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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: The surprises continue

    Hot on the heels on my two butterfly sightings on Monday, there have been further notable sightings this week. Perhaps the most surprising was the three spoonbills that dropped onto East Scrape on Wednesday. Although common visitors in spring, winter records of spoonbill are rare. We assume these were...
  • 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: 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: Something for the weekend

    We have a couple of exciting weekends planned this month, starting this coming Saturday, 14 November, when families are invited to join two local artists for the first of four workshops titled Tidal Margins. Funded by Touching the Tide, a Heritage Lottery Fund landscape project on Suffolk's Heritage...
  • Blog Post: A burning issue

    Continuing the bonfire theme from my last blog, there's a smoky smell emanating from the office this afternoon. The reason? With no power this morning due to a planned power cut to allow tree felling around the powerlines on our entrance road, several of the visitor team joined the wardens to help...
  • Blog Post: Winter's arrived

    I'm back from a superb week watching eagles, otters, dolphins and much more on the beautiful island of Mull, and it sounds like I've missed quite an exciting ten days here at Minsmere too. I always consider that winter arrives with the first sighting of a "wild" swan. For me, that...
  • Blog Post: Confusing seasons

    Perhaps it has something to do with the supermoon/blood moon/lunar eclipse that many people enjoyed watching in the early hours of Monday morning, or maybe the recent autumn equinox, but the seasons seem a little confusing at the moment. Talking of the supermoon, I hope you manage to see it if you...
  • Blog Post: A busy week

    While I've been enjoying some extremely memorable birdwatching in Portugal (this isn't the place to relate the stories unfortunately), it's been a really busy week at Minsmere. Work has progressed well on building the new fence around the Scrape. The bank on which the fence will sit has...
  • Blog Post: The next arrival at Terminal One is...

    It's mid April, so the arrivals and departures board at Minsmere International is constantly changing as new arrivals land and old friends depart. Although numbers of most new migrants are still quite low, the number of species seen is growing by the day. Here's a quick summary of migrant...
  • Blog Post: Redheads are great

    We're back! Did you miss us? Apologies for the recent closure of the RSPB Community pages. This was due to some of the technical issues that cropped up during the surge in demand for our website over the weekend as everyone tried to input their Big Garden Birdwatch results. I'm told that the...
  • 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: a new day dawns

    And what a glorious one it was too. It's always a joy to arrive at Minsmere before first light and watch as the reserve rapidly wakens - notwithstanding the lack of sleep that accompanies such an early start. In fact, my wildlife watching began within five minutes of leaving home this morning...
  • 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: Record breakers

    It seems hard to believe that as recently as the early 1990s any sighting of a little egret was a red letter day. Then, in 1996 a few pairs bred in Dorset and Devon and they haven't looked back. They began nesting in Suffolk a few years later, and we can now almost expect to see a little egret anywhere...
  • Blog Post: Winter meets spring

    Two species of duck are stealing the show at present: two species that are rarely seen on the same day in the UK. Smews have featured heavily in our sightings blogs for the last three months. We'd usually expect the last ones to be leaving Minsmere in mid March, but the continued cold weather...
  • Blog Post: rough legs and short ears

    I'm reminded this morning of one of Thomas's favourite books - The Gruffalo . You may be familiar with it. The mouse escapes being eaten by describing making up a monstor that likes to eat mouse's main predators - fox, owl and snake, only to bump into the creature with "knobbly knees...
  • Blog Post: Wonderful winter wildlife

    After the closure due to snow, it's been great to be back at Minsmere and enjoying some of the wonderful winter wildlife on show over the last couple of days. The ice and snow can be a hardship for some species. We try to give some of our reedbed species a helping hand in these conditions by putting...
  • Blog Post: Dreaming of a white Christmas?

    With Christmas just around the corner, it's looking increasingly unlikely that we'll be experience a white Christmas this year. At least, not in the sense of the falling snow on Christmas Day. It looks like the best chance of white Christmas will be watching white wildlife. In Suffolk in winter...
  • Blog Post: One of those special days

    Just occasionally, events conspire to make a good day into a special one. Today was such a day. I'd been offsite during the morning for a meeting on the National Trust's Orfordness nature reserve. Although the meeting was in the office, I did get to see a small part of this unique place on...
  • Blog Post: Migration steps up

    After a relatively quiet week for birds during the spell of westerly winds, there's definitely been evidence of autumn migration beginning to hit full swing in the last few days. Perhaps the most obvious movements were at sea on Monday, when counts included minima of 575+ gannets , seven great...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating spring

    The Spring Celebration weekend once again proved to be highly successful. The format is simple. Our wardens and volunteer guides are stationed around the reserve at key locations to help visitors to learn about Minsmere's special wildlife. The tricky part is the unpredictability of the wildlife that...
  • Blog Post: Expect the unexpected

    Yesterday was one of those strange days where I had several interesting sightings, despite not actually heading out onto the reserve. The excitement began when driving out of the reserve on route to a meeting at our Orford office. As I drove past Scotts Hall Cottage , my eyes were drawn to a stunning...
  • Blog Post: Count the legs & divide by two

    Today is apparantly the day that all zoos in the UK carry out their annual stock check. They have to count (and account for) every animal in their collections, from mighty elephants to the tiniest insects. I'm sure it can't be too hard to count the mammals, birds and repiles, but the fish and...