Just packing up to go home and Peter Bradley, our Senior Site Manager spotted five ravens soaring directly over the Gatehouse. A great end to the working day! I haven't had any reports of the hobbies since one flew over The Lodge gardens on Sunday- so they may have started their long journey back to Africa now. We'll now enjoy the feast of fungi before the first autumn birds start to arrive.
Those of you who have visited The Lodge recently may have noticed that the construction of our medium sized wind turbine in Sandy Ridge field, just behind the Gatehouse, has picked up pace this month.
Rapid progress has been made over recent weeks, as the cabling trenches have been dug which will connect the turbine to the RSPB’s headquarters, The Lodge, and the Grid. Work on the foundations for the turbine has also begun. Today, concrete has been poured over a large circular metal structure which, when dry, will create a strong foundation for the turbine.
Concrete is poured to create a secure foundation for the turbine
The entire installation will take a total of 20 weeks and the turbine itself will be delivered and will be installed in up to five days during January 2016, weather permitting.
We continue to stay in close contact with local parish councils, and are working hard to ensure that we minimise impacts on visitors to The Lodge nature reserve and gardens, and neighbouring communities throughout the turbine construction process.
Once complete the turbine will measure 100m at its highest point and will generate over half of the RSPB’s electricity needs across all of its UK operations.
For more information about The Lodge wind turbine, or to get in touch with us about the project, please visit www.rspb.org.uk/lodgewindturbine
It was such a lovely weekend on the reserve and a great variety of wildlife was enjoyed by lots of visitors out enjoying the sunshine. It's also noticeable how much fungi is out, and the fly agarics were one of the highlights of the day for many.
On the new heath yesterday, a pair of ravens perched in the pines where they originally nested, with all sorts of strange calls emanating from the depths of the tree, along with the more usual 'kronking' calls. The hobbies had a lay-in, but were dashing around the hillfort in the afternoon, and other raptors included three buzzards soaring together, two sparrowhawks and a kestrel. Blackcaps, willow warblers and chiffchaff still linger on as summer ends and jays are busy caching acorns and nuts all around the reserve.
Lots of non-avian action as well, with red admiral, small copper, small white and comma butterflies, a hummingbird hawk-moth in the Lodge gardens, southern and migrant hawker dragonflies, stoat, (and the stoat ran across the Gatehouse garden today), weasel, young common toad and the incredible wasp-spider on the old heath.
Fungi included death-cap, aniseed funnel cap, amanita franchetii, fly agaric, parasol and tawny grisette. Roy Mcdonald reported and then sent some superb images of several of these species, so we are indebted to him for letting us use them. Thank you Roy.
Clockwise from top left;
Amanita francheti, aniseed funnel cap, death cap, tawny grisette, southern hawker, wasp- spider.