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Minsmere
Explore, discover and enjoy nature at Minsmere. There's always something exciting to inspire a return visit to Suffolk's natural treasure.
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  • Blog Post: A gorgeous morning

    I don't get the chance to lead guided walks very often, so when John Grant asked me to return a favour and stand in for him leading today's walk, I didn't need much persuading. It was, therefore, with great frustration that I opened the curtains this morning to see a thick cloaking everything...
  • Blog Post: Ewe'll-tide greetings from Minsmere

    Working at Minsmere, you come to expect the unexpected. Even so, it's not everyday that I look out of the office window to see a flock of sheep staring back at me! That's exactly what happened this morning though. The wardens were moving the sheep from the Chapel Field to new grazing areas on...
  • Blog Post: London buses

    Just like the proverbial London bus, good birds often come along together. Earlier today, one of our volunteers reported six spoonbills flying over the reedbed towards Island Mere. Seconds later, the radios crackled into life again as Paul spotted an osprey heading in the same direction. Now, osprey...
  • Blog Post: ducks galore

    After the excitement of New Year, the pace of the birding has slowed a little at Minsmere recently, but there's still loads to be seen. Ducks are everywhere, especially wigeons and teals , but the smews continue to steal the show. Up to nine birds have been present over the last week, including...
  • Blog Post: Early November sightings update

    Apologies for the lack of a recent sightings update. It's not that there hasn't been much happening. Far from it. We've actually had a really busy couple of weeks for birds. I'll try to summarise the highlights for you. Skuas have featured heavily for those keen enough to try a bit...
  • Blog Post: Celebrate Spring

    Why not join us next weekend (7/8 May) for our annual Spring Celebration. This event usually coincides with Minsmere's birthday (24 April), but to avoid Easter and the royal wedding weekend we've moved it back two weeks this year. To celebrate Minsmere in spring, we'll have wardens...
  • Blog Post: Choose Suffolk

    Eight years ago when I started work at Minsmere, I chose Suffolk. Every year, thousands of birds choose Suffolk. Whether they live here or visit only once, millions of people choose Suffolk. This morning, I joined several tourism colleagues from around the Waveney area and beyond at a workshop about...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere's Springwatch

    Have you been watching Springwatch on the BBC? It was heartbreaking to see those dead lapwing and osprey chicks yesterday after Friday's massive storm, but I was so pleased to see the goldcrest nest has survived - and as for those treecreepers ! After April's flooding at Minsmere, we know how...
  • Blog Post: A happy ending

    The saga of the nightingale nest had a happy ending over the weekend, as the brood successfully fledged on Sunday. At least one chick was subsequently found - a great reward for the efforts of the parents, and our volunteers who spared several hours helping to reduce disturbance and allowing the adults...
  • Blog Post: Artist in residence

    Go on, admit it, you've always wanted to own a superb wildlife painting or print. Perhaps you already do. Maybe you even paint yourself - I wish I had the time and talent. This weekend there's a great opportunity to meet one of the experts and receive a few trips for how to take up wildlife...
  • Blog Post: Still wild and free

    More than one year after she escaped from Marwell Zoo, and almost ten months after her visit to Minsmere, Fiona the wandering greater flamingo returned to the Scrape for at least her fifth visit on Tuesday. After so long in the wild, without access to food supplements to enhance her colour, she's...
  • Blog Post: What's a little rain to a few birds?

    It's another damp, dreary day here in Suffolk. What the Irish would call a "soft" day. Or the Scots might call "dreach." I hate having to sit in the office with the lights on during the day, but without them I'd struggle to see my desk. It's that gloomy. At least the rain...
  • Blog Post: A natural kaleidoscope

    Midsummer may be a quiet time for birding, but it's far from a dull time at Minsmere. There's just so much to see. With today's wind, many of the insects were seaking shelter on bramble bushes in woodland rides, simply resting in a sunny spot or feeding on the bramble flowers. Some bushes...
  • Blog Post: how about marsh mallows then

    Ok - so perhaps there may be a food theme developing with the titles. Stick with me and I'll explain more. Do you enjoy eating marsh mallows, perhaps toasted over an open fire or on the BBQ? I guess lots of you will having one of the latter this weekend, though probably not the former! If so,...
  • Blog Post: buzzing, flitting, flapping and chattering

    Thursday's family day was a great success. About 100 children enjoyed taking part in a range of activities, and from the people I spoke to I know that amny of the parents learned something too. That's the plan - it is a family event afterall and there's always something to learn as far as...
  • Blog Post: Spring celebration

    To help us to celebrate Minsmere's 65th birthday (see Adam's guest blog earlier today), we're holding our annual Spring Celebration this weekend. This event is a great opportunity to see some of Minsmere's special wildlife and learn from our wardens and volunteers. We'll be at...
  • Blog Post: raptor rapture

    Birds of prey never cease to delight me, and they are clearly popular with many of visitors too if the amount of enquiries about where to see marsh harriers are anything to go by. Luckily, Minsmere remains one of the best places to see marsh harriers - so much so that we sometimes forget how rare these...
  • Blog Post: A good start to the year

    Last year finished with second highest bird list ever at Minsmere - an impressive 238 species. This year has started in a similar vien, with 101 species recorded on 1 January alone. Here's a few of the highlights from the first week or so of 2012. Several hundred red-throated divers and great...
  • Blog Post: Spring rarities drop in

    Just a quick post to update you with some recent bird highlights. Star bird at the moment is a Purple Heron. This bird was first seen yesterday over the reedbed from Bittern hide and is still present today. Patience is usually required with this species as the behaviour can be more Bittern than heron...
  • Blog Post: A great weekend

    We had another great weekend at Minsmere. Our staff and volunteers spoke to many visitors, helping them to spot our special species and make the visit more enjoyable. It was great to see so many families, especially on Saturday when the weather was superb. Sunday remained dull and dreary, with the forecast...
  • Blog Post: Giving nature a home at Minsmere

    Have you seen our new logo? This week the RSPB launched our exciting new campaign, with the title Giving Nature a Home. If you check out the new pages on our website you'll find all sorts of ideas about how you can help give nature a home. Perhaps you're able to put up a new nestbox or dig a...
  • Blog Post: One for sorrow, two for joy

    Ever been on lunch time potter and had it turn into a once in a lfietime experience? I think I've lost count of how often that happens here at Minsmere, and today was definitely one of the more memorable. Having heard my first whitethroat and garden warbler of the year on the way into the office...
  • Blog Post: Settling in or moving on?

    Mid June is a strange time of year for watching birds. With so many species actively feeding young, many birds are settled, making it fairly predictable which species you'll see on any given visit. Yet other birds are on the move. The last of the northbound wading birds have been moving through Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: Travellers from afar - and Norfolk!

    There's been a world cup feel to Minsmere over the last few days, as three species from three different continents have attracted most attention. The continents: Africa, Arctic Europe and South America. The species: nightingale, spotted redshank and Chilean flamingo. The reasons for a visit: to breed...
  • Blog Post: What no football?

    I was asked a question today that was perhaps only part in jest: "Where's the big screen on the Scrape?" The reply from one of our volunteers was "how many birds watch football?" My reply to that, looking at huge picture of a robin in the reception area was "Robinho for one...