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The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Summer and autumn collide

    As we head quickly towards October, the hobbies have been seen today, letting us cling on to the last of summer, but a subtle change in the air as the first siskins have been heard flying overhead. Several flocks of goldcrests are foraging around the reserve and it's worth checking through these...
  • Blog Post: First cuckoo reported....

    Great news - the first cuckoo at The Lodge has been reported calling near the hillfort this morning. RSPB images, credit John Bridges The male lesser - spotted woodpecker was also seen again earlier today and yesterday a male wheatear was on the Sandy Heath and quarry land, along with large...
  • Blog Post: 30+ buzzards pass over

    Four red kites, over 30 buzzards passing over and four ravens on the new heath were the highlights at The Lodge yesterday as we reached the end of the month. Two tawny owls were calling mid- afternoon from the trees behind the public loos, and are likely to have young in this area. There are still a...
  • Blog Post: Crossbill at the hide

    Highlights from The Lodge today were a male crossbill came in for a very brief drink at the hide pools (approx 2pm). Six bramblings and plenty of siskins around the feeders and I saw my first mealy redpoll of the winter here, with 3 or 4 lesser redpoll, also on the feeder by the drive. Red kite...
  • Blog Post: Mothers day, bird ringing event and latest on the lesser spot.

    Don't forget it's our Give Nature a Home day at The Lodge on Sunday. It's Mothers day, so bring mum along for extra special views of birds in the ringing demonstration, and find out what the expert team learn about birds and their movements by doing this. You can treat her to a gift or new...
  • Blog Post: Siskins arriving

    The weather forecast didn't look promising today, but, although it is cold, in fact it's been a dry and mainly sunny day. The siskin numbers are really building up now, with a group of around seven birds on the ground seed under the entrance feeders, and larger numbers in trees around the...
  • Blog Post: Brambling flock increasing

    A quick update on the last email from earlier today - there's now over 100 bramblings around Sandy heath, Sandy Ridge and the Gatehouse generally. These birds are with flocks of yellowhammers, redpolls, siskin and reed buntings, along with the more common tits and finches. A flock of around 30...
  • Blog Post: Brambling and siskin numbers building up

    A couple of regular birders had a large flock of approx 60 bramblings on the Sandy Heath seed crop this morning, and I've seen several under the feeders around the shop and entrance. Siskin numbers also seem to be building up, with several around the car-park today. A female lesser-spotted woodpecker...
  • Blog Post: The Big Garden Birdwatch

    The 1st Great Barford Brownies kicked off our Big Garden Birdwatch event at The Lodge today, and smiled through the drizzle and rain! Many of the Brownies had already completed their own Big Garden Birdwatch surveys at home, and came along for a guided walk to see the birds at The Lodge. Large flocks...
  • Blog Post: Bramblings and siskin

    Today's Winter Wonderland walk didn't exactly live up to it's billing on a wet, dull day, but 18 people enjoyed the stroll and the mulled wine and mince pies that we had at the end of the walk. At least three brambling have been around the shop feeders today, two male and one female, and...
  • Blog Post: Brambling arrives and the strange , greener than usual greenie!

    Aside from the very gusty winds, there's been little sign of winter in recent weeks, but over the weekend a brambling under the feeders near the shop added a winter element to the wildlife here. Having had a scan today, the female type bird was around again, at the feeding area to the side of the...
  • Blog Post: November starts

    It's a foggy day to start November, with the sun trying hard to break through at times and it's still very mild. The fungi foray went off in the expert hands of leader Alan Outen and The Beds and Herts Fungi group, and with the variety of fungi recorded here this year, it should be a very successful...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: End of October?

    I mentioned a while ago how mild it was, and having just had a walk out on the reserve, I think it's even warmer now - and we are fast approaching November! The Discovery Day went very well last weekend and was very busy; several bank voles were found in the mammal survey traps held by the Beds...
  • Blog Post: A good week for wildlife

    It's only Wednesday but we've had some great images of wildlife taken at The Lodge this week. It's been a poor year for seeing bramblings, with low numbers in the UK, but Malcolm Houseden took this image of a lovely male at the hide on Tuesday. We, and others have been looking , but it hasn't...
  • Blog Post: Spring into the weekend

    There's a real touch of spring in the air at the moment. Brimstone butterflys, bumblebees and daffodils are all on show at The Lodge and this raven was a vision of posing purple earlier in the week. A lot of birders have been here searching for a small flock of parrot crossbills that were reported...
  • Blog Post: Have a very Merry Christmas- from The Lodge team

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year- from all of us at The Lodge and RSPB Three Counties- thanks for joining us on our community blog this year and hope to see you on our amazing nature reserve in 2014! If you are popping in to enjoy a walk and to spot some wildlife over the festive...
  • Blog Post: Birds and Buildings.

    I was standing on the new enclosed area of the brand new Visitor Information building this morning- watching siskins, redwings, mistle thrush and fieldfares on the new heath.It's going to be a great place to work and to come in for a chat ,and all being well, it will be open by next week. If you...