The Lodge

The Lodge
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  • Blog Post: Spring and Artists Fair- getting closer....

    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...
  • Blog Post: Bank Holiday birds at The Lodge - and beyond.

    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...
  • Blog Post: Flycatchers and hobbies

    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...
  • Blog Post: The Lodge welcomes the Biking Birder

    Gary Prescott, the Biking Birder has been to The Lodge on his RSPB fundraising tour of every RSPB reserve. The sun was shining as we went from the Gatehouse to HQ and a great reception was waiting to greet him ! Best of luck to Gary and many thanks from us all at The Lodge! Gary is now at Rye Meads and...
  • Blog Post: Any day now for the spotted flycatchers return

    Looking back on last year, the first spotted flycatcher was seen at The Lodge on 17 May, so only a few days to go if they are on schedule this year! We'll be hoping that they use the nest box in the back garden at the Gatehouse again, as this gives visitors a great close up view of the birds in...
  • Blog Post: Hobby fest

    May is starting like April is expected to be, lovely sunny periods then big blustery showers! At least the very strong winds have died down today, and for most of the day the reserve has looked on top form in the sunshine, with full leafed trees, bluebells, wisteria and rhododendron bushes in full flower...
  • Blog Post: This year's Dawn Chorus

    The alarm went off at 4 am this morning and it was straight down to the reserve to greet the 30+ other 'early birds' who arrived for this year's Dawn Chorus. The forecast was for heavy rain, so were relieved that it was just dull and a little drizzly when we set off, although it started to...
  • Blog Post: Hobby's are back

    I had a lucky few minutes over at the Visitor Centre yesterday. Just as I arrived and looked out over the new heath, a hobby flew across and landed in the large pines on the road side of the heath. Although I saw one at another site at the weekend, it's always good to know they have arrived back...
  • Blog Post: Bluebells are blooming

    One of the sp ring highlights at The Lodge is the wonderful display of bluebells on the path to the gardens. It seems that it's becoming more and more popular to come and enjoy these sweet scented flowers and last week a Canadian lady, who was staying in Cambridge on holiday, called me as she'd...
  • Blog Post: Some images of birds and insects at The Lodge this month

    I'm have recently been sent a lot of images that have been taken of birds here at The Lodge this month, so I thought I'd add a selection here to share with you. On the reserve, most of the migrants are here now, with cuckoo, whitethroat and garden warbler the most recent arrivals- and two...
  • Blog Post: At last, a great image of the lesser spott!

    I've been waiting for a good picture of our lesser spotted- woodpecker, and now I've got one! Ray Valpier took this brilliant shot, so a very big thanks to him. The first cuckoo of the year was calling here this morning - exactly the same date as last year!
  • Blog Post: More migrants arrive

    Spring migrants are certainly on the move now. We've seen two male ring ouzels on the slopes over at Sandy Heath Quarry today along with a cracking male wheatear, and as soon as you get out of your car at the reserve you'll hear willow warblers, chiffchaff and blackcaps in the scrubby areas surrounding...
  • Blog Post: Lesser spotted woodpecker and new spring arrivals

    Although it can be a frustrating search for many - the lesser spotted woodpecker is still around and the lucky few ( including me this morning! ) have had views of it working through the birches, mainly in the area to the W of the pylons at the bottom of the Sandy Ridge trail. It seems to be best seen...
  • Blog Post: Rhodedendrons at The Lodge

    Although this spectacular plant has had something of a bad press in recent years, it still looks stunning and now is the best time to see it flowering around The Lodge gardens. Nick Aikman, one of The Lodge gardeners took these pictures during the week and they'll be looking even more stunning in...
  • Blog Post: Lesser spotted woodpecker stealing the Easter show

    Happily,the lesser spotted woodpecker has been around over the last few days with some birders seeing it well, others hearing it and some not having any luck at all! The most reliable location is at the bottom of the Sandy Ridge trail, in the birch woodland after you cross the path under the pylons....
  • Blog Post: Lesser spot at Last!

    After several reports recently of one, and sometimes even two lesser spotted woodpeckers, mainly around the Sandy Ridge trail, I finally saw a cracking male this morning while checking the trails in the high winds. A welcome Lodge tick for me and let's hope these scarce woodpeckers stay and breed...
  • Blog Post: Youngster finds the goodies!

    A father and young son popped into the shop late this afternoon for some ID advice. The lad had shots on his camera of a pair of bramblings, several lesser redpolls and a female linnet that he'd taken around the pond at the hide! They'd also seen nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, stock dove...
  • Blog Post: Early spring birds are arriving.

    Just checking on the Bird News forums and there is plenty of activity around the country, with wheatears, garganey, osprey, swallow and sand martins all arriving over the last week. No reports of any early migrants at The Lodge yet, but we should get the first chiffchaff or maybe a wheatear on Sandy...
  • Blog Post: A few winter migrants appear at the Lodge

    On Sunday, two ravens were seen flying together and later in the day, I noticed a raven mobbing a buzzard over the Galley Hill end of the new heath. As we haven't had any signs that they are nesting on the reserve, this is interesting behaviour at this time. Are they starting to nest later this year...
  • Blog Post: Spring arrives

    On a cracking spring like day butterflies were taking advantage of the early sunshine, with sightings of brimstones, small tortoiseshells and orange tips around the reserve. A flock of fieldfares around Sandy Ridge is building up in numbers, with almost 200 birds today, and a few redwings were seen amongst...
  • Blog Post: Birds on the move

    There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of fieldfares and redwings on the reserve today. A large flock, at least 70 fieldfares and c50 redwings, were joined on Sandy Ridge by c30 meadow pipits, 2 mistle thrush and smaller numbers of finches. At the hide, four lesser redpolls were on the feeders...
  • Blog Post: Resident and Migrant birds- Nature art demonstration at The Lodge. Sun 1 March 11 am - 3 pm

    We are hoping that the weather will be fine this weekend, as we have Steve Kershaw coming to demonstrate his amazing nature art at The Lodge on Sunday. Let's hope the sun is shining and the wind is calm, then Steve will be set up at the Visitor Centre to show you his latest work, with the theme of...
  • Blog Post: Welcome sound of bird song.

    With the weather a little milder and winter slowly heading towards spring, it's noticeable that the birds are singing again. On just a short walk this morning, song thrush, mistle thrush, great tit and dunnock were all in song and making everything seem cheerier in the slightly gloomy conditions...
  • Blog Post: 25 years working at The Lodge!

    Two of our staff members at The Lodge reached their 25th anniversary working for the RSPB this week, Anne Watson, who is now the retail shop manager and Linda Pallister, sales assistant, both joined in the same week in 1990 and have worked together at the RSPB shop at Sandy ever since they started. RSPB...
  • Blog Post: Stoats in the snow

    The main action on the reserve away from the busy bird feeders has been the regular sightings of a stoat around the Gatehouse. This little creature is often seen whizzing around in pursuit of an unfortunate rabbit - which it invariably catches - and today it charged through the snow and caught another...