Arne in Autumn

Last weekend I visited RSPB’s Arne Reserve, located on the West side of Poole Harbour. It was a gloriously sunny day and really busy on the reserve- I suspect due to the fact that it has been announced the reserve will be the location of the BBC’s Autumnwatch later this month.

I saw plenty of Sika Deer on the reserve. You may remember I saw the same species on my recent visit to Brownsea Island and these deer actually originate from that population, having swam/walked across the shallow harbour.

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You can see that the latter has an ear tag and what I think is a radio collar, presumably to keep track of the population and how far it has spread.

I saw plenty of butterflies on the reserve, mostly speckled woods and red admirals but also a peacock.

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I also saw both the first two today, the 15th October! It seems that butterflies are flying very late this year and with little sign that the temperature will drop significantly over the next week or so I suspect we may even get the odd butterfly still flying in November but we will have to see!

On the bird front Arne was a little disappointing I have to say. I saw this Little Egret near one of the beaches amongst a bunch of gulls.

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Arne has a two-level hide which I was most excited by. On entering the higher level I quickly concluded that the reason it was so high is that the birds are a long way from the hide. I spotted a few spoonbills around and a shelduck.

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Today I visited Blashford Lakes and had a great time. Two weeks I was over the moon that I had finally managed to photograph a kingfisher. I was lucky to manage that feat again today as a kingfisher obligingly sat on the edge of the lake cleaning for a good half an hour.

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It kept diving into the water and then kept cleaning itself which was really enjoyable to watch.

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A few other spots on the lakes: a pochard, a little grebe and some lapwings.

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In terms of fungus I saw some stunning Shaggy Ink Caps.

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I managed to see a demonstration of just some of the natural variation of Harlequin Ladybirds.

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I have seen lots of hornets lately, mostly on ivy flowers. Frustratingly they always seem to visit the flowers at the top of the bush, away from most of the wasps, bees and flies, and are therefore very tricky to photograph. I saw one today on some leaf litter so got a clear view. They are remarkable creatures so watch.

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