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The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: A few winter migrants appear at the Lodge

    On Sunday, two ravens were seen flying together and later in the day, I noticed a raven mobbing a buzzard over the Galley Hill end of the new heath. As we haven't had any signs that they are nesting on the reserve, this is interesting behaviour at this time. Are they starting to nest later this year...
  • Blog Post: Spring arrives

    On a cracking spring like day butterflies were taking advantage of the early sunshine, with sightings of brimstones, small tortoiseshells and orange tips around the reserve. A flock of fieldfares around Sandy Ridge is building up in numbers, with almost 200 birds today, and a few redwings were seen amongst...
  • Blog Post: A sunny spring half-term day- perfect!

    After yesterday's deluge, there were times today when it almost felt like summer. The reserve has been full of families, many doing the woodpecker trail, and several groups have come back from their walk to sit outside on the picnic tables eating ice-creams! A few early bees were also out in the...
  • Blog Post: Welcome sound of bird song.

    With the weather a little milder and winter slowly heading towards spring, it's noticeable that the birds are singing again. On just a short walk this morning, song thrush, mistle thrush, great tit and dunnock were all in song and making everything seem cheerier in the slightly gloomy conditions...
  • Blog Post: Stoats in the snow

    The main action on the reserve away from the busy bird feeders has been the regular sightings of a stoat around the Gatehouse. This little creature is often seen whizzing around in pursuit of an unfortunate rabbit - which it invariably catches - and today it charged through the snow and caught another...
  • Blog Post: Snow on Sandy

    We arrived at The Lodge this morning to find much more snow than we expected. It seems that most of the areas south of us had none at all, but I went out with the camera this morning so I have proof of how white it was here! Although the feeders are busy and bustling with lots of chaffinches, tits...
  • Blog Post: Buntings in the wind

    After seeing my first yellowhammer on the reserve in December, there are now an impressive number of 50 in a flock in scrub and broom on the edge of Sandy Ridge today, viewable in the wind and rain from the extension car-park. There are very few redpolls or siskins around at the moment, the flock...
  • 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: 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: 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: Bonny Bank Vole

    We get lots of fantastic bird images taken on the reserve, but It's always nice to get a picture of something we don't see so often. This picture of a cute bank vole, craftily taking advantage of the extra food we have been suppling the finch flock at the Gatehouse feeders ,was photographed by...
  • Blog Post: Easter-birds and trail.

    It may be a cold and dull Easter break, but here on the the reserve we have been really busy. Plenty of families have come along to take part in the Easter trail and we've been dashing out searching the shops for the last few creme eggs in the county to give as rewards! We;ll have had around 300...
  • Blog Post: Finches are still here

    I've just been out on the Gatehouse lawn and the trees are still full of the weezy calls of siskins and other finches. This large finch flock has been here for well over two weeks now, and we have been putting supplementary food down to keep them all fed and happy! We estimate that over 120 siskins...
  • 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: Birds and Easter news

    It may be a cold and dull Easter break, but here on the the reserve we have been really busy. Plenty of families have come along to take part in the Easter trail and we've been dashing out searching the shops for the last few creme eggs in the county to give as rewards! We;ll have had around 300...
  • 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: 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...