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The Lodge

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: Get ready for Big Garden Birdwatch

    With all the snow and harsh conditions that are around, I've heard lots of comments on how many birds are visiting our gardens in search of food at the moment, so keep putting the feed out and it should be a great weekend for the Big Garden Birdwatch! Here at The Lodge there is a bundle of...
  • Blog Post: Firecrests and fires!

    Our feed The Birds event this weekend was a massive success and really drew in the crowds, the site was exceptionally busy all weekend and it was a fantastic weekend. On top of this, we had a fire at the back of Sandy Ridge on Sunday and six fire engines attended to deal with it.We had some great birds...
  • Blog Post: osprey has flown

    It seems that the juvenile osprey has now decided to continue its migration as we haven't had any reports since the 4th November.This is the latest date for an osprey to be seen in Bedfordshire;the previous record was at Southill Park on 28 th October 1976 where up to four had been seen during the...
  • Blog Post: chirping chiffchaff chicks

    A lovely surprise for the Tuesday walking group this morning,; they came across this lovely family of freshly fledged and hungry chiffchaffs, being fed by the parent(s). Jan Murphy, our walk leader,even carefully managed to get a great shot of the birds tucked safely in a bush!
  • 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: 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'...
  • Blog Post: Birds and barbeques...

    A great sight this morning in the sunshine at The Lodge, 4 buzzards, a red kite and a sparrowhawk all soared together in the skies above the gatehouse shop.The sparrowhawk was first seen, bombing the red kite and generally giving it a hard time! Yesterday, 3 hobbies were seen in the air together,it will...
  • Blog Post: Spring suddenly sprung!

    After a cold journey to work in thick, grey fog , spring suddenly appeared without warning today! The sun popped out, temperatures rose to nearly 20%, the car park is full and people are out wearing just their tee- shirts .The wildlife is responding with brimstone butterflies, burrowing bees and plenty...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo's calling

    Although it's been a very wet and dull couple of days following the gorgeous Bank Holiday weather,we've been hearing both the male and female cuckoo's calling from the heathland around the shop.Unlike the males iconic 'cuck -oo' call,females have an unusual bubbling call, that's...
  • Blog Post: Bramblings on budget day!

    Here's a shot of the cracking male brambling around the Gatehouse and shop, taken yesterday by one of our volunteers, James Clark. There were two more at the hide as well.
  • Blog Post: Bees, blackcaps and 'the Bard'.

    Just sitting in the office with the door open and a blackcap gave a brief interlude of song, it reminds me that the warblers are still out there, just a lot quieter than they were a few weeks ago.It's also the time when willow warblers and chiff chaff's are moving through, identifying them in...
  • Blog Post: Waxwings

    Just as dusk was settling an email came from headquarters; ' 23 waxwings in trees above the transport building'.I dashed down and there they were, a group sitting perched in the lime tree, which then flew over to the back of the car park. I could clearly hear the lovely, soft trilling call that...
  • Blog Post: Last day of 2010

    The reserve is shrouded in a grey gloom on the last day of 2010 and is very quiet and still.I heard a great spotted woodpecker drumming in the car park however, a sign that even in the depths of winter life is moving forward for our birds. On yesterdays Winter Wonderland walk, we had several sightings...
  • Blog Post: Spotted flycatchers return

    With all the fun of the Spring Fair now over, my binoculars are back in hand and I've even managed a couple of walks out on the reserve this week. Summer really began yesterday and the reserve looked glorious with trees and flowers in full bloom and the whole place looked radiant in the warm sunshine...