Future plans for the reserve, I am told, will not be birder friendly. How can this be? The nature reserve in smack bang in the middle of a town, with easy access for visitors by car or public transport. Surely, the RSPB's job is to inspire peoples interest into birds and wildlife in general. If you make a place where birds are reduced in numbers and also restrict the viewing capabilities of being able to enjoy such things, how on earth are you going to inspire people. By listening to experienced birders with a long term knowledge of the site, the RSPB could make this place great again, inspiring not only established birders like myself, but people wanting to get closer to nature. Sadly, due to their total arrogance, the RSPB are not interested in listening to people like myself. So, with much sadness, the future for Radipole Lake is bleak.
Gone are the counts of 500+ Teal, 100+ Shoveler, 600+ Pochard, 500+ Tufted Ducks and regular wintering Scaup. The RSPB website would have you believe that large numbers of Pochard winter at Radipole, but this is not the case anymore, with the maximum count of 18 in 2015. What does it still say to this day about star species on their website? See below.
Large numbers of pochards congregate on the water at Radipole during autumn and winter. They often spend the days asleep as they do most of their feeding at night.
Notice the lower case used in Pochards.
With water levels kept high these days, gone are the big pre roosts of Black-headed and Common Gulls and gone are the variety of passage waders and counts of 100+ Snipe during the winter. It's even had an impact on the roosting of Yellow Wagtails in the autumn.
Scarce and rare water birds, that understandably generate excitement, have also declined in occurrence. It's certainly had a great track record, emphasis on the had. Shall we have a little look?
Ring-billed Gulls (Maximum day count of 4)
Britain's first Caspian Gull, plus others since
White-winged Black Terns
White and Black Storks
Spotted Crakes (Used to be annual)
|Adult Ring-billed Gull, 1 of 9 species of gull, on the gravel island viewable from the visitor centre on 20th March 2004. The island today is impenetrably covered in vegetation and even a small sallow.|
An abundance and variety of birds will inspire people and attract people to visit, ultimately helping to recruit RSPB members and also helping the local economy. Makes sense doesn't it?
And then there is Lodmoor. Sadly, a shadow of it's former self and again the product of neglect and certainly a lack of imagination by the RSPB.
Think the RSPB should have a long hard look at itself.