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Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
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  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: dive into it

    Morning all, There's not too much of a story behind today's magic moment, other than it's a pretty awesome photo! At this time of year, adult gannets are busily hunting their fishy prey, in an attempt to feed up their rapidly growing chicks. Watch out for their spectacular dive...
  • Blog Post: Monday's Magic Moment: It's a blue world

    Blue. It's my favourite colour. And at this time of year, it's carpeting our woodlands. Here at The Lodge, thousands of bluebells are covering the woodland floor, before the leaves above reappear on our trees. It's the same in the woodlands nearby too. They've not quite reached...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: Hopelessly devoted to you

    Spring is here and thoughts have turned to love (sort of!) here at The Lodge. Birdlife all over the reserve is busy preparing for the breeding season. Blue tits are looking for food to fatten themselves up in preparation for the days ahead, a pair of red kites are regularly spotted eyeing each...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: back to work?

    Happy New Year! I've got to admit, I closely resembled this little grey seal pup this morning! For many, myself included, it's the first day back at work after the Christmas break. And it's quite a shock! Probably not as big a shock as this little guy gets though when it's chilly...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: frost and light

    Frosty outside, isn't it? Certainly in Bedfordshire, we've seen the first frosts of winter over the weekend. This morning, I wandered out into the the golden glow of the sunrise, and complete with a crisp, cold frost, it was the perfect start to the day. For me, I love the early frosty...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: ghost hunting

    Driving home over the West Yorkshire moors recently, I spied a ghost-like silhouette in the glare of my headlights. A large, white bird of prey had buzzed my car before stealing silently away into the darkness. A barn owl! I quickly pulled over into a convenient lay-by as my excitement mounted...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: superstar stickleback!

    We don't get many fish on Monday moment do we? But this is no ordinary fish! I spent last week at our magical Minsmere nature reserve . Water voles plopped into the pond behind the cafe, bitterns boomed from the dense reedbeds and adders warmed up by basking in the Suffolk sunshine. But many of...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: Serenaded by eiders...

    Last week, I spent some time up on Northern Ireland's Rathlin Island. Whilst sitting in the harbour, I heard some strange noises coming from the rather dapper-looking bird in this picture. An eider duck. It doesn't do justice to describe it, so why not listen to it on our eider page? This...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: child's play

    One of the nicest things about working on a nature reserve is that it really comes to life during the school holidays, particularly from Easter onwards. I love walking across the site here at The Lodge to go to a meeting or get a cup of tea, and hearing the delighted squeals of children enjoying nature...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: motherly love

    It's not just us humans who appreciate our mums, as this gorgeous photo of a grey seal and her pup shows. But we're the only species who have a special day to express our love, and with Mother's Day fast approaching, don't forget to send a card! If you're spending some time...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: Is spring on its way?

    You could be forgiven for thinking that today as the weak winter sun beats down outside. For our grey herons though, spring is here! Well, the breeding season anyway. They are one of our earliest breeding species, and you can often see them at this time of year adding to their huge nests. High...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: a touch of gold

    Tiny. Minute. Small. Describe its size how you will, but goldcrests pull in a crowd. I was helping out at a bird ringing demonstration this weekend, and the goldcrests were the star attraction. For some of the satisfied punters it was the first time they'd seen a goldcrest, let alone up so...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: a field of poppies

    With yesterday being Remembrance Sunday, I thought it was the perfect time to find a picture of some poppies. Whilst we pause to remember all those who have lost their lives, this farmland scene might make us remember the wildlife we've lost from our countryside too. I was out on farmland yesterday...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: safety in numbers

    One of the other great autumn-winter spectacles is the sight of a seething cloud of starlings appearing in the early evening around a roosting spot, known as a murmuration . If you can't visualise what I'm talking about you might remember a Carling advert from almost ten years ago that used...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: autumn consolation

    What's the best thing about autumn? Bonfire night? A lie-in on 26 Oct? It's got to be that visual feast of autumn colours hasn't it? The beautiful reds, oranges and yellows that we see on broadleaf trees in mid autumn. The conditions needed to make really good autumn leaf colour are...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: darting about

    As September slips into October our insects are shutting up shop until next spring. Not all of them though. Attempting to match the autumn colours, male common darters are still patrolling the air. I spotted a couple at the weekend - have you seen any of these or any other insects recently? Here's...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: searching for dippers

    I walked for miles down a stream in the Lake District the other day, a journey that surely merited an encounter with one of my favorite birds, the dipper . But as nature is inclined to do sometimes it left me wanting, so I delved into RSPB-images today to take a digital look at what I missed out on...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: Out of the grass...

    I've got a question for you. Have you ever walked through a meadow, and seen a small brown bird erupt out of the grass in front of you and fly off? Yes? Well that happened to me a lot yesterday. I was out at Orfordness - a shingly slice of Suffolk's varied coastline. A former cold war nuclear...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: barn owl or badminton

    When out for an after work jog on my local nature reserve, Fen Drayton , I was treated to the sight of a ghostly white face floating silently over the fields. It was of course a barn owl and it was great to see this beautiful animal hunting so close to where I live. The spectacle lasted about half...
  • Blog Post: Tuesday's magic moment: levitating acorn

    How was your long weekend? Saturday and Sunday were good for me, whilst Monday was seriously damp in my neck of the woods. So I thought a splash of colour could cheer you up on another wet day. And I hope you won't mind if it's dry where you are! Here's a jay looking like it has mastered...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: a quick dip

    For frogs, the recent weekend of cloud and rain was probably quite pleasant, provided they weren't washed away! But when things dry out even small garden water features can be a lifeline to amphibians, not to mention somewhere for thirsty birds to have a drink. I really like this small but...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: a summer splash of colour

    The yellow on the golden oriole hits you and straight away and makes you think: that's way too bright for the UK, it would stick out like a sore thumb among our usually more (ahem) subtly coloured birds. But for the privileged few that live in or visit the right bits of England you might get to...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: our viper

    The unmistakable diamond-back pattern of the adder is a wonderful thing to behold. But even if you're a fan of these reptiles, when you see one there's still a part of your brain that remembers with a jolt: 'that thing's poisonous!'. With it being the only member of the viper family...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: summer meadows

    July always brings a smile to my face. Okay, we're not there just yet, but my birthday is in July and I always think of lazy, hot summer days and the insects take over. It perhaps wasn't the most summery of weekends - plenty of rain here anyway. So here's a lovely summer meadow shot...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: beautiful?

    With it's hairy legs, pincer like jaws and bulbous eyes you could be forgiven for thinking the ' beautiful demoiselle ' (a kind of damselfly) is poorly named. But it if you catch a glimpse of them or the banded demoiselle in flight you can appreciate why their genus name Calopteryx is...