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The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Back from hols

    Hi again everyone, I'm back from my holidays in Portugal and I won't tell you about the constant sunshine and inland temperatures hovering around 38 degrees - or the colourful bee eaters, golden orioles and hoopoes seen daily! After the rain the UK has experienced, it was a shock to come...
  • Blog Post: Dragonflies and fledglings

    Summer has arrived back at The Lodge, resulting in lots of dragonflies emerging. Many of the birds are busy feeding young with the first fledged robins, mistle thrushes and long tailed tits being seen. The hobbies have been around this week and may have had an eye on the swifts passing over very early...
  • Blog Post: Crossbills and lesser spotted woodpeckers- but no chiffchaffs yet.

    Apologies for the lack of recent news, I have just returned from a weeks holiday. Despite the spring like conditions, we are still awaiting the call of the first chiffchaff around the reserve. They are later than usual, as they normally arrive around my Birthday, which is mid-month. The lesser-spotted...
  • Blog Post: Wildlife and events

    I have been working over the weekend and the main highlight has been the butterfly bonanza! Visitors have been giving me lists of the butterfly's around at the moment, with perhaps the highlights being marbled whites, brown argus, holly blue and an Essex skipper. A stoat was seen to catch a rabbit...
  • Blog Post: Crossbills, flycatchers and Wild History

    The spotted flycatchers have been quite difficult to pin down and see this year, but Ernest, our volunteer who fills the bird feeders, had a quick glimpse of one this morning, on his walk to the hide. This is the most regular location for them, but they aren't guaranteed to be around - as I know...
  • Blog Post: Birds in June

    It's a while since I've written just about the birds, so here we are! We are hopeful that the spotted flycatcher's are still nesting in a dead birch along the trail to the hide. They seem to have abandoned their original nest which was in the same general area, and a regular visitor told...
  • Blog Post: Migrants start to arrive.

    A male wheatear was seen on Sandy Ridge today, the first here this year. Chiffchaffs have already arrived, and several have been calling around the reserve this week. If you are lucky, you may get to see crossbills-there have been a number of sightings and photographs taken at the hide this week. There...
  • Blog Post: Spring into the weekend

    There's a real touch of spring in the air at the moment. Brimstone butterflys, bumblebees and daffodils are all on show at The Lodge and this raven was a vision of posing purple earlier in the week. A lot of birders have been here searching for a small flock of parrot crossbills that were reported...
  • Blog Post: Rainbows and rain showers

    We are heading very quickly now towards March and between the rain showers and rainbows it feels like spring is really on the way. Bright snowdrops can still be enjoyed around the reserve and gardens at The Lodge and daffodils are starting to add a splash of welcome colour. Buds are appearing on the...
  • Blog Post: Big Garden Birdwatch 2014

    It's been a very settled time with our wildlife at The Lodge recently, with very few changes in the birds we have seen over the winter to date. The highlight recently is a flock of around 20 crossbills that are fairly regularly been seen feeding on pine cones in the large trees on the Iron Age hillfort...
  • Blog Post: Last sightings of 2013

    To end the year on a good bird note, we have had both firecrest and a flock of around a dozen crossbills around The Gatehouse this morning, before the wind and hail swept over. A couple of lesser redpolls have been on the feeders at the hide and there are a lot of redwings feeding on the berry trees...
  • Blog Post: Birds and Buildings.

    I was standing on the new enclosed area of the brand new Visitor Information building this morning- watching siskins, redwings, mistle thrush and fieldfares on the new heath.It's going to be a great place to work and to come in for a chat ,and all being well, it will be open by next week. If you...
  • Blog Post: New goodies...

    It seems that the great grey shrike has left us, as we've had no reports since Tuesday evening. Birders out searching have had a firecrest and a crossbill today in the way of very decent compensation!
  • Blog Post: Butterflies, bees and birds......

    With all of the events running during August we haven't mentioned our wildlife a lot just recently, so I thought I'd do this blog to put that right. Firstly, the assorted bees and butterflies buzzing and flitting on the lavender leading up to the shop have been amazing this year. One lady...
  • Blog Post: Exciting sightings

    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,...
  • Blog Post: Are you cross yet?

    Sorry for the absence of recent updates. Normal service will now be resumed... The good news is that it's currently a great time to see crossbills at The Lodge! For some reason (perhaps a dry diet or beaks sticky with pine resin), crossbills need to drink fairly regularly. They've been seen...
  • Blog Post: Green tiger beetles

    Lots of green tiger beetles around today, a heathland speciality. They can be seen anywhere around the heathland trails and even in the car park! A flock of common crossbills flew from the hillfort towards the main house. The bluebells are starting to emerge now, the sunshine should bring...
  • Blog Post: Osprey still around

    When an osprey was reported to us well over a week ago, we were quite amazed, but this juvenile is still being seen on a regular basis.even though we are now into November! It seems to use the trees around the hillfort on the reserve to perch in, making sorties down to the local fishing lakes where it...
  • Blog Post: Birds, birds on the move!

    Our warden Andy has been out and about on the reserve today and he says there are birds everywhere! A woodlark has been spotted on the new heath yesterday and today, which is one of the key species we are hoping to attract with the heathland restoration. Fingers crossed they decide to stay and breed...
  • Blog Post: Lots of green tiger beetles today

    Lots of green tiger beetles around today, a heathland speciality. They can be seen anywhere around the heathland trails and even in the car park! A flock of common crossbills flew from the hillfort towards the main house. The bluebells are starting to emerge now, the sunshine should bring...
  • Blog Post: There's a nip in the air...

    With autumn now definitely on its way it is a beautiful time of year to visit The Lodge. As the nights draw in and the days get colder the trees begin to turn their fantastic autumn colours. The first of the striking fly agaric fungi shows its head and over the next few days and weeks there will be more...
  • Blog Post: Has spring finally sprung?

    After a weekend of sun and with even a little warmth in the air , a few things 'spring like' finally appeared in the area. On a walk around the Cambridgeshire countryside yesterday, I heard 5 chiffchaffs proclaiming their late arrival and a sulphur yellow brimstone butterfly flitted across the...
  • Blog Post: Two-barred crossbill!

    Exciting times here at The Lodge - a two-barred crossbill was found on Saturday afternoon. The fantastic photo above was taken by Mike Lawrence . We've got quite a lot of [common] crossbills here at the moment, probably moving through on migration back north. But on Saturday someone snapped photos...
  • Blog Post: Exciting sightings for 'Birds for beginners' group.

    As we headed off for our 'birds for beginners. walk we saw a flock of arond 50 crossbils on the new heath. What a start! After a good stroll, we had cracking views of an adult tawny owl staring down at us from one of the large conifers near the hide. It was my 4th bird survey this morning...
  • Blog Post: woodlark

    One of our volunteers, Ben Andrew, saw a woodlark on the old heath on Sunday 18th.After some sightings in early April we have not had any further reports for over a week, so nice to know we have one around. Ben also found a common lizard and a woodmouse and managed to show these to other visitors...