On 22nd May, RSPB and Ecotricity applied to install a temporary wind mast at The Lodge nature reserve (Application Number CB/12/01860/FULL). If the planning application is approved, the mast would measure 70m in height and would be secured by guy wires fitted with bird deflectors.
The mast can be simply and easily installed by a small team in a couple of days, there will be no excavations or site preparation, and the ground at the site will be fully restored upon the completion of the monitoring. The mast would gather data for up to 12 months to monitor the wind resource at the proposed site. It will also be used to record any bat activity in the vicinity.
You can see further details of the planning application as well as registering your support on Central Bedfordshire Council's website at: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/.
A lovely surprise for the Tuesday walking group this morning,; they came across this lovely family of freshly fledged and hungry chiffchaffs, being fed by the parent(s). Jan Murphy, our walk leader,even carefully managed to get a great shot of the birds tucked safely in a bush!
With all the fun of the Spring Fair now over, my binoculars are back in hand and I've even managed a couple of walks out on the reserve this week. Summer really began yesterday and the reserve looked glorious with trees and flowers in full bloom and the whole place looked radiant in the warm sunshine.
Great news, our spotted flycatchers are back with us again! They can sometimes be seen around the Gatehouse lawns and car park, with other sightings coming from the hide and adjoining woodland.Let's hope they once again use the nest boxes around the Gatehouse buildings,as we've had amazing views of the spotted fly families being raised at close quarters over the last two years. A real treat as this is a bird in decline in many areas.A pair of blackcaps have taken up residence in the work area near the small pond at the rear of the Gatehouse; the males lovely call is coming through the open door as I write!
On the raptor front,a red Kite soared gracefully over the Sandy Heath Quarry on Tuesday and up to four buzzards have been in the air together over the reserve . Hobbies are often seen darting through the skies, in pursuit of the many swifts and hirundines around at the moment ( It seems to be a better year for swifts, am I alone in seeing them in good numbers and in different places to their regular spots this year?).
The raven family are still noisily making their presence known on the new heath, with the family of five birds being seen together quite often.Our warden, Andy, thinks they may move off very soon, but let's hope they return to breed again.
So, with the warblers , flycatchers, cuckoo, hobby and hirundines,we have the full contingency of migrants back on the reserve, the only missing piece being a much wanted nightjar or two!
The Lodge Spring Fair is being held this weekend and we will be making changes to the car parking arrangements.The stalls will be laid out on the gatehouse lawn and in the car park and we are expecting a very busy weekend.The Gatehouse (reserve entrance) car park will have limited spaces for visitors to the shop only and disabled parking. Further disabled parking is available down the drive. All other cars will be directed to the large car park at Lodge HQ, where a vehicle shuttle service will be available.There is also a pleasant ten minute walk leading to the fair along a woodland trail. All parking is free while the Spring Fair is on.
Hope to see you enjoying a great selection of 30 + stalls at the weekend!