Friday, 13 March 2015
RSPB Arne Dorset - 10/3/15 Spoonbills & Dartford Warblers etc
We turned up at Arne at 8:30 am when the car park opened on what promised to be a lovely blue sky sunny and warm day. Even the drive along the road to Arne is a beautiful mix of heathland and trees, who knows what could be found out there!
It was our first visit to this part of Dorset and wow what an area. It is stunning with its pine trees and heathland leading down to the coast quite simply breathtaking.
We decided to take the Coombe Heath path first in the hope of seeing Dartford Warblers. This is an amazing path with a hide and screen and also great views towards Corfe Castle. After this path we returned to the car park and took the large loop red trail. This path was stunning both for wildlife and views across Poole Harbour etc and again there was a hide.
We saw a total of 43 species of birds on our visit including a group of 25 Spoonbills and a Dartford Warbler and a huge flock of 200+ Brent Geese. Other birds of note were Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redshank, Shelduck, Curlew, Wigeon, Black Tailed Godwit, Red Breasted Mergansers, Goldcrest, Siskin, Meadow Pipit etc.
Also seen was one single Brimstone, a rat, squirrels, rabbits and plenty of Sika Deer around the reserve.
To complete our day we walked the Coombe Heath path again. We are so impressed with this reserve that we will return hopefully to look for lizards, snakes, butterflies and Woodlarks! It is also worth noting that the RSPB staff in the info hut are most helpful and the feeders next to the hut worth checking out.
Heavily flowered Gorse bringing the Bees out in the sun
Corfe Castle in the distance
Stunning views across Coombe Heath. Gorse flowering everywhere and now and again you could
catch it's 'coconut' scent in the air
Coombe Heath views
Meadow Pipits - claiming and displaying for their territory
Another view from Coombe Heath
Brent Geese - still quite a few on the reserve
Dartford Warbler - a beautiful warbler that just wouldn't keep still
trail while we were looking at a large group of Red Breased Mergansers.
25 Spoonbills! A record shot in the heat haze from the hide on the red trail
A single Spoonbill viewed from Coombe Heath
Part of a huge 200 plus flock of Brent Geese which took off from a field opposite Coombe Heath.
This is the largest amount I have ever seen - not even this amount on the River Exe!