Trip reports

RSPB Radipole and RSPB Lodmoor

House martin in flight
RSPB Image

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

10 members met at Radipole car park to walk around the reserve on a sunny day but with a cold northerly wind. We started on the bridge looking at the pristine Tufted ducks and 2 Great crested grebes. The gulls were mainly Herring gulls and Black headed gulls, the Mediterranean ones have departed to their eastern breeding areas. Walking on we saw many Sand martins, with a few House martins and Swallows, all swooping and twittering presumably in joy at being in Weymouth! All around the reserve the resident Cetti's warblers were calling, we did manage a glimpse of this very hard-to-see species. We walked to the north screen finding Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Blackcaps and one Reed warbler, all newly arrive migrants. There were plenty of Teal at the screen, a Reed bunting and one distant Great white egret, and we had good views of the Marsh harriers. Back via Buddleia loop we were moved smartly on from the lakeside by a biting wind.

In the afternoon a smaller group went around the Lodmoor reserve, again there were plenty of hirundines around as well as a Marsh harrier, but the reedbed breeders had not arrived in any number. We had really close views of Black-tailed godwits in their summer plumage, busy feeding and interacting with lovely chuckling calls. They will soon move on northwards to their breeding areas. There were 3 Dunlin in summer plumage (black bellies) and the long staying Lesser yellowlegs was actively feeding and still apparently well at home. A lone Brent goose was seen from the rotunda, probably having missed its chance to fly north in company. One or two saw distant views of Bearded tits over the reeds. Altogether we saw and heard over 48 species and enjoyed a relaxed day of birdfinding. Butterflies were seen; some Peacocks and Orangetips in sheltered spots.

It is always good to see the variety of species which enjoy the Weymouth reserves in the midst of the busy town.

Mary Robins