July has seen a very parched Radipole Lake and Lodmoor with the vegetation being tinder dry. Several locations over the country have reported wildfires. This week Lodmoor has been no exception. On Tuesday 24th July, six fire engines attended a blaze which started at the Lodmoor Recycling Centre. The cloud of smoke could be seen for miles around Weymouth and from the coast. Four hectares of waste ground around the Recycling Centre were burnt. It was thanks to the prompt action of the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service that our reserve at Lodmoor was saved from devastation but the fire came very close to the boundary. Dramatic footage of the aftermath of the blaze can be seen on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DWFire/videos/1950673841663366/?t=11 The RSPB expressed thanks to the fire service and renewed calls for the public to be vigilant about the dangers of fires during prolonged spells of hot weather.
Meanwhile Radipole Lake had a fire of its own near the concrete bridge,perhaps caused from a discarded cigarette.Thankfully only a small patch was affected.
Next, more positive news. The female Marsh Harrier is still being seen, early morning and late evening is the best time to see it. It's generally a quiet time for our birds. Having been very busy breeding and feeding their young, many have now gone into their summer moult so are resting and lying low from potential predators. There are still young chicks around on the reserve, Coots, Moorhens and Great Crested Grebes all still have young families. A Tufted Duck has a very young family of TEN chicks to look after.
Despite the lack of rain and dry ground, there are flowers to be seen around the reserve. Monbretia is a non native plant but it does provide welcome splashes of colour along the paths.
The Purple Loosestrife and Marsh Woundwort are at their peak, as are the Ribbed Melilot, Wild Carrot, Stone Parsley, Meadowsweet, Fleabane and Red Bartsia. The Buddleia is attracting Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Small White and Painted Lady Butterflies.
Our hardworking volunteers had their summer party at the Discovery Centre his month. On this occasion, several volunteers received long service awards including Betty and Chris who have both been with us for over 20 years..
The staff at Radipole Lake would like to thank all the volunteers for hard work, support and loyalty over the years. We couldn't manage without you!
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