There is an distinctly autumn chill in the air now as the summer starts turning into autumn. Great White Egrets are still being seen daily at Radipole Lake and over on Lodmoor, often three birds are sighted.
RSPB volunteer, Martin Jones-Gill, managed to snap this one taking off outside the Discovery Centre.
Other notable sightings include a Spotted Redshank seen at Lodmoor on 28th August. Yellow Wagtails are regularly being seen with c.160 counted on Lodmoor on 2nd September. On Wednesday 5th September over 150 House Martins and over 80 Swallows were counted at Radipole Lake no doubt preparing to leave for sunnier climates, a Yellow Legged Gull was also noted. A Bittern was sighted on Radipole Lake on Thursday 6th September and a Wryneck reported on Lodmoor on 7th September.
Another bird being sighted at the moment is the Kingfisher, which is good news for the upcoming Kingfisher Day at Radipole Lake on Saturday 15th September. Adults birds arrive back from their riverside nest-sites and are often accompanied by this year's young. Volunteers will be out and about on the reserve looking out for the birds, it can be really easy to get good views of these iconic beauties. There will be Kingfisher crafts for kids in the Discovery Centre, pond dipping and of course the chance to see one of the UK's best loved birds. No need to book for this free event, just turn up and join in the fun.
Kingfisher Photo Credit: RSPB Volunteer Martin Jones-Gill
Now is also a good time to visit RSPB Chafey's Lake close by Radipole Lake, another quiet oasis in the town. The reserve is currently alive with woodland bird song, such as members of the tit family including Long Tailed Tits,and species of Warblers. Hedgerows are groaning under the weight of blackberries and sloes.
As it's name suggest Chafey's has as small lake and some of the reserve is damp in places which attracts the Dragonflies and Damselflies. Currently on the wing are the larger Emperor Dragonflies, common at large well vegetated ponds and urban gardens and the red Common Darter which frequently occurs around lakes, ponds, rivers and ditches.
A recent butterfly survey recorded 10 common species in one day including the Comma, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoishell and Red Admiral.
Many of the plants on Chafey's are the same as on Radipole as the environment is similar. At the moment Purple Loosestrife, Fleabane, Hemp Agrimony and Michaelmas Daisy are all in bloom. Near the entrance of Chafey's is a patch of Strawberry Clover, a plant also seen on Radipole Lake on the path near the new Viewing Shelter. The Clover is much smaller and more delicate than the frequently seen White and Red Clovers. It is easily identified when it is in fruit when the seed pods become inflated looking like a strawberry.
For more information on the forthcoming Kingfisher Day or Chafey's Lake 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.
Telephone: 01305 778313