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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.
Telephone: 01305 778313
Posted by Angelica
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.
The reed beds were alive with the sound of birdsong as I walked around Radipole Lake this gorgeous sunny morning. I could see and hear Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers chirping away. Swifts were screaming overhead along with Swallows and Sand Martins. The hedgerows are becoming more colourful now, plants coming into flower now include Cow Parsley, Hemlock Water Dropwort, Common Vetch, Common Comfrey, Common and Meadow Buttercups. Pale Flax, Ox Eye Daisy and Common Corn-salad were flowering just outside the reserve. Also about on the wing were Orange Tip and Small White Butterflies.
Outside the Discovery Centre on the island were Oystercatchers, Common Sandpipers, a Black Tailed Godwit, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochards and several Little Egrets. Our resident Hooded Merganser was also on the island having a morning nap. Danny, Senior Assistant in the Discover Centre reported a large flock of Swifts arriving over at Lodmoor last weekend.
Amongst the latest arrivals are the Common Terns, two could be seen this morning on the island and others can be seen over at Lodmoor looking for suitable nesting sites. The Sandwich Terns have also arrived at Lodmoor but nest over on Brownsea Island. Lastly the Little Terns have arrived down at Chesil Beach. These are the terns that you are mostly likely to see in the Weymouth area, pictures below will help you to identify these beautiful birds.
The Little Tern is a delightful chattering seabird is the UK's smallest tern. It is short-tailed and has a fast flight. Its bill is a distinctive yellow with a black tip. It is noisy at its breeding colony where courtship starts with an aerial display involving the male calling and carrying a fish to attract a mate which chases him up high before he descends, gliding with wings in a 'V'. Its vulnerable nesting sites and its decline in Europe make it an Amber List species.
Common Terns are delightful silvery-grey and white birds have long tails which have earned them the nickname 'sea-swallow'. They have a buoyant, graceful flight and frequently hover over water before plunging down for a fish. They are often noisy in company and breed in colonies.
The Sandwich tern is a very white tern, with a black cap on its head, a long black bill with a yellow tip and short black legs. In flight it shows grey wedges on its wings tips and it has a short forked tail. In the UK, many of the important colonies survive because they are on nature reserves.
Water voles occur mainly along well vegetated banks of slow flowing rivers, ditches, dykes and lakes. Our Discovery Centre Manager, Lindsey Death saw a Water Vole, on the reserve a few days ago and managed to capture a photo. Water voles tend to be active more during the day than at night so you are more likely to see them than the more elusive otter which are also on the reserve.
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.
Ducklings Toddler Group
Dates: Friday 13th May, Friday 10th June, Friday 8th July
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: £5 per child: includes organised session, juice drink and a hot drink for parents/guardians
Radipole Lake presents a new nature themed toddler group for the under 4s who like to get outside! Each session will have a wildlife theme and involve an activity outside, a craft activity or game and a themed story as well as time for little ones and parents to have a drink and snack (drinks included in the £5 charge).
The theme for Friday 13th May is ducklings!
Booking isn't essential but to get an idea of numbers let us know if you are interested.
For more information, contact the Radipole Lake Discovery Centre or pop in and see us:
Like last Friday, it is a dull wet day at Radipole Lake. From the Discovery Centre though, many Swallows and House Martins are darting across the lake. Two Little Egrets landed at the far end of the reed bed, a Water Rail was pottering among the reeds near the Coot which was sitting on her nest in front of the Discovery Centre window, and a lone Bearded Tit offered spectacular views as it was feeding. An Oystercatcher and Black Tailed Godwits had been seen earlier in the morning before the rain set in. A local resident and supporter of the RSPB reported this morning that she had seen an Otter by the concrete bridge at 7:00 pm on Monday evening.
Last Sunday we welcomed the Poole and Bournemouth Nature and Wildlife Group (PBNWG) on their first visit to Radipole Lake. Lynne Burningham, RSPB Information and Membership Officer, kindly agreed to act as Guide for the morning. It was a brilliant day of sunshine and blue skies and the reed-beds were alive with the sound of Cetti's Warblers. During the walk, several Cetti's were actually seen and member, John Bryan, managed to get a snap along with a Bearded Tit.
Photo Credits: John Bryan - PBNWG
A lone Common Sandpiper was seen along with many good views of Reed Buntings, Black Caps, Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Chiff Chaffs many of them singing loudly. A Little Egret, Little Grebe and a single Wheatear was seen from the North Hide.
Photo Credits: John Bryan
Other birds seen around the reserve were Goldfinches and a Robin. The Cuckoo Flower is now starting to bloom and there are several large patches of Marsh Marigold making a welcome splash of colour in the hedgerows.
Photo Credits: John Taylor - PBNWG
One of the highlights of the day was spectacular views of the Marsh Harrier soaring over the reedbeds, superb photos captured by member John Taylor.
Photo Credits: John Bryan and John Taylor - PBNWG
The Hooded Merganser was doing his display among the Tufted Ducks and Great Crested Grebes were also present.
Photo Credit: Richard C - PBNWG
Another member, Richard C, captured this Herring Gull in flight. After an amazing morning walk, the group retired to the Discovery Centre for some well-earned refreshments. All agreed, that for an urban reserve Radipole Lake has a lot of wonderful things to offer!
Thank you Lynne for a fabulous guided walk and for sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge!
For recent sightings and further more information, contact the Radipole Lake Discovery Centre or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available,
Get up early to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring!
Led by an RSPB Guide, you'll find out about the creatures that live and breed on this unique urban reserve.
Sunday 1st May
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
RSPB Members £6, Non-Members £8, Children £2
Meet at RSPB Radipole Lake Discovery Centre
For more information and to book your place (s), contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre or pop in and see us.
Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available.
It was a lovely sunshine as I walked around the reserve. I met with this morning's Welly Walk en route with several children enjoying looking at Radipole's wildlife.
On this morning's walk there is more Cow Parsley and Lesser Celandine coming into flower and there are now patches of Red Dead-Nettle and Ground Ivy. Along the board walk up to the North Hide the Greater Pond Sedge is starting to flower.
Butterfly sightings are now becoming more frequent with Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell,Small White, Speckled Wood and Peacock being reported in the past week.
New bird arrivals include the swallow, the house and sand martins. Willow Warblers and the first Wheatear has been seen. The Cetti's Warblers and Bearded Tits were very vocal in the reedbeds this morning. I was fortunate enough to see a Bearded Tit flying out of the reeds. The Bittern has not been reported booming since Good Friday.
The Marsh Harriers have been seen daily. The male and female were both seen at the North Hide this morning and 6 Harriers have been seen over the past week. Buzzards, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine have also been reported.
Notable sightings over at Lodmoor include a Siberian Chiff Chaff and a Slavonian Grebe which stayed for several days.
Over the past two weeks a weasel has been seen regularly on Radipole Lake. RSPB volunteer, Bob Ford, managed to capture the weasel in a photo. Thank you Bob.
(Photo Credit: Bob Ford)
It's a grey day at Radipole but spring is on its way. I found this Cow Parsley this morning in bloom, normally their flowering time is May but the leaves are up in December. I also saw the early signs of Lords and Ladies, Comfrey, Willow and Blackthorn coming into flower as well as the reserve's Bay Trees confirming that spring is on the move. Birds today include Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler while the Spoonbills are still at Lodmoor
Easter is nearly upon us! The staff at the Discovery Centre have organised some Easter Fun over the holidays. As you can see I found the Centre's Easter Egg stash ready for the Easter Egg Trail.
Easter Egg Nature Trail
Friday March 25th to Monday 28th March
10:00 to 16:00 p.m. each day.
Join us over the Easter Weekend to follow the clues to our nature trail. Find hidden signs around the reserve and complete the challenge to receive an Easter Egg!
Pick up the trails from the Discovery Centre.
£1 per child
Easter Welly Walks
Wednesday 30th March, Friday 1st April & Tuesday 5th April
11:00 -12:00 at Radipole Lake
Join us for a FREE family friendly wildlife walk. Wear wellies for jumping in puddles & buy some duck food to feed the birds.
It was warm and sunny this morning at Radipole Lake and spring is starting to emerge all over the reserve.
Flowers - Alexanders is in flower outside the Discovery Centre, Lesser Celandine, Primroses, Garden Bluebell, Violets are in bloom around the reserve. Blackthorn is coming into flower and one Hawthorn on Radipole is in full leaf with flower buds which are starting to open in the warm sunshine. Alder catkins are now in flower.
Birds - water levels have remained steady on Radipole and the damaged sluice gate at Lodmoor has been temporarily repaired leading to more normal but still high levels.
There have been fewer wader sightings than usual, although several Spoonbills have made a long stay on Lodmoor and the Oystercatchers appear to be settling in. At the beginning of March a Bittern was observed making a "departure flight" at dusk, calling and circling to a height before heading away. They sometimes do this several times before finally departing.
(Photo Credit: Spoonbills at Lodmoor by Stephanie Calvert)
Marsh Harriers continue to be seen on both reserves on most days. A pair of stonechats were seen at Radipole today. Bearded Tit sightings have been in short supply. The alders near the semi-circular boardwalk have been the regular place to see Siskins often with an attendant Redpoll. Some species have started their breeding displays including the Great Crested Grebes on Radipole. Early migrant sightings include Willow Warbler, Swallow and Sand Martin.
(Photo Credit: Marsh Harrier at Radipole Lake by Allan Nielsen).
Insects - butterfly sightings include Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Cabbage White. A buff tailed bumble bee was seen this morning.
Mammals - otter traces have continued to be seen around Radipole and a possible sighting was reported from Lodmoor at the beginning of March.
Reptiles and Amphibians - frog spawn has been reported from Radipole.
Grid reference: SY6779 (+2km)
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