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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: Reflections on Springwatch

    After another wonderful three weeks of Springwatch, I thought I'd look back at some of the wildlife stories from this year's series. Where else can I really start than with the biggest star of this year's series: Spineless Simon. At just 5 cm length he's certainly not the biggest species...
  • Blog Post: Hobby's steal the show

    Spineless Simon might be stealing the limelight for BBC Springwatch viewers, but although he continues to attract a crowd of admirers at Island Mere, the highlight for many visitors over the last couple of days has been the hobbies at Bittern Hide. These super-sleek highspeed falcons have been dashing...
  • Blog Post: "Loving Minsmere today. The wildlife is amazing"

    On a busy Bank Holiday Monday, the day the BBC Springwatch cameras went live, it was great to hear comments like that in the title of this blog, time and time again from our visitors. We had worked hard to ensure that we were ready for an influx of visitors, and despite records numbers coming to the...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful in blue

    There was great excitement at Minsmere yesterday with the discovery of a beautiful male bluethroat feeding along the edge of a reedbed pool close to the North Wall. Despite breeding in good numbers just across the North Sea in The Netherlands, bluethroats remain rare visitors in the UK. The last record...
  • Blog Post: On the hunt for adders

    Minsmere’s new Young Wardens volunteer group. The last meeting of the Minsmere’s Young Wardens group was very successful, with 15 young people attending to learn about reptile surveying. Once again, one of our Young Wardens, Lucy, has written a guest blog where she describes her experience...
  • Blog Post: A touch of colour

    I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend, despite Sunday's rather wet weather - and this morning's! It looks like the April showers have arrived a little late this year - along with autumn gales in May, as once again the British weather bowls us a googly. I've just enjoyed a few...
  • Blog Post: Swiftly does it

    On Tuesday morning a message came over the radio that there were good numbers of swifts over the reedbed. I looked at the date on my watch and remarked "28th April. Right on cue." Over the years I have come to expect the mass arrival of swifts to occur within a day or two on 27 April. Yes,...
  • Blog Post: Amazing adders

    Minsmere's adders have proved extremely popular over the last few years, so we opened a dedicated adder trail this spring to make it easier to watch these amazing snakes without disturbing them. We also trained many of our guides to give them more confidence to find and talk about adders. Here's...
  • Blog Post: Variety: the spice of life

    There can be absolutely no doubt that spring is here, despite the, at times, chill northerly wind that has been blowing this week. Wader migration is in full swing, warblers are arriving en masse, insects are flitting around the reserve in increasing numbers, and a few unexpected bonuses are thrown in...
  • Blog Post: An unexpected bonus

    Yesterday was a red letter day for me in many ways. I had a rare full day birdwatching, saw my earliest ever swift, and found the rarest bird I've actually found for myself at Minsmere - and that's on my day off! I usually only manage to have a quick lunchtime walk, or visit one or two hides...
  • Blog Post: Southerly airflow brings migrants pouring in

    Is it really mid April? With the thermometer hitting the mid 20s Centigrade yesterday and today it feels more like mid July than mid April - and with the unseasonably warm weather have come scores of migrant birds, flooding onto our shores. Such has been the variety of migrants arriving this week...
  • Blog Post: Snakes and lizards alive, but migrants only trickling in

    The cool temperatures and persistent easterly and northerly winds over the past week have delayed the arrival of some our expected early migrants, but with southerlies forecast for a few days, and a rise in temperature, hopefully a few more will arrive this week. Sand martins and swallows have slowly...
  • Blog Post: It's all adding up to spring

    What a fantastic few days we've had. The spring sunshine has led to unseasonably high temperatures, reaching well into double figures, and prompted the emergence of various insects, reptiles and amphibians. Several people reported seeing adders over the weekend, especially between Bittern Hide...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating World Wildlife Day

    Today, 3 March is the UN World Wildlife Day. In celebration, I thought I'd share a pictorial overview of some of Minsmere's amazing wildlife. Let's start with otters . Late winter and early spring is always the best time to see these popular mammals, and they put on a particularly impressive...
  • Blog Post: Thinking big for nature

    Guest blog by Ally Hoadley, Minsmere volunteer Yesterday's Big Community Work Party went off reserve to Dunwich Forest. Here, the RSPB is working closely with the Forestry Commission to return felled pine forest (grown for timber) back to its natural heathland. On arrival we split into groups...
  • Blog Post: A wonderful week for wildlife

    The weather may have been a bit unpredictable week, with bright sunshine giving way to heavy rain, but perhaps we should expect that with Wimbledon and Glastonbury vying with the World Cup for our attention on the TV. Did you know there's a link between Minsmere, Glastonbury and the World Cup this...
  • Blog Post: A guide's guide to Springwatch at Minsmere

    Guest blog by Beth Taylor, Minsmere volunteer guide June 2014 - what a wonderful time to be a new volunteer at Minsmere! I’ve enjoyed every minute of my three weeks here, and learned a huge amount from the RSPB staff and other volunteers. I was first introduced to Minsmere 40 years ago by...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch may be over but the wildlife remains

    Wow, what an amazing three weeks. It's been a whirlwind of emotions with fledgings and predation, new discoveries and surprise observations. There were moments to make to you laugh, and others to make you cry. Footage to make some hide behind the sofa and events that will never be forgotten. Who...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...