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Reserves by name
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.
Telephone: 01305 778313
I am away now for the next 2 week, I hope to update the blog at the end of July.
Posted by Angelica
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.
Radipole Reedbed Ramble
Monday 4 July to Monday 12 September
2.30 pm-4.30 pm
Price: £3 per person
Join us for a guided series of walks and activities to help you feel comfortable & confident in the outside environment. We'll be enjoying the natural habitat at Radipole in a sensory way. These sessions are Dementia friendly and open to all.
Cost: £3 per person (covers the cost of staff guides, activities and a hot drink).
Booking Essential on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01305 778313
List of upcoming dates:
Discover Radipole Lake
10 am-12 noon
Thursday 2 June to Thursday 28 July
11.00 am-12.00 pm
Price: £2 per person
Join our regular gentle health walk, it might be the helping hand you need to get a better sense of well-being both physically and mentally.
Maybe you want to lose weight, meet new people, gain confidence or are finding it difficult to get active.
Cost: £2.00 per person
No booking necessary - just turn up!
List of Upcoming Dates:
For more information on the above, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.
Good news from Radipole! For the 8th year running our resident Marsh Harriers have successfully nested, and the three youngsters were seen in flight yesterday with mum and dad in attendance. So you could potentially see 5 of these magnificent birds of prey, right here in the centre of Weymouth.
To help a bit I have posted a couple of pictures, one of a juvenile from 2011, note the creamy orange head, and one of the breeding pair (again from 2011), note the female is larger than the male.
Were all really excited about this, and are hoping for further good news, as there are a pair of harriers nesting at Lodmoor as well. Now is the perfect time to come to Radipole and take a walk up to North Hide (open between 8.30 and 4.30 every day), which is currently the best place to look for the new arrivals. But don't delay, because they won't stay around for long.
Now is the prime time to see Scarlet Tiger Moths, one of our more striking invertebrates, two were seen on Radipole this morning. Their glossy black fore-wings with blobs of white and yellow and their scarlet hind wings make them easily identifiable at rest. Their strong presence on the reserves is due to the profusion of their caterpillar's food plants - Comfrey, Hemp Agrimony, Nettle, Bramble, Meadowsweet and Sallow - most of which thrive here due to careful management on the verges and elsewhere.
Today's photo of our Brown Bee Orchid. The count so far is 5 Bee Orchids including the Brown Bee and 28 Southern Marsh Orchids.
For more information on the Marsh Harriers and for 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.
Lodmoor had the best of the recent sightings. A booming Bittern was there from 8th May although it's gone quiet now. Other highlights include up to 10 species of waders including Black Winged Stilt (10th May), summer plumage Knot and Grey Plover, Little Stint, lots of Whimbrel and a couple of Avocet. A Bee Eater, Hoopoe and Red Rumped Swallow were the standout species but also Short Eared Owl, Turtle Dove, Garganey, Cattle Egret and Spoonbill are all worth mentioning. There is another pair of Marsh Harriers nesting at Lodmoor and the Common Terns are getting off to a late start on the islands but the Canada Geees are making it difficult for them. Little Terns have been seen fishing at both sites. Mammals are also showing well with the discovery of a Badger sett on site and up to 4 bat species (Pipistrelle, Noctule, Serotine and Daubenton's) emerging from nearby and hunting over the reserve.
Radipole Lake's best of the spring migrants were a Red Backed Shrike, Garganey, Little Gull, Hobby, Wood Warbler and Red Kite. The Marsh Harrier pair have nested again, fledglings expected soon but Cetti's Warblers have been the bird of the month with in excess of 80 pairs nesting. The birds have been easy to hear and see lately. A Bittern has been sighted on Buddleia Loop recently. Water Voles have also been seen at the locked gate bridge, Smooth Newt is a new species for the pond dipping area and Bee and Southern Marsh Orchids are starting to come into flower. On Sunday 12th June an Arctic Skua flew over Radipole and on Wednesday 15th June, Great White Egrets were seen at Lodmoor and Radipole Lake.
Notable insects include on both sites include the rare spider Hyposinga heri, Painted Lady, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue Butterflies and the Banded and Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies.
For the latest sightings and orchid locations, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.
The Brown Bee Orchid is back with us again this year! It was found a few days ago a short distance away from last year's plants. I took these photos on the Buddleia Loop this morning.
I counted 4 Bee Orchids this morning, all with different markings on the lower lip. Southern Marsh Orchids are up to 4 plants in the hedgerow on the way down to the North Hide. The numbers of both orchids are expected to increase over the next two weeks.
As I arrived at the Discovery Centre this morning, a flock of 10 Mediterranean Gulls circled overhead and settled down for a short while on the lake in front of the Centre window. All looking splendid in their summer plumage. There was also good views of the Marsh Harriers at the North Hide. Other birds about include Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Gadwall, Bearded Tits, Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers. Also young families of Mallard, Coot and Mute Swans seen around the Discovery Centre. Over on Lodmoor the Bitter has still been sighted along with sightings of the Marsh Harriers.
In the last week Radipole Lake's Orchids are starting to appear on the reserve. This morning on my walk round, I found two Bee Orchids on the Buddleia Loop and one Southern Marsh near the bridge going towards the North Hide. No reports yet of our famous Brown Bee Orchid (Ophyrus apifera var atrofuscus). They usually make their first appearance in the middle of June but we are all on the look out and I hope to report their sighting in due course.
Around the reserve, nesting season is in full swing and we are starting to see our feathered parents proudly showing off their new offspring. I found this family of Mute Swans and their five cygnets by the duck feeding platform near the Discovery Centre. Coot chicks have also been seen and a family of Blue Tits with young newly fledged.
For the latest sightings and orchid locations, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details blow, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.
Spring has been slow starting this year but we are now getting reports of cygnets and ducklings on both reserves. The Cetti's and Reed Warblers are continuing to be noisy in the reedbeds and butterflies are starting to be seen more frequently. Today's sightings include the Common Blue, Holly, Blue Speckled Wood and Brimstone. Orange Tips have been frequently seen in the past week. A Blue-tailed Damselfly was seen this morning. Grey Mullet have been mating and spawning in the lake making it look like the water is coming to the boil in places.
The reserve is now becoming more colourful. The Cow Parsley is blooming at its peak and Hemlock Water Dropwort and Hogweed are coming into flower. Common Vetch, Hedgerow Cranesbill, Cut-Leaved Cranesbill, Comfrey, Common Sorrel, Marsh Marigold, Buckthorn and Guelder Rose are adding splashes of colour along the paths.
During the past week there have been some notable bird sightings on both reserves.
Friday 13th May - a male Garganey was seen over on Lodmoor and at Radipole the first mallard ducklings were seen
Saturday 14th May - a Bee-Eater and a Red Rumped Swallow were seen over on Lodmoor
Monday 16th May - 2 Great White Egrets were seen at the North Hide on Radipole Lake throughout the day
Tuesday 17th May - the first swan cygnets were seen at Radipole Lake
Wednesday 18th May - a peregrine and 3 Marsh Harriers were seen over at Lodmoor
Thursday 19th May - Common Tern numbers increased to 30+ but not nesting just yet
The most notable event is a Bittern booming over at Lodmoor for the past 2 weeks. It's even been heard booming as far away as Radipole Lake. To date there's no evidence that its attracted a female, but we wish him good luck.
For the latest sightings and further information on the above, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details blow, or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available.
It is waderfest over at Lodmoor now! A number of species are can seen including up to 100 Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper, Bar Tailed Godwits and Whimbrel. The waders are now looking their best in their stunning summer plumage. The Terns have arrived including the rarer Little Tern and the Oystercatchers are also now nesting. I actually saw an Oystercatcher on the train tracks at Weymouth station this morning! In addition the Bittern has been reported to be booming.
On Tuesday, a single Black Winged Stilt spent the day at Lodmoor. The Stilt is part of the Avocet family and lives mainly in freshwater and saltwater marshes, mudflats, shallow lakes and coastal lagoons.
It feeds in shallow water, wading and catching prey on or near the surface. It picks up its food from sand or water using its long thin needle shaped bill. The Black-winged Stilt feeds on aquatic insects, worms, tadpoles, water bugs and beetles and fly larvae, molluscs and spiders. Its very long legs allow it to walk in deeper water than other waders.
The Black-winged Stilt has rapid direct flight, with steady wing-beats. Legs are projected behind the tail of up to 20 cm, and neck is slightly held.
For the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available.
Grid reference: SY6779 (+2km)
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