• Easter weekend

    It's been an incredibly busy few days as the sun beats down for the Easter holidays and children (and adults) take part in our Wild things Easter migration and activity station trail!

    We've had quite a few sightings of common lizards and grass snakes at The Lodge in the warm sunshine this week. Visitor Mark Mulrooney sent me this photo of a grass snake he came across along the trails. Can you spot it?

    We are still…

    • 21 Apr 2019
  • Spring creeping in

    The first whitethroat of the year was calling at The Lodge yesterday, another addition to the spring migrant list. We are still looking for the first wheatear, swallows and sand martins here, although they are coming in across the country now.

    There is plenty of evidence of birds preparing to nest, with the mistle thrush pictured collecting nesting material at the hide. A few siskins are still being seen and heard, so 

    • 10 Apr 2019
  • One more migrant arrives

    The first whitethroat of the year was calling on the new heath briefly today, while a male stonechat moved along the brambles in the distance.

    • 9 Apr 2019
  • Willow warblers singing

    It's been very gloomy for the last couple of days and migrants have been slow to arrive in the cold easterly winds. There's been two or three willow warblers singing in the last few days, a welcome sound of early spring, but we are still waiting to add any more birds to the arriving migrant list!

    it could all change very quickly though, I'll keep you posted!

     John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

    • 8 Apr 2019
  • Bedford RSPB local group talk Thursday 18th April 7.30 pm Ken Davies, ‘Rutland Water Ospreys’ -

    Bedford RSPB local group Meet at ARA club, Manton Lane Bedford MK41 7PF. Thursday 18th April 7.30 pm Ken Davies, ‘Rutland Water Ospreys’ - Ken, a member of the Osprey conservation team, tells us more about these magnificent birds and the RutlandWater Osprey conservation programme. Suitable for Experts and Novices,

    RSPB membership not essential. Entrance fee, group members £1 Guest £2 annual group membership…

    • 8 Apr 2019
  • Migrants coming in

    We have been enjoying a very warm and sunny day before the forecasts predict a spell of winter will be returning for the week ahead.

    Today a male stonechat in its full summer finery was spotted on the new heath. A couple of linnets were also roving around together, hopefully scouting out nest sites amongst the gorse.

    Blackcaps and especially chiffchaff's are calling from every corner of the reserve now and it can only be…

    • 1 Apr 2019
  • A 'gusty' week to come....

    The spell of almost summer like weather that we had in February seems a distant memory at the moment, and these strong winds and sharp showers aren't the best conditions for bird watching!

    Still, in the quieter moments this week we have seen the crossbills in flight across the new heath, a grey wagtail has been regular around the hide pools and HQ buildings and gardens, while a few siskins are passing through. We are…

    • 13 Mar 2019
  • Race for Wildlife, Sunday 10 March 10 am - approx. 12:00 noon

    Race for Wildlife, Sunday 10 March 10 am - approx. 12:00 noon

    Please be aware that the re-arranged run will take place this Sunday and the main trails and drive will be busy while the runners complete the race during this time.

    Thank you.

    • 5 Mar 2019
  • Update on solar panel car ports

    The work to install car ports in the over-flow car park at The Lodge has been delayed by a couple of days. The work will now start on Wednesday 5 March and is very likely now to extend into the following week. The car ports and installation equipment will be delivered on Tuesday, so the overflow and other areas of the car park will be closed to allow access to lorries.
    Car-parking capacity will be reduced during the works…
    • 4 Mar 2019
  • First day of the meteorological spring

    After a few days away I've returned to find the sunny spring weather is slipping away, although it's still pretty good for early March.
    As this is the first day of the meteorological spring, (20 March 2019 is the first day of the astronomical spring) here is a picture of a skylark hovering and singing over the Sandy Ridge field, to remind us of the amazing February we've just had - and that spring proper is …

    • 1 Mar 2019
  • Solar panel car ports at The Lodge. Advance notice of installation works week commencing March 4.

    Car ports with solar panels are being installed in the over-flow car park at The Lodge . The work will start on Monday 4 March and is expected to be completed by Friday 8, although it may extend into the following week.
    Car-parking capacity will be reduced during the works.
    Why are we doing this project?
    Climate change is one of the greatest threats to birds, wildlife and people worldwide and the…
    • 22 Feb 2019
  • 20 February 2019 RSPB The Lodge nature reserve and gardens at Sandy awarded a prestigious VisitEngland Welcome Award.

    RSPB The Lodge nature reserve and gardens at Sandy has been awarded a prestigious VisitEngland Welcome Award.

     VisitEngland has today announced the winners of its 2018 Attractions Accolades recognising the quality of visitor experiences across England.

    Following their annual assessment by VisitEngland, 76 attractions have been awarded an accolade, based on the score they obtained following their Visitor Attraction Quality…

    • 20 Feb 2019
  • Is this really spring?

    It really is hard to believe it's still only February. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and butterflies, bees and insects are on the wing on the bright sunny days we've had recently. I have seen reports of house martins arriving across the country - even in Scotland!... and numerous swallows arriving around the coast, especially in the South-West. Our regular visiting photographer Rob Gilmore has captured some…

    • 19 Feb 2019
  • End of week report

    After the snow and ice of last week it's been a much milder week. The wind took it's toll on one our bird feeding stations, where the timber 'goal posts' completely collapsed! We hope to fix this next week. The milder conditions have meant for a quieter week for birds as well, with the bramblings seemingly departed and no views of the crossbills that we know of since last Saturday. We did have a good report…

    • 8 Feb 2019
  • Seasonal trails closed this week

    The temporary seasonal trails across the new heath have now been closed in readiness for the breeding bird season ahead. We've had plenty of nice comments about the walks, so we hope to open them again in autumn/ winter 2019/20.
    The Buzzard trail that goes around the new heath, as pictured, is fully open, so you can still enjoy the walk to Galley Hill and beyond! Recently we've seen buzzards, red kite, ravens, lesser…

    • 5 Feb 2019
  • Cancellation of Race for Wildlife

    t is with great disappointment that we have decided to cancel the Race for Wildlife on Sunday on safety grounds. After today’s laying snow and the forecast of further freezing weather, especially on Saturday night, as organisers we cannot take any risks with runners slipping and injuring themselves, due to the conditions on the reserve.

    We have re-scheduled the race for a new date of Sunday March 10.

    Apologies again…

    • 1 Feb 2019
  • Surprise sighting.....

    I generally write a blog about birds when we have some sightings away from the norm, but the most exciting bird I've seen at The Lodge recently may surprise you? Walking around RSPB HQ last Friday, I noticed a single female house sparrow amongst the shrubs, and after a second or two it dawned on me that we don't get sparrows on the reserve! In fact it's the only house sparrow I've seen here in almost 11 years, so a new…

    • 27 Jan 2019
  • Latest on the four 'elusive' crossbills

    There are still quite a few birders arriving and asking about the four crossbills that have been around occasionally since the new year. It's very difficult to pin them down to give specific advice on where to see them; sometimes they aren't seen all day, and when they are seen, it's usually for a short period of time. I've seen them twice, and both times in the clear fell area behind the overflow car park. Other sightings…

    • 22 Jan 2019
  • Warm up for the Big garden Birdwatch with us and the latest sightings at The Lodge

    It's a cracking bright sunny winter's day here today, but the wind is chilly around the ears! After a lull over the last week, the crossbills have re-appeared and were seen in the same general area behind the extension car-park yesterday. Sadly no one has managed to get any images (that I'm aware of anyway), that I can share as yet. A nice flock of lesser-redpolls are around the reserve, but very mobile, although…

    • 17 Jan 2019
  • Crossbills and lesser redpolls today

    This morning at The Lodge, two male and two female crossbills landed in the same bare tree as we saw them in on Saturday, and were a great bonus for several birders here at the time. Along with the group were a couple who had never seen crossbills before, we were able to show them through the 'scope, just as the sun came out to show off the crossbills plumages plumages - a rich red of the male and green of the female…
    • 31 Dec 2018
  • Crossbills today

    I've been in the Visitor Info Centre today with volunteers Dickie and Andy, and we heard the call of a crossbill flying over. At first we couldn't locate any birds, but then spotted a male and female crossbill in a bare tree beside the overflow car park. Dickie managed to get them in his 'scope and a couple of birders had views of them before they disappeared.

    In the corner of the overflow car-park there has…

    • 29 Dec 2018
  • Winter morning's at The Lodge

    The last two days at The Lodge have been very bright and sunny- with classic cold winter early mornings. One of our volunteers, Gill, took these photos when she went down to fill the hide bird feeders yesterday.
    A couple of bramblings then took advantage of the food on offer, while a lesser redpoll used the feeder near the entrance on Sunday morning.

    Let's hope we get some more bright days lke this over the festive break…

    • 17 Dec 2018
  • Pantaloons A Christmas Carol. Last few tickets available!

    It's nearly time for A Christmas Carol with the Pantaloons at Sandy Village Hall!
    Sunday16 December two performances at 2pm and 6pm.

    Only a few tickets left now, (2pm show almost full).
    Last tickets now available from The Lodge shop only, on 01767 693333.

    Looking forward to kicking off Christmas with the Pantaloons!

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • A couple of good records today.

    A couple of very good birds were seen here today, adding to the build up of winter migrants this week, both seen from different locations along the Woodpecker Trail.

    A firecrest was reported twice today amongst a good number of goldcrests, on the boundary of the old heath near the estate wall, while a peregrine was seen flying onto a pylon on Sandy Ridge, then another birder saw it flying off  from the pylon some time later.…

    • 11 Dec 2018
  • Winter migrants trickling in today....

    With the winds swinging to the north today and the blustery recent weather, we have had a few bramblings arrive, and at least one male is foraging under the feeders near the drive, while another bird was seen at the hide. On the new heath, several meadow pipits and linnets are active,  two woodcocks flew up, while a yellowhammer was spotted in the corner of the extension car-park , the buntings favoured spot when they hop…

    • 9 Dec 2018