Almost 700 people enjoyed the Pantaloons performances of the Canterbury Tales last weekend. The sun shone for most of the time ( at least during the daytime performances!)and the evening performances were dry and warm as well. We have already booked the 'loons to come back next August, when they will be performimng both the Brothers Grimm and The importance of being Ernest-so lots of fun to look forward to again at The Lodge in 2012.
After a quiet couple of weeks,more birds have been in evidence over the last couple of days. A massive flock of over 90 mistle thrushes has been flying into trees around the Gatehouse from nearby Sandy Ridge.This is a record count of these large thrushes at The Lodge-and quite possibly a Bedfordshire record as well.The thrushes could be counted accuratley as they all flew up over the gatehouse when a peregrine zipped through and took a woodpigeon, alarming all of the birds in the area. A few crossbills have also been seen lately, with several on the fence enclosing a section of gorse on Sandy Ridge this afternoon. There have been a few finches on the ground around here, with both goldfinches and greenfinches getting seed from small flowers growing amongst the grasses.So a few birds to wet our appetite for the coming weeks, when migration starts all over again.
Our warden, Andy Schofield, heard a woodlark on Sandy Ridge this morning. We had another report of one on land opposite the reserve entrance yesterday. A small flock of crossbills have been heard flying around, but they are rarely seen.Let's hope they stay and start to use the ponds near the hide for drinking , as they have in previous times.A lonely swallow flew over the new heath on Sunday and the huge mistle thrush flock has now shrunk to about twenty birds.A group of six red-legged partridges scurried over the field on Sandy Ridge, they are probably a family that have bred here on the reserve.