This weekend on Sat 13 Dec, is the last one of our fantastic binocular and telescope events at Radipole Lake and is your last chance to come along and try out a wide selection of optics, a great present for a loved one or a treat for yourself perhaps. Expert staff will be on hand to help you make the right choice and Radipole Lake is a great place to try optics out with its big picture window and plenty of wildlife to focus on! Drop in anytime between 10 am and 4 pm.
Also on that day is a treat for the little ones as a big red and white bearded fellow puts in an appearance, yes you guessed it, Santa Claus is coming to Radipole Lake! He will be feeding the ducks from noon until 2 pm so come on down and join in all the festive fun.
Its all about birds on mass at the Weymouth nature reserves at the moment with a spectacular 300-400 lapwing over on Lodmoor and hundreds of gulls at Radipole Lake including 150-200 Med Gulls and large numbers of common gulls. Winter is the time when birds flock together and large numbers of birds are an awesome sight whether in flight or settled on the ground.
Winter lapwing flock. Picture credit: Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
The marsh harrier males have also been having a bit of a spat with each other recently with aggressive flight and talon locking while the female looks on.
Up coming events for the New Year 2015
Mon’s 19, 26 Jan Beginner’s Birdwatching Course at Radipole Lake 10 am-12 noon
and 2 Feb Identifying a range of birds and using binoculars correctly are just some of the skills you’ll pick up on this 3 week course. Free but booking essential on 01305 778313.
Its that time of year again and Radipole Lake has a whole host of events lined up with something for everyone from shopping events to crafts to Santa coming to town!
Looking for that perfect present for the wildlife lover in your life or just want to treat yourself why not pop along to Radipole Lake on one of our Binocular and Telescope Demo Days. It’s a great chance to try out a wide range of optics from our panoramic viewing window with expert staff on hand to advise you and help you make the right choices. Date: Sat 13 Dec. Drop in anytime between 10 am- 4 pm.
Binocular and Telescope Demo Days. Picture credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Want to make Christmas extra special this year why not book onto one of our Christmas Cake Decorating mornings with our fantastic cake maker Marion and learn sugarcraft cake decorating techniques. This is your chance to decorate a fantastic Christmas cake to take home and all for £5! Dates are: Fri 5 and Mon 8 Dec. Booking essential on 01305 778313.
Some of last years amazing cakes. Picture credit: Michelle Williams, RSPB
Keeping the children entertained can be tricky during the Christmas holidays especially with all the excitement so why not bring them along to our Christmas crafts for Children drop in sessions from 10 am-3 pm every weekend until Christmas and get them crafting!
And lastly an event not to be missed is our Feed the Ducks with SANTA !! on Sat 13 Dec from 12 noon-2 pm. Ho! Ho! Ho! Yes Santa will be paying us a visit and here is your chance to feed the ducks with him. Fantastic.
If you are just heading over for a wander there is plenty of wildlife to entrance you. Recent highlights include wintering bittern and marsh harriers who have been seen sky dancing which gives strictly come dancing a run for its money. Male and females tumble together down through the air while locking talons and often passing food. Spectacular stuff!!
Marsh harriers sky dancing. Picture credit: Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
The winter work program for wildlife continues at great pace with the creation of a massive (check out the picture!) scrape at the northern end of Radipole Lake for waders. Only completed a couple of weeks ago it has already attracted grey heron, common sandpiper, flocks of black-headed gulls and loafing ducks. The next step is to link the scrape to the public trails and install a viewing area.
Scrape near North hide. Mark Singleton, RSPB
Also seen around the nature reserve in the last few weeks have been fantastic views of bittern, kingfishers, marsh harrier and lots of bearded tits. Extra special comes in the form of a female long-tailed duck in winter plumage which arrived on the 21 October and is still around now. It has been visible from the Discovery Centre window on numerous occasions, how very convenient! While munching on ploughman’s and wonderful cake and sipping coffee its amazing what you see from this huge picture window. Its a great place to watch wildlife on cold wet days and the cake's not bad either!
Long-tailed duck pictures. Luke Phillips, RSPB
Another much rarer visitor has been a white-winged black tern, this young bird seems to have been wandering around the south coast and popped into Radipole briefly before heading off again realising that it should be elsewhere!
Over at Lodmoor people have been enjoying the winter evenings of starling antics as a few thousand flock together and put on an aerial display to rival any air show.
Last week a great bustard was spotted flying over presumably one from the reintroduction programme on Salisbury Plain. People have also been enjoying views of marsh harrier, bittern and bearded tits.
Up coming events
Christmas Crafts for Grown-ups at Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre.
Fri 28, 11 am-1 pm
Try your hand at making something to decorate your home this Christmas. £3 per adult. Booking essential on 01305 778313.
Christmas Crafts for Children at Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre.
Sat 29 & Sun 30, between 11 am-3 pm
We’ll be using natural materials to make something a
little bit different for Christmas. Free.