The final dusk watch of 2011 took place on Thursday 22nd September with the last lucky group of visitors. Some evenings throughout the summer we were more lucky than others, but always enjoying the atmosphere of the reserve as night falls.
We had three nights with unbelievable and magical views of badgers and once in a lifetime spectacles. This was including our last night where we watched an adult and two cubs playing nearby, unaware of us peering round the trees to spot them. The photograph below was taken on our last night by Teri, one of the visitors on the walk.
We had other nights with fantastic views of foxes feeding with their cubs and one evening we had a pair of tawny owls calling incessantly to one another. The corvid roost above our heads was a guaranteed spectacle every evening, with hundreds of jackdaws and crows calling louder and louder as darkness fell.
On the walk back we always finished off the night nicely with great views of the bats on the reserve, and we used bat detectors for an extra experience for the visitors.
Join us next summer for our dusk watches and see what nocturnal creatures you have the fortune to meet at The Lodge.
There have been a lot of really good bird sightings here today, topped by an osprey seen with a fish, flying over the hillfort. It was seen again over the gatehouse late afternoon. At least 20 crossbills have flown over with several lingering and the 6 woodlarks have again been around the new heath, near the hillfort. 3 bramblings flew over and one fed on the feeder at the hide and a good number of redpoll's (30/40) flew over as well.A grey wagtail has been around for most of the week and a few siskin flocks are scattered around the reserve.
Not a bad day!
it's our Feed The Birds event this weekend, we'll have bird ringing demo's, Homes for Wildlife info, children's activities and hopefully some of the birds above! It runs from 11-4 on both Saturday and Sunday...you can top up on bird food as well, large bags of 12.75 kg seed have £5 off.
Our feed The Birds event this weekend was a massive success and really drew in the crowds, the site was exceptionally busy all weekend and it was a fantastic weekend. On top of this, we had a fire at the back of Sandy Ridge on Sunday and six fire engines attended to deal with it.We had some great birds-a black redstart sat on top of the roof looking down on the Feed The Birds event at The Lodge, ravens flew over, an osprey was seen again, perched on a dead tree on the new heath with a fish,the woodlarks were also again on the new heath,crossbills and bramblings flew over and to top it all, the stunning firecrest in the picture was ringed, alongside a goldcrest, for a perfect comparison opportunity!
Another good sighting this morning, a merlin was seen dashing over the new heath- I wonder what's next on this great run?
Our warden, Andy Schofield, found a pied flycatcher on his walk down the drive at lunchtime today. It was amongst a roving flock of tits, so could be mobile. A good , late record for The Lodge.If you come along for a look for it, it will be in it's browny taupe plumage, not the bold black and white of it's breeding season! I went down to search for it ( with no luck!), but watched four ravens as they squabbled together in the air over the new heath.
Six woodlarks were again on the new heath today, early am.