Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 13 September 2009


That’s what they call the Lodge; the headquarters of the RSPB, and it’s at Sandy, Bedfordshire.

I’ve been a few times now, every couple of months when I can. I never see loads of different birds when I go, the most in one day was 24; and the total for all visits, a whopping 40! But I always enjoy the visits, even when the wallet doesn’t.
That’s usually emptied fairly quickly in the shop. This time, a couple of bird DVD’s, and a book on waders. I’ll nail the ID on these buggers even if I go broke in the process!

I parked up early, and made my way to the feeders outside the shop, just in time to catch a glimpse of a Treecreeper, as he made his way round the other side of a large tree. Oh well; always the Tits and Finches on the feeders.
Not exactly on the feeders. He looked like he’d just fell out of the nest. A very young Greenfinch, tentatively taking what spilt seed he could, from the ground.
I walked down to the only hide on the reserve, which overlooks a concrete puddle, with a few feeders behind. Squirrels and rabbits enjoy the spilt leftovers, along with the occasional Pheasant and Crow. It’s never too long a wait for this chap to turn up either,
a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The old trunk makes a perfect perch for all manner of visitors. A handsome Jay was hiding behind some tall grass, playing havoc with the auto focus on the camera.

Yea, fit for the bin! lol
I made my way to the garden, to see what was about round there.
There’s usually something of interest, and the warming sun was arousing a few damsels and dragons as they made their way round the flowers and pond.The flower borders were looking as good as ever, and these tall yellow ones, (don’t know the name), looked very inviting, backlit by the sun.

I took far too many really, but it’s good to experiment shooting into the sun.

Over on the pond, there’s much excitement at the Lodge. A pair of Moorhens have recently raised some chicks. I counted three, very small and shy youngsters hiding in the plants.

Good reason to be shy, because frequenting the garden at the moment, and steadily clearing it of small birds, is this fellow.

A Sparrowhawk. He soon spotted me before I could take many pictures, and quickly left. I’m sure the other birds all breathed a sigh of relief at that moment.

From the garden, a couple of trails take you round the ‘Quarry’, or through the heath. I decided on the heath. And it looked splendid with the Heather in flower.
A couple more weeks, and it’ll look even better I reckon. The resident Manx Loghtan sheep were enjoying the sun, under a little shade from one of the trees,

and there seemed to be dragons flying everywhere.

A job to see them when they settled. This Common Darter blending in very well on the ground.

I carried on along the sandy path, flanked by Heather,

and came to a new trail, recently opened. This makes a steady climb up, through some Birch trees, before opening up onto grassland, and then back down towards the shop.
A few Small Coppers were flying in the warm air, occasionally settling long enough for a picture.

One large area of grass positively sparkled in the sunlight, with a great mass of tiny pink flowers.

I think they are Common Storksbill,

and very nice they looked too.
By now, the shop was calling for my money, so after a long browse, and my purchases, I made my way home.
Always a pleasure visiting there, and today was no exception.


  1. Yes its a good place to visit Keith and there is usually something of interest with a bit of luck.

  2. Another excellent piece, Keith. Beautiful pictures and writing.

  3. Looks like another interesting place to visit.
    I've had a few young Greenfinches and Chaffinches looking like the little chap in the second photo. They look so bewildered and helpless but seem to mature very rapidly.
    Love the photo of the Woodpecker.

  4. Thanks Roy. They have quite a few interesting birds turn up from time to time, although I usually miss them. lol
    I did manage to catch the Waxwings though back in November.

    Thank you Emma. :)

    Thanks John. That little Greenfinch looked so lost, but yea, they soon grow up.

  5. ...a gorgeous building and lovely grounds. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. I especially like the photo of the woodpecker...and the cute little robin in the previous post is beautiful as well.

  6. Oh what a heavenly visit!! I could just wander around there for hours!! Amazing shots as always..the butterfly..stunning!!!
    Hugs, Sarah

  7. Thanks Keith :)

    Thanks Kelly. The gardens are quite stunning at various times of the year.

    Thanks Sarah. I do tend to spend a few hours there myself when I visit.

  8. Sounds like you had a good time and thanks for telling us what you bought 'cause I would have had to ask if you hadn't ;)

    I loved the Woodpecker photo and the flower backlit by the sun is beautiful.

  9. Thanks ShySongbird. It's always a good visit there; and the shop lol

  10. Triffic pics again Keith. I have often heard mention of 'The Lodge' but never known what it's like - a fascinating building. Are those square apertures in the gable end under the clock tower for doves, I wonder?

  11. Great shot of the grass and jay. I really like how he is the back drop not the grasses.
    Beautiful back lit yellow flower. It seems to be holding onto the warmth of summer's last few weeks. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  12. Thanks Rob. I'm not sure to be honest. I've never noticed doves around the building when I've been, but plenty of Jackdaws congregate around the chimney stacks.

    Thank you Andrea. The yellow flowers seemed to shine in the sunlight.

  13. Great selection and I enjoyed your visit to The Lodge; someone I've never visited! Above all, I do like your backlit flower - I imagine you were flat on your back to take that one ;)

  14. What a wonderful blog you have here. The Small Copper photograph is great: one of my favourite butterflies!

  15. Thanks Tricia. It's well worth a visit, but the parking charge is a bit steep for non members; £4 lol
    Usually something of interest there though.

    Anna, thanks for stopping by, following, and your kind comment.

  16. Oh, that little fluffed up bird, the very first photo - he is so cute!

    What a beautiful place...and you have such fabulous photos! Birds move so quickly, yet you always have such crisp shots, and they fill the frame too! I love it!

  17. Thanks for your comment Jen.
    The birds can be challenging at times lol

  18. Hi,
    This is a very long and fantastic post. There are even too many good shots to select one. I love them all! I'm happy Ian decided to put us together on a blog... Then I could discover your blog in a better way!

  19. Thank you Chris, appreciate your comment. :)