A young Common Lizard sunbathing close to the information hut/visitor centre at the RSPB’s Arne nature reserve.

On a warm sunny afternoon in late August few other places I’d rather be than wandering through the lowland heath that lies adjacent to the millionaires playground of Poole harbour.

Female Wasp Spider wrapping up an unfortunate Meadow Grasshopper .

Late August is probably the best time of the year for finding many of the reserves more unusual insects. With their distinctive zig-zag pattern weaved below the web Wasp Spiders appear to be benefiting from the increasingly warm summers enjoyed across southern England. Certainly can’t recall seeing so many on any previous visits. Up north they’d probably have drowned.

One of many female Wasp Spiders to be found in the meadow area below the cafe.

Raft Spider on Coombe Heath.Yet another impressive spider.

Unfortunately as anticipated no sign of any of the extremely rare Ladybird Spiders but the re-introduction scheme is going well so perhaps one day we’ll get lucky. In the meantime a reminder of what to look for –

Ladybird Spider Photographer: Viridiflavus Creative Commons License:

Hmmm……….. the closest we got !

Dodder parasitizing heather.

I’ve always been fascinated how life adapts to extreme environments. With a nutrient deficient soil and drought like conditions found on the heath Dodder took an alternative route to survival. Never mind leaf adaptations if you can steal the nutrients from your neighbour why waste energy producing any. Chlorophyll – hmmm…. again no longer necessary. Stem thickening again with neighbouring plants available for support no longer necessary. Although easily overlooked a truly remarkable plant.

With a 12 month old Border Collie for company birdwatching wasn’t high on the agenda however we did enjoy goods view of an Osprey, a Spoonbill flying down Middlebere channel, numerous Stonechats, a Dartford Warbler and several Sandwich Terns. Also a fleeting glimpse of a probable Woodlark. Unfortunately not a single photograph of any of them. Perhaps next time ………….

One Reply to “Arne”

  1. Some great photos from Arne. Makes a change from seeing Sika Deer, lovely as they are! Haven’t been there for some years, but a great reserve.

    I’ve only seen Ladybird spiders abroad in Kazakhstan.

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