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  • 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Snakes and spott's

    Anthea, our Monday morning Visitor Centre volunteer had a surprise today as she stood outside the building, when a two foot grass snake slithered across the path towards the heath. There have been a few sightings here lately -I even managed to see one myself! The spotted flycatchers are settling down...
  • Blog Post: Wildlife art day at The Lodge

    Local artist Steve Kershaw will be painting the wildlife of The Lodge and showing his artwork here on Sun 13 July. Steve will be set up outside The Visitor Centre between 11 am and 3 pm (weather dependent) and have framed originals, prints and cards for sale , so come along and say hello and take a look...
  • Blog Post: Butterflies and insects abound

    As the breeding season draws to a close (for most birds anyway) bird life Is now quietening down and the morning dawn chorus is over for another year. There's always some bird action though, a large group of swifts and several swallows were swooping over the new heath today and I watched as an adult...
  • Blog Post: Toads, snakes and birds!

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear and see a cuckoo today. They tend to go quiet and stop calling at this stage of the summer- and some are already making their way back across Europe to their wintering grounds in Africa. A pair of hobbies are around the new heath, but are fairly elusive at times this...
  • Blog Post: The Spring Fair is nearly here.....

    Just a few days to go now and it will be the Spring Fair at The Lodge! Join us on Sunday 1 June between 10 am and 5 pm to browse through the stalls and then enjoy the work of the Bedfordshire Artist Network Group. Youngsters can make a pin badge and see the amazing owl pellet man in action, and there...
  • Blog Post: Weekend walks

    The Dawn Chorus at The Lodge may be fully booked, but it's followed at 10am by our Birds For Beginners walk. If you want to know what the bird is that you have seen or can here calling, or how to get the best out of your optics- then this is the walk for you. Call 01767 680541 for more details and...
  • Blog Post: A good week for wildlife

    It's only Wednesday but we've had some great images of wildlife taken at The Lodge this week. It's been a poor year for seeing bramblings, with low numbers in the UK, but Malcolm Houseden took this image of a lovely male at the hide on Tuesday. We, and others have been looking , but it hasn't...
  • 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: Give nature a home-make a nest box with us.

    Here at The Lodge we have our own nest box making day on Saturday 22nd. It's a hands-on day for the youngsters (although the parents often do the hard work!) and it's a great way of learning a little about how birds nest and make their homes- and how we can help then in our own gardens. A perfect...
  • 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: Would you like to help us?

    If you have visited us at Sandy recently, you may have noticed the building works that we have carried out around the Gatehouse. These works have created a smarter, more welcoming entrance to the reserve, better storage facilities for the RSPB shop, and a large, attractive reception building on the drive...
  • Blog Post: Misty,sunny, morning

    I managed to get away from my desk and pop outside for a bit this morning and what a lovely day it is. A line of mist was rising through the trees with the sun breaking through behind, and there were birds everywhere. A number of greenfinches have arrived over the last few days and good numbers of chaffinches...
  • Blog Post: Christmas shopping and the sale starts at The Lodge shop

    Christmas is ust around the corner and there's only two weekends left to find some great presents. The Lodge shop at Sandy has a great selection of gifts -and even better, the big sale has just started! To help you plan your shopping trip, here are the The Lodge shop opening times over the Christmas...
  • 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: Bag packing weekend in Tesco, Sandy.

    Another quiet week for the birds, with a few woodcock appearing, but little else arriving as yet. It's still incredibly mild for the end of November and I've been told the Scandinavian berry crop is a bumper one, so birds like waxwings aren't having to migrate south this year. The golden...
  • Blog Post: November draws to a close

    We are still waiting for winter to take a grip and a movement of birds to follow. November has more of an autumnal than a winter feeling, and trees are still glowing golden on sunny days. I was at The Lodge over the weekend, and the main action was from the mistle thrushes and jays playing noisy chasing...
  • Blog Post: Festive Fun and shopping day.

    Sunday 24 November 11am - 4pm Festive shopping and Fun Day Santa and his helper will be visiting The Lodge on Sunday. Come along to get your gifts in the RSPB shop and enjoy festive face painting, make a lovely Christmas card from dried leaves and natural materials ,try some hands on pottery and sample...
  • Blog Post: Re-Introducing Children into the Wild: guest blog from David Bond

    I don't usually add other peoples blogs to The Lodge page, but thought I would make an exception for the guest one from Martin Harpers blog, from David Bond. Last week, we reported that only one in five children in the UK are connected to nature - you can see my blog on it here . Today sees...
  • Blog Post: On and off shrike

    Since my last blog, the great grey shrike has been seen intermittently on the new heath. It seems to be around early morning and then goes missing for long periods- so it must be flying to different areas to feed. It was seen today, so there's still a chance of a sighting if you want to catch up...
  • Blog Post: A hint of autumn

    The weather does many different things- and here we are a week after temperatures peaked at 30 degrees wondering whether or not to put the heating on and wear a fleece! Wildlife is still very much on the summer side though, 3 hobbies are gracing the reserve and spotted flycatchers are still been seen...
  • Blog Post: What are we building at The Lodge?

    If you have visited or driven past RSPB The Lodge recently, you will have noticed the building work that is currently taking place around the entrance and along the drive. These works are to improve the site for our visitors , and when they are finished at the end of September there will be a smarter...