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

                   Mistle Thrush 

   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

   Brent Goose 

                   Dartford Warbler - a beautiful warbler that just wouldn't keep still

    Dartford Warbler- just so pleased we got to see one. This one seen from the viewpoint on the red      
     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! 

   Sika Deer Stag - gave us this looked as he appeared out of the gorse!

                  Sika Deer 

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