Friday, 27 April 2007

Bird news

Friday, 27th April
  • Blackcap and Garden Warbler both singing at lunchtime from bramble/sycamore at edge of meadow, while a silent Common Whitethroat made a surprise appearance in the same sycamore – presumably passing through (IKD, DFD)
  • Cuckoos heard from Sandy Heath tree nursery & Sandy Warren (RSPB clear-fell area) this morning (Neil Renwick)
Thursday, 26th April
  • A hatching of Four-Spot Chasers at the pond outside The Lodge canteen today. At least 3 adults on the wing & at least 4 more in various stages of emergence plus another couple of exuviae. (Nigel Willits)
  • 12.30 pm - Cuckoo calling from top of tall willow beyond S boundary of reserve. 12.45 pm - Grass snake in the woods near the path between the garden steps and the heath. It was about 70 cm long with a prominent yellow collar (Simon Marsh)
  • A cuckoo from my window just before 12 - flying low north over the avocet car park - a window/desk first for me! (Mark Ward)
  • Had a cuckoo flying over the reprographics portacabin and on over Transport calling at it went this morning at around 9.15 (Sally Webber)
  • Pair of mistle thrushes with at least 2 fledged youngsters on the Meadow late morning (Neil Renwick)
Wednesday, 25th April
  • Emperor moth on the wall at the rear of the Gatehouse all day (Guy Anderson, Abi Bunker, Gareth Fisher).
  • 1 Hobby over the old quarry at 11:00.
  • 2 Nightingales singing on the old railway line south of the reserve at lunchtime (Guy Anderson)
Tuesday, 24th April
  • Swallow along Stratford Road at lunch-time (Chris Magin)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Bird news

Wednesday, 25th April
  • Cuckoo calling at bottom of heath (Lynn Giddings)
  • Nightingale, Cuckoo, garden & willow warblers, blackcaps & chiffies - a lunchtime symphony along the path to Biggleswade Common; also stoat, muntjac & speckled wood. (Nigel Willits)
  • Lunchtime - Nightingale singing intermittently in the bushes between the reserve and Biggleswade Common. Cuckoo calling nearby at the same time. (Carl Simms)
  • Quite a productive lunchtime walk today - big grass snake in the Azalea Walk, male muntjac, singing nightingale and several blackcaps near the brook, green woodpecker feeding in grass by the railway line, cuckoo in full view by the long pond near the railway line, large stoat running up the paddock with the brown sheep in it, and buzzard soaring at the east end of the heath (Peter Newbery)
  • Heron spotted flying quite low over the house in the direction of the swimming pool (don't know if it landed) at 0845 (Julie Sutton)
Tuesday, 24th April
  • Pair of Swallows over quarry; Pale Oak Beauty & Brimstone moth on Osprey walls. (Nigel Willits)
Monday, 23rd April
  • Cuckoo flying over the fuel depot on Potton Road towards the Lodge, 17:25. (Phil Burfield)
  • Cockchafer & 2 Lesser Swallow Prominents in Osprey porch. (Nigel Willits)
Sunday, 22nd April
  • Biked up to the Lodge very early Sunday morning. The Nightingale between the Common and the Lodge gate was singing and showing very well close to the path. Thought I heard another respond further along the wood (Steve Rooke)
Saturday, 21st April
  • During the morning we saw 2 common buzzards over the main building, and then at lunch I saw 2 flying north very high and a third hunting beyond the clearing, i.e. at least 3 including 2 migrants, and possibly 5.
  • Wheatear in the quarry, cuckoo along southern boundary of The Lodge heath (Neil Renwick)
Friday, 20th April
  • Morning survey in Sandy Heath Quarry - a common whitethroat, and a flock of 20 lesser redpolls heading north (Neil Renwick)
Thursday, 19th April
  • 9 House Martins over the Osprey Building at 5.30. (Martin Davies)8 House Martins over the new car park @ 17:20, but no sign of Pied Fly between the heath and Biggleswade Common from 17:30-18:05 (and more annoyingly, I didn't see the Ring Ouzel that Nigel Willits saw just after I'd left!). (Jamie Wells)
  • Ring Ouzel east of path to Biggleswade Common; Small Copper east of garden. (Nigel Willits)
Wednesday, 18th April
  • Teneral Large Red Damselfly & Speckled Wood on path to Biggleswade Common. (Nigel Willits)

Tuesday, 24 April 2007


In early this morning and a pair of Grey-lag Geese flew over the hosue - window tick number 46!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Bird news

Thursday, 19th April
  • Male Orange Tip outside library window in afternoon (IKD)
  • Woodlark again singing and feeding in cleared area opposite the Gatehouse, early afternoon (Tony Morris)
  • A hobby passed high going North over Biggleswade common at lunch time today and two cuckoos nearby (Dave Agombar)
  • I heard a cuckoo and had a male pied flycatcher just before the brook before the Common in oaks right next to the path (12.45). (Richard Winspear)
  • Pied Fly not seen subsequently despite being looked for.
  • Newly emerged Large Red Damselfly found dead by swimming pool in morning (Phil Burfield). And a couple flying in gardens at lunchtime. (IKD, DFD)
Wednesday, 18th April
  • I'm delighted to be able to tell you that the woodlark is still out there! I heard two snatches of song at 4.20pm today, northern end of Sandy Warren (same area as previously). (Peter Bradley)
Tuesday, 17th April
  • House Martin over the stable block, early afternoon (Jamie Wells)
  • Three common lizards in close proximity on the heath Tues lunchtime (Julie Sutton, Lisa Palframan, Carl Simms)
  • At lunchtime today, 4 Buzzards together, high over track just off the heath and another bird circling further to the east. Also a few Swallows passing over Biggleswade Common, heading north towards the reserve. No sight or sound of the Nightingale heard earlier in the day between Biggleswade Common and the heath though (Jamie Wells)
  • 6 Buzzards displaying, talon grappling and stooping over the Lodge at 12.45, drifting gradually south (Martin Fowlie; Simon Marsh; Lynn Giddings)
  • Highlights of my wander around The Lodge this morning:
  • Nightingale, 1 singing intermittently from the west of the footpath between the reserve and Biggleswade Common
  • Cuckoo, 1 singing from the birches east of that path
  • Also many Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers singing in various parts of the reserve and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming. (Katie Fuller)
Monday, 16th April
  • An early Swift low over main house at 1715 (DFD)
  • Common Lizard sunning itself on the heath. Speckled Wood and a huge queen Hornet in the bluebell wood east of gardens (IKD, DFD)
  • Garden Warbler calling & seen briefly in rhododendron scrub behind hide. Chiffchaff & Blackcap singing in same area & also behind gardens. (Nigel Willits)
Sunday, 15th April
  • Male wheatear among molehills on the Meadow, at the front of The Lodge Sunday morning (Neil Renwick)
  • Peregrine seen by Steve Rooke on Sunday morning, as the mist was clearing (per Neil Renwick)
Friday, 13th April
  • Pair of mandarins took flight from under the footbridge onto Biggleswade Common, 19:00, and headed in the direction of Potton. (Phil Burfield)
  • Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Blackcap singing in woods by old railway. (Nigel Willits)

Friday, 13 April 2007

Bird news

Friday, 13th April
  • 3 sand martins migrating north from my window early am - just 3 days later than last spring's window first.
  • Also the occasional buzzard this week, but as expected activity/appearances now much reduced.
  • A pair of goldfinches visited the webcam feeder briefly this morning (a pair appeared at the same time last year) - some compensation for the complete absence of siskins this winter. (Mark Ward)
  • Great spotted woodpecker also on the webcam feeder today (not a regular visitor at present) with its mate calling nearby at the same time. (Ellen Collier and Katie Fuller)
  • A cuckoo called twice at 10:37 from somewhere around the north western part of the reserve. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • The Woodlark was seen about 10:45 flying and calling over the existing heath. It then flew over the wood towards the Lodge. Also, cuckoo calling all morning off the reserve towards Biggleswade common (Graeme Lyons)
  • I had the woodlark this morning, singing at the northern end of Sandy Warren at about 9.45am, where it was originally discovered (Peter Bradley)
Thursday, 12th April
  • 2 Speckled Woods on Cherry Laurel in wood to east of gardens at lunchtime (Lynn Giddings)
  • Orange-tip at the gatehouse at lunchtime, Willow Warbler singing close to the pylon ride along the southern edge of the reserve at 7:30 am (Guy Anderson)
Wednesday, 11th April
  • Marvellous views of the woodlark in song - perched and from ground - and feeding between 1830-1845hrs this evening. A much sought after, searched for (and overdue!) Lodge tick. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Nigel Willits)
  • 5 buzzards catching thermals over the meadow and over towards sandy warren, at least 2 blackcaps singing just outside the garden gate, joined by a chiffchaff, speckled wood basking in the sun amidst the bluebells and a pair of goldfinch in the largest fir tree outside personnel. (Ian Hayward)
Tuesday, 10th April
  • Blackcap in song in his usual / perennial rhododendron behind the hide (Andrew Hay)
  • Woodlark at lunchtime in the middle of the wide open area in front of the house - not that far from the path that runs along there. It flew up into a big pine tree. (Phil Young)
  • Sand martin repeatedly investigating the face of the quarry (Rob Hume)
  • A large number of feathers scattered under the cedar by HR dept. More feathers discovered nearby on Thursday - now thought to be juvenile mistle thrush, although some of those found may be from different species. Could be raptor plucking site (Conor Jameson)
  • My first Lodge swallow of the year through north over the Plateau at 0845hrs this morning. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Bird news

Thursday, 5th April
  • First grass snake of the year, a tiddler on the bracken slopes near Jacks pond. Lots of newt activity in the pond and a common lizard further up the path. 4 brimstones and 2 peacocks passing over the heath and woodland and first thing this morning and yesterday a chiffchaff was singing from the sweet chestnut tree just outside the gardens (Ian Hayward)
  • White Wagtail (probably a male) consorting with a Pied Wagtail on the grassy area immediately in front of the house at around 1.45pm (by the gravel drive) - I briefly saw what was almost certainly the same bird yesterday (Ben Stafford)
  • Great spotted woodpecker excavating a hole just off the path leading down from the quarry. Two others in close attendance leading to one almighty and quite violent bust up (Carl Simms)
Tuesday, 3rd April
  • Male Wheatear in the borage field near Sandy Heath Quarry this morning (Mark Gurney)
  • Shamelessly twitched Mr Gurney's wheatear in the borage field at lunchtime today - and deservedly dipped - but still quite a lot of birds around: 47 skylark, 20 or so chaffinch, still 20 fieldfare, 30 redwing and a pair of linnets feeding under the ridge. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Jamie Wells)
Monday, 2nd April
  • A pair of shelduck on the meadow was something of a surprise this morning. (Darren Oakley-Martin, Steve Blain, Katie Fuller, Mark Ward et al).
  • A chiffchaff in song at the southern end of the garden was presumably new in over the weekend (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • No sign of the shelduck during my morning break, but a pair of sparrowhawks (1m, 1f) and two common buzzards soared over the meadow. A demented sand martin headed purposefully over north west, and a pied wagtail was intermittently flycatching and singing on the meadow. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • 20 fieldfare on Sandy Ridge at lunchtime today, and meadow pipit passage continued with a trickle of birds over north. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Katie Fuller)
  • Mistle thrush carrying food to the nest by Osprey building this afternoon with another in song nearby. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Sadly, we found a dead queen red-tailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius in Sandy Quarry this evening. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Katie Fuller)
  • Chiffchaff singing just beyond the garden at 11am, red admiral and comma in gardens (Ian Hayward)
Sunday, 1st April
  • Pair of Shelducks displaying on meadow at 0800. (Maggie Lamberton)

Monday, 2 April 2007


Darren was alerted to these two shelducks on the meadow in front of the house on Monday morning- looking for a nice rabbit burrow, perhaps? First seen by Maggie Lamberton on Sunday morning, they represent only the fourth site record, and the first since 1983!