Posted November 11th, 2010 | No Comments
Though most focus mainly on the Guy Fawkes night and bringing in November with a very literal bang, there are many other events which take place throughout the month on Portland. Known as the downtime leading up to the Christmas season, mid-November is a time to pause and reflect with some quiet and peaceful functions.
On Sunday, the 14th of November, also known as Remembrance Sunday in honour of those that gave their lives in the two world wars, they will be holding a special service at the Portland Cenotaph, New Ground. The cenotaph, which literally means ‘empty tomb’ in Greek, is inscribed with the names of all those from the island that did not return from the wars.
Also on that Sunday, at the RSPB Radipole Lake Nature Reserve there will be a special ‘Heron Roost Watch’ from 15:00-17:00. Join in at the North Hide as they keep the lookout for Grey Herons, Little Egrets, and the rare and elusive Bittern. Other possible guests include the odd otter or two! There is a charge of £3 for adults and £1.50 for children; this fee includes a free binocular hire. Booking is essential, so call ahead on 01305 778313.
For those more interested in culture than nature, the Portland Museum will be having a ‘Hardy Poetry Readings’ gathering on the 20th of November. Thomas Hardy, one of the most famous English authors of all time, was known equally for his novels and his poems. He was one of the best known contributors to the naturalist movement. He was a lifelong resident of Dorset, and even used the original cottage that the museum is housed in as the home of Avice in his novel “The Wellbeloved”.
Posted October 19th, 2010 | No Comments
As summer eases into autumn, the coastal areas of Dorset becomes home to many temporary aviary visitors. The two best places to see these migrating birds are within easy access to Portland and Weymouth: Radipole Lake RSPB Nature Reserve and the Lodmoor Nature Reserve.
These reserves are so important to the migrating species, as is evident by how many take advantage of their abundant reeds and marshes. Birds from as far away as the Baltics, Siberia and Eastern Europe, all use this place as their mid-way nesting point as they travel towards the warmer weather of the south. Some common species that you can see at this time of year are Swallows, Martins, Grebes, Pochard, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Teal and Shovelers. If you are extremely lucky you may even be able to spot a Brownish Heron or a very rare Bitton.
Both the Radipole Lake and the Lodmoor Nature Reserves are located in Weymouth, and can be found by either private or public transport. Entrance is free, though donations are much appreciated.