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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.
Results for Bewick's swan
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  • Blog Post: We've been waiting to see smew

    They've been a long time in coming, but on Sunday we finally welcomed two smews to Minsmere for the winter. Smews are scarce winter visitors to the UK, with only a few hundred present in most winters, but the mild weather this year has made them even rarer than usual, with very few present at...
  • Blog Post: Another year ends - roll on 2016

    It's been a wild and wet end to 2015 - though rather less wild here in Suffolk than in many other parts of the UK. We hope not too many of you have been affected by the flooding over Christmas. Ironically, given how much rain we've had, Minsmere's paths are actually relatively dry - though...
  • Blog Post: Looking forward to the future

    As we reach the shortest day of the year, we can at last begin to look forward to longer evenings and daylight when the alarm goes off in the morning - though of course we have Christmas to look forward to first. At Minsmere today we were looking to the future too - and it looks bright from where...
  • Blog Post: Wetland wildlife delights

    It's been a bit of a wild and windy day today as Storm Desmond has made its presence felt - albeit without causing the disruption experienced farther north - but for those brave enough to venture out onto the reserve, there has been a wealth of wetland wildlife to enjoy. The day started with a...
  • Blog Post: A little auk(ward) wind

    What a difference a few days makes. this time last week temperatures were still in double figures, but the strong northerly wind on Saturday saw a marked drop in temperatures, accompanied by a scattering of snow in Suffolk on Sunday morning and the first proper frost of the year yesterday. It's a...
  • Blog Post: A partridge in a pear tree?

    It's our Christmas shopping weekend, and the reception is filled with the wonderful aroma of hot spiced apple juice, sparkling Christmas tree lights, and staff wearing funny hats. There's a complimentary glass of the apple juice for all visitors. In the shop we have RSPB Love Nature chocolate...
  • Blog Post: You don't see that every day

    While it's not exactly easy to see a bittern at Minsmere, there are at least several sightings every day, and Minsmere is certainly one of the best places to look for these elusive herons. Most of these sightings will be from Bittern Hide or Island Mere, or other locations with a view across the...
  • Blog Post: Arriving tired and hungry

    We've all been there, and got the T-shirt. A long journey with kids is almost guaranteed to include the words "Are we there yet?" In many cases these might be repeated many times, and perhaps by the adults as well as the children. At least we are usually able to provide an answer, as...
  • Blog Post: Biting off more than it can chew?

    One of our volunteer guides spent some time seawatching this morning and was rewarded with a dramatic encounter between two large scavengers. Pomarine skuas are usually passage migrants in the UK, but one or two often spend the winter off the Suffolk coast, and one has been seen occasionally all winter...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch stars showing off

    We welcomed Etholle George from BBC Radio Suffolk back to Minsmere yesterday to present her breakfast show live from the Discovery Centre. Her story on BBC Look East, filmed last week, was also braodcast on bulletins throughout Tuesday. Etholle was here to celebrate the success of Springwatch six...
  • Blog Post: You never know what you'll see

    The saying couldn't be more true this week as a couple of surprise sightings have kept staff and visitors on their toes, and our regular species have competed for their share of the action. Perhaps the biggest surprise was a stunning drake eider that spent a few minutes among the hordes of commoner...
  • Blog Post: Swanning around is otterly crazy

    We've had a couple of days of welcome winter sun this week after what has, at times, felt like one day of rain and gales after another. Today has, at times, felt almost springlike, helped by the robins whistling their melancholic winter songs. Even on the wetter days, though, the weather has often...
  • Blog Post: Machinery in the marshes

    The next few weeks will see the arrival of some interesting machinery at Minsmere to help us with our habitat management. First up will be the return of the Truxor to the reedbed. This is a special amphibious reed-cutting machine that can access wetter parts of the reedbed that remain difficult to...
  • Blog Post: Winter has arrived

    Temperatures have dropped considerably this week, with the first frosts and some icy rain this morning. There was even a brief spell of sleet early this morning, but I don't think we're going to get any snow on the Suffolk coast yet. With the colder weather our bird feeders have become even...
  • Blog Post: Otter-ly amazing

    One of the great things about working at Minsmere is that we're surrounded by fantastic nature. It's easy to spend hours watching the feeders at the visitor centre, being entertained by flocks of marsh, coal, blue and great tits, chaffinches, greenfinches and goldfinches vying for the prime spots...
  • Blog Post: From Russia with love...

    Autumn has arrived with a bang over the last couple of weeks. Stormforce north-easterly winds in early October brought extensive erosion to the Suffolk coast, including Minsmere’s dunes, but we escaped any of the overtopping that has happened on storm surges in recent years. An accompanying thunderstorm...
  • Blog Post: The return of the swans!

    A massive total of 80 Bewick's Swan roosted on Island Mere this evening! Also on the reserve today: Two Whooper Swan, Firecrest, male and ring-tail Hen Harrier and at least five Smew. Please check out and "like" our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/RSPB-Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: a busy week to feed the birds

    It's the RSPB's Feed the Birds Day this weekend. A chance to prepare for the winter by stocking up on bird food, cleaning feeders and waiting for the hordes of tits, finches, thrushes (and if you're lucky sparrows) to descend. Lots of families have been enjoying the mild weather at Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: Popular visitors

    Since my last sightings update, the picture has been much the same. Waxwings have been seen in small numbers on most dates, but rarely lingering for more than a few minutes. Bewick's swan numbers have fluctuated between four and eight, and they're commuting between Island Mere and the Scrape...
  • Blog Post: Feeling festive

    The countdown has begun. It's only 32 days to Christmas - as anyone with children will know. Although advent Sunday is next weekend, we've started the celebrations a week early today with our first Christmas shopping day. The decorations have gone up in the visitor centre. There was a fabulous...
  • Blog Post: A winter wonderland

    The weekend snow has left Minsmere looking even more picturesque than ever. The snow is criss-crossed by the trails of rabbits, muntjacs, red deer, foxes, pheasants, moorhens and a variety of smaller birds. There is a clear patch around each low bush, especailly gorse, where the rabbits have been busy...
  • Blog Post: Winter is here

    As I sit here and type the sun is trying to break through the heavy black clouds that have been dumping wintry showers on us all morning. We've had reports of snow and hail in nearby villages, and with a strong northerly wind it certainly feels like winter has arrived. For me, the arrival of winter...
  • Blog Post: A rarity fest

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of an update for the last week - not enough time in the office between meetings and a weekend off are to blame. It's been an excellent few days on the reserve - typically as I've not been out looking for anything. Two groups of birds have stolen the show - raptors...
  • Blog Post: The Five W's

    You've all heard of the three R's of learning. As you're reading this, you'll be familiar with the three W's of the world wide web. Well, today's wildlife highlights centred on the five W's: waxwings, wildfowl, waders, water rails and wagtails. Waxwings continue to be seen...
  • Blog Post: winter arrivals

    Just time for a quick update today, based on recent sightings by colleagues and visitors, as I've not been on the reserve for a few days. Certainly some clear evidence that winter is on it's way, with up to ten Bewick's swans using the reserve for the last few days. They seem to be mobile...