Bearded tits and Cetti’s warblers can be seen all year round, and the autumn migration can be spectacular with hundreds of swallows, martins and wagtails, as well as lots of wading birds.
Lodmoor has one of the largest common tern colonies in the south west of England, and the hide provides great views of their fascinating courtship and the chicks growing up through spring and summer.
Little grebes ‘whinny’ in courtship displays and pairs of shovelers spin around each other, heads locked together below the water’s surface. By the middle of spring, summer visitors will have arrived: swallows, martins and by the beginning of May, swifts. The reed beds are noisy places to be, full of warblers staking out their territories.
Listen for the explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler – a little like a wren’s song but even louder. Hobbies fly overhead in their attempts to catch small birds, causing havoc among the flocks. The tiny, stripy little grebe chicks can be seen out on the water with their parents.
Kingfishers are easiest to see at this time of the year, as young birds disperse from where they hatched. Bearded tits are also more obvious. Lodmoor is the perfect refuelling site for waders en route from the Arctic to Africa – you may see birds like black-tailed godwits, and green and wood sandpipers.
Bitterns fly in from Europe during cold weather, but can be tricky to see. Grey herons stand at the water’s edge, waiting for fish to swim by within striking distance. Little egrets are more proactive and stir up the water with their yellow feet to entice small fish, worms and shrimps. This is the best season for watching wildfowl, with pochards, teals, tufted ducks, shelducks and gadwalls around the reserve. Marsh harriers can still be seen hunting over the reeds.
- pay and display car park (not RSPB)
- group bookings accepted
- guided walks available
- pushchair friendly
- dogs allowed on public footpaths and bridleways