When the holidays were over we decided to take a trip down the Arne, we had heard that there had been sightings of a White Tailed Eagle around Arne and Poole Harbour and we both wanted to see one. It is one from the reintroduction project by the Roy Dennis foundation on the Isle of White. We popped down on Tuesday 4th January and wasn’t it cold and grey! We walked over Coombe Heath and went into the new hide looking over the Middlebere Channel but I think it was even colder in there.

We did see some birds but it was quiet, a large flock of Avocets and probably other birds well in the distance at the end of the channel. A few Canada geese, Teal and a Shelduck flew over in the distance. A small group of Goldfinches flew in front of the hide but didn’t stay too long, just like ourselves we decided to head back after an hour spotting a Sika hind on the path back to the carpark. We heard later that the Eagle had flown up the Wareham Channel on the other side to where we were!

Canada geese
Canada geese
Wigeon
Teal in flight
Shelduck
Shelduck
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Sika Hind
Sika Hind

We decided to try again the next day, the weather was a little better but still cold, we made sure we were well wrapped up. We decided to go on the Shipstal side on the cliffs, up above Shipstal beach where there is a good view of much of the harbour and you can just see The Needles on the Isle of White in the gap where the Sandbanks ferry goes across. It was quiet again but we did see several Goldcrests in the Pine Trees very busy and quite high.

As we got on the top of Shipstal I heard a bird noise I was thinking or hoping a Dartford Warbler and then I spotted him in the Gorse, he rummaged in the Gorse for a while, no chance of a picture and then someone came along and disturbed him. I thought I’d missed my chance but he flew across the path and did the classic pose for me on the top of the Gorse before flying away. Great to see as I hadn’t been lucky for a few times I’ve been down there.

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler

We had a little walk round which is always a pleasure before heading back to the carpark, We saw the Spoonbills way out from the Shipstal hide but other than that we didn’t see too much.

Fungus on Birch
Fungus on Birch

Getting back to the carpark I couldn’t resit taking some pictures of the birds coming down to the feeders. 

Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Great Tit

No sign of the Eagle again but we heard later it went up the Middlebere Channel, on the other side to where we were again! Apparently they sit in trees for 90% of the day so we are just going to leave it to chance and hope we see one another day. The Dartford Warbler made my day!

6 thoughts on “RSPB Arne

  1. Lovely shots & particularly love the Dartford Warbler. I think your Wigeon are Teal though-drake Wigeon show much more extensive white on the upperwing & the darker heads also fits Teal better.

  2. Nice pictures of the Dartford Warbler a great pose for you. That’s the joy of birding you never know what will turn up. White Tailed Eagle next time.

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