Welcome to the last blog of 2018. Undoubtedly the star bird for this month is the Penduline Tit which was first seen at Radipole Lake on Friday 14th December.  The Penduline has been seen several times over the past week in particular in the reed beds near the Viewing Shelter.  Lovely snap by Graham Jaggard below.

Photo Credit: Graham Jaggard

Bearded Tits are also in abundance around the reserve at the moment.  Their distinctive pinging can be heard in the reedbeds near the Discovery Centre and around the concrete bridge.  A snap below of the Bearded Tit, compare with the Pendline Tit above.

Photo Credit: Martin Jones-Gill

 As 2018 is drawing to a close, we thought we would have a look back at the year's highlights.  January began with storms bringing trees down.  A large Starling roost was regularly seen over Weymouth Town Centre.  The Ross' Gull arrived on 21st February and stayed at Radipole Lake for two weeks. March saw the 'Beast from the East' bring in thousands of waders, ducks, thrushes and Avocets onto both reserves. 

In April a Red Flanked Bluetail was seen over at Lodmoor.  In May the warm weather finally arrived and the reserves erupted with flower, butterflies, ducklings and cygnets. The first Bee Orchid was found on 28th May, much earlier than usual.  The Pochards bred again and juvenile Bearded Tits were seen and heard all over the reserves.

 Summer arrived, with three Great White Egrets at Radipole Lake while over on Lodmoor the first Common Tern chicks hatched and a Royal Tern was seen.  Also on Lodmoor, four juvenile Marsh Harriers were observed.  The warm weather brought out an abundance of orchid blooms.  In June it was also the Tenth Anniversary of the Brown Bee Orchid at Radipole Lake.  An anniversary orchid walk was held and well attended.  The star of the walk were the four Brown Bee Orchids on the Buddleia Loop, the typical Bee Orchids, the Southern Marsh Orchids were at their best and the Pyramidal Orchids were just coming into flower, earlier than usual.

July saw temperatures up in the 30's, the second Bearded Tit broods were starting to be seen and lots of cygnets were around the lake.  The Common Terns had some limited success over at Lodmoor.  A crisis was averted by the prompt action by our local fire brigade who saved Lodmoor from a fire which had started on the tip close by.

 In September, the reserves saw an influx of Cattle Egrets as the long hot summer continued. The new generation of ducklings started dispersing and taking off. The Ospreys put on a good show for us and the Lesser Yellowlegs arrived.  November saw the arrival of the Ring Necked Duck and the Franklin's Gull.  The year was rounded off nicely with the arrival of the Penduline Tit.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Weymouth Wetlands!

For more information and all the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available.  

The Discovery Centre will be closed from Monday 24th December and reopens on Thursday 27th December.

Telephone: 01305 778313