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The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Lesser spot at Last!

    After several reports recently of one, and sometimes even two lesser spotted woodpeckers, mainly around the Sandy Ridge trail, I finally saw a cracking male this morning while checking the trails in the high winds. A welcome Lodge tick for me and let's hope these scarce woodpeckers stay and breed...
  • Blog Post: Youngster finds the goodies!

    A father and young son popped into the shop late this afternoon for some ID advice. The lad had shots on his camera of a pair of bramblings, several lesser redpolls and a female linnet that he'd taken around the pond at the hide! They'd also seen nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, stock dove...
  • Blog Post: A few winter migrants appear at the Lodge

    On Sunday, two ravens were seen flying together and later in the day, I noticed a raven mobbing a buzzard over the Galley Hill end of the new heath. As we haven't had any signs that they are nesting on the reserve, this is interesting behaviour at this time. Are they starting to nest later this year...
  • Blog Post: Spring arrives

    On a cracking spring like day butterflies were taking advantage of the early sunshine, with sightings of brimstones, small tortoiseshells and orange tips around the reserve. A flock of fieldfares around Sandy Ridge is building up in numbers, with almost 200 birds today, and a few redwings were seen amongst...
  • Blog Post: Birds on the move

    There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of fieldfares and redwings on the reserve today. A large flock, at least 70 fieldfares and c50 redwings, were joined on Sandy Ridge by c30 meadow pipits, 2 mistle thrush and smaller numbers of finches. At the hide, four lesser redpolls were on the feeders...
  • Blog Post: Resident and Migrant birds- Nature art demonstration at The Lodge. Sun 1 March 11 am - 3 pm

    We are hoping that the weather will be fine this weekend, as we have Steve Kershaw coming to demonstrate his amazing nature art at The Lodge on Sunday. Let's hope the sun is shining and the wind is calm, then Steve will be set up at the Visitor Centre to show you his latest work, with the theme of...
  • Blog Post: A sunny spring half-term day- perfect!

    After yesterday's deluge, there were times today when it almost felt like summer. The reserve has been full of families, many doing the woodpecker trail, and several groups have come back from their walk to sit outside on the picnic tables eating ice-creams! A few early bees were also out in the...
  • Blog Post: Welcome sound of bird song.

    With the weather a little milder and winter slowly heading towards spring, it's noticeable that the birds are singing again. On just a short walk this morning, song thrush, mistle thrush, great tit and dunnock were all in song and making everything seem cheerier in the slightly gloomy conditions...
  • Blog Post: 25 years working at The Lodge!

    Two of our staff members at The Lodge reached their 25th anniversary working for the RSPB this week, Anne Watson, who is now the retail shop manager and Linda Pallister, sales assistant, both joined in the same week in 1990 and have worked together at the RSPB shop at Sandy ever since they started. RSPB...
  • Blog Post: Stoats in the snow

    The main action on the reserve away from the busy bird feeders has been the regular sightings of a stoat around the Gatehouse. This little creature is often seen whizzing around in pursuit of an unfortunate rabbit - which it invariably catches - and today it charged through the snow and caught another...
  • Blog Post: Snow on Sandy

    We arrived at The Lodge this morning to find much more snow than we expected. It seems that most of the areas south of us had none at all, but I went out with the camera this morning so I have proof of how white it was here! Although the feeders are busy and bustling with lots of chaffinches, tits...
  • Blog Post: Big Garden Birdwatch events

    The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch will soon be here again this weekend, and the team from The Lodge will be at Jordans Mill on Saturday 24 January for a day of family activities- with face painting, fat ball making, guided birdwatching walks, info on Giving Nature a Home and an actual Big Garden Birdwatch...
  • Blog Post: Great birding at The Lodge this morning

    A great morning for birding at The Lodge; a couple of bullfinches, a woodcock, a grey wagtail at the hide, fifty + yellowhammers with a few linnets, fieldfare, song thrush, and over the road on Sandy Heath - mixed flocks of over 650 reed buntings, linnets, yellowhammers,with around a dozen skylarks,...
  • Blog Post: Buntings in the wind

    After seeing my first yellowhammer on the reserve in December, there are now an impressive number of 50 in a flock in scrub and broom on the edge of Sandy Ridge today, viewable in the wind and rain from the extension car-park. There are very few redpolls or siskins around at the moment, the flock...
  • Blog Post: A very Happy New Year

    A very happy New Year to you. I'm just getting my feet back under the desk after two weeks birding in South India, where I saw 279 species in two weeks! Now I'm trying to spot a few birds from the window here at The Lodge to get my UK list under way- so redwing, nuthatch and goldcrest are a nice...
  • Blog Post: Christmas greetings

    This will be my last post until 2015, as I'm heading away for Christmas and New Year on a birding trip to Kerala in South India. I'm looking forward to seeing plenty of new and colorful birds to add to my life list! My colleagues will add any sightings of note to this page while I'm away...
  • Blog Post: Stoat in action

    The day started with a stoat catching a rabbit right outside the Visitor Centre. A real close up view of wildlife in the raw, although I was pleased there were no young children in the vicinity at the time!. Most birders have had good views of a flock of around 30 redpolls near the hide today, with...
  • Blog Post: New birds on Sandy Heath

    I've mentioned before the work we are doing to encourage farmland birds, by planting seed crops on Sandy heath, the land we manage across the road from The Lodge. Over the last few months, we've seen up to seven stonechats and then a couple of whinchats arrived during autumn migration. There...
  • Blog Post: A small taste of winter

    It's not quite up to the standards of the bad weather recently seen in America, but at least we've had a touch of winter over the last couple of days. It's been lovely to see the sun giving a golden haze over the reserve after a frosty morning- and with some cracking sunsets as well. Numbers...
  • Blog Post: Autumnal news and images from The Lodge today

    I had a walk around the reserve this morning and in the light sunshine it felt more like early autumn than mid-November. A flock of over 30 redpolls flew from a large birch along the drive, lots of tits- including coal tits- chaffinches and greenfinches were active and feeding. Two song thrushes were...
  • Blog Post: More images

    It's a nice memory of late summer now - but I wanted to share these amazing pictures of a hobby at The Lodge, taken by Justin W oolhead in September.
  • Blog Post: Recent images

    Here are a few fungi images taken at The Lodge recently for you to enjoy... Betty Cook
  • Blog Post: Brambling arrives

    A fine male brambling in almost full summer plumage has been visiting the feeders across the drive from the shop today. It favours the feeder with black sunflower seeds. Around 70 fieldfares flew over the meadow and large flocks of redwing are on the reserve now. Brambling at The Lodge in 2013...
  • Blog Post: End of October?

    I mentioned a while ago how mild it was, and having just had a walk out on the reserve, I think it's even warmer now - and we are fast approaching November! The Discovery Day went very well last weekend and was very busy; several bank voles were found in the mammal survey traps held by the Beds...
  • Blog Post: Give Nature a Home Discovery Day Sunday 26 October

    We are looking forward to the Discovery Day on Sunday. We have some great activities planned; the owl pellet man, Bedfordshire Natural History Society with small mammal surveys, which should give us some close views of the little beasties that we find. We have an RSPB expert on hand to give information...