Little Stint, Little Egret, Bearded Tit, Black-tailed Godwit, Cetti's Warbler, Pintail (female), Marsh Harrier.
Well not quite but we have recently finished having the roof of the Discovery Centre re-thatched, using a large proportion of our very own reed from Radipole’s reed bed, which is fantastic. It had not been re-thatched since the late 1970’s so badly needed doing and was partly funded through a legacy. It looks superb and has some nice touches on the ridge peaks with a thatch swan on each, a bit of a makers mark. Huge thanks to local thatchers Nathan Yates of ‘The Purbeck Thatcher’ and James Scott of ‘Sunrise Thatching’ for a truly splendid job and getting it finished for us!
The new roof! Michelle Williams (RSPB)
In addition a new piece of artwork generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund has been commissioned for the front of the visitor centre. The large lifelike marsh harrier will celebrate the return of the marsh harrier to Dorset and is being painted by London based street artist ATM who specialises in paintings of birds. He says on his facebook page that, ‘My paintings are a celebration of birds, a reminder of what species once lived here and could again with more consideration and improved habitats.’ He has had fantastic reviews for his work including this from Urban Times:
"British artist ATM ‘s love of nature is evident in the staggering levels of flair and detail with which he paints endangered birds throughout London. The contrast between nature and the urban environment is something that he says is at the core of his work.”
Marsh harriers returned to Dorset in 2009 after an absence of nearly 50 years when a pair nested at Radipole Lake successfully rearing 3 chicks. They continue to breed in Weymouth annually and have now started breeding at other Dorset reed beds. This year two pairs of marsh harrier nested on the RSPB’s Weymouth nature reserves fledging a fantastic 6 chicks.
Autumn migration is well under way at Radipole Lake and with the usual suspects has been some of the more unusual in the shape of a spotted redshank seen just outside the Discovery Centre and a red-backed shrike up at the north hide. Over on Lodmoor, spoonbills have been showing quite well and popping over to Radipole Lake every so often for a change of scene.
The continued warm weather has meant that lots of butterflies are still on the wing and dragon and damselflies like the amazing blue/green emperor dragonfly. The hedgerows are full of nuts and berries this year with masses of haw berries, blackberries and sloes which the birds are feasting upon. Its a great time to get out and about at the Weymouth nature reserves.
Up coming events
Sat 20 & Sun 21 Kingfisher Weekend at Radipole Lake 10 am-3 pm
Autumn is a busy time of year for kingfishers. Hopefully a successful breeding season has produced lots of extra kingfishers and now they are all on the move to new places to spend the winter. Radipole Lake is a perfect place for them to spend a few weeks feeding and sussing out their next move. Join volunteers and staff to stake out the best spots at Radipole Lake for a glimpse of this stunning bird. Free – no booking required. Come along anytime during these times over the weekend. Info: 01305 778313.
Radipole Lake has turned into a Mecca for Canada geese recently with an amazing 300 plus descending on us with a few fantastic feral hangers on in the shape of a barnacle goose and bar headed goose. Its always lovely to see these fellas. Water levels before all this rain were very low and the shallow water made it very attractive to them.
Autumn waders continue to build up with black-tailed godwit, green sandpiper and common sand piper, a sure sign the weather is on the turn, yes its colder and raining!! A cheerier sign is the increase in the vibrant kingfishers seen around the nature reserve, guaranteed to cheer up even the dullest day. Its at this time of year kingfishers head to coastal regions for the winter where food is much more abundant. Lucky us!
Over on Lodmoor the last of the common tern chicks are fledging on the islands and an arctic scarcity a wood sandpiper graced our shores which was very lovely indeed.
Our Weymouth team had some fun at Weymouth Carnival too!
We all enjoyed taking part in the Weymouth carnival. It was a very long day (approx 2 hours waiting around in the Pavilion car park before setting off and then we got to the end point at about 8:45pm) Luckily the sun was shining and the crowds were out in their thousands. You will be pleased to hear that our entry won the prize for the best walking entry!!!!
Michelle as a lobster! RSPB photo credit
Luke Phillips with the cup! RSPB photo credit