Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Twenty years on …

My first visit to Weymouth was twenty years ago this weekend. The future Mrs D and I drove down in her mum’s Mini Metro and stayed with her Grandfather in Coronation Road just over the road from Radipole nature reserve.

My notes show it was hot and sunny. They also show male Garganey, Temminck’s Stint, Sanderling, and Grasshopper Warbler at Radipole. At Lodmoor there was a male Pintail, and at Portland Bill a Redstart, 3 Whinchat, and a Wheatear. At Ferrybridge there was Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Turnstone and c10 Little Terns.

The big change from today is Radipole. Twenty years later, I went round Radipole (26th), and saw lots of Swifts, Swallows, House Martins and a few Sand Martins. There were Ruddy Ducks and Little Egrets are common now, so those are new. But basically Radipole is a shadow of its former self. The cause is well known; the water level has risen, and the Environment Agency is not persuaded of the benefits of the RSPB’s plans to restore the reserve to its former glory. Otherwise not much has changed. I missed Quail and Bluethroat at Portland, so that certainly hasn’t changed.

Back at Ferrybridge on 28th this year there were lots of Ringed Plovers and Dunlin. In addition, some Sanderling, a Shag on a bouy, and some Little Terns too.

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