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Reserves by name
We have been lucky enough to see sightings of some of our more elusive shy furry creatures on both our reserves and we have photographic evidence thanks to some of our visitors.
Photo Credit: Fox Images by Nicki Maslen
The Fox has been seen from our Discovery Centre window several times cautiously stalking the birds much to the delight of our visitors, particularly the children. The Fox is likely to be a cub born this year.
Photo Credit: Otter Images by John Wall
Last week, Otters were seen 5 out of 7 mornings between 5:00 a.m. and 7.45 a.m., but also from the Discovery Centre windows at 3.30. p.m and at dusk. They are probably this years cubs. There may be two cubs, possibly 3 cubs.
Photo Credit: Image by Paula Redmond
The Badgers were seen over at Lodmoor. They are often sighted regularly on the Creatures of the Night Walks.
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
Posted by Angelica
Well, maybe not quite that many shades. During the summer months of July and August, Radipole's hedgerows have a distinct pinky-purpley tinge to them. Below are the wild flowers you can currently see on the reserve, in their various shades of pink and purple.
Great Willowherb also know as Codlins-and-Cream is a tall plant and easily recognised with its large flowers and softly downy stalk and seed pods. It grows in the damper hedgerows often alongside the equally tall Purple Loosestrife with its four-sided stem
Great Willowherb attracts butterflies and insects, here with a Brimstone Butterfly.
Marsh Woundwort is another tall plant of damp hedgerows often growing in large colonies.
Hemp Agrimony is also abundant, its dense small flower heads attract butterflies.
Spear Thistle attracts insects with its large flowers, it is easily recognisable with its winged stems and yellow tipped spines. The Pyramidal Orchids are now starting to go over, this year's count was 18.
Red Bartsia is a much smaller plant that grows in dry places. These plants were likely to have been brought on to the reserve as seeds when the paths were re-laid.
Strawberry Clover is much smaller than the Red Clover and easily recognisable by its seed heads which look more like raspberries. It can be found on the edge of the paths near the boardwalk down to the North Hide. This plant is often found in damp places near the sea.
Birds are quiet at the moment though we are getting large numbers of Canada Geese, Grey Herons and Coots on the lake in front of our Discovery Centre. Little Egrets are coming in close to the Centre windows offering good views. and the Mute Swan families are growing up fast. The Swifts and Swallows are still around. There was a Green Sandpiper at the North Hide. Butterflies seen in the last few days include the Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small White and Brimstone.
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.
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.
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.
Grid reference: SY6779 (+2km)
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