Weymouth wetlands

Weymouth wetlands
Do you love our nature reserves at Radipole Lake and Lodmoor? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!
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  • Blog Post: All things must pass...

    Yesterday saw the conclusion of one of the more laborious tasks that the reserves offer up in the sinister size and shape of Japanese knotweed removal and treatment. Anne must take all the credit as she has carried out the bulk of the undertaking as well as masterminding the current – and highly...
  • Blog Post: Roe deer, roe deer.

    Roe deer are a fairly common sight on Radipole and Luke was fortunate enough to capture these images on of this beautiful doe on Radipole last week. Of the six deer species found in the British Isles, only roe and the mightily antlered red are native. Fallow, muntjac, Chinese water deer and sika have...
  • Blog Post: A Water Harrier..?

    In just a few years the marsh harrier - it could be argued - has become the signature bird of Weymouth Wetlands having successfully bred twice on each reserve since 2009 following a Dorset-wide breeding absence of almost half a century. The early weeks of 2012 have seen a steady stream of harrier activity...
  • Blog Post: Keeping Tabs

    I have always loved visiting reed-beds. Since I was tiny I have always thought there was an exciting element of mystery within the reeds. It may not be easy to actually see and identify things all the time, but I'm one of those people who doesn't really mind what it is as long as I've seen...
  • Blog Post: Winter Thrushes.

    The recent cold snap has promoted an influx of thrush species to the reserves and surrounding countryside. Movements of blackbirds and song thrush have seen the local population temporarily expand and northerly species the redwing and fieldfare have dramatically increased in the past week. The main driver...
  • Blog Post: ALPINE SWIFT!

    Yesterday afternoon we found out that an Alpine Swift was seen briefly over Lodmoor during the afternoon but quickly disappeared, so we were delighted to see it flying around over Radipole Lake this morning. Alpine Swifts are rare visitors to the UK, mainly in spring. They usually found in the mountains...
  • Blog Post: Can't think of an exciting title about Scaup

    At the risk of boring our readers, I am going to blog about a few brown ducks. Scaup are actually quite scarce visitors to Radipole, they often spend the winter at Lodmoor but are often distant which means views are usually not that good. But occasionally we get them at Radipole which means that views...
  • Blog Post: Look out for Dragonflies!

    During an event at Radipole yesterday we had a hawker type dragonfly reported to us from the North Hide. There aren’t many hawker species that can be seen this time of year except for the Hairy Dragonfly which has yet to be confirmed as a Radipole species. There was one individual seen last year...
  • Blog Post: Come down and snipe some ice

    What a beautiful day in Dorset. Thought I'd do a little post to let you know about one of my favourite birds that is astoundingly easy to see on the reserve at the moment. Look up this little wader and a bird book and you'd see words like elusive and shy, banded around but it couldn't...
  • Blog Post: Rethink - our secret army.

    Yesterday we held the first of our fortnightly work parties of 2011 with the mental health charity Rethink . These regular gatherings have had an understated but hugely significant impact on the management of these reserves, (and consequently for the reserves' wildlife) since we began working in...
  • Blog Post: Winter Wonderland Part II

    Nick mentioned some of the scarcities from yesterdays birding bonanza such as the Smew, 8 Goosander (including a drake), 5 Woodlark and 2 Bittern. But he didn't mention some of the real highlights. Best of all was the shear numbers of birds passing overhead. Remarkably the highest count of the day...
  • Blog Post: Sounds of Spring.... already!!!

    Indeed folks, the birds at Radipole Lake think its spring. On the way to the visitor centre this morning a total of six species in full song. Most notable was a Reed Bunting, which I never usually hear until early spring. I guess the sun has triggered this outburst of song but the temperatures are certainly...
  • Blog Post: Blasé about Bitterns

    When you see something several times a day it’s easy to become blasé about them. Bittern sightings have been going through the roof recently which led me to ask the question to colleagues, can you get blasé about bitterns? This was something I never thought I’d ask but I was...
  • Blog Post: Coming soon

    Regular visitors to the reserve cannot fail to have noticed that the Visitor Centre has been closed for some time now, and you may be starting to wonder when it will be opening again. Just to give you some background, the RSPB decided sometime ago that the centre needed a refurbishment, to make the building...
  • Blog Post: Raptors at Radipole

    Yesterday was rather a good day to see birds of prey on RSPB Radipole Lake. Throughout the day SEVEN species were seen on various parts of the reserve. It’s quite amazing to see species like Merlin and Hen Harrier flying around our reed beds, given that the reserve is right in the middle of a town...
  • Blog Post: Morning Meander Melodies

    With the wind turning round to the north and north/east, even a short walk around the reserve requires some preparation, with scarves, hats and gloves once again getting taken out of the drawers, but the reward is worth the effort. Even if the edges of some of the ponds show a bit of frosting, and splashy...
  • Blog Post: Pinging back from the brink.

    The past couple of years has seen breeding bearded tit numbers fall quite markedly on Radipole in particular. Last year we could only confirm one pair for certain on the reserve although Lodmoor fared slightly better. The reasons for these declines are likely to be meteorological with the atypically...
  • Blog Post: Sand martins arrive as the days are getting otter...

    After impatiently waiting for days with a mean-spirited wind from the north and east we have finally been rewarded with our first returning sand martins of the year. Thankfully yesterday was warm and spring-like promoting one of the first major chironomid hatches of the year, ensuring plentiful food...
  • Blog Post: A Very Small Gull

    Radipole Lake has a good reputation for attracting rare and interesting Gulls. Over the years we've had several American species such as Franklins Gull and Laughing Gull which always attract a lot of interest. But probably my favourite gull that occasionally features as Radipole is the Little gull...
  • Blog Post: An Evening at Lodmoor

    Spent a fantastic few hours over our Lodmoor reserve yesterday afternoon. Birds of prey were showing off well with Buzzards and Sparrowhawks both soaring above the reserve. Hobby was also diving over the reeds catching insects that were emerging from the water. The best of bunch was the Marsh Harrier...
  • Blog Post: A Grand Tradition.

    The New Year has seen the commencement of reed cutting on Radipole Lake which comprises a major component of our winter habitat management on the reserve. Reed is cut rotationally which provides manifold benefits to the sites biodiversity. Conservation reed cutting provides differing age structures within...
  • Blog Post: The Iruption has started

    Irrupting certainly isn't a word that we would have used to describe the bearded tit numbers at Radipole a few months but its all changing as of today! A few small flocks have been seen over the past few weeks but today’s walk to the visitor centre revealed quite a few bearded tits. I could...
  • Blog Post: Commic Tern?

    When birders see a distant tern out at sea they often refer to it as a Commic Tern. This name comes about as a result of joining the two similar tern species’ names, Common Tern and Arctic Tern. Clever aye? Well at Lodmoor there’s the potential for a real comic tern as an Arctic Tern is...
  • Blog Post: Prime Otter Real Estate...

    Sorry for the lack of blog action of late; we have been hampered by an IT issue that I can't pretend to understand at all. I hope the following cheery news will make amends... Last Friday, when stealing my way through dense reedy scrub to access some alders earmarked for the chop, (scrub is cyclically...
  • Blog Post: Real Wild Swans!

    No offence to the good old Mute Swan but Whooper and Bewick Swans are by far more exciting and interesting. Dorset doesn't get many of either species with Whooper being the rarer so you can imagine our surprise when a family of four Whooper Swans landed outside the visitor centre window at Radipole...