Monday, 24 October 2011

Black Redstart

Yesterday was Feed the Birds Day at The Lodge, so several staff members were on site, including Tony Payne, here with his family. Thankfully, he had bins with him, which allowed him to find a Black Redstart bouncing around on the roof of the Avocet Building (where, incidentally, I work). He beat Bash to it by seconds, so BX remains a glaring hole in the latter's self-found Bedfordshire list. I believe Steve has photographic evidence.


Thursday, 12 July 2007

Bird news

Thursday, 12th July
  • 4, maybe 5 moorhen chicks around the pond and lawn and an armful of goldcrests bathing in the long pond and fountain behind personnel. (Ian Hayward)
  • Small Red-eyed Damsel again at east end of swimming pool (IKD, DFD)
Tuesday, 10th July
  • Two grass snakes devouring a frog by the path leading down to Biggleswade Common from the drive - lunchtime, reported by two of my colleagues in Membership. (per Muriel Flack)
  • At least four Small Red-eyed Damselflies are out today in the gardens at the Lodge. They are favouring the lily pads at the eastern end of the swimming pool. (Steve Blain)
  • 2 Small Red-eyes at the fish pool & a Gatekeeper across the lawn. Plenty of Meadow Brown & Speckled Wood along the Plateau path. (Nigel Willits)
Monday, 9th July
  • I have just seen a bat, no idea what species but it looked bigger than a pipistrelle, flying around the stable block by the drive, it kept going up to an open window on the first floor then wheeled round and headed towards the main house. This was at 3.50pm, it was sunny and a storm was approaching (Ian Hayward)
  • Baby vole just off the path on the meadow not far from the hide - approx.1.40pm. (Kirstie Norton, Muriel Flack)
  • Southern Hawker at the Deli bar (after the Italian Tuna Special perhaps); Azure & Large Red damsels on the bog-bean pool; very aggressive male Emperor patrolling the fish pond, having a go at 4-spot Chaser, Brown Hawker & a female Emperor; also Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tail & Red-eye damsels on the fish pond but no sign of Small Red-eye yet (Nigel Willits)
  • 2 Brown Hawkers on bracken above Jack's Pond at 12.30 today (Martin Fowlie)
  • 5 moorhen chicks on the swimming pool at 0915 (Debra Dawson)
Friday, 6th July
  • 4 moorhen chicks on the pond in front of the House, late afternoon (Claire Farrar)

Friday, 6 July 2007

Bird news

Friday, 6th July
  • 4 Common Darter, 6+ Red Admiral, 1 Southern Hawker - east of garden & along bridleway. (Nigel Willits)
  • Small numbers of sand martins outside my window for the last couple of days - post-breeding dispersal time already it would seem! (Mark Ward)
Thursday, 5th July
  • Female Emperor ovipositing on fish pond plus 2 pairs of Red-eyed Damsels in cop. Muntjac hind east of garden. (Nigel Willits)
Wednesday, 4th July
  • Southern Hawker emergence at Jack's Pond - 2 tenerals still drying plus another empty exuvia; also 4 Banded Demoiselles (2m/2f) & a Green-veined White. Several Meadow Browns east of the garden. (Nigel Willits)
  • Moorhen chick scuttling into vegetation on the eastern island of the swimming pool at lunch, adult Spotted Flycatcher again showing well in birches west of the hide, 2 red admirals enjoying a break in the gloom and nectaring on brambles and a male emperor on the swimming pool.(Mark Ward, Lucinda King, Katie Fuller and Elizabeth Allen)
Tuesday, 3rd July
  • Baby muntjac just outside our window (Mark Ward)
  • Hummingbird hawk moth still on the valerian outside the canteen today (Mark Ward)
  • A stoat ran across the drive in front of me between the two felled areas just north of the cattle grid (second one I've seen on the drive in about three weeks). (Gareth Fisher)
Wednesday, 27th June
  • 2 Southern Hawkers & a female Banded Demoiselle at Jack's Pond before the rain set in (Nigel Willits)
Monday, 25th June
  • 8.30 am: A large flock of mistle thrushes in the Sandy Ridge field, probably numbering about 30 birds (they were always on the move so a bit tricky to count). (Katie Fuller)

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Insect news

There aren't many birds to be had at The Lodge at the moment, so here's a male Banded Demoiselle, photographed on Jack's Pond at lunchtime.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 15th June
  • One spotted flycatcher still singing in the big pine at the south end of avocet today and another showing nicely (and also singing) in birches south-west of the hide at lunch today, with three emperors still around the pond (Mark Ward and Lucinda King)
  • Two spotted flycatchers still very vocal around the lawn this morning (Mark Ward)
Thursday, 14th June
  • 4 emperor dragonflies (2 males, 2 females) still showing nicely at the swimming pool at lunchtime. Also spotted flycatcher calling in trees by the memorial garden. (Mark Ward)
  • Spotted flycatcher audible through my open window this morning. Followed up with a sighting of the bird in a pine at the south end of avocet with another calling further east down the garden.
  • I've now seen and/or heard spotted flycatchers on territory at four different locations at The Lodge this year - so 4 potential pairs (minimum), as each involved singing birds.
  • Also juvenile great tit on the webcam feeder today - our first of the year - and red admiral outside. (Mark Ward)
Wednesday, 13th June
  • Spotted Flycatcher in woods east of garden; large red & azure damsels on bog-bean pool (Nigel Willits)
  • Buzzard in playful, lighthearted display outside my window. (Mark Ward)
Tuesday, 12th June
  • Meadow Brown behind yew-tree car-park; male & ovipositing female Emperor Dragon on fish pond, plus 4-spot Chasers, Red-eyed & Common Blue damsels (Nigel Willits)
  • 4 emperor dragonflies at the swimming pool and a brood of very recently fledged blackcaps (they could barely fly) on the edge of Biggleswade Common during an unsuccessful clearwing luring session. (Mark Ward)
Monday, 11th June
  • Spotted flycatcher south of the hide at lunchtime today. (Mark Ward)
  • Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow & Garden Warblers between reserve & Biggleswade Common. (Nigel Willits)
  • Freshly-emerged black-tailed skimmer outside the canteen and 2 male large red damsels (plus single painted lady and red admiral nearby) on the small ponds at the back of and west of the house.
  • A pair of starlings are regulars on the web team feeder again at present. (Mark Ward)
Friday, 8th June
  • 1 or 2 Painted Ladies on the slope above Jack's Pond mid-afternoon; single male Emperors patrolling both fish pond & plantation pond, also several 4-spot Chasers, Common Blue & Red-eyed Damsels. Green Tiger beetles actively hunting on the heath. (Nigel Willits)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 8th June
  • Just had a turtle dove purring first and then seen on the ground on the heath side of the boundary wall, west of Jacks pond (Ian Hayward)
  • White-legged Damselfly in main border at lunchtime, posing very co-operatively for his photo (IKD, DFD)
  • Grey wagtail around the swimming pool - slightly unexpected date? (Rob Hume)
Thursday, 7th June
  • Buzzard from my window (they're keeping a very low profile at present so first sighting for a while) and a pair of starlings on the web team feeder occasionally this week. (Mark Ward)
Tuesday, 5th June
  • A painted lady by the old railway line at lunchtime today was my first in the UK this year. A garden warbler singing, tail-wagging and wing-shivering in full view nearby (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Some smooth newts have returned to the hide pond - no doubt feasting on Natterjack tadpoles. Also at least 3 male Black-tailed Skimmers, one in aerial copulation with a female. In the gardens, a male Emperor dragonfly & several 4-spots, plus Large Red, Red-eyed, Azure & Common Blue Damsels. (Nigel Willits)
Monday, 4th June
  • Barn owl hunting along the eastern edge of Biggleswade Common at 13:00 today was the highlight of my lunchtime stroll (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Crossbill(s) heard over back lawn @1250 (Chris Bowden)
  • A cuckoo was babbling over the heath in the morning while I counted the sheep, with a great spotted woodpecker drumming nearby (Katie Fuller)
Friday, 1st June
  • Hobby over avocet carpark at 5:15 this evening (Darren Oakley-Martin/ Katie Fuller/ Andy Hay)
Thursday, 31st May
  • Hobby and buzzard twice over House garden 31st May, and more belatedly a pair of mandarin ducks on the fishpond one evening last week (Mike Clarke)

Friday, 1 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 1st June
  • Male emperor patrolling the swimming pool at lunchtime today. Also 3 four-spotted chasers, 3 large red damsels (one pair in tandem) and several red-eyed damsels (Mark Ward and Lucinda King)
  • A family of four stoats set off across the meadow at the bottom of the reserve on a hunting party. They ran along the fence line and three green woodpeckers sitting on consecutive fenceposts watched their progress. Curiosity got the better of one bird and it landed on the ground to get a better look. One of the stoats ran up to it, whereupon it lifted off. A couple of minutes later, after chasing a rabbit in vain, one of the stoats ran back towards us, through the brambles and raced past only fifteen feet away from us into the reserve. (Sarah & Derek Niemann, joined by runners Martin Harper and Sacha Cleminson)
  • Spotted flycatcher singing strongly from traditional spot in the big limes behind Transport Thursday and Friday. (Mark Ward)
Thursday, 31st May
  • Red Admiral & a couple of Common Blue Damsels on the wing in the garden between showers (Nigel Willits)
Wednesday, 30th May
  • Noisy brood of great spotted woodpeckers calling from nest hole by path below the garden Wednesday lunchtime with a family of treecreepers in the same area. (Mark Ward, Ellen Collier, Katie Fuller, Lucinda King)
  • c.60 swifts east over the plateau between 13:00-13:20. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Single shelduck over the quarry at 10:50. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Spotted Flycatcher in ornamental crab apple outside library @0945 (IKD)