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The Lodge

The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Bluebells are blooming

    One of the sp ring highlights at The Lodge is the wonderful display of bluebells on the path to the gardens. It seems that it's becoming more and more popular to come and enjoy these sweet scented flowers and last week a Canadian lady, who was staying in Cambridge on holiday, called me as she'd...
  • Blog Post: Some images of birds and insects at The Lodge this month

    I'm have recently been sent a lot of images that have been taken of birds here at The Lodge this month, so I thought I'd add a selection here to share with you. On the reserve, most of the migrants are here now, with cuckoo, whitethroat and garden warbler the most recent arrivals- and two...
  • Blog Post: At last, a great image of the lesser spott!

    I've been waiting for a good picture of our lesser spotted- woodpecker, and now I've got one! Ray Valpier took this brilliant shot, so a very big thanks to him. The first cuckoo of the year was calling here this morning - exactly the same date as last year!
  • Blog Post: More migrants arrive

    Spring migrants are certainly on the move now. We've seen two male ring ouzels on the slopes over at Sandy Heath Quarry today along with a cracking male wheatear, and as soon as you get out of your car at the reserve you'll hear willow warblers, chiffchaff and blackcaps in the scrubby areas surrounding...
  • Blog Post: Lesser spotted woodpecker and new spring arrivals

    Although it can be a frustrating search for many - the lesser spotted woodpecker is still around and the lucky few ( including me this morning! ) have had views of it working through the birches, mainly in the area to the W of the pylons at the bottom of the Sandy Ridge trail. It seems to be best seen...
  • Blog Post: Lesser spotted woodpecker stealing the Easter show

    Happily,the lesser spotted woodpecker has been around over the last few days with some birders seeing it well, others hearing it and some not having any luck at all! The most reliable location is at the bottom of the Sandy Ridge trail, in the birch woodland after you cross the path under the pylons....
  • Blog Post: Lesser spot at Last!

    After several reports recently of one, and sometimes even two lesser spotted woodpeckers, mainly around the Sandy Ridge trail, I finally saw a cracking male this morning while checking the trails in the high winds. A welcome Lodge tick for me and let's hope these scarce woodpeckers stay and breed...
  • Blog Post: Youngster finds the goodies!

    A father and young son popped into the shop late this afternoon for some ID advice. The lad had shots on his camera of a pair of bramblings, several lesser redpolls and a female linnet that he'd taken around the pond at the hide! They'd also seen nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, stock dove...
  • Blog Post: Early spring birds are arriving.

    Just checking on the Bird News forums and there is plenty of activity around the country, with wheatears, garganey, osprey, swallow and sand martins all arriving over the last week. No reports of any early migrants at The Lodge yet, but we should get the first chiffchaff or maybe a wheatear on Sandy...
  • 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: Spring arrives

    On a cracking spring like day butterflies were taking advantage of the early sunshine, with sightings of brimstones, small tortoiseshells and orange tips around the reserve. A flock of fieldfares around Sandy Ridge is building up in numbers, with almost 200 birds today, and a few redwings were seen amongst...
  • Blog Post: Birds on the move

    There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of fieldfares and redwings on the reserve today. A large flock, at least 70 fieldfares and c50 redwings, were joined on Sandy Ridge by c30 meadow pipits, 2 mistle thrush and smaller numbers of finches. At the hide, four lesser redpolls were on the feeders...
  • Blog Post: A sunny spring half-term day- perfect!

    After yesterday's deluge, there were times today when it almost felt like summer. The reserve has been full of families, many doing the woodpecker trail, and several groups have come back from their walk to sit outside on the picnic tables eating ice-creams! A few early bees were also out in the...
  • Blog Post: Welcome sound of bird song.

    With the weather a little milder and winter slowly heading towards spring, it's noticeable that the birds are singing again. On just a short walk this morning, song thrush, mistle thrush, great tit and dunnock were all in song and making everything seem cheerier in the slightly gloomy conditions...
  • Blog Post: Stoats in the snow

    The main action on the reserve away from the busy bird feeders has been the regular sightings of a stoat around the Gatehouse. This little creature is often seen whizzing around in pursuit of an unfortunate rabbit - which it invariably catches - and today it charged through the snow and caught another...
  • Blog Post: Snow on Sandy

    We arrived at The Lodge this morning to find much more snow than we expected. It seems that most of the areas south of us had none at all, but I went out with the camera this morning so I have proof of how white it was here! Although the feeders are busy and bustling with lots of chaffinches, tits...
  • 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: Great birding at The Lodge this morning

    A great morning for birding at The Lodge; a couple of bullfinches, a woodcock, a grey wagtail at the hide, fifty + yellowhammers with a few linnets, fieldfare, song thrush, and over the road on Sandy Heath - mixed flocks of over 650 reed buntings, linnets, yellowhammers,with around a dozen skylarks,...
  • Blog Post: Buntings in the wind

    After seeing my first yellowhammer on the reserve in December, there are now an impressive number of 50 in a flock in scrub and broom on the edge of Sandy Ridge today, viewable in the wind and rain from the extension car-park. There are very few redpolls or siskins around at the moment, the flock...
  • Blog Post: A very Happy New Year

    A very happy New Year to you. I'm just getting my feet back under the desk after two weeks birding in South India, where I saw 279 species in two weeks! Now I'm trying to spot a few birds from the window here at The Lodge to get my UK list under way- so redwing, nuthatch and goldcrest are a nice...
  • Blog Post: Christmas greetings

    This will be my last post until 2015, as I'm heading away for Christmas and New Year on a birding trip to Kerala in South India. I'm looking forward to seeing plenty of new and colorful birds to add to my life list! My colleagues will add any sightings of note to this page while I'm away...
  • Blog Post: Stoat in action

    The day started with a stoat catching a rabbit right outside the Visitor Centre. A real close up view of wildlife in the raw, although I was pleased there were no young children in the vicinity at the time!. Most birders have had good views of a flock of around 30 redpolls near the hide today, with...
  • Blog Post: New birds on Sandy Heath

    I've mentioned before the work we are doing to encourage farmland birds, by planting seed crops on Sandy heath, the land we manage across the road from The Lodge. Over the last few months, we've seen up to seven stonechats and then a couple of whinchats arrived during autumn migration. There...
  • Blog Post: Weekend news

    After my last blog it's back again to very mild and dry conditions again. Let's hope it stays like this for the weekend. Over the last couple of days a few redpoll and siskin have been on the feeders at the hide, although it was quiet when I popped in today. I heard the ravens 'kronking'...
  • Blog Post: A small taste of winter

    It's not quite up to the standards of the bad weather recently seen in America, but at least we've had a touch of winter over the last couple of days. It's been lovely to see the sun giving a golden haze over the reserve after a frosty morning- and with some cracking sunsets as well. Numbers...