RSPB Arne situated on Poole Harbour on the south coast of England is one of the few places where all six of the UK’s native reptiles can be found but today it seemed much too cold to look for reptiles (both for us and them). However, we enjoyed the walks on the heathland and in the ancient oak woodland and saw some interesting birds.
We were staying near to Corfe Castle on our way to a Golden Wedding anniversary in the New Forest and as we looked down on Corfe Castle from our accommodation we could see how gloomy a day it was to be.
The visit started promisingly when on our approach to Arne we saw a kestrel sitting in a tree.
At Arne we first did a loop of the heathland and saw a stonechat, a Dartford warbler, a chiffchaff and a great spotted woodpecker. We could see shelduck and other waders down on the estuary but it was too distant and too gloomy for photos. Nor did we see the osprey which had been spotted there the day before.
Part of the heathland walk
Dartford warbler slideshow
A very noisy chiffchaff
Great spotted woodpecker
Dunnock in the car park
Goldfinch in the car park
Whilst we were having a coffee at the café we again had close-up views of a great spotted woodpecker and of a pied wagtail.
As we did the second part of our walk we went down to the estuary where there were Canada and Brent geese, shelduck, plenty of gulls, little egrets. oystercatchers and cormorants.
There were lots of rather invasive rhododendrons in the oak woodland.
The only butterfly/moth we saw.
The previous evening we had gone down to the pretty seaside resort of Swanage and saw the beautiful white cliffs in the distance and close-up views of black-headed gulls.