Only six days to go until The Lodge Spring and Artist's Fair begins! We've got a great variety of stallholders and artists coming along and I've listed them all below. Hope you can make it here on Sunday.
Catering by Le Café Crepe and ice-creams and snacks, wraps and sandwiches from the RSPB shop.
Florence and Percy; Aprons, make-up bags, cushions and bunting.
Eli candles; Handmade scented candles
Wooly Wotnots; Handmade wooly animals and gifts
In a Strange land; Ethically sourced and fair trade gifts and homeware
Charlotte Donovan Illustrations; Prints, notebooks, illustrations and accessories
Mike Culley; Photographs printed on coasters, tablemats etc.
Tree Frog Toys; Traditional wooden toys
Elisabeth Evershed; Cider!
Jane Elizabeth Confectionary; Handmade toffee and fudge.
Little Gems; Individual hand crafted jewellery in semi- precious stones, crystals and pearls using leather and card.
Trish Howell; Cakes and Cup-cakes
Stuart Bees; Local honey.
Paul Pickles; Homemade local chutney, pickles and relish.
Butterfly Beauty by Lisa; Glitter tattoos
The Button Bank; Hair bows and bands, buttons, gift sets and haberdashery.
Andy lavers; Soaps and beauty products
Peter Maxwell; Plants grown at The Lodge- raising funds for the RSPB.
Steve Elliot; bags, purses and scarves.
Riverford Organics (to be confirmed)
Artists Zone. Beds Artists Group; Five local artists showing their original and exciting work. Michael and Sarah Lawrence; Wildlife and bird art with demonstrations on the day by Michael and up-cycled furniture by Sarah. Carol and Jane Lamey; Original paintings and cards. Steve Kershaw; Bird and wildlife art and demonstrations. Steve has donated a stunning picture of hobbies at The Lodge, which we will auction on the day, to raise funds for the RSPB.
RSPB The Lodge Spring and Artist Fair Sun 31 May 10 am – 5 pm. £3 per vehicle entrance.
I started out early this morning and popped into nearby Broom gravel Pits to see the two Temminck's stints that had been here since Saturday. Local birders on site had seen possibly three birds before I arrived, but only two were showing while I was there. It was confirmed later that the other bird was a little stint, so It's a pity I didn't see it!
At The Lodge, the spotted flycatchers hadn't been seen over the weekend, until a couple of birders came into the Visitor Centre to say a pair were back in the wooded area near the hide- so good to know they are still around. The hobbies have been seen at times over the new heath and the cuckoo was calling this morning. Yesterday a marsh harrier flew over, heading east. It was a straggly looking individual with several of it's 'primary' and tail feathers missing - giving it a sorry appearance. A nice bird to see over the reserve all the same.
Hope to see you soon
Two of the most popular summer birds at The Lodge are here and performing well. A pair of spotted flycatchers have been busy in the section of woodland along the trail leading to the hide and yesterday, possibly another pair were investigating likely nesting spots around the back of the Gatehouse, including one bird taking a liking to the light box next to the gent's loo entrance! Hobbies are very active and in their agile and dashing way zooming over the new heath in pursuit of insects and prey.
Hobby at The Lodge 2014 Justin Woolhead
Spotted Flycatcher at The Lodge Dave Mansfield
In what is likely to be a busy Bank Holiday weekend and half-term week, we have a Springwatch Discovery trail for the youngsters to head out and try to see the hobbies and flycatchers, along with several of the other most exciting insects, moths and butterflies that are about here during early summer. This leads up to our Spring and Artists Fair on 31 May, where we have around 25 stallholders setting up with some excellent artwork and products.
Hope you can make it along to enjoy The Lodge this week!