July is the the time when we starting noticing the changes in birds and flowers which signals that we are advancing towards late Summer/Early Autumn. This month has been warm and dry, water levels are slightly lower than normal, therefore more muddy areas have been exposed which means lots of waders visiting Weymouth! Many of the waders are now on passage and juveniles are fledging and exploring.
Our WaderFest began on 7th July with the arrival of 2 Little Ringed Plover juveniles and on the 8th July 29 Black Tailed Godwits were counted. On 14th July Common Sandpipers, Black Tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Lapwings, 7 Redshank and the first Snipe was seen over on Lodmoor. Green Sandpipers arrived on 21st July and a Wood Sandpiper was seen on 25th, 26th and 27th July. The Oystercatcher pairs on both reserves have successfully raised 2 chicks each. The Common Terns on Lodmoor started fledging on 14th July to date, 20+ juveniles have been counted.
The Little Ringed Plovers, Green Sandpipers and Black Tailed Godwits are still regularly being seen at the moment.
Other notable sightings this month:
13th July - 2 Red Kites at Radipole Lake
18th and 19th July - a Great White Egret on Lodmoor
An Otter with 3 cubs has been seen several times at Radipole in the evenings.
For the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.
Telephone: 01305 778313
Now is a good time to come to Radipole Lake and Lodmoor to see our resident Marsh Harriers. Both pairs have successfully bred this year with 3 juveniles each so potentially we can see 10 Marsh Harriers on the wing. There were very good views of the Harriers in front of the North Hide lunchtime calling to their juveniles. At times the Harriers were flying very close to the hide providing a spectacular sight. This photo is one that Allan Nielson took in 2011.
It is one of our quieter times for birds but there are Common Terns, Oystercatchers, Common Sandpipers, Little Egrets Swifts and House Martins about. The Cetti's and Reed Warblers continue to be noisy in the reedbeds and Bearded Tits are commonly being seen. Many of our ducks including the Hooded Merganser are now in eclipse plumage.
The hedgerows are becoming very colorful with Purple Loosestrife, Hemp Agrimony, Ribbed Melilot, Perforate St John's Wort to name but a few of our wildflowers. Today I counted 20 Pyramidal Orchids now blooming near the Kingfisher Gate. Butterflies and Dragonflies are becoming more plentiful.
For the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.
I am away now for the next 2 week, I hope to update the blog at the end of July.
All of Radipole Lake's orchids are in currently in flower. This is likely to be the last opportunity to see our Brown Bee Orchid at its best this weekend as the flower at the top of the plant is in bloom. A couple of the typical Bee Orchids are still flowering but will be going over in the next week or so.
The Southern Marsh Orchids are at their peak with 30 in flower. Most are on the path on the way to the North Hide but there are odd ones on the Buddleia Loop and one not far from the Discovery Centre.
This week as seen the last of our orchids starting to flower. The Pyramidal Orchid flowers slightly later in July and have yet to reach their peak but 11 have emerged in the past few days near the Kingfisher Gate.
Over on Lodmoor, there are currently several Common Spotted Orchids in flower near the Viewing Shelter.
For more information on the orchid locations, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.