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 Natural History Society, but more surprisingly, a water shrew also appeared!
This weekend we have Halloween events on Saturday and two Fungi Foray's on Sunday , led by leading authority Alan Outen. There are still a few places left on both events, so call the shop on 01767 680541 to book a place. The reserve is full of fungi a the moment and youngster's are enjoying the 'Thumbs up for Fungi ' sheets that they can take out and search with. Several Earth Star fungi were seen last week and it's a great year for Fly Agarics, the classic red and cream spotted fungi that does so well here as it associates with birch.
There hasn't been much evidence of bird migration this week, redwings are the main arrivals with just a few fieldfares, and small numbers of redpoll and siskin have been noted, mainly passing over. It looks as though we may get a cold snap next week, so that may prompt a larger fall of migrants.
Bank Vole Michael Lawrence
Fly Agaric at The Lodge
We are looking forward to the Discovery Day on Sunday. We have some great activities planned; the owl pellet man, Bedfordshire Natural History Society with small mammal surveys, which should give us some close views of the little beasties that we find. We have an RSPB expert on hand to give information about giving nature a home and children can have a face paint, make a nature badge or a fat ball cake to take home for your garden birds.
Please note, sadly the bird ringing group are unable to attend this event.
You can warm up with a cup of soup or have a bacon roll , which will be on sale at the event.
Costs for the event; RSPB members £3, Wildlife explorers £2, Family £8; Non- members £4, children £3, Family £12
Although it is remarkably mild this week- and especially today, there are signs of autumn around us. Flocks of redwings have been arriving from around the 12th October and are often seen and heard on the reserve now. The odd single fieldfare has been noted and several lesser redpolls and single siskins are about.
On Sandy Heath, on the land opposite the reserve entrance, where we are planting wildlife friendly crops, bird numbers are building up; with up to four stonechats, c.30 reed buntings, c.100 linnets and small groups of skylarks,and redwings on the crops and grass areas and flying overhead..
redwing.Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)