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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: 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: 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: Back at The Lodge

    I have been down in Devon since Thursday, but had a longer break than expected, snowfalls of between 8 and 10 inches on Monday morning left me unable to reach Newton Abbot station.Thankfully,I managed to get the train back home yesterday and back to The Lodge today.Although everywhere still has a good...
  • 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Long distant migrants

    Visitors come from many parts of the UK to see The Lodge, but not normally for a day visit from Scotland! Yesterday, RSPB members Violet and Nicky caught the plane from Edingburgh to Luton, hired a car to drive to Sandy and spent the day enjoying the reserve- and the lovely sunshine- for Violet's...
  • Blog Post: Ouzels and large bird movements

    Just had a call to say three ring ouzels were around the Yew tree and the area around the Gatehouse entrance. We dashed out from the office and saw large numbers of birds moving through, fieldfares, redwings,blackbirds, mistle thrushes and flocks of mixed finches, ( including redpoll and siskin), everywhere...
  • Blog Post: Snow at last

    It felt a bit more like Christmas today didn't it ? A good dusting of snow fell this morning, although most of it has disapeared now. I walked around to feed the birds and many of the feeders were completely empty, so the cold weather has attracted lots of birds to feed on them. A large flock of...
  • Blog Post: Birds of prey over the hillfort

    We have a group from the Beds,Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust on a visit to The Lodge today. I took them for a wander over the new heath to show off our heather, which is looking amazing this year. After leaving them to complete the trail, they came back happy after seeing hobbies, ravens and buzzards...
  • 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...