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The Lodge
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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: November draws to a close

    We are still waiting for winter to take a grip and a movement of birds to follow. November has more of an autumnal than a winter feeling, and trees are still glowing golden on sunny days. I was at The Lodge over the weekend, and the main action was from the mistle thrushes and jays playing noisy chasing...
  • Blog Post: Winter arriving

    If the forecasters are right, then winter will be arriving overnight and temperatures are going to plummet - with a chance of some snow as well. It certainly hasn't felt like mid-November so far. The good news is that we might get an influx of winter birds, as it's been very quiet over the last...
  • Blog Post: Autumn; fungi, leaves and birds.

    It's a nice calm and bright day here today, the leaves are glowing golden,wonderful fungi are still on show and it's a great time to come and take a walk. There hasn't been a great deal of change in the birds on the reserve these last few weeks, probably as it's been so mild. We are...
  • Blog Post: On and off shrike

    Since my last blog, the great grey shrike has been seen intermittently on the new heath. It seems to be around early morning and then goes missing for long periods- so it must be flying to different areas to feed. It was seen today, so there's still a chance of a sighting if you want to catch up...
  • Blog Post: Birds, birds on the move!

    Our warden Andy has been out and about on the reserve today and he says there are birds everywhere! A woodlark has been spotted on the new heath yesterday and today, which is one of the key species we are hoping to attract with the heathland restoration. Fingers crossed they decide to stay and breed...
  • Blog Post: The snow thaws...

    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: Good birding day as the snow thaws...

    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: BioBlitz and bird bits.

    The weather is set fair for our 'All Nature Bio Blitz Day' tomorrow, it sounds like it will be sunny, warm and dry...a rare thing this summer! We've got experts from various fields coming along to show us what's around on the reserve, last year The Lodge was the third highest species...
  • Blog Post: Brambling at the feeders

    A female brambling has been very confiding at the feeding station near The Lodge shop this morning.Around 20 siskin and several redpoll have been at the feeders as well, so a lot of activity in the area today.James Clark took this great image of a redpoll here.
  • Blog Post: Now a male brambling

    I just had a quick scan around the shop feeders and a male brambling flew down amongst the chaffinches. I only saw it for a few moments and we haven't seen it again as yet. Numbers of siskin and redpoll around the feeding station have noticeably built up in numbers on this very cold day today.
  • Blog Post: Merlin dashes through

    Andy Schofield, our reserve warden, has just seen a merlin spooking all of the fieldfares and thrushes on Sandy Heath and zooming over the Gatehouse.He gave us a call on his mobile and we all dashed out to look, but it had already passed through by the time we put our binoculars up.The merlin is our...
  • Blog Post: Singing siskins, flaming firecrest...

    A few more siskins have been seen this week, and some have been heard singing, too. Though it's not quite the breeding season (for most birds, at least) males will often start singing in January. It's a bit of practice before the main event - impressing the ladies and staking out a territory...
  • 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: woodlark on old heath

    The woodlark was sighted on the old heath this morning, so it's still on the reserve, which is great news. I heard a tawny owl hooting almost spot on mid-day, between the HQ car park and the Quarry Trail and there's good numbers of siskins flying overhead. A grey heron was disturbed by a jogger...
  • Blog Post: Finch fest

    The Lodge has been the place to come to if you want to see good, close up views of siskins and lesser redpolls. They are coming to the feeders near the shop in really good numbers at the moment. As you'd expect with these flocks, scarcer mealy redpolls are also being seen, as well as the occasional...
  • 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...