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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: 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: Flowers and flycatchers

    These lovely photos were taken by one of our gardeners, Nick, showing the Azalea walk at The Lodge gardens.The gardeners have been busy removing invasive plants over the winter to reveal the choice varieties that were planted in the early 1900s. It's a great time of year to see Rhododendrons and...
  • 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: 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: Misty,sunny, morning

    I managed to get away from my desk and pop outside for a bit this morning and what a lovely day it is. A line of mist was rising through the trees with the sun breaking through behind, and there were birds everywhere. A number of greenfinches have arrived over the last few days and good numbers of chaffinches...
  • 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: 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: Cold comfort for our wildlife

    As you may have noticed, it's quite cold outside... The snow may be on its way out - for now - but will life get any easier for our wildlife? It's certainly easier for us to see some of our shyer species. There have been several reports of woodcocks being seen around The Lodge in the snow...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Impressive thrush flock

    The number of birds in the mixed flock on Sandy Ridge meadow is building up nicely. I estimated over 500 fieldfares, 200 starlings, 150 redwings, 20 meadow pipits, several mistle thrush and a few goldfinches, all feeding in a large group on the grass this morning. Although it was fairly quiet on the...
  • Blog Post: Kick off February with a guided bird walk

    It's hard to believe we are already in February, but its great to know the days are getting a little longer and the birds are starting to sing again.It's a nice, bright calm day here today-even the wind seems to have dropped. The bird feeders near the shop are attracting siskins and redpolls...
  • 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: 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: 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: Wednesday walk and birds

    I took a walk around the reserve yesterday and it was hard to think we are still in January. Great tits, robins, goldcrests and even a mistle thrush were singing, the snowdrops are coming up and it felt just too mild for a winters day. I noticed that the temperature at 8pm last night was around 10 degrees...
  • 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: 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: Strange seasons

    Do you think we will have any snow and ice in this part of the world this year? Walking around in mild, if fairly grey conditions today, a red admiral fluttered around the Gatehouse gardens, blue and great tits were singing and a great spotted woodpecker was drumming away on a nearby tree- so it certainly...
  • Blog Post: Winter Wonderland walk.

    After a really busy day at The Lodge yesterday, we are lighting the bonfire and preparing for this afternoon's Winter Wonderland walk. It's very mild and quite bright today, so not quite the perfect setting for the winter walk, but I'm sure it will be great;it's already fully booked and...
  • 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...