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The Lodge

The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Greylag goose and goslings are the stars

    If you've been to The Lodge gardens recently you can't have failed to see the family of greylag geese that have been raised here are now happily wandering around like lords of the manor!. They are becoming quite an attraction, so I thought I'd put a couple of Ray Piercy pictures on the page...
  • Blog Post: Crossbills, flycatchers and Wild History

    The spotted flycatchers have been quite difficult to pin down and see this year, but Ernest, our volunteer who fills the bird feeders, had a quick glimpse of one this morning, on his walk to the hide. This is the most regular location for them, but they aren't guaranteed to be around - as I know...
  • Blog Post: Stoat family put on a show.

    You may have been captivated by the amazing films on Springwatch, of a family of stoats springing around and keeping everyone entertained as they go about raising their young at Minsmere? Well, we have just found out that we have our very own stoat family at The Lodge and over the weekend they were being...
  • Blog Post: Bank Holiday birds at The Lodge - and beyond.

    I started out early this morning and popped into nearby Broom gravel Pits to see the two Temminck's stints that had been here since Saturday. Local birders on site had seen possibly three birds before I arrived, but only two were showing while I was there. It was confirmed later that the other bird...
  • Blog Post: Flycatchers and hobbies

    Two of the most popular summer birds at The Lodge are here and performing well. A pair of spotted flycatchers have been busy in the section of woodland along the trail leading to the hide and yesterday, possibly another pair were investigating likely nesting spots around the back of the Gatehouse, including...
  • Blog Post: Stop press!

    After writing the previous blog, I've just heard that spotted flycatchers were seen today, at the start of the bridleway as it drops away from the drive. Great news!
  • Blog Post: Any day now for the spotted flycatchers return

    Looking back on last year, the first spotted flycatcher was seen at The Lodge on 17 May, so only a few days to go if they are on schedule this year! We'll be hoping that they use the nest box in the back garden at the Gatehouse again, as this gives visitors a great close up view of the birds in...
  • Blog Post: Hobby fest

    May is starting like April is expected to be, lovely sunny periods then big blustery showers! At least the very strong winds have died down today, and for most of the day the reserve has looked on top form in the sunshine, with full leafed trees, bluebells, wisteria and rhododendron bushes in full flower...
  • Blog Post: This year's Dawn Chorus

    The alarm went off at 4 am this morning and it was straight down to the reserve to greet the 30+ other 'early birds' who arrived for this year's Dawn Chorus. The forecast was for heavy rain, so were relieved that it was just dull and a little drizzly when we set off, although it started to...
  • Blog Post: Hobby's are back

    I had a lucky few minutes over at the Visitor Centre yesterday. Just as I arrived and looked out over the new heath, a hobby flew across and landed in the large pines on the road side of the heath. Although I saw one at another site at the weekend, it's always good to know they have arrived back...
  • 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...