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The Lodge

The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Summer and autumn collide

    As we head quickly towards October, the hobbies have been seen today, letting us cling on to the last of summer, but a subtle change in the air as the first siskins have been heard flying overhead. Several flocks of goldcrests are foraging around the reserve and it's worth checking through these...
  • Blog Post: Rosemary beetles

    On a nice sunny warm day on the Autumn Equinox, perhaps the first bird of autumn has arrived, as we had a good report of a redwing on the apple tree in the gatehouse garden. This would be a very early record for this returning migrant thrush. A large flock of mistle thrushes have been about, a pair of...
  • Blog Post: Wheatears passing through

    On a nice calm day with a touch of autumn in the air, at least one hobby is still on the reserve and was seen today catching a dragonfly. I wonder when it will decide to fly off? Ravens have been about over the last week and seen today, a small group of five wheatears were just off the site on Biggleswade...
  • Blog Post: Autumn approaches?

    At least one hobby still, over the new heath today. Probably having a good feed up before the weather changes tonight! A family of spotted flycatchers were briefly around the Gatehouse car-park and a raven flew over calling. Four jays were seen together and mistle thrush numbers along with a few meadow...
  • Blog Post: Whinchat and hobbies seen today.

    Although bird life in the woodland is becoming quiet as we reach the end of summer, the hobbies are still showing on the New Heath and up to two whinchats have been seen today on Sandy Heath, the land we manage directly opposite the reserve entrance. It's always worth checking this area in migration...
  • Blog Post: Crowds and clouds over the Bank Holiday weekend at The Lodge

    It's definitely been an action packed weekend at The Lodge. We held three amazing outdoor theatre performances by the Pantaloons, with a packed crowd on Friday evening enjoying Romeo and Juliet and then two hilarious adaptions of Gulliver's Travels on Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime. We...
  • Blog Post: First flyover of the 'Flying bum'

    The morning started well with two spotted flycatchers and a willow warbler catching insects from the edge of the trees in the overflow car park. Ravens were calling from the new heath and the corner of Sandy Ridge, close to the Gatehouse. The hobbies are still around, although starting to range further...
  • Blog Post: Hobbies in overhead Olympics

    The young hobbies seem to be doing really well, and over the last few days we've had great views of the parents teaching their young by catching prey, then making the youngsters chase them through the air to get to the snack themselves! Spotted flycatchers have been around as well, I saw a...
  • Blog Post: Purple heather in bloom again

    I started working at The Lodge almost eight years ago. The heathland restoration was still in it's early days and the warden at the time, Graham Wilton-Jones, took me out to see how the heath was progressing and was really excited to see little patches of heather, about the size of a 50p piece. Roll...
  • Blog Post: Grey squirrel with cubs

    Staff members Ben Andrew and Mark Ward spotted this grey squirrel carrying its young today and Ben managed to snap a quick shot. If the nest becomes infested with fleas or mites, the squirrel moves on to a different location and builds a new nest.
  • Blog Post: Hobby success

    The juvenile hobbies have been seen in flight this afternoon, proving that successful fledging of the three young has now taken place! David Knowles
  • Blog Post: Hobby watches this week

    Good news! we will have volunteers showing the hobby nest this Thursday and Saturday, from 12 - 4 pm ( weather permitting). Info on where to go on arrival at the shop or Visitor Centre Image credit; Ray Piercy
  • Blog Post: Plenty of wildlife action at The Lodge

    I've been sent photo's this week of all sorts of exciting wildlife seen at The Lodge, from the breeding hobbies to the smallest and grooviest bugs, so I'd like to share these for you to enjoy! Thanks to all of the photographers for these great images. - From top left ; Ruby-tailed wasp...
  • 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: Hatching hobbies!

    The hobbies have hatched! 3 chicks have been seen in the nest, which is along the Galley hill/ New heath trail, near the junction with the path down to Sandy. We have put a sign close to the tree so you should be able to see them bringing food to the nest. Great news! Image credit, hobby at...
  • Blog Post: Stoat-illy amazing (sorry!)

    A family of at least five stoats have been whirling around and chasing each other in the Gatehouse work compound and into the staff car-parking area over the last couple of days. On the last whiz around they bizarrely seemed to be chased by a rabbit! I managed to get this shot but I couldn't...
  • Blog Post: Back from hols

    Hi again everyone, I'm back from my holidays in Portugal and I won't tell you about the constant sunshine and inland temperatures hovering around 38 degrees - or the colourful bee eaters, golden orioles and hoopoes seen daily! After the rain the UK has experienced, it was a shock to come...
  • Blog Post: The Lodge in bloom

    After the grey skies and heavy rain of the last week, I have just looked out of the window and thought it would be nice to post a couple of pictures of the reserve and the Gatehouse flower bed looking lush and verdant in the sunshine! The Lodge gardeners, Val and Nick, planted the wild flowers when the...
  • Blog Post: Dragonflies and fledglings

    Summer has arrived back at The Lodge, resulting in lots of dragonflies emerging. Many of the birds are busy feeding young with the first fledged robins, mistle thrushes and long tailed tits being seen. The hobbies have been around this week and may have had an eye on the swifts passing over very early...
  • Blog Post: Last day of May

    I left The Lodge a month ago to do my RSPB Sabbatical in the West Country, surveying cirl buntings in South Devon and monitoring breeding choughs on the Cornish coast. I had a superb experience and enjoyed every minute. On my return there's a vast difference in the way the reserve looks; the bluebells...
  • Blog Post: Bluebells at their best.

    I took a walk down the drive in the sunshine yesterday and the bluebells were looking- and smelling- glorious. I took a few pictures to try and show them at there best! At least three cuckoo's are calling on the southern edges of the reserve and whitethroat, blackcap, willow warbler numbers are...
  • Blog Post: Bird feeders are back

    Good news, we are putting the bird feeders back tomorrow after the recent spate of chaffinches with a virus seems to have passed. We will monitor this over coming weeks. Migrant news; The first hobby was reported over the new heath today and three cuckoo's are calling at the Biggleswade...
  • Blog Post: Bird feeders

    Good news, we are putting the bird feeders back tomorrow after the recent spate of chaffinches with a virus seems to have passed. We will monitor this over coming weeks. The first hobby was reported over the new heath today and three cuckoo's are calling at the Biggleswade end of the reserve and...
  • Blog Post: This week's sightings map

  • Blog Post: Bird feeders at The Lodge Important notice

    We have seen several chaffinches with signs of disease at The Lodge, so have decided that we will remove the bird feeders at the Gatehouse and the hide for a period of time to prevent the possibility of this spreading amongst other birds. There are less birds now using the feeders as the winter flocks...