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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: 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: A toad, but not as we know it

    One group of animals that are poorly represented in the UK are reptiles and amphibians. There are only three native species of snakes, three native lizards, three newts, two toads and two frogs. Of these, several are habitat specialists, restricted to certain areas but absent from others. For example...
  • Blog Post: North Levels Wader Trail - Minsmere, but not as you know it!

    With the breeding season over, it's that time of year again when we open our seasonal trails to give visitors the chance to discover new areas of Minsmere and maybe spot some of our more elusive species. Over the next couple of weeks we'll once again be opening the North Bushes trail to look...
  • Blog Post: Why not Minsmere?

    I'm sure many of you will be aware of the sandhill crane that has visited Suffolk this week. The fourth UK record, it's visited three RSPB reserves on the Suffolk coast. It made a brief stop at RSPB North Warren , then took up residence at RSPB Boyton Marshes and nearby farmland, with a visit...
  • Blog Post: A taste of the Costas

    Firstly, an apology for the lack of recent updates. I've been away for a couple of weeks and with so much work going on at Minsmere I didn't ask anyone to write an update in my absence. Also a reminder that you can see more regular, brief updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages. With spring...
  • Blog Post: A spinning coin

    Early on Saturday morning I arrived at Minsmere to lead the first of our regular spring dawn chorus guided walks. It was crystal clear night with a huge full moon casting shadows over the reserve. As we met at 4 am the nightingale at the car park entrance could already be heard, and the first bittern...
  • Blog Post: On the move or stay at home

    As June drifted seemlessly into July, Minsmere's wildlife responded accordingly. In many ways the birdlife has a more autumnal feel now, with few signs of the recent spring. Meanwhile, for our plants and insects summer is definitely well and truly in full flow. Among our breeding birds, midsummer...
  • Blog Post: Unusual food

    How times have you visited a nature reserve and heard birdwatchers say that "there's not much about?" More often than this, this translates as, "there's no rare birds here" or "I've seen the same species as last time I came." This may be true, but there certainly...
  • Blog Post: A wealth of wildlife

    Minsmere's a great place to watch all sorts of wildlife, and our mammals are no exception. Some, of course, are easier to spot than others: rabbits are almost guaranteed along the entrance road, grey squirrels patrol the feeders at the visitor centre or play chase among the oaks in the woods, and...
  • Blog Post: Croaking, grunting and squealing

    You know spring is just around the corner when a visit to Minsmere requires you to use your ears as well as your eyes. Not forgetting your nose too as the scent of coconut from the gorse blossom will soon be wafting around the car park and beach - and of course the delicious smell of bacon or fresh-cooked...
  • Blog Post: Slithering, booming and dancing

    The mild, generally sunny start to spring continues - with the blip of a very foggy morning yesterday. Bitterns are certainly making the most of the weather, with two males now booming properly, and birds regularly spending time in full view from both Bittern and Island Mere Hides. One has even been...
  • Blog Post: New arrivals trickling in

    Hot on the heels of our recent pair of garganeys, the last week has seen the arrival of the advance guard of some of our earlier spring migrants. Last week I asked whether the first sand martins or wheatears would arrive soon and they finally did so over the weekend, with singles of both species seen...
  • Blog Post: Back from Africa

    They seem to be a bit late this year, but we've finally had what can be described as a flock of sand martins around the pond today, with up to twelve birds present all day. We've also had further sightings of a swallow and the first house martin over the Scrape today. Another new arrival is...
  • 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...