Sunday, 19 February 2017

RSPB Arne :: 14 February 2017

A two night break in Bournemouth visiting Eilidh. As usual we started with brunch down in the Harvester at the foot of the Durley Chine. Amazing value breakfast! Filled up we thought about a walk along the promenade but the wind was a little strong. We decided to stop down at the promenade along Sandbanks instead. The usual gulls were active along the eaters edge and on the various land reclaimed follwing the low tide. As we appraoched an area hosting piles of decaying seaweed we saw a small flock of 13 turnstone working furiously on turning the seaweed to expose their own lunch. AvocetSoon after we came to an area of sand where we could see redshank, more gulls including common, and finally a group of 7 bar-tailed godwit.

The next day we decided to travel over to RSPB Arne, particularly to try out the new reserve cafe! Arrived in dull and mizzle weather conditions so decided to have some lunch before embarking on a walk. Delious soup devoured we decided to try the heathland trail where we were reliably informed that we would see very large numbers of avocet. Brent geeseQuite quiet on the way down to the estuary but when we got there we were greeted by more thand 500 avocet and the same in brent geese. There were large numbers of lapwing, redshank, dunlin and shelduck too. We continued round to the hide and spent some time scanning the birds and talking with a couple weilding a scope each. This helped us locate a pair on pintail ducks.

From here we continued round the heathland and away from the waters edge. I was listening, hoping to hear the tones of a datrford warber and as I lost the family over the brow of a hill I thought I headr one. To check I opened my phone app and played the sounds. Sure enough the warbler called back. I found it through binoculars but was only able to get a blurred mass when attempting a photo. The family turned to come and retrieve me and we continued back towards the carpark. Before we got there I suggested the girls all went to have a coffee and cake at the cafe while \i quickly followed the 'seasonal raptor trail'. No raptors but I did come across a green woodpecket and then heard another dartford warbler. I used my app again and this time the warbler came into view long enough to get off a photo. I then met a couple who listened to the darford in the bushes but he was not showing for them. They said that they hadn't seen anything of note ahead so I turned and made for the cafe - cream tea with scone!Dartford Warbler

Sightings (35) included: avocet, blackbird, black-headed gull, black-tailed godwit, blue tit, brent goose, buzzard, carrion crow, chaffinch, coal tit, curlew, dartford warbler, dunlin, dunnock, goldfinch, great tit, green woodpecker, house sparrow, lapwing, little egret, long-tailed tit, mallard, nuthatch, oystercatcher, pied wagtail, pintail, raven, redshank, robin, shelduck, siskin, teal, wigeon, woodpigeon and wren.

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