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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: Happy Christmas and farewell to a great year

    Wow, what an amazing year. Minsmere's fame spread in the spring when the Springwatch cameras arrived - and what superb footage they got of bitterns, reed warblers, goldfinches, adders, badger and, of course Grub the tawny owl. With increased awareness of what a brilliant place Minsmere is,...
  • Blog Post: No need for a long walk

    Don't let the short days, with the nights rapidly closing in and the continuing dull weather, put you off visiting Minsmere this winter. There's lots to see without the need for a long walk around the full circular walks. You may simply want to visit the shop or cafe for some pre-Christmas...
  • Blog Post: Small is beautiful

    The very popular, if rather elusive, little crake is still in residence in the reedbed pool in front of Bittern Hide. Having completed nearly two weeks here, it's stayed much longer than expected, giving most twitchers, and many casual birdwatchers, the chance to see it - though some have had to...
  • Blog Post: Mooo-vable managers

    Habitat management is a complex balancing act. Our wardens work hard to create the optimum conditions for a wide variety of wildlife - and for the people who come to see it. There are several different tools at wardens' disposal, including staff and volunteers, tractors, chainsaws, brushcutters...
  • Blog Post: An avian Watford Gap

    There's a real feeling of autumn arriving at Minsmere now, despite weather forecasts for another warm spell arriving. It was cool and breezy for my lunchtime walk today, with a hint of drizzle in the air, but all around were signs that migration is in full swing. As I strolled through the North...
  • Blog Post: Something for everyone this summer

    With the school holidays now underway Minsmere really does offer something for everyone - and the reserve is looking superb right now. Families can enjoy letting off a bit of steam in the Wild Zone, build a den or stroll to the beach. Every weekday we also have an exciting range of family activities...
  • 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: There were ten in a bed...

    The latest results of our bittern monitoring are very promising with at least ten males now booming throughout the reedbed. Although they are most vocal early and late in the day, they can be heard at any time - and from anywhere on the reserve. I heard one from outside the visitor centre at lunchtime...
  • Blog Post: Catkins and woodlarks signal early spring sightings

    After the recent wet windy weather it's been great to see a bit of sunshine over the last couple of days. With it have come the first flowering daffocils outside the visitor centre, hazel catkins in the woods (photo below), and woodlarks in song on Westleton Heath - several signs that spring may...
  • Blog Post: Starling update

    Following the flooding at Snape and Dingle marshes it's likely that the flocks of starlings roosting at these reserves have declined or moved - I've not had any updates. However, we have at last located a sizable roost - 6-8000 birds - at RSPB North Warren. These are best viewed from the reedbed...
  • 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: Having a whale of a time

    We often talk about how easy it is to see the UK's largest land mammal (the red deer) at Minsmere. Well, today many of us have been lucky enough to see something far bigger: an impressive humpback whale has been watched close to shore from both Minsmere and National Trust at Dunwich Heath this afternoon...
  • Blog Post: The Joy of Birds

    Guest blog by Big Birder Mel - a recent visitor to Minsmere from Staffordshire Oh the joys of birding. I recently spent the last week of September on holiday in Suffolk, staying on a small caravan site near RSPB Minsmere. As you might guess, I “spent some time” at the reserve. Arriving...
  • Blog Post: Black and white stars

    The star species over the last few days have had a rather monochrome feel to them. Our three long-staying great white egrets remain on Island Mere, where they are often seen resting on the island, or feeding along the reed edge. They are often accompanied by some of our resident little egrets. On Sunday...
  • Blog Post: Variety is the spice of life

    Today was one of the best days I can remember for the sheer variety of nature to be found at Minsmere. While I try to avoid long lists of species in these blogs, it somehow seems the only appropriate way to demonstrate some that variety. Let's start with butterflies. They have been out in numbers...
  • Blog Post: Something for everyone

    With the summer holidays now underway, it's great to see an increase i the number of families visiting Minsmere. There's so much for families to do: pretending to be some of Minsmere's special wildlife in the Wild Zone, building a den, exploring with our free to borrow backpacks that are...
  • 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: The early bird(watcher) earns their rewards

    Mid April means the start of our popular dawn chorus guided walks at Minsmere. Now, you may wander why anyone would want to get up before the lark in time to arrive at a nature reserve while it's still dark, but that's probably the best time to visit Minsmere. Just ask the 16 eager souls who...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoos and swifts arrive to celebrate spring

    It's Spring Celebration tomorrow, and the birds certainly seem to know that we're here to celebrate spring. The first cuckoo of the year was reported calling near Island Mere - a great way to celebrate St George's Day. let's hope we get a few more than for the last few years, but I'm...
  • Blog Post: A great weekend

    We had another great weekend at Minsmere. Our staff and volunteers spoke to many visitors, helping them to spot our special species and make the visit more enjoyable. It was great to see so many families, especially on Saturday when the weather was superb. Sunday remained dull and dreary, with the forecast...
  • Blog Post: The little and large show

    It's been a very good week for rarities at Minsmere, but also a case of little and large. On Monday a superb male red-necked phalarope was found on South Scrape, where it was watched busily feeding until early evening. Contrary to popular belief, Adam didn't bring one back in his luggage from...
  • 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: 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: Happy Christmas

    As another year slowly draws to a close, it's time for my final sightings update of the year. The main news is not much change over the last few weeks. That;s not to say that it's quiet. Far from it. Just that as is usual in mid winter, most of the birds are staying put. An exception was...
  • Blog Post: White winter wonderland

    It's beena while arriving, but we finally had the first significant snowfall of the winter yesterday. Not much compared to many places (Norwich, much of Norfolk, West Suffolk for example almost ground to a halt yesterday), but enough to turn everything white. It was glorious day here providing you...