I left The Lodge a month ago to do my RSPB Sabbatical in the West Country, surveying cirl buntings in South Devon and monitoring breeding choughs on the Cornish coast. I had a superb experience and enjoyed every minute.
On my return there's a vast difference in the way the reserve looks; the bluebells have been and gone, the reserve has fully sprung to life with lush greenery and I'm really pleased to see that our spotted flycatchers, cuckoos and hobbies are back on the reserve. Warblers are singing everywhere, garden, willow and blackcap, chiffchaff and whitethroat, and a young nuthatch and mistle thrush and a family of ravens shows that the birds have been busy and successful in bringing up their young.
This cheeky wood mouse has found a nice snack in the peanut feeder by the shop, and was unworried about the many visitors walking close by on Bank Holiday Monday.
I took a walk down the drive in the sunshine yesterday and the bluebells were looking- and smelling- glorious. I took a few pictures to try and show them at there best!
At least three cuckoo's are calling on the southern edges of the reserve and whitethroat, blackcap, willow warbler numbers are increasing and a red kite soared low and landed on the Sandy Ridge field.
Good news, we are putting the bird feeders back tomorrow after the recent spate of chaffinches with a virus seems to have passed. We will monitor this over coming weeks.
The first hobby was reported over the new heath today and three cuckoo's are calling at the Biggleswade end of the reserve and on the Common.