There's some strange wet stuff falling out of the sky today! We haven't seen heavy rain for so long we'd almost forgotten it can happen!
On the bird front, we've had several sightings of spotted flycatcher's around the Gatehouse. Last year they bred in a nestbox on top of the gardener's garage and we hope they will use this box again, as visitors had amazing views as the adults fed and reared their young. There's been an elusive firecrest around, this afternoon it was calling loudly, but briefly,in the mature trees running along the roadside wall at the Gatehouse .The cuckoo's are still calling and being spotted on the new heath and around the path to the hillfort.We'll soon be setting up our Date With Nature weekend events, to show the young woodpeckers at the nest hole. It's brilliant to see the adults coming in to feed them, with the youngsters calling noisily for more food! If the weathers fine, we'll start this during the first weekend in June, more dates and times can be found on The Lodge website, look under events on; www.rspb.org.uk/thelodge. Take a look at our exciting, new 'Dusk Watch', Date With nature events as well.
A tree pipit was singing away from a tree top on the new heath today. A scarce bird these days, these is a great sighting. let's hope it stays on the reserve and possibly finds a mate to breed with!
A scarce chaser dragonfly was recorded and photographed by Dave Mansfield.This is only the second record ever for The Lodge, so well done and thanks Dave.
More sightings of spotted flycatchers this week, two or three have been noted in the woodland around the corner of Sandy Ridge ,near the drive.Cuckoo's are still using the bare larch tree on the new heath to call from and up to three hobbies have been skimming over the hillfort. Two turtle doves alighted on the same bare tree yesterday. Our warden, Andy Scofield spotted these and this is another really good record for The Lodge.These birds will no doubt be passing through here on migration.
If you want to see garden warblers and whitethroats, head down the trail leading off from the gatehouse against the main road, the bushes are alive with them,with the odd willow warbler, chiff chaff and blackcap as well!
A teriffic small copper butterfly basked in the sun this morning, on the new heath.Green -veined white, common blue,holly blue, brown argus, comma. brimstone and orange tips are all on the wing and adding colour to the reserve.