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Minsmere

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: Suffolk's Only Island

    This Saturday the Minsmere Wildlife Explorers set off for Suffolk’s only island. Two boats of eager explorers departed Orford quay and crossed the choppy waters to the stunning Havergate Island. We were lucky that the sun was out and the warm September weather had remained even if it was a little...
  • Blog Post: Back to reality - whatever that is!

    Wow, what a week! Last week was rather busy here at Minsmere, with the combination of (mostly) good weather, lots of families enjoying our various holiday activities, and the bizarre sighting of a blue chicken (aka purple swamphen) that drew in the crowds. The swamphen remained all week, and was...
  • Blog Post: A week of interesting finds

    As I mentioned in my last blog, there's always something interesting to see at Minsmere, and the last week has been filled with one slightly unexpected find after another, incuding several found on our family activities. The excitement began late morning on Sunday when Peter, one of our volunteer...
  • Blog Post: There's so much to see...

    One comment we hear regularly from visitors in mid July is "it's quiet". Indeed it is, in the sense that most birds have stopped singing and the reserve can be eerily silent at times. But in terms of things to see, it's from from quiet, though you may have to change your focus a little...
  • Blog Post: Time for a lie down

    I timed my walk around the Coast Trail perfectly this afternoon, dodging the showers and spotting some fantastic wildlife. Towards the end of my walk it all got a too much for me and I had to lie down. Well, actually there was a really good reason for lying down in the dunes - and it wasn't for a...
  • Blog Post: Nothing beats variety for a good day out

    For the first time in a couple of weeks I took the opportunity to explore the Coast Trail this afternoon. I had a few target species in mind, but as is often the case I failed to see some of them, instead enjoying good views of a few other goodies. My first target was to see our bee-wolfs for the...
  • Blog Post: A Mediterranean summer

    OK, so it may be not be Mediterranean weather, but with Glastonbury just finished and Wimbledon underway, what more do you expect? But there is certainly a Mediterranean feel to Minsmere right now as large flocks of Mediterranean gulls are gathering on the Scrape. Numbers fluctuate during the day, and...
  • Blog Post: A catalogue of birds

    As the BBC Springwatch team were leaving on Sunday, Minsmere played host to another exciting event in partnership with Aldeburgh Music and BBC Radio Three. As part of the annual Aldeburgh Festival, Aldeburgh Music hosted a series of events around Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux. Starting with...
  • Blog Post: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and dragonflies)

    As Springwatch draws to a close for another year, the wildlife can once again return to centre stage at Minsmere, and many species are already vying to steal the limelight. Bitterns in particular have been very popular, with one male continuing to parade around in front of Bittern Hide, even booming...
  • Blog Post: Shades of pink and purple with spots

    Have you been keeping up with the excitement from week one of Springwatch? There are so many stories unfolding, with drama at every turn. Will the stone-curlew egg hatch? How will the single parent blue tit fare? Did the sparrowhawks catch the female swallow? How will the avocet on the Scrape get on...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch 2016: we're ready, are you?

    It hardly seems a year since the BBC Springwatch team rolled out of Minsmere after another exciting series, in which a 5 cm long stickleback stole the show and won people's hearts. A year on, and the BBC production village is complete, the set has been re-dressed, and the everything is gearing...
  • Blog Post: A close encounter to remember

    Working at Minsmere has many benefits, not least the regular close contact with nature that I can experience on a lunchtime stroll. Even simply listening to singing chaffinches or looking at the flowing hawthorn is enough to remind me what a wonderful job I have. But every so often at Minsmere we...
  • Blog Post: Spring scents and sounds

    On arrival at Minsmere this morning I was greeted to a veritable feast of birdsong - nightingale, garden warbler, blackcap, Cetti's warbler and whitethroat were all singing in the scrub between the car park entrance and the Discovery Centre. Add in blackbird, robin, dunnock, chaffinch, blue tit and...
  • Blog Post: Insects emerge

    The sudden and welcome increase in temperatures has seen the emergence of a good variety of insects over the last few days - as well as the annual emergence of human lower legs as the shorts get their first seasonal airings. At least six species of dragonflies and damselflies have been seen so far...
  • Blog Post: What a great hobby we have

    Working at Minsmere has to be one of the best jobs ever - even if I do spend much of the day in front of a computer rather out enjoying the wildlife. Afterall, as highlighted in the latest (Summer 2016) issue of Nature's Home magazine, Minsmere is the Number One RSPB nature reserve when it comes...
  • Blog Post: One cuckoo may not make a summer, but one swift certainly does!

    Yes folks, it's official. It may be quite cold outside, with a chill breeze and only intermittent sunshine, but summer is here. One of our guides reported the first swift over the Scrape this afternoon. With several swallows and house martins over Island Mere this morning, and well over 100 sand...
  • Blog Post: Exciting explorations

    On Wednesday, I joined many of the wardens from the Suffolk Area Team, as well as other members of the Minsmere visitor experience, catering and admin teams, exploring our reserves farther south along the Suffolk coast. This was a chance to learn about the exciting work being done on these reserves,...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

    It's been a superb spring day at Minsmere, with migrants galore a few notable surprises. The wet start clearly grounded a few migrants, and it didn't seem to put visitors off either. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was a cuckoo heard calling a couple of times beyond Island Mere late...
  • Blog Post: A busy walk!

    I took advantage of the glorious sunshine today and took a lovely walk around the Scrape at lunchtime. This week I am going to be away from the reserve for a few days on a training course and I wanted to have a good look around before I go as the reserve can change so much in just a few days. It was...
  • Blog Post: An Egg-citing Easter

    What a weekend! With the dust finally settling (literally following Storm Katie's exploits), it's time to reflect on another exciting few days. The fabulous weather on Good Friday tempted you all out in you hundreds, with Minsmere experiencing one of its busiest days ever. As Amy said in her...
  • Blog Post: It's spring!

    Today is the spring equinox - officially the first day of spring, and the wildlife at Minsmere has clearly responded accordingly, with spring migrants, flowers, birdsong and reptiles all reflecting the changing season. Chiffchaffs are invariably the first spring migrants to arrive, having only traveled...
  • Blog Post: Flopwings, blackwits and awl birds

    For the first time in several weeks I completed the full circuit of the coast trail today. The north-easterly wind made it feel quite cool, especially on the North Wall and the top of the dunes. Out of the wind, though, the sun still had a bit of warmth, and the blue skies gave a lovely springlike feel...
  • Blog Post: Mr Blue Sky

    I don't think you could possibly have two more contrasting days that yesterday and today. Yesterday was dull, damp, dreary and downright miserable. So much so that less than 30 visitors actually ventured out onto the reserve. Our volunteer guides did brave the weather though, and found some interesting...
  • Blog Post: It's a ten from Len

    It was a bit of a surprise to wake up to a snowy scene in North Suffolk today, though there was no sign of the white stuff on the ground once I arrived in Suffolk. It has been a cold day with regular showers and some bits of sleet mixed in. Not enough to put me off a lunchtime stroll to look for otters...
  • Blog Post: February fire

    After the mildest winter on record, it really felt very springlike as I wandered down to Island Mere hide at lunchtime today. With the sun streaming through the open window I could easily have dozed off, but might have woken with a painful sunburn. On my walk down Whin Hill I could hear a good variety...