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  • Blog Post: Stoats, hobbies and ravens top the Monday bill

    We've had a lot of stoat action at The Lodge in recent weeks, and today a couple were playing around beside the hide pools, then suddenly jumping in for a quick splash about. Tim Felce was in the hide with his wife at the time and took the following amazing images... A party of six ravens were...
  • Blog Post: Showy bramblings

    The bramblings are proving a large draw for birders and photographers - and generally apearing under the feeders to keep everyone happy! If they aren't about there is plenty of other activity; with a constant flow of coal, blue and great tits, greenfinches,goldinches and chaffinches, dunnocks, blackbirds...
  • Blog Post: What's happening at the entrance?

    There is a lot of activity at the entrance to The Lodge at the moment, with two seperate contract works taking place. Traffic lights are currently being installed at the entrance to make access to the reserve safer for visitors and staff, and for people using the bridleway that cuts across the busy and...
  • Blog Post: Finch flocks slowly arriving

    There was a noticeable change in the amount of 'new' birds around The Lodge today and during the week. Around the feeders at The Gatehouse, greenfinch numbers have built up, a female brambling has shown at times, and a few reed buntings and yellowhammers were in a mixed flock along the low birches...
  • Blog Post: November starts

    It's a foggy day to start November, with the sun trying hard to break through at times and it's still very mild. The fungi foray went off in the expert hands of leader Alan Outen and The Beds and Herts Fungi group, and with the variety of fungi recorded here this year, it should be a very successful...
  • Blog Post: Five ravens

    Just packing up to go home and Peter Bradley, our Senior Site Manager spotted five ravens soaring directly over the Gatehouse. A great end to the working day! I haven't had any reports of the hobbies since one flew over The Lodge gardens on Sunday- so they may have started their long journey back...
  • 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: What will the cold snap blow our way?

    It's been relatively quiet at The Lodge over the last week, but with strong arctic winds on the way- this may be about to change! Just a few redpolls have been reported recently, but numbers of siskins, usually here in good numbers, are virtually non- existent this year. Likewise for bramblings and...
  • 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: Have a very Merry Christmas- from The Lodge team

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year- from all of us at The Lodge and RSPB Three Counties- thanks for joining us on our community blog this year and hope to see you on our amazing nature reserve in 2014! If you are popping in to enjoy a walk and to spot some wildlife over the festive...
  • 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: Winter arriving

    If the forecasters are right, then winter will be arriving overnight and temperatures are going to plummet - with a chance of some snow as well. It certainly hasn't felt like mid-November so far. The good news is that we might get an influx of winter birds, as it's been very quiet over the last...
  • 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: Update on the osprey.

    The osprey is definitley still here! It was seen on a couple of occasions around the reserve today, once coming into land in a tree along the path to Galley Hill, being mobbed by ravens. Crossbills have been seen around the hillfort and a brambling was watched from the hide.
  • Blog Post: Summer's nearly done

    The warm weather's been good for flying this week. Last Wednesday, a young raven appeared over The Lodge. We heard its distinctive, deep 'cronk' call and watched it circling round and around over the gardens. The warm air rising from the ground on sunny days is used by big birds such as...
  • Blog Post: Calm after the storm.

    It was certainly a day to stay indoors in the dry yesterday wasn't it? Although it was understandably very quiet at The Lodge, one brave birder did report seeing seven wheatears on Sandy Ridge. It's a world away from the wet and windy conditions today and the birds have been notching up. We started...
  • Blog Post: 50 shades of purple

    The heather on the new and old heaths at The Lodge is now in bloom and looking spectacular this year.We are particularly excited, as we have been restoring the new heath over the last 9 years and the results are really starting to show.The wildlife is also starting to benefit as well; there has been...
  • 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: Busy time for spring migrants

    Spring migrant birds arriving The Lodge. The birds seem to be arriving here quickly after the slow migration over the last few weeks.The cuckoo's have been calling all day on the new heath and I heard my first garden warbler today. A few whitethroats have turned up on the reserve and a couple of...
  • Blog Post: Crispy, crunchy and spiky

    That's crispy leaves, crunchy beechmast underfoot and spiky sweet chestnuts and conkers. As you walk around The Lodge at the moment, you can't fail to experience some of those. There are lots of grey squirrels doing the same - I've seen a lot of them carrying sweet chestnuts around in their...
  • Blog Post: April 01st

    It may be a cold and dull Easter break, but here on the reserve we have been really busy. Plenty of families have come along to take part in the Easter trail and we've been dashing out searching the shops for the last few creme eggs in the county to give as rewards! We'll have had around 300...
  • Blog Post: Jubilee days

    After the depressing wash-out yesterday, the reserve is looking a lot brighter today and the car -park is full again with visitors getting out and about. Spotted flycatcher's, young ravens, cuckoo and treecreeper have all been sighted today, but most people just seem pleased to be walking around...
  • Blog Post: Second brood for busy spotted flycatchers

    The Lodge spotted flycatchers have already raised a family of four young in recent weeks and have just hatched another brood! The parents are busy catching insects and feeding the youngsters in the nest box, which is on the side of the outbuildings near the shop. Come along and see them soon, they'll...
  • Blog Post: Impressive thrush flock

    The number of birds in the mixed flock on Sandy Ridge meadow is building up nicely. I estimated over 500 fieldfares, 200 starlings, 150 redwings, 20 meadow pipits, several mistle thrush and a few goldfinches, all feeding in a large group on the grass this morning. Although it was fairly quiet on the...
  • Blog Post: Young ravens

    We were really pleased when the raven's fledged from their nest on the hillfort recently. This is the second consecutive year that these impressive birds have bred at The Lodge.Visitors have been seeing the raven family really well as they fly around the hillfort and New Heath areas, 'cronking'...