THE BIRDLIFE OF ARNE
Arne is better known for the thousands of wading birds that can be seen feeding on the mud flats during the winter months, so not surprisingly at the end of July birdlife was a little on the sparse side. I did however manage to clock up a count of 66 different species including a least five new year ticks and one new lifer (more later)
With the weather sometimes on the dark and damp side!! photographing the smaller birds proved to be near on impossible. A few of the larger species however did brave the elements for a couple of photo sessions.
There were quite a few Shelducks dotted around the reedbeds and mudflats, mostly in pairs, some with youngsters in tow, some that appeared to be still sitting on nests and some vigorously defending their territory from anything that came close!
There was also a large population of Curlew.
And the moral here is........
..........when you take a bath be careful not to get water in your ear!
Also in evidence was a group of Black-Tailed Godwits that seemed to alternate between feeding on the mud to flying around for a couple of circuits before settling back down to feed again.
Half a dozen or so Little Egrets were dotted around on most days but seemed to constantly get harried from place to place by the Black-Headed Gulls and the Shelducks.
I spotted this resting Mallard on one of the small ponds located in the wooded area of the reserve.
The highlight of the week was going on the RSPB organised walk to see the Nightjars (the lifer) where we were fortunate enough to see four flying birds (3 males and 1 female) and to hear at least four churring males. To hear these birds churring in the twilight was an amazing, if rather eerie, experience (if you ever have the chance , take it!) the walk leader told us that the best way to appreciate the birds call was to cup our ears with our hands and face the source of the sound. Although not thinking about it at the time it must have been a comical sight to see, 30 plus people standing on the heath land in the gathering gloom with their hands cupped to their ears all staring at a lone tree!!
Although the light was fading fast I did manage to get a couple of record shots just to prove that I did actually see a Nightjar.