You can now get much closer to wildlife at the Weymouth Discovery Centre due to the arrival of a new high powered electronic microscope linked to a large digital screen. Its hugely popular with visitors looking at items from the nature table, under it and will be great for close up views of pond dipping finds later this spring. So come over and have a go, simple things like feathers are transformed when you see them magnified.
Its not just nature finds that we are getting closer to but we also have a new wildlife camera in the reed bed overlooking the island which you can control from the Discovery Centre, pan tilt and zoom are at your fingertips! What fantastic wildlife will you see at close quarters?
This week marsh harriers have been very active over the skies of Radipole Lake and it probably will not be long before they start their spectacular aerial displays. A very unusual bird for Radipole Lake turned up this week, a red legged partridge. Normally a farmland bird perhaps it needed a change of seen! Red legged partridge photo credit Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
The iconic spoonbill is also in residence at Lodmoor with 4 birds there at the moment.
Fridays 7, 14 & 21 March
Prams, Pushchairs & Toddlers 10.30 am-12 noonCalling all mummies, dads and grandparents! Try something different and join us for a short stroll around the nature reserve and then back to the Discovery Centre for a chat in the relaxed atmosphere with perhaps a hot drink and a cake. A great way to meet new people or tell your friends and come along together! Free (food and drink to be purchased separately)
Winter visitors, bittern and marsh harrier are still with us and we are hoping that they are enjoying their stay at Radipole so much that they might even stop for the spring/summer and breed. Wouldn’t that be great! At the moment two bitterns have been lurking in the reeds up by the north hide. So if you head up there and with a little luck and patience you may see one. Will this be the year they breed? Other winter visitors who we are fairly sure will stop and breed again are the magnificent marsh harriers. Two birds have been staying over the winter and have just been joined by a new bird.
An unusual sighting was a second glaucous gull arriving in as many weeks. These huge pale gulls are arctic visitors to our shores and only a hundred or so make landfall in the UK each winter so its exciting to see these scarce birds.
Stop press our very own Luke Phillips took these stunning pictures this morning of another glaucous gull enjoying the balmy weather in Weymouth, on their journey back to the Arctic.
Signs that spring is on its way are the first spring flowers along the paths and the wonderful colourful peacock butterfly. We have also had great views of the secretive stoat, spring tends to make them bolder as males search high and low for that perfect female partner.
Peacock butterfly by Grahame Madge (rspb-images.com)
Accessible Walk at Radipole Lake nature reserve
Thursday 6 March 11am Free event
Radipole Lake is one of the most accessible nature reserves in the country. If you find you are usually unable to take part in guided walks because you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, then this walk is especially for you! We will go at a pace that suits all. Accessible toilet onsite and there is pay and display parking right outside the centre.
This coming Sunday (16th February) we are holding an event called Swan Lake! As the name implies, it’s a day all about our swans on Radipole Lake (and not the ballet!). It will be a fun day with story telling, swan folk law and music making but you’ll have to come along to see what music making has to do with swans! We’ll also be doing a swan census and giving a few of the birds a health check and possibly ringing any birds which aren’t ringed all ready. Should be an interesting and enjoyable day!
Here’s the running order for the day.
10:30 – Story Telling out on the reserve (or indoors if weather is iffy)
11:30 – Music and Swan Folk Law.
12:30 – Swan Census and ringing demonstration
1:30 – Story Telling
2:30 – Music and Swan Folk Law
All the activities will start from the Discovery Centre where there’ll be swan related kids craft activities plus a quiz to keep everyone busy between events.
Hopefully see you on Sunday! If you need anymore information just give us a ring on 01305 778313.