Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A September Walk at RSPB Arne

On a late summer afternoon in early September, we walked for an hour or so around the RSPB Nature Reserve at Arne, where sandy heathland slopes down towards the shallow waters of Poole Harbour in Dorset.

It was a warm, sultry grey day. Emerging from old mixed woodland, we found ourselves on a path that bordered several large, open meadows surrounded by trees. The large resident herd of Sika deer were grazing and resting in the grass, while swallows and house martins swooped above them, feeding on the insects that in turn feed on the deers` droppings. At home, our resident swallows had already left their summer nests to fly south towards Europe and Africa. The migrant birds still passing through and feeding at Arne may have been on their way from northern Britain, feasting on plentiful insects before they set off out to sea, across the English Channel.

So many birds and only one caught on camera!

Patterns in the bark of an old, split tree trunk.

Around a corner, almost hidden in bracken, a Sika fawn seemed unperturbed as we came along the path.

A fuzzy image, but she let us get very near before darting off through the hedge towards the grazing herd.

Down on the salt marsh, where oyster catchers and gulls were feeding on the muddy shoreline.

Grey skies over the Purbeck Hills.

An area of crumbling sandy cliff,  where the heather and gorse from the heathland above it were migrating down the slope towards maram grass and the beach.

We walked along the shore and then climbed back onto a heathland path, where bell heather and ling were still in flower among gorse, pine and silver birch.

Dead tree reflected in a salt marsh pool.

Through a wood of ancient oaks.

A pale Sika buck watched us from the shade of pine and sedge

As we left the Arne reserve, we passed through farmland carefully managed to conserve pasture, hedgerow and woodland for a wide range of bird species. Passing Arne Farm, we found the twelfth century village church on a bank beside the lane.

Opposite, the old school house has now become a family house ......

......with fine views across the fields behind it, to the distant harbour mouth at Sandbanks.

Along a narrow, tree lined lane, we walked through peaceful woodland to the car park and then set off for home.


helen tilston said...

You live in such a beautiful place and the images are heart warming. I am particularly fond of the the tree reflected in water, it looks like it has arms and legs and could walk away in a moment.

Thanks for sharing

Helen xx

angryparsnip said...

Goodness what a walk, beautiful. Isn't that the way the sky full of birds and you only get one in the photo.
The last photo is wonderful.

cheers, parsnip

Morning's Minion said...

Your photo of the tree bark is the sort of thing which catches my eye.
You've detailed the kind of country outing which I have always liked. I googled Sika deer,and was surprised to find there are introduced herds of them in the US--one apparently in Virginia, which is a neighboring state.

Ragged Robin said...

What a wonderful walk in such a beautiful place. Lovely photos and well done on getting one of a deer fawn :)

Anns Art said...

Looks like a lovely walk. The sika deer are so sweet, although in all the years of the forest I usually only saw fallows.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It is always nnice to see the area where somebody else lives DW. So different from ours up here and yet so beautiful. Aren't we lucky to live in a country which such diversity?

Lucy said...

We keep meaning to go there but never have yet.

crafty cat corner said...

Now that sounds like my kind of a walk, beautiful.

Mum said...

Thank you for a lovely walk and such beautiful pictures of flora and fauna.
Love from Mum

Toffeeapple said...

Another lovely walk with beautiful images, thank you for taking me along with you.

Em Parkinson said...

I love that bark picture too - gorgeous. I wish the native deer round here were as brave as their foreign cousins!

Thanks for a LOVELY walk; it was very relaxing and very beautiful.

Down by the sea said...

This is always one of our favourite places to visit too. We always seem to be able see the deer quite close up. It always has quite a contrast in features. I love your picture of the cliff and the tree.
Sarah x

Isabelle said...

Well, that sounds very nice indeed. I enjoyed the outing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a beautiful place, I love the photos of the sandy cliff,