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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: I do like to be beside the seaside

    The autumn equinox signals the official end of summer today, although the weather bore more resemblance to a summer day than early autumn with bright sunshine, blue skies, barely a breath of wind, and robins singing constantly. All in all the perfect day for a stroll along the beach. The beach...
  • Blog Post: The fruits of autumn

    It seems that after an extremely hot start to the month, autumn has arrived with a flourish this week, with heavy rain on Friday followed by a showery weekend, in complete contrast to temperatures of 30 degrees last week. A walk around the reserve certainly has a more autumnal feel too, with much of...
  • Blog Post: Do something amazing this weekend!

    Suffolk’s coastline I believe is one of the most stunning I have ever encountered. I may be a little biased considering I was born here and have returned to live here but I do consider myself very well travelled and Suffolk’s beaches are without a doubt my favourite place to be. I love to...
  • Blog Post: Nature is full of surprises

    Nature is full of surprises, and the last couple of days have really highlighted this to me as I've spotted a few species in unexpected places. Even more surprisingly, given how difficult they can be to spot, snakes have featured heavily in these sightings. Grass snakes had eluded me so far this...
  • Blog Post: Waders, raptors & more along the North Levels Trail

    I certainly picked a good time to go on holiday, with the bee-eater turning up on the first day of my break! While it was obviously disappointing to miss such a stunning bird, I was at least able to find a few species that are hard to come by in Suffolk: chough, raven, Manx shearwater, shag and what...
  • Blog Post: Britain’s Beaches Need YOU!

    There is nothing I like more than being by the sea and over the summer I have been very fortunate to spend a lot of time down on the beach at Minsmere. I love the sound of the waves, the breeze in my face, the smell of salt in the air and of course the stunning wildlife that can be found there. Today...
  • Blog Post: What a bee-eater-ful bird!

    Guest blog by Matt Parrott Shortly after opening the Visitor Centre on Thursday morning, John Grant phoned in to say that he could see a bee-eater circling over the edge of the scrape. Nothing causes a mass exodus of staff, volunteers and visitors from the Visitor Centre like a rare bird report –...
  • Blog Post: Put a ring on it

    We have some exciting news about some of the wildlife stars of the recent BBC Springwatch series. As mentioned in previous blogs, the stone-curlew pair that sadly failed to hatch a chick during the series were successful at the second attempt. Although one chick was soon predated, the second chick continues...
  • Blog Post: Now you see me...now you don't!

    With the Western swamphen playing now you see me, now you don't and the last sighting of it being over a week ago (although with Minsmere's vast reedbed it is very likely to still be on site, just hidden) it was an unexpected surprise that today I experienced another first for me at Minsmere...
  • 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 blue chicken arrives!

    Lightning, it appears, really can strike twice. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the incredible appearance of a black-browed albatross on the pool behind South Hide. That was potentially one of the most bizarre and unexpected sightings ever at Minsmere, but even that may have been trumped...
  • 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: A night with nature

    The wait is over and Big Wild Sleepout is finally here! At Minsmere the Wildlife Explorers group could not wait any longer and had their camp night last weekend. We were very lucky with the weather and wildlife and a lot of fun was had by all. The Camp Night event began in the afternoon with the Wildlife...
  • 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: A bee with pantaloons!

    Guest blog by Matt Parrott, Visitor Experience Manager Just before last Saturday’s brief, violent, summer storm the first reports of emerging bee-wolves reached us from our guide, Steve. If you’re unfamiliar with bee-wolves, they’re amazing, and you can read all about them in Ian’s...
  • 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: Stoatal Madness!

    After looking at the calendar and realising that half the year had gone already, I found myself reflecting on the many things I have learnt so far this year and the great wildlife I have been fortunate enough to experience here at Minsmere. My reflections left me feeling a little sad that many of 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: Little gains and little losses at Benacre

    Guest blog by Rhiannon Baker, Assistant Little Tern Warden Nationally, this year hasn’t got off to a good start for our little terns. We have been hearing the same tune from other sites as far as Ireland, all saying that the terns are late and numbers are half what they should be. This could...
  • 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: ...And then there was one!

    One week of Springwatch left, one great tit chick left, one great spotted woodpecker chick and one water vole baby! On Monday I blogged about how difficult it was to tear myself away from the Springwatch live cameras and how I was struggling with deciding where to go around the reserve. It has only got...
  • Blog Post: Once bittern, twice in the sky.

    I am finding work very difficult at the moment. It is so hard to decide where to take my lunchtime walk because there is just so much going on around the reserve and I am also finding the drama unfolding on the Springwatch live cameras too hard to resist. The live cameras are so addictive and I have...