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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: 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: BBC filming at the Lodge

    The BBC have been here today setting up cameras ready to film the birds using the feeders at The hide at The Lodge. This will be shown live on their web site over the weekend - you can take a look at all the action on www.bbc.c.uk/nature/21059915 Don't forget to spend an hour doing your own Big...
  • Blog Post: 2013 arrives

    A happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to you all. After a few days off over the Christmas break , I returned today, and shortly after, our regular Wednesday volunteer, David Hinton arrived. He headed off to clean the hide and check the trails and was rewarded with views of a firecrest,amongst a small...
  • 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: Easter Monday

    Another day of blue skies, hot sunshine and lots of visitors.....just perfect! We have been watching a splendid male wheatear from the Easter bunny watch point on Sandy Ridge this afternoon.It must have arrived overnight as we didn't see him yesterday. It's a remarkable thought that it's...
  • Blog Post: Brambling numbers building up today

    Great to see at least five bramblings, with the siskins and redpolls around the gatehouse feeders this morning. Yesterday we didn't see one at all, so it seems that the flock is fairly transient with new birds joining all the time and others leaving. I'm away next week, so it's unlikely they'll...
  • Blog Post: Fancy a spot of 'vis-migging'

    There is currently a very popular trend with birders to set the alarm, get up very early, head to a suitable prominent high spot and watch the skies above for birds flying over on what is called ‘visible migration’ , known as ‘vis-migging’. For experienced birders who know...
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year

    The reserve was exceptionally busy yesterday; bright blue skies and sunshine all the way, although it was blustery and colder than of late. Our bird sightings have been fairly consistent over the Christmas and New Year period. The large flock of around 500 Fieldfares are still feeding on the meadow on...
  • Blog Post: Woodpeckers and nest boxes.

    This week has seen the temperature change from -14 degrees on Saturday 11 to + 13 yesterday, quite a big change in just a few days. it seems to have had little effect on the birds however, with no new arrivals reported over the week. On Sandy Ridge, the flock of fieldfares, redwings and starlings moved...
  • Blog Post: Flycatchers fly!

    It's happened, ....on Sunday the young spotted flycatchers left the nest box, it must have been a lovely feeling to escape the heat of their confined home and seek shelter in the nearby trees and bushes.It was wonderful to have them here, so many visitors have photographed them and been excited by...
  • Blog Post: Sun !

    The lovely Spring sunshine has bought the butterflies out; brimstone, painted lady and peacocks are on the wing now. Around the reserve, willow warblers, blackcaps and chiff chaff's can all be heard singing. A red kite flew over yesterday and the crossbill flock was sitting up in the trees...
  • Blog Post: Young hobbies

    Although there is a touch of autumn in the air now,our family of hobbies are still around and visitors this week have had brilliant sightings of the two juveniles being fed by their parents.Photographer Keith Clarke Lambourne captured this superb shot of one of the juveniles -thanks Keith!