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The Lodge
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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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!
  • Blog Post: Easter news

    It's been even more of a pleasure than usual to be working here over the Easter break. Families have been heading off and having fun doing both the Easter hunt and bunny trails and watching the rabbits and wildlife on Sandy heath ( although the hot weather has kept the rabbits below ground for most...
  • 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: 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: 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: Budding buds and noisy nuthatches.

    It's my first day in for a few days and just taking a quick check around the reserve I notice the first buds are peeping through on the willow outside the Gatehouse.It doesn't feel like Spring on a cold, wet day, but for nature, new life is well underway. I heard at least two noisy nuthatches...
  • Blog Post: Winter Wonderland walk.

    After a really busy day at The Lodge yesterday, we are lighting the bonfire and preparing for this afternoon's Winter Wonderland walk. It's very mild and quite bright today, so not quite the perfect setting for the winter walk, but I'm sure it will be great;it's already fully booked and...
  • Blog Post: Black to blue

    It's been nice and sunny today, so we are all modelling our brand new blue polo shirts, which have arrived to coincide with our Giving Nature a Home campaign. You'll be hearing a lot more about this campaign over coming weeks-and years! The birds on the reserve are now going a lot quieter...
  • Blog Post: Redpolls and rain!

    It's a rainy day here at The Lodge but our volunteers are still working away outside.We have put up a marquee to keep them and their equipment dry while they start cutting wood ready for our 'Make a nest box 'event, on February 12th.We have given our regular Wednesday volunteer,David, a day...
  • Blog Post: Back to birds

    After the excitment of yesterday's hand grenade incident,it was business as usual on the reserve today, with a nice female redstart found by Mark Ward on the Sandy Ridge trail.This is a migrant bird, passing through on its way back to its wintering areas in Africa .Common redstarts once bred here...
  • Blog Post: Arctic redpoll's

    At least two arctic redpoll's were reported by Lee Evans yesterday, along the Sandy Ridge trail. There have been a lot of birders here today in much better conditions,no doubt searching for them, but I've had no reports of anyone seeing them today. It's nice to see some colour in the landscape...
  • Blog Post: WWW.?

    W AX W INGS AND W OODCOCK TODAY 43 Waxwings perched together on a tree on the New Heath late this afternoon, they seem to be appearing here at around this time quite regularly, before they go to roost somewhere nearby. A woodcock flushed up as I collected some rubbish along the drive and the elusive...
  • Blog Post: Hunting hobbies on the heath

    Over the weekend we took several groups out around different parts of the reserve. I was lucky that I took the walk to the hillfort, as we had fantastic views of two hobbies feeding directly above us. Just before they appeared , a small party of swallows had passed through, which had probably caught...