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The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Hen Harrier

    Adding to the excitment of the two-barred crossbill, a male hen harrier passed over the new heath , near the gatehouse, this morning, around 10:15. It was seen and reported by John Tomlin . Nice one John ! The car park is still busy with birders searching for the two- barred crossbill and a male...
  • Blog Post: Volunteers BBQ today

    It's a grey, damp day here today but there's a lot of action over on Sandy Ridge heath. The volunteers are setting up marquee's, lighting a big fire and getting prepared for today's Christmas bar-b-que.I'll wander over later to grab a burger and a bite. I'm just heading over...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo news

    We've been waiting expectantly for the first cuckoo to be heard here on the reserve. We planned our 'First cuckoo of spring walk' on Friday 13th, but none were heard. However, our volunteer work party were out in the heavy rain yesterday and came back to report hearing one, so well done to...
  • Blog Post: A shot of Spring

    After a seemingly long, dull spell of weather,The Lodge has burst into Spring with blue skies and bright sunshine over the last few days. Although we had a sharp frost last night, with temperatures down to -5 degrees, it's sunshine all the way again today.The first daffodils have appeared along the...
  • Blog Post: More bramblings

    The Gatehouse feeders near the shop are full of action again today; at least 4 bramblings with 2 splendid males have been around, with lots of siskins and redpolls.Joining them on the feeders have been nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, long tailed tits and large numbers of chaffinches.I wonder if some...
  • Blog Post: Dreary deluge!

    We made up for the dry February and March with a full day of heavy rain deluging us yesterday,with some sleet and snow mixed in. Fortunately Saturday was a much nicer day and we had some good bird sightings; 2 red kites, at least 3 buzzards in the air being mobbed by ravens,crossbills drinking at the...
  • Blog Post: Cancelled Star Gazing Sat march 16

    We've looked at the weather forecast for Saturday and spoken to our friends at Bedford Astronomical Society, and we've sadly taken the decision to cancel this event .It's forecast to be wet all day and night so it couldn't be worse for watching the night skies. Apoplogies if you were...
  • Blog Post: Signs of spring

    Just a whisper....I think spring is in the air at last! We've had two days of almost unbroken sunshine and its arrived just in time for the children and youngsters to come up and enjoy being outdoors in their school holidays. After the success of the weekends Easter Trail, I decided to leave the...
  • Blog Post: Hobbies today

    Five hobbies soared over the Gatehouse around lunchtime today, all in the air together which was a terrific sight.Over the weekend, one lucky visitor who was over from Australia caught a brief sight of a firecrest around the shop car-park.
  • Blog Post: Another winter week.

    Having just returned from a week in the West Country, where torrential rain and gale force winds battered the area, I returned on the train on Sunday and watched as the fields turned from miles of flooded land to a landscape of frozen winter white countryside. The first sight I had at The Lodge this...
  • Blog Post: Red Kite over heath

    A red kite soared over the New heath, late morning, flying off towards Sandy. There has been a few red kite sightings over the last week, so eyes up for an impressive raptor when you take a walk around.
  • Blog Post: Early Friday on the reserve

    What a great morning to be around the reserve! It was definitley worth the 5:20 alarm call this morning to arrive with the sun shining, not a cloud in the sky and birds singing everywhere. I came early to do our third bird survey ,with Juliette, one of our volunteers. We saw a flock of 17 crossbills...
  • Blog Post: Woodlark on Sandy Ridge

    Our warden, Andy Schofield, heard a woodlark on Sandy Ridge this morning. We had another report of one on land opposite the reserve entrance yesterday. A small flock of crossbills have been heard flying around, but they are rarely seen.Let's hope they stay and start to use the ponds near the hide...
  • Blog Post: The Lodge Open Day Sun 30 Sept

    There's still a few places left on this Sunday's Lodge Open Day.If you've ever wondered what it's like inside the old house, book your place ( 01767 680541) and have a tour around with our very own expert, Derek Niemann.The two seperate tours start at 11am and then 1:30pm, and last for...
  • Blog Post: Merlin the magician?

    Last week's most surprising sighting was a merlin . It broke all the rules when it was seen perching in a tree in the gardens. Merlins are small, speedy falcons specialised in hunting birds in wide-open spaces - not in gardens, but then The Lodge's garden are quite large! They breed in the...
  • Blog Post: Sightings

    3 common crossbills, drinking from the pools in front of the hide this afternoon One male with 2 females. A red kite was seen floating over at lunchtime.Summer migrants have been in song; 2 Blackcaps along the path near the hide and a chiff chaff calling from here as well.
  • Blog Post: BBC filming at the Lodge

    The BBC have been here today setting up cameras ready to film the birds using the feeders at The hide at The Lodge. This will be shown live on their web site over the weekend - you can take a look at all the action on www.bbc.c.uk/nature/21059915 Don't forget to spend an hour doing your own Big...
  • Blog Post: Here be dragons...

    Here at The Lodge nature reserve we have spent the last three weekends at our “dragonfly watch” Date with Nature. After being thwarted by a very wet and slow start on the first weekend, with few visitors and even fewer dragonflies, the weather improved hugely and we have had great views of...
  • Blog Post: 2013 arrives

    A happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to you all. After a few days off over the Christmas break , I returned today, and shortly after, our regular Wednesday volunteer, David Hinton arrived. He headed off to clean the hide and check the trails and was rewarded with views of a firecrest,amongst a small...
  • Blog Post: Ravens breed again

    After last year's successful breeding by ravens at The Lodge, we have been eagerly awaiting to see if they would breed here again this year. Today, 3 young ravens have been seen around the hillfort, with their parents noisily and actively watching over them. Excellent news! A pair of hobbies have...
  • Blog Post: Easter Monday

    Another day of blue skies, hot sunshine and lots of visitors.....just perfect! We have been watching a splendid male wheatear from the Easter bunny watch point on Sandy Ridge this afternoon.It must have arrived overnight as we didn't see him yesterday. It's a remarkable thought that it's...
  • Blog Post: Grimm and Ernest-storms and sunshine

    We had an even more eventful weekend than usual! Firstly, we were just going to put up the marquee's for the Pantaloons Friday evening performance of The Importance of Being Ernest , when I received an urgent call from them to say that one of the cast members was very ill and they'd have to cancel...
  • 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: Brambling numbers building up today

    Great to see at least five bramblings, with the siskins and redpolls around the gatehouse feeders this morning. Yesterday we didn't see one at all, so it seems that the flock is fairly transient with new birds joining all the time and others leaving. I'm away next week, so it's unlikely they'll...
  • Blog Post: Fancy a spot of 'vis-migging'

    There is currently a very popular trend with birders to set the alarm, get up very early, head to a suitable prominent high spot and watch the skies above for birds flying over on what is called ‘visible migration’ , known as ‘vis-migging’. For experienced birders who know...