arne experience. The car park area was full of bird song, feeders covered in Siskin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Nuthatch and all the other usual characters. Firecrests were still hanging around in the Holly trees around the car park. Brimstone butterflies were seen throughout the day. Over head we were treated to display flights from numerous Buzzards and also our first Red Kite of the year drifted over heading north. Further afield around the Shipstal trails the Water Voles were performing well at the ponds, the white Sika Stage (now with celebrity status thanks to the Telegraph!) was showing well and Raft Spiders made a welcome appearance throughout the day. Wood Ants were very busy with nests now becoming very active and one of their predators, the Green Tiger beatle was also seen.
Across the other side of the reserve 7 Spoonbill were hanging out in middlebeare where Black-tailed Godwits were also numerous. Dartford Warblers were seen out on the heath and the spectacular parachute display from Meadow Pipits was seen all over the heath. Meadow Pipits are a really underappreciated bird at Arne. On our weekly ‘Discover Arne’ walks I always make a point of stopping and watching them for a while. It’s blinking impressive! But suppose they aren’t the most striking of birds...
Other recent sightings include our first Osprey seen on Thursday 24th along a steady trickle of Wheatear being seen mainly on Coombe Heath. Surprisingly we’ve yet to see our first Swallow but I’m sure this week will produce the goods once storm Katy has headed off.
Off to cafe for a slice of Lemon Drizzle now!