Marsh Harriers - Latest News

One of our specialties, the Marsh Harrier, is frequently being seen around both reserves at the moment.  Nest building is underway with birds being seen carrying twigs.  There are two nests at Radipole and one at Lodmoor.  The females are likely to be sitting on eggs. The signs are good for a successful summer.

Marsh Harrier

April Bird Sightings

Common TernsThe 1st April saw Garganey on Radipole and Lodmoor and the Ruff continues to be seen at Lodmoor.  At least one Ruff now overwinters.  On 3rd April Spoonbills were seen and House Martins, Swallows and Willow Warblers were starting to arrive along with Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers, steadily increasing in numbers by 7th April over 40 Swallows and over 50 Sand Martins were counted.  Common Tern activity on the islands over at Lodmoor was seen as well. 

A pair of Oystercatchers were prospecting potential nest sites over at Lodmoor on 10th April.  By 11th April the numbers of Willow Warblers had substantially increased, several hundred were counted on Portland, Radipole Lake was alive with their birdsong.  A Grasshopper Warbler was seen over at Lodmoor. on 12th April a Cuckoo was seen at Lodmoor and an Osprey at Radipole.  The 15th April saw Whimbrels arrive at Lodmoor and a Spoonbill also noted. 

WhimbrelThe next day a Cattle Egret was on Lodmoor.  An Arctic Tern was sighted at Lodmoor on 21st April and was around on the reserve for a few days. Swifts began to arrive on 24th April along with a Great White Egret who visited both reserves. The next day 37 Whimbrels were sighted on Lodmoor. Late at night on 28th April a Tawny Owl was observed flying down Radipole Lake Drive. The first Hobby of the year was also seen.

Wildlife Sightings

The 16th April saw an Otter sighting at Radipole Lake. Another one of our specialtieswas seen for the first time this year, Hyposinga heri, a rare spider species affectionately known has 'Harriet'.  Butterflies species are now increasing in numbers with Brimstone, Peacock, Tortoiseshell, Comma, Orange Tip, Speckled White and Speckled Wood being seen fluttering around the hedgerows on both reserves on our sunnier days.Orange Tip on Greater Periwinkle

Little Tern Wardens Requested

Little TernIf you would like to help look after the Little Terns on Chesil Beach during the nesting and fledging season and have some spare time during the summer from late May to the end of July, please come along to the volunteer pre-season meeting which is being held at the Chesil Beach Centre on Thursday 10th May at 7pm.  Contact Scarlett, RSPB Little Tern Project Officer at or on 07590 441414 for further details.

Finally check out the Marsh Marigolds along the path to the New Viewing Shelter, they are looking spectacular this year.

Marsh Marigold

For 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