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The Lodge

The Lodge
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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Last day of 2010

    The reserve is shrouded in a grey gloom on the last day of 2010 and is very quiet and still.I heard a great spotted woodpecker drumming in the car park however, a sign that even in the depths of winter life is moving forward for our birds. On yesterdays Winter Wonderland walk, we had several sightings...
  • Blog Post: After the hols....

    The country returned to work and school today and we've passed Easter, the Royal Wedding, a Dawn Chorus walk and a Bank Holiday with the sun shining throughout! It has been very blustery over the last few days however, but it is calm sunny and settled again now.Bird highlights over the holiday have...
  • 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: 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: From freeze to thaw

    The Big Freeze has ended (for now), so welcome in the Great Thaw of 2010. You can bet that the birds and other wildlife at The Lodge will be mighty grateful of it, especially small, insect-eating birds like the firecrest that's been seen several times in the gardens in recent days. It's...
  • Blog Post: Sun and disapearing snow.

    Some good sightings at The Lodge today in the sunshine; 15 crossbills around the Gatehouse car-park,a report of a waxwing along the drive past the hide, red kite over the old heath and several siskin and lesser redpoll on the feeders. If you can't get along yourself, check http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature...
  • Blog Post: Siskin spectacle

    With winter still in the air the mixed flock of finches is still keeping us and our visitors and photographers well entertained. The cacophany of finch song greeted me this morning and good numbers of siskins and redpolls were still around and feeding on and under the feeders. The weather looks pretty...
  • Blog Post: Siskins and more...

    With winter still in the air the mixed flock of finches is still keeping us and our visitors and photographers well entertained. The cacophany of finch song greeted me this morning and good numbers of siskins and redpolls were still around and feeding on and under the feeders. The weather looks pretty...
  • Blog Post: Winter arrives

    The reserve looks a lot different now then when I last posted a blog , as the winter weather finally arrived in force. We had over 6 inches of snow at the weekend and there is still a lot of laying snow that has frozen, making the paths very icy and slippery. We have put up signs advising against walking...
  • Blog Post: Finches still feasting

    On my walk to the bus this morning I realised just how many birds were singing .Song thrush, dunnocks, great tits, blackbirds,robins and the loud and constant 'chip chipping' of house sparrows were all heard within a few minutes of home. I think yesterday's sunny weather has really made spring...
  • Blog Post: Nesting spotted flycatchers.

    Our spotted flycatchers are really busy preparing to bring up their young.If you come up this weekend, we'll be on the lawn beside the gatehouse shop to show you all of the action. We'll be around on Saturday morning and Sunday afternon to help show you the flycatchers going about their business...
  • Blog Post: Bags not birds

    It was a very different weekend for us, we all donned our Father Christmas hats and reindeer horns and headed up to Marks and Sparks in St Neots, where we packed bags for the busy shoppers and collected funds for The L odge. It was a great team effort with lots of support from both volunteers and staff...
  • Blog Post: Merry Christmas from The Lodge

    My 'bogey' bird here at the Lodge is the woodcock.This secretive woodland wading bird skulks in the bracken and is most often seen at dusk when it takes short flights to get to other feeding areas.Yesterday, I went in search of the volunteer work party and as I wandered around in the snow I could...
  • Blog Post: A nice children's group visit, some birds and lots of sunshine...

    Although the local weather forecast looks bad every day (again!) this week, we actually had a really nice sunny, hot spell for a large part of the day.We were taking a group of children from Keech, in Luton, down the main path to experience the reserve and in a short time we had seen ravens, two lovely...
  • Blog Post: Has spring finally sprung?

    After a weekend of sun and with even a little warmth in the air , a few things 'spring like' finally appeared in the area. On a walk around the Cambridgeshire countryside yesterday, I heard 5 chiffchaffs proclaiming their late arrival and a sulphur yellow brimstone butterfly flitted across the...