My first visit to RSPB Arne - including Sika Deer ....

Hello Everyone :)
It's been a while since I posted on the forum but I wanted to share with you my day out to the RSPB's site at Arne on Saturday.
I love my mammals as well as my birds & I had seen 5 of the 6 Deer that can be found in the UK up until Saturday (those being the Red, Fallow, Roe, Muntjac & Chinese Water) but I hadn't seen the Sika.
Since the middle of the year my plan was to head down to Arne (for the first time) to try and complete the list so to speak! It was a drive of over 3 hours each way as I live up in the Midlands but it turned out to be well worth it!
We arrived at Arne for 10am and parked up, I headed to the visitor centre to get a map and ask the RSPB advisor about the best places to see the Sika Deer and a couple of birds that I was hoping to see - including the elusive Dartford Warbler & the Spoonbill. Both were potential new birds for me having seen neither in the wild before.
I started by walking the Combe Trail to browse the heathland for any Dartford Warbler's that may show - within a couple of minutes of walking onto the trail I saw my first Sika Deer - two hinds feeding out under a tree, not a bad start! I continued along the circular trail where I came across even more Sika Deer in the distance - this time including a few stags and several hinds.
Then out of the blue the noise that I was waiting for - a Sika Stag cried, what a strange sound! I had heard it on the internet but to hear it out in the field was something else. I continued watching these Deer for a while as I sat on a bench before I carried on round to the hide. Not much from the hide other than the odd Little Egret.
I completed the trail, needless to say I didn't see any Dartford Warblers unfortunately - a bit disappointing but I knew it was a tough ask. Can somebody tell me (who perhaps visits the reserve regularly) how easily seen the Dartford Warblers are?
Back to the car for some lunch before heading off up in the other direction past the farm (where I was told I had my best chance of seeing the Sika Deer) and down into the woods. By now the reserve was getting very busy and there were more & more people around.
Along this path I encountered more Sika Deer (this time they were a lot closer) and I took a few photos before heading onto Shipstall Beach. On the way I stopped off at Shipstall Hill where I had lovely views over the harbour and onto Brownsea Island out at sea.
I did venture up to the beach where I had a walk along to the top where I picked up more Little Egret's and also some Brent Geese.
Back onto the trail to head over to the other hide and into the woods and on the way I started to pick up more & more Sika Deer but this time by sound opposed to sight (well at first at least!) - the noise they make is so different to the Red/Fallow Deer.
I managed to track a few Stags down & I filmed some footage before heading onto the hide to try my luck there.
Whilst in the hide I had Spoonbill (very pleased!), Little Egret, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Curlew & more.
Finally on the way back to the car I passed one of the fields by the farm where the Sika Deer had come out from the woods into the open to feed. There were a few stags all within quite close proximity of one another. They were all calling at different times to one another making it a fascinating watch. It was starting to get dusk at this point making the noise even more eerie!
The one stag was chasing the females around sticking his tongue out at the same time (presumably checking if the females are ready to accept him) - I just stood in awe at the whole spectacle!
That was a very brief account of my day - I hope it was of some interest :)
A fantastic day had, a new RSPB reserve visited, Sika Deer & Spoonbill seen - only the Dartford Warbler let me down, but two out of three ain't bad!
Best Wishes, Rob
P.S - I have attached some photos & a video from my day out, below :)
I took loads (!) - here's a small selection:
 
 
 
The above youngster only had one front leg, it didn't stop him getting about though!
 
 
 
Mom & Youngster!

Video 1: Distant Spoonbills: