Radipole Lake

Weymouth Wetlands

Weymouth Wetlands
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Radipole Lake

  • February Events at Radipole Lake

    Hooded Merganser

    It's a dull grey day down here at Radipole Lake. The good news is the water levels are receding and the North Hide is now open. Sightings of the Marsh Harrier have been seen today and Spoonbills made an appearance over at Lodmoor this week.

    Our Hooded Merganser known as "The Hoodie" to volunteers and staff was braving the rain. The Hoodie first arrived in Spring 2008 so he is coming up to his 9th year at Radipole. He obviously likes it here with us! If you have not seen The Hoodie yet, he is often found paddling in front of the Discovery Centre window or near the bridge outside. Pop into the Discovery Centre, the staff and volunteers can advise you.

    The Discovery Centre are currently serving warmed Dorset Apple Cake with Clotted Cream. I have personally sampled a slice (strictly for blogging purposes of course). I can confirm it is highly recommended ;-) .

    There are a number of events coming up this month:

    Thursday 11th February - 11:00 to 14:00 pm

    "Let Nature Inspire You" Art Workshop with artist Julie Herring, £15 per session. Booking is Essential.  Call Julie on: 07720 353454 or email: info@earth-art.org.uk 

    Saturday 20th February - 10:00 to 16:00 pmRadipole Lake Ducks

    Duck Day at Radipole Lake. This is a free family event to celebrate our ducks. There are duck quizzes, hook-a-duck game and duck crafts. Duck food is also available at £1.00 per bag. Duck identification sheets are also available to assist you in learning about our ducks.

    Saturday 27th February - 10:00 to 16:00 pm

    Optics Roadshow, a wide range of telescopes and binoculars on hand and knowledgeable experts will be on hand to guide you through the range. You are welcome to try before you buy!  All RSPB branded equipment is reduced by 10%. 

    Some you may have read a previous blog on reed burning or seen some of the areas that have been burnt on Radipole. There is a file attachment below which shows you a one minute time lapse sequence of a burning day at Radipole carefully worked and watched over by Adam and John from the Environmental Services Team.

    For more information on any of the above, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available,

    Telephone: 01305 778313

    E-mail: Weymouth.reserves@rspb.org.uk

    Website: www.rspb.org.uk/radipolelake

  • Get Ready for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at Radipole Lake

    It was very wet and grey at Radipole Lake this morning, very few birds about. As you can see from the photos I took this morning, the water levels are high. Some areas are flooded, wellies are essential if you are visiting the North Hide or heading over to Lodmoor. As I write this the skies are now blue and the sun has come out.

    Radipole Lake Discovery CentreRadipole Lake Island








    Great Tit and Fat Balls

    The Discovery Centre is running the Big Garden Birdwatch Family Crafts Day on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January in preparation for the main Birdwatch event next weekend. Both days start at 9:00 am and run through to 4:00 pm. You can make fatballs to take home for the birds in your garden for free and/or paint a ready made birdbox for £5. Big Garden Birdwatch leaflets are available in the Centre for you to take away. The leaflet has all the information you need on how you can get involved in the big event on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January. There are pictures of the common birds you are likely to see in your garden or local park.  A survey form is included to record your counts and other wildlife.

    This is a drop in event, advanced booking is not required. Contact the Discovery Centre for further information. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks are available. We look forward to meeting you!

     Big Garden Birdwatch 2016What is the Big Garden Birdwatch all about?

    The Big Garden Birdwatch started as a children’s activity 37 years ago back in 1979. It is still run in the same simple format today. This means the RSPB have collected 36 years of records for their scientists to analyse. Other surveys has shown that it's not just birds that face problems. The RSPB are also requesting that other wildlife is in gardens and parks is recorded. 

    Why take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?


    With hundreds of thousands of people taking part each year, the RSPB get a snapshot of how the birds in the UK are doing. The more people who count, the more accurate that snapshot will be. The results of the survey help the RSPB to spot problems and find ways of putting them right. For example, results show that numbers of house sparrows and starlings have fallen, which could be due to a lack of food or somewhere safe to nest. That’s why the RSPB encourages people to give nature a home near them.

    The Big Garden Birdwatch 2015 Results

    In 2015 half a million people participated and counted 8,546,845 birds. The data collected has provided valuable information on our garden birds. For example, there are 80% fewer starlings and 58% fewer house sparrows in our gardens. Other interesting results from the Big Garden Birdwatch 2015:

    On the upside:

    • The blackbird was the most widely spotted bird in gardens. They were recorded in more that 90% of gardens
    • Robins have climbed 3 places to the number seven spot. In 2014 they were number 10, but just over 85 per cent of you saw them this year.
    • Twice as many people saw wrens in their garden this year than in 2014.They were spotted by 35 per cent of you, the highest number since 2006.

    On the downside:

    • Song thrush sightings have declined again, an all time low. They are currently in 22nd place, and like many of our favourite garden birds they remain on the red list.
    • Greenfinches dropped dramatically to 25th place. The drop is likely due to Trichomonosis disease. You can help to fight this disease by giving your feeders, bird tables and bird baths a regular clean.
    • Starling numbers have plummeted by 80% since the first Birdwatch in 1979. Another red-listed species, we are urgently researching the reasons for their decline.

    The Top Ten Species counted in 2015:

    1. House Sparrow
    2. Starling
    3. Blackbird
    4. Blue TitCount the Wildlife that's Counting on You
    5. Wood Pigeon
    6. Chaffinch
    7. Robin
    8. Great Tit
    9. Goldfinch
    10. Collared Dove

    The Top Ten Species counted in Dorset 2015:

    1. House Sparrow
    2. Blackbird
    3. Starling
    4. Blue Tit
    5. Wood Pigeon
    6. Robin
    7. Chaffinch
    8. Great Tit
    9. Goldfinch
    10. Magpie 

    For more information on the Big Garden Birdwatch and to sign up for your free pack, please visit www.rspb.org.uk/Birdwatch


    You can contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre by:

    Telephone: 01305 778313

    E-mail: Weymouth.reserves@rspb.org.uk

    Website: www.rspb.org.uk/radipolelake 

  • Radipole Lake Reserve Update

    Radipole Lake DucksIt's a beautiful sunny day down here at Radipole Lake. As you might expect after the recent rain, the water levels are higher than normal and the reserve is accessible but muddy in places. The North Hide is open but wellies and caution are required as the boardwalk is flooded or slippery in places. Over on Lodmoor wellies are essential as the reserve is flooded.

    Radipole Lake volunteer, Peter, wandered around the reserve this morning litter picking. Peter returned with a bag of litter, reported sightings of Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher, Cetti's Warblers and Bearded Tits. Peter was suitably rewarded with a Nice Cup of Hot Chocolate, welcoming on this sunny but chilly day. Thank you Peter!

    Another visitor report a Sparrowhawk sighting. The Hooded Merganser was also reported by the bridge near the Discovery Centre. The cold weather has brought in the ducks; Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Teal and Mallard.

    This is a good time to take the opportunity to see the Bearded Tits. The weather has brought them into the reeds near the Discovery Centre. where they have been regular visitors for the past few days and can be easily seen through the telescope. The staff and volunteers will be pleased to assist you.

    AlexandersOn my walk around the reserve this morning, I saw Robins, Dunnocks and a Wren.  The Cow Parsley and Hemlock Water Dropwort leaves are well up and the Alexanders is in flower, normally they flower in March.

    It's Otter Day tomorrow from 10:00 to 15:00 pm. Please call the Discovery Centre for further information.

    Hot refreshments and snacks are available including a warm slice of Dorset apple cake and clotted cream.

    Telephone: 01305 778313

    E-mail: Weymouth.reserves@rspb.org.uk

    Website: www.rspb.org.uk/radipolelake