Just a quick post from The Lodge to say that we advise putting off a walk around the reserve today ( Feb 8), due to the very strong winds that are due to gust stronger over the next couple of hours. It's looking calmer tomorrow and hopefully for the rest of the week!
The toilets are also being decorated and upgraded this week ( great news), so there may be some disruption and we will have to use alternative loo's at times. Thanks for your co- operation when you arrive
A quick update on the last email from earlier today - there's now over 100 bramblings around Sandy heath, Sandy Ridge and the Gatehouse generally. These birds are with flocks of yellowhammers, redpolls, siskin and reed buntings, along with the more common tits and finches.
A flock of around 30 fieldfare flew across the car park, closely followed by a sparrowhawk with a fieldfare hanging from in it's talons!
A couple of regular birders had a large flock of approx 60 bramblings on the Sandy Heath seed crop this morning, and I've seen several under the feeders around the shop and entrance. Siskin numbers also seem to be building up, with several around the car-park today. A female lesser-spotted woodpecker was sighted in the 'regular' spot near the pylons on Sandy Ridge on Thursday. I need to get out and have another look, I've failed so far in my attempts this year to connect with this scarce bird! Around 150 fieldfare were on the Sandy Ridge field this week, with several redwing around the edges of the trail.
The ravens are also around and being sighted almost daily on the plantation near the hillfort, on the Galley Hill trail - which is great news. Perhaps they'll breed on the reserve again this year?
Brambling and raven at The Lodge. Image credit Geoff Harries.
Redwing Image credit Ray Piercy