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The Lodge
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  • 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: A small taste of winter

    It's not quite up to the standards of the bad weather recently seen in America, but at least we've had a touch of winter over the last couple of days. It's been lovely to see the sun giving a golden haze over the reserve after a frosty morning- and with some cracking sunsets as well. Numbers...
  • Blog Post: Autumnal news and images from The Lodge today

    I had a walk around the reserve this morning and in the light sunshine it felt more like early autumn than mid-November. A flock of over 30 redpolls flew from a large birch along the drive, lots of tits- including coal tits- chaffinches and greenfinches were active and feeding. Two song thrushes were...
  • 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: Autumn birds start to appear

    Although it is remarkably mild this week- and especially today, there are signs of autumn around us. Flocks of redwings have been arriving from around the 12th October and are often seen and heard on the reserve now. The odd single fieldfare has been noted and several lesser redpolls and single siskins...
  • Blog Post: Bathing green woodpecker

    We are fortunate to have some top class photographers who visit the reserve and send us their images. Geoff Harries was in the hide this week when he caught this green woodpecker bathing - which is not a common sighting. The photo's he took are stunning! The last hobby sighting on the reserve...
  • Blog Post: Bluebells, birds and butterflies

    We are getting used to waking up to bright sunshine everyday at the moment- it makes a lovely change for the holiday period to be so nice! Migration is well under way and scarce tree pipits have been seen here recently, with one on the old heath on Monday. Blackcaps and willow warblers are here in...
  • Blog Post: Migrants come- and prepare to go.

    An exciting week for wildlife - with hopefully lots more to come as we head into peak migration time. A week of firsts - on Monday, the first willow warbler of the spring was heard singing on the new heath, followed on Tuesday by a blackcap around the shop gardens. A single swallow flew over and then...
  • 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: Rainbows and rain showers

    We are heading very quickly now towards March and between the rain showers and rainbows it feels like spring is really on the way. Bright snowdrops can still be enjoyed around the reserve and gardens at The Lodge and daffodils are starting to add a splash of welcome colour. Buds are appearing on the...
  • Blog Post: Big Garden Birdwatch 2014

    It's been a very settled time with our wildlife at The Lodge recently, with very few changes in the birds we have seen over the winter to date. The highlight recently is a flock of around 20 crossbills that are fairly regularly been seen feeding on pine cones in the large trees on the Iron Age hillfort...
  • Blog Post: Last sightings of 2013

    To end the year on a good bird note, we have had both firecrest and a flock of around a dozen crossbills around The Gatehouse this morning, before the wind and hail swept over. A couple of lesser redpolls have been on the feeders at the hide and there are a lot of redwings feeding on the berry trees...
  • 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: A hint of autumn

    The weather does many different things- and here we are a week after temperatures peaked at 30 degrees wondering whether or not to put the heating on and wear a fleece! Wildlife is still very much on the summer side though, 3 hobbies are gracing the reserve and spotted flycatchers are still been seen...
  • 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: 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: Farewell to our warden

    We have had a very busy weekend here at The Lodge. Firstly,our warden, Graham Wilton-Jones retired on Friday after 10 years of working at the reserve.Always smiling, friendly and ready to help, he will be greatly missed by us all.Thanks in great part to Graham and his team of volunteers,we now have the...