• First hobby chick fledged!

    The first hobby chick fledged yesterday! I'll keep you posted with news on the hobby watch dates this week, as the other two chicks are likely to fledge before the weekend.

    Away from the hobbys; yesterday two ravens flew across the new heath 'kronking' away, a large group of swifts came down and fed over the new heath getting the attention of one of the hobby's which came over to investigate them, and two…

    • 5 Aug 2019
  • Special optics event this weekend 3 4 August 10am 4pm

    Pop along to the optics special event weekend at The Lodge shop, today or tomorrow between 10 am and 4 pm.

    The event runs from 10am – 4 pm on each of these days, when a variety of binoculars and telescopes will be on display for visitors to try out, as well as friendly, impartial advice from the knowledgeable and friendly team of staff and volunteers.

    Not just for wildlife experts, RSPB reserve shops stock a wide…

    • 3 Aug 2019
  • Next hobby watch dates

    Here are the next dates for the Hobby watches.

    Friday 02 August 11am - 4pm ...
    Saturday 03 August 11am - 3pm
    Sunday 04 August 11am - 3pm

    Monday 05 August 11am - 4pm
    Tuesday 06 August 12:00 - 3pm
    Thursday 08 August 1pm - 4pm
    Friday 09 August   11am - 4pm

    Saturday 10 August 11am - 3pm
    Sunday 11 August   11 am -3pm

    These are approximate times and depend on the weather- the volunteers won't be out if there is rain or strong…

    • 31 Jul 2019
  • Youngster with a good eye

    A young and very keen naturalist and photographer Sam Chatt visited the reserve with his nan Jennifer this week, and showed me a great selection of bird and wildlife photos taken on his travels in this country and holiday in France.

    Keep up the great work Sam!


    Red admiral at The Lodge. Image credit Samuel Chatt (age 10)

    • 26 Jul 2019
  • Next hobby watch dates

    Our volunteers will be here to show you the hobby's with their three chicks on the nest, on the following days and times (weather permitting).
    Follow the Buzzard trail along the path to Galley Hill, starting across the drive at the entrance, opposite the shop.
    The viewpoint is near the junction, signposted to Sandy, approx. 500m from the shop
    Friday     26 July 11am -1pm
    Saturday 27 July 10:30am - 3pm (rain…
    • 25 Jul 2019
  • Next hobby watch dates

    Hobby watch with the volunteers are planned on the following dates over the next week or so ;

    Saturday         20 July   11am - 2pm

    Sunday          21 July    1pm - 4pm

    Tuesday       23 July     11am -3pm

    Thursday       25 July     1pm - 4pm

    Saturday         27 July     11am- 3pm

    Sunday           28 July     11am - 4pm

    • 20 Jul 2019
  • Emperor butterfly - star of the week?

    The hobby watch is going really well, and plenty of visitors are getting views of the three chicks on the nest, with the adult birds zipping around - catching and bringing prey to them at times.

    Aside from the hobby action, it's getting a lot quieter on the bird front now, and with trees and shrubs in full foliage and birds stopping singing they can be difficult to see easily. The feeders are still popular though, especially…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Hobby watch 2019

    Our hobbies now have three white chicks on the nest, and we have set up a hobby watch on the following dates and times, when you can come along and we'll show you the falcons through the telescope.

    Follow the Buzzard trail from the shop, a sign will show you are going the right way!

    Tuesday 16 July 11am - 4pm
    Wednesday 17 July 11am - 1pm
    Thursday 18 July 1pm - 4pm
    Friday 19 July 1pm - 4pm
    Saturday 20 July 11am -…

    • 16 Jul 2019
  • Disruption at the hide 11-12 July

    The BBC are coming to The Lodge to film at the hide on Thursday and Friday this week, so we apologise in advance for the disruption this may cause.to your viewing

    Many thanks,

    The Lodge team

    • 10 Jul 2019
  • Purple emperor- first record for The Lodge!

    Rob Banbury who works in our reprographics dept. was taking his lunch-time stroll and came across  this female purple emperor, the first confirmed record for The Lodge!

    It was seen on the Buzzard trail, near the junction to Sandy (near last year's hobby nest area).

      Rob Banbury

    • 8 Jul 2019
  • Young cuckoo nearby

    Most of the cuckoo reports from The Lodge have come from birds heard calling just off the reserve this year, and Rob Gilmore saw and photographed this juvenile on a post in the field just before you reach the reserve, as he walked up from the station yesterday.

    Rob also got this cracking image of a treecreeper and a young robin just getting his/her red beast!.

    Thanks Rob!

    A good day for butterflies and dragonflies yesterday…

    • 8 Jul 2019
  • Latest images and news

    After a little lull, I've been sent an influx of recently taken photos.

    On the reserve, bird life is generally starting to quieten down now that most of the young have fledged - and birds start to go into moult and stop singing. Flocks of young tits and finches are foraging thought the trees and it seems to be a good breeding season for our common species.

    The hobby pair aren't so visible this year, we are deciding…

    • 5 Jul 2019
  • Ichneumon fly with prey at The Lodge this morning

    This Ichneumon fly with prey was filmed here by volunteer Karen Ashwell this morning.

    The hobby's have been seen on most days recently, but were not around their preferred site on the new heath this morning.

    The first flowering heather is already coming through, so the heath will be turning purple over the next few weeks, why not come along and take a look!

    • 2 Jul 2019
  • The Longest day...just around the corner.

    After the washed out days of last week it's good to be able to get back out again! it hasn't felt much like mid-summer recently, but there's still July and August ahead and we can hope for better weather ahead.

    Our hobby pair are doing all of the right things to suggest they will breed again, but sadly no nightjar or spotted flycatcher records on the reserve this year. We have had several night surveys when…

    • 17 Jun 2019
  • Bees and wasps at The Lodge walk

    Bees and wasps of The Lodge
    Sunday 23 June 1.0 pm – 3.0 pm

    The Lodge is home to an amazing variety of bees including cuckoo, honey and bumble bees, along with wasps and the other creatures that prey and parasite on them. Several other insects found here even mimic different bees and wasps.
    Ecologist Bex Cartwright from the Bee Conservation Trust is leading this walk to discover these often hidden, but truly amazing…

    • 9 Jun 2019
  • Stonechat breeding success

    It's that time again when lots of young birds are appearing around the reserve and keeping their parents very busy collecting enough food for their hungry bills. Visitor Mark Collins sent me the excellent shots of a whitethroat carrying food to its nest at the weekend.

       Image credit: Mark  Collins

     We had some great news when three stonechat fledglings were seen on the new heath! The adults have been keeping well out…

    • 4 Jun 2019
  • Latest may sightings

    Although I am very lucky that I regularly hear and sometimes even see cuckoo's from my garden in Little Paxton, this morning I saw my first one at The Lodge this spring! It called from behind the extension car-park this morning and I watched as it flew into the large pine tree there. Brilliant!

     Cuckoo, image credit Ben Andrew.

    We had more good news when the hobby's, which have generally been quite elusive, were seen…

    • 21 May 2019
  • Delay to the Wild Play Trail opening.

    With half term approaching, just a reminder that we regret that the opening of the advertised Wild Play Trail at The Lodge has been delayed. We are now planning to open the trail ready for the school summer holidays.
    You can still enjoy den building, brass rubbing and activity sheets, as well as the lovely reserve walks.
    Very big apologies from us all at The Lodge

    • 21 May 2019
  • Upcoming talks and walks with RSPB Bedford Local Group

    Bedford RSPB local group 

    Meet at ARA club, Manton Lane Bedford MK41 7PF


    Thursday 16th May  7.30pm


    Cleo Small, Cleo is the RSPB’s Senior Policy Officer, 

    Global Seabird Programme, and will talk to us this evening on the

     ‘Campaign to save the Albatross’


    Thursday 23rd May    7 pm- Evening walk Free to all


    Harold & Odell Country Park 

    meet at 7 pm in the car park MK43 7DS


    Suitable for Experts and Novices…

    • 13 May 2019
  • Late arrival of the spotted flycatchers

    We are hoping that the spotted flycatchers will be seen here this week. Although they are the generally the last summer migrant to arrive in the UK, they are normally on the reserve around the 7th-10 May, so are later this year. There was a report a couple of weeks ago, but this was exceptionally early and there were no further sightings after this.

    Hobby's have been seen on occasions, but not on a regular basis yet. Th…

    • 13 May 2019
  • Optics at The Lodge

    Pop along to The Lodge shop on Bank Holiday Monday to see and try out before you buy the latest in optics

    • 5 May 2019
  • Dawn Chorus Sunday 5 May Fully Booked

    The Lodge Dawn Chorus- fully booked!
    Sorry, there are no more spaces left on our Dawn Chorus this Sunday.

    • 2 May 2019
  • Notice of delay to opening of Wild Play trail

    The Lodge Wild Play trail notice

    We are very sorry, but the new trail that we advertised as opening ready for the May Bank Holiday weekend, as part of the Greensand Country festival has been delayed and will not now be open until later in the season.
    We are very disapointed ourselves as we were so looking forward to having the trail ready for our family visitors. We will of course let you know as soon as we have a new…

    • 2 May 2019
  • The first cuckoo!

    Yesterday a cuckoo was calling, heard from the visitor car park This is the first date for one on the reserve this year, although there was a bird calling near the southern boundary on Saturday. There was also a report of a lesser whitethroat around the new heath.

    We are still waiting for the first hobby to be reported....

    • 24 Apr 2019
  • Hitchin & Letchworth RSPB Local Group Martin Johnson on ‘The Search for the Bengal Tiger’

    Hitchin & Letchworth RSPB Local Group have a talk by Martin Johnson on ‘The Search for the Bengal Tiger’ on Friday May 3rd. Martin will tell us about his search for this rare mammal, and also about the other wildlife he saw in India. At The Settlement, Letchworth SG6 4UB, visitors very welcome, £3.

    Then on Sunday May 19th we have an all day coach trip to Frensham Common and Ponds. This beautiful…

    • 23 Apr 2019