The two top subjects of discussion this month - the weather and the Ross's Gull! The arctic weather conditions brought in some interesting species to Radipole including Dunlin, Fieldfares and Avocets. The icy view from the Discovery Centre picture window below.

An Arctic Radipole Lake

Ross's Gull

The Ross's Gull, the third record for Dorset, which first appeared on 21st February stayed around Radipole for two weeks.  The gull is named after the great British Arctic explorer James Clark Ross. The breeding grounds are mainly in remote areas of northern Siberia, a long way from human habitation.  In the non breeding season the gull lives among the pack ice and coastlines in the Arctic.

Ross's Gull

Photo Credit: Wawlee

The Ross's Gull is similar in size to the Little Gull but the wings are larger, longer and more pointed, the tail has a distinctive wedge or diamond shape and the legs are red. The juveniles take two years to attain full adult plumage.

Ross's Gull Birdwatchers

The Ross's Gull was certainly a popular fella, with many enthusiasts watching and waiting around the Discovery Centre.


RSPB Volunteer, Martin Hill-Jones took these lovely snaps of Avocets feeding and in flight over at Lodmoor.  A total of 10 Avocets were counted.


Avocets in flight

Photo Credit: Martin Gill-Jones

Waterways at RSPB Radipole Lake

We have been busy on the reserve re-establishing the channels and pools that create a diverse array of habitats throughout the reed bed at Radipole Lake. Our wildlife will benefit in a myriad of ways thanks to this work. The channels and waterways act as a highway through the reed bed, allowing everything from otters to invertebrates a way to move through the reed to find food, breed and escape predation.

One of our bird species, the Water Rail (below) breeds in the reed beds and builds its nest just above the water level from whatever plant material is available nearby.

                                                                                                        Photo credit: Mark Wright @markwright12002

The edge habitat created as a result of the ditches being dug out, will also have great botanical value, allowing fenland flora to flourish and providing a nectar source for many invertebrates throughout the summer. The work also has the added bonus of providing a window into the secretive world of Reedbed wildlife. 

The Radipole Lake Litter Pick

We are also having a litter pick work party along Radipole Park Drive, a lot of rubbish was exposed when we cut back the scrub so we are having a bit of a tidy up. If anyone is interested in coming along we will be running it 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm on Saturday 24th March.  Meet at the Discovery Centre.

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

Telephone: 01305 778313