IS it a bird? Is it a plane? Visitors to the RSPB’s Arne nature reserve might have been forgiven for wondering why this unexpected flying object was whizzing around in the Dorset skies in recent weeks.

But this remote control eight-blade mini-helicopter carries a camera, and was used to obtain aerial shots for a new four-part television wildlife series called Seasons, to be screened next year.

Crews from the BBC have been visiting the reserve to film some of its rich wildlife, including nightjars, raft spiders and wood ants. Cameraman Simon King has also been filming sika deer, whose spectacular – and noisy – rutting season reaches its peak over the next few weeks.

Arne has featured in Countryfile, with items on a reptile hunt and on Enid Blyton.

“Arne is out on a peninsula and has big areas of undisturbed heath,” explained the reserve’s information officer Michael Wilson.

“We get numerous requests from camera crews to come and visit and it a great opportunity for us to show the world the stunning natural history that Dorset has to offer.”

He added: “We are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic mixture of breathtaking landscape and wildlife that everyone is able to come along and enjoy.”