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The Lodge
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  • 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: Weekend news

    After my last blog it's back again to very mild and dry conditions again. Let's hope it stays like this for the weekend. Over the last couple of days a few redpoll and siskin have been on the feeders at the hide, although it was quiet when I popped in today. I heard the ravens 'kronking'...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Autumn birds start to appear

    Although it is remarkably mild this week- and especially today, there are signs of autumn around us. Flocks of redwings have been arriving from around the 12th October and are often seen and heard on the reserve now. The odd single fieldfare has been noted and several lesser redpolls and single siskins...
  • Blog Post: Discovery Day October 26

    I had a week away in the Lake District last week, and three great birds turned up in Bedfordshire! Firstly, a hoopoe at Willington, then even better (or rarer), a lesser grey shrike on nearby Biggleswade Common and then a dotterel, found by our very own Richard Bashford at Radwell pits. Luckily I did...
  • Blog Post: Chats on the heath

    Quick sightings update...At least c 8 stonechats and 2 whinchats, all together in scrubby area east of the conifer plantation, on Sandy Heath ( land opposite The Lodge reserve)
  • Blog Post: Bathing green woodpecker

    We are fortunate to have some top class photographers who visit the reserve and send us their images. Geoff Harries was in the hide this week when he caught this green woodpecker bathing - which is not a common sighting. The photo's he took are stunning! The last hobby sighting on the reserve...
  • Blog Post: Hairy shield-bugs and hobbies

    Everyday now we wonder if the hobbies will head off on the start of their migration, but at least one bird is still lingering around the new heath and was seen several times today. Eight or nine buzzards were up in the air together around mid - day, although rather distant and hard to see in the hazy...
  • Blog Post: Whinchats on migration

    Following my last post- I'm pleased to say that the hobbies are still around and have been seen here on the new heath again today. At the hide, 3 grey wagtails bobbed around the pool edges and were also seen on the brook at Biggleswade Common, just off the reserve. Also on the Common, whinchats have...
  • Blog Post: Last of the summer birds

    As we reach the middle of September, a few summer birds linger around the reserve. On Tuesday, we had stunning views of the hobbies on the new heath. At least one adult was skimming around, low and close to the path and Visitor Information Centre and passing food to a juvenile bird in mid-air. Both birds...
  • Blog Post: Vote for bob at The Lodge

    We were just making our vote for bob design from materials we had found around the reserve when the delivery of vote for bob squirrels arrived in the shop! So, you can vote for bob and pop in to The Lodge shop and pick up a cuddly red vote for bob squirrel for £8.99.There are also vote for bob...
  • Blog Post: History hysterical show- History of Britain by the Pantaloons

    The Pantaloons are here again this Saturday, Aug 30, performing their latest show, the History of Britain. There are two performances at 2pm and 7pm, with each show lasting around 2 hours. Tickets are on sale now at The Lodge shop or on The Pantaloons own website; thepantaloons.co.uk , or available...
  • Blog Post: Unexpected visitor?

    There have been several sightings of a kingfisher around the pools over the last week. Although kingfishers have been reported here on occasions in the past- perched on a stem overlooking over the old swimming pool - it is, understandably, a very scarce bird at The Lodge. Last week, a kingfisher was...
  • Blog Post: Heather and hobbies

    A flock of mistle thrushes has just flown past my office, and a robin is singing its melancholy call outside, which is a sure sign that we are approaching autumn! Fortunately, signs of summer are still around at The Lodge. The hobbies are still feeding two young on the edge of the new heath and have...
  • Blog Post: The Lodge gardens in summer

    We have two full time gardeners', Val the Head Gardener and Nick, who organically manage the gardens at The Lodge and keep them looking amazing and great for wildlife throughout the year. Nick is keeping me supplied with images to use on our blogs to share with you all, and here are some of his latest...
  • Blog Post: Peacock and butterfly extravaganza

    The hot July has bought us the welcome bonus of large numbers of butterflies and other flying creatures to the reserve. Flocks of peacocks in particular are quite amazing, with several hundred on Sandy Ridge alone. Scarcer species, such as purple hairstreak and silver- washed fritillary are being spotted...
  • Blog Post: Outdoor summer theatre is coming soon- Pantaloons time again!

    It's getting closer to summer outdoor theatre time at The Lodge. Vibrant and quirky touring group The Pantaloons are performing Shakespeare's The Tempest on Aug 2 and 3 and then at the end of the month, returning with a History of Britain ...on Aug 30. In true Pantaloons tradition the show will...