Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hawk & Owl Trust Walk with David Lindo at Arne Nature Reserve, Dorset.

Last Sunday was my first organised walk with the Hawk and Owl Trust. The day was organised by Cherry Barlow – Chair of the Dorset & Somerset Grp, Hawk & Owl Trust and led by David Lindo – The Urban Birder along with Rob the RSPB warden and a VERY knowledgeable chap. My brief was to document the day in pictures on behalf of the Hawk and Owl Trust.

David Lindo & Cecil Fowler
The day started with David meeting Cecil Fowler Cherry’s 8 week old European Eagle Owl Chick, Cecil was named by David a few weeks ago.

Whilst the day involved a lot of walking we were very fortunate that Rob took us onto areas of the heath land where the general public are not allowed to enter in the hope that we would see a little more than expected. Whilst we were fortunate enough to see the following: Silver Studded butterfly(v.rare), Wall butterfly, Slow worm (preg female,really legless Lizard), Raven, Hobby falcon, Peregrine falcon, Dorset Heath Heathers, Smooth snake (rarest reptile in uk), Stonechat,Green woodpecker, Buzzard,and the  Little Egret, I have probably missed some but the hot weather and time of day conspired to reduce the sightings somewhat from the diverse species list that inhabits the reserve.

Sika Deer (this one spotted prior to the walk)

David Lindo and a pregnant Slow Worm

Bank Vole

One of the many Osprey nests at Arne
When I was first asked to cover this walk I guess I had a rather jaded view or pre-conceived image of what Arne would be like – a few trees, a bit of heath land with tarmac footpaths, this was supported by my attire for the day of shorts and trainers! How wrong I was, Arne is a truly beautiful natural reserve, well managed and incredibly diverse in habitat and species. It was encouraging to see the work wardens and rangers put into protecting and improving this area for us all to respect and enjoy. The added bonus of course was meeting David, a genuine naturalist with a passion to educate peoples awareness to their surroundings, oh and Rob – was there anything you don’t know?

I look forward to going back in the very near future this time wearing stout walking boots and trousers!