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  • Blog Post: Brambling at the feeders

    A female brambling has been very confiding at the feeding station near The Lodge shop this morning.Around 20 siskin and several redpoll have been at the feeders as well, so a lot of activity in the area today.James Clark took this great image of a redpoll here.
  • Blog Post: Now a male brambling

    I just had a quick scan around the shop feeders and a male brambling flew down amongst the chaffinches. I only saw it for a few moments and we haven't seen it again as yet. Numbers of siskin and redpoll around the feeding station have noticeably built up in numbers on this very cold day today.
  • Blog Post: Merlin dashes through

    Andy Schofield, our reserve warden, has just seen a merlin spooking all of the fieldfares and thrushes on Sandy Heath and zooming over the Gatehouse.He gave us a call on his mobile and we all dashed out to look, but it had already passed through by the time we put our binoculars up.The merlin is our...
  • 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: Finch fest

    The Lodge has been the place to come to if you want to see good, close up views of siskins and lesser redpolls. They are coming to the feeders near the shop in really good numbers at the moment. As you'd expect with these flocks, scarcer mealy redpolls are also being seen, as well as the occasional...
  • 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: Get ready for Big Garden Birdwatch

    With all the snow and harsh conditions that are around, I've heard lots of comments on how many birds are visiting our gardens in search of food at the moment, so keep putting the feed out and it should be a great weekend for the Big Garden Birdwatch! Here at The Lodge there is a bundle of...
  • Blog Post: Signs of spring

    Just a whisper....I think spring is in the air at last! We've had two days of almost unbroken sunshine and its arrived just in time for the children and youngsters to come up and enjoy being outdoors in their school holidays. After the success of the weekends Easter Trail, I decided to leave 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: The week starts well.

    The week has started well at The Lodge, with nice views of two tawny owls perched together in the top of a pine tree near the hide and four ravens flying over the Gatehouse.Over the weekend female bramblings were seen at the hide and under the shop feeders and there are lots of siskins and lesser and...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • 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: BioBlitz and bird bits.

    The weather is set fair for our 'All Nature Bio Blitz Day' tomorrow, it sounds like it will be sunny, warm and dry...a rare thing this summer! We've got experts from various fields coming along to show us what's around on the reserve, last year The Lodge was the third highest species...
  • Blog Post: Exciting sightings

    There have been a lot of really good bird sightings here today, topped by an osprey seen with a fish, flying over the hillfort. It was seen again over the gatehouse late afternoon. At least 20 crossbills have flown over with several lingering and the 6 woodlarks have again been around the new heath,...
  • 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...