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The Lodge

The Lodge
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Results for recentsightings, migration
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  • Blog Post: New birds on Sandy Heath

    I've mentioned before the work we are doing to encourage farmland birds, by planting seed crops on Sandy heath, the land we manage across the road from The Lodge. Over the last few months, we've seen up to seven stonechats and then a couple of whinchats arrived during autumn migration. There...
  • 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: 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: Last of the summer birds

    As we reach the middle of September, a few summer birds linger around the reserve. On Tuesday, we had stunning views of the hobbies on the new heath. At least one adult was skimming around, low and close to the path and Visitor Information Centre and passing food to a juvenile bird in mid-air. Both birds...
  • Blog Post: Heather and hobbies

    A flock of mistle thrushes has just flown past my office, and a robin is singing its melancholy call outside, which is a sure sign that we are approaching autumn! Fortunately, signs of summer are still around at The Lodge. The hobbies are still feeding two young on the edge of the new heath and have...
  • Blog Post: Migrants galore!

    With spring migration now at its peak , The Lodge is alive with the calls and songs of many warblers. As I walked along the Firs Trail from the shop yesterday, willow warblers, chiffchaff along with garden warblers whitethroats and large numbers of blackcaps,were all loudly announcing their arrival....
  • 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: 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: Redwings return.

    The first winter thrushes arrived back on the reserve at the weekend. Around a dozen redwings joined up with the mistle thrushes that were already on the new heath and could be seen from the path along the drive . Redwings leave their breeding grounds in Scandinavia and Russia to spend the winter here...
  • Blog Post: Busy time for spring migrants

    Spring migrant birds arriving The Lodge. The birds seem to be arriving here quickly after the slow migration over the last few weeks.The cuckoo's have been calling all day on the new heath and I heard my first garden warbler today. A few whitethroats have turned up on the reserve and a couple of...
  • Blog Post: Scarce chaser sighting!

    A scarce chaser dragonfly was recorded and photographed by Dave Mansfield.This is only the second record ever for The Lodge, so well done and thanks Dave. More sightings of spotted flycatchers this week, two or three have been noted in the woodland around the corner of Sandy Ridge ,near the drive...
  • 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: Spotted flycatchers return

    With all the fun of the Spring Fair now over, my binoculars are back in hand and I've even managed a couple of walks out on the reserve this week. Summer really began yesterday and the reserve looked glorious with trees and flowers in full bloom and the whole place looked radiant in the warm sunshine...
  • Blog Post: Migrant on the Ridge.

    Our Tuesday morning walkers group came back excited today as they had spotted a wheatear on Sandy Ridge. I popped over with one of our volunteers, James Clark and we managed to see this smart migrant. James even managed to get this excellent shot on his camera. Wheatears are now returning to their wintering...
  • Blog Post: Another Dawn Chorus over.

    Just recovering after a 4:30 am start from home for today's Dawn Chorus! We had a good, calm and settled morning, although a bit nippy in the N/NE wind. We were greeted in the near dark by a calling tawny owl, then the very vocal cuckoo's seemed to follow us around as we headed along the trails...
  • Blog Post: A 'fayre' few birds around at the weekend

    Phew...it was a a really busy weekend at The Lodge and we are just getting our breath back! Over 2,800 visitors came to the reserve to visit the Christmas Fayre, enjoy the trails and spot some good birds in mostly sunny conditions. The osprey was seen on both days, on one occcasion directly over the...
  • Blog Post: Bramblings and waxwings

    Two splendid, well plumaged male bramblings appeared at the hides today and we had another one at the back of the gatehouse, coming down to the small pool to drink. A flock of around 20 waxwings were sallying for insects on bare birches over on the new heath and several hundred fieldfares fed on the...
  • Blog Post: Osprey update

    It seems the osprey may still be in the area, we have heard from Steve Blain the Beds County Recorder that it was reported flying towards the reserve on two occasions on Sunday the 6th and it ( must be the same bird surely!) was spotted at Grafham Water on the 8th, so it's still happy hanging out...
  • Blog Post: Spotteed Flycatchers still on the reserve

    I took a walk along the path leading towards the hillfort at lunch time and watched three spotted flycatchers together on a fence wire, a lovely sighting as they could leave here to start their migration journey any time now. Also in the area, 30+ mistle thrushes called as they flew over, and a jay,...
  • Blog Post: Flycatchers fledged on Saturday!

    On Saturday afternoon the second family of spotted flycatchers popped out of the nest box that has been their home over the last few weeks.They spent the afternoon in the trees around the back lawn of the Gatehouse , calling and being fed by their parents.On Sunday they appeared to have moved away from...
  • Blog Post: At last... some migrants!

    I did some bird surveying in the good weather last week. It involved me standing at certain points, and noting what birds and how many I could hear. All to assess our woodland for birds. It's one of the nicest things I get to do, though it's not easy! At last, there are some migrants! I heard...
  • Blog Post: Big Garden Birdwatch

    Did you take part in the RSPB's BIg Garden Birdwatch ove the weekend? Did you record the numbers of birds you would normally expect to see? This is a section of the press release that the RSPB issued,in response to the many people asking us where the garden birds have gone this year; Big Garden...
  • 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: Fancy a spot of 'vis-migging'

    There is currently a very popular trend with birders to set the alarm, get up very early, head to a suitable prominent high spot and watch the skies above for birds flying over on what is called ‘visible migration’ , known as ‘vis-migging’. For experienced birders who know...
  • 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...