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  • 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: 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: Bluebells and parking bays

    The daffs are done, the bluebells are blooming - lovely! - it's well worth a visit this weekend. It will be fantastic if the weather stays warm and sunny as forecast, and since trees are late coming into leaf it should be a great opportunity to actually see our woodland birds in full song. We have...
  • 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: 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: Grimm and Ernest-storms and sunshine

    We had an even more eventful weekend than usual! Firstly, we were just going to put up the marquee's for the Pantaloons Friday evening performance of The Importance of Being Ernest , when I received an urgent call from them to say that one of the cast members was very ill and they'd have to cancel...
  • 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: After the hols....

    The country returned to work and school today and we've passed Easter, the Royal Wedding, a Dawn Chorus walk and a Bank Holiday with the sun shining throughout! It has been very blustery over the last few days however, but it is calm sunny and settled again now.Bird highlights over the holiday have...
  • Blog Post: Budding buds and noisy nuthatches.

    It's my first day in for a few days and just taking a quick check around the reserve I notice the first buds are peeping through on the willow outside the Gatehouse.It doesn't feel like Spring on a cold, wet day, but for nature, new life is well underway. I heard at least two noisy nuthatches...
  • Blog Post: A very Merry Christmas to all

    It's my last working day before Christmas, so a good time to have a quick look back on another exciting year at The Lodge reserve.The biggest wildlife surprise was when a pair of ravens started to nest build early in the New Year and successfully raised three young. We are still seeing them on a...
  • Blog Post: Big Garden Birdwatch Bash

    I've had to make the decision to cancel this coming Saturday's Big Garden Birdwatch event at The Lodge. The forecast is for snow and freezing conditions over the next two days, so it's best to be safe and not run the event. Big apologies for this. The reserve is looking stunning today...
  • Blog Post: Back at The Lodge

    I have been down in Devon since Thursday, but had a longer break than expected, snowfalls of between 8 and 10 inches on Monday morning left me unable to reach Newton Abbot station.Thankfully,I managed to get the train back home yesterday and back to The Lodge today.Although everywhere still has a good...
  • Blog Post: Redpolls and rain!

    It's a rainy day here at The Lodge but our volunteers are still working away outside.We have put up a marquee to keep them and their equipment dry while they start cutting wood ready for our 'Make a nest box 'event, on February 12th.We have given our regular Wednesday volunteer,David, a day...
  • Blog Post: Arctic redpoll's

    At least two arctic redpoll's were reported by Lee Evans yesterday, along the Sandy Ridge trail. There have been a lot of birders here today in much better conditions,no doubt searching for them, but I've had no reports of anyone seeing them today. It's nice to see some colour in the landscape...
  • Blog Post: From freeze to thaw

    The Big Freeze has ended (for now), so welcome in the Great Thaw of 2010. You can bet that the birds and other wildlife at The Lodge will be mighty grateful of it, especially small, insect-eating birds like the firecrest that's been seen several times in the gardens in recent days. It's...
  • 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: Winter arrives

    The reserve looks a lot different now then when I last posted a blog , as the winter weather finally arrived in force. We had over 6 inches of snow at the weekend and there is still a lot of laying snow that has frozen, making the paths very icy and slippery. We have put up signs advising against walking...
  • Blog Post: Finches still feasting

    On my walk to the bus this morning I realised just how many birds were singing .Song thrush, dunnocks, great tits, blackbirds,robins and the loud and constant 'chip chipping' of house sparrows were all heard within a few minutes of home. I think yesterday's sunny weather has really made spring...
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year

    The reserve was exceptionally busy yesterday; bright blue skies and sunshine all the way, although it was blustery and colder than of late. Our bird sightings have been fairly consistent over the Christmas and New Year period. The large flock of around 500 Fieldfares are still feeding on the meadow on...
  • Blog Post: Woodpeckers and nest boxes.

    This week has seen the temperature change from -14 degrees on Saturday 11 to + 13 yesterday, quite a big change in just a few days. it seems to have had little effect on the birds however, with no new arrivals reported over the week. On Sandy Ridge, the flock of fieldfares, redwings and starlings moved...
  • 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...