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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: Spring celebration

    To help us to celebrate Minsmere's 65th birthday (see Adam's guest blog earlier today), we're holding our annual Spring Celebration this weekend. This event is a great opportunity to see some of Minsmere's special wildlife and learn from our wardens and volunteers. We'll be at...
  • 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: raptor rapture

    Birds of prey never cease to delight me, and they are clearly popular with many of visitors too if the amount of enquiries about where to see marsh harriers are anything to go by. Luckily, Minsmere remains one of the best places to see marsh harriers - so much so that we sometimes forget how rare these...
  • Blog Post: A good start to the year

    Last year finished with second highest bird list ever at Minsmere - an impressive 238 species. This year has started in a similar vien, with 101 species recorded on 1 January alone. Here's a few of the highlights from the first week or so of 2012. Several hundred red-throated divers and great...
  • Blog Post: Spring has arrived!

    After a busy bank holiday weekend, work on the reserve has resumed as normal. The wardens have been busy finishing their annual reports and everyone else is cracking on with reserve tasks. For Ricky and I, today this meant wading out into the reedbed to install the final 3 bearded tit nest ‘boxes’...
  • Blog Post: What a gorgeous day

    Spring truly has arrived in Suffolk. It was a lovely warm day, with a gentle south easterly breeze and hazy sunshine all day. A great way to celebrate spring - and the birds thought so too. Bitterns boomed throughout the day (there are nine boomers now) and showed regularly from Bittern Hide. The...
  • Blog Post: One for sorrow, two for joy

    Ever been on lunch time potter and had it turn into a once in a lfietime experience? I think I've lost count of how often that happens here at Minsmere, and today was definitely one of the more memorable. Having heard my first whitethroat and garden warbler of the year on the way into the office...
  • Blog Post: Dawn at Minsmere - the best time of the day?

    Is there a better way to start the day than listening to the dawn chorus? It might mean a ridiculously early start, but it's worth it! You can, of course, listen to the dawn chorus in your own garden, where robins and blackbirds will start well before first light, soon to be joined by song thrushes...
  • 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: 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: Waders anyone?

    Water levels are at last returning to normal, and while some parts of the visitor trails still have a few puddles, they are almost all completely accessible now. I say almost all, because a short section between South Belt crossroads and the Wildlife Lookout (West Hide) remains flooded and is accessible...
  • Blog Post: Floods wreak havoc

    The last few weeks have seen almost unprecidented levels of rainfall in Suffolk. In a month known for its showers, April has been one of the wettest on record. Here at Minsmere, we recorded an incredible 121 mm (about 8 inches) of rain during the month. Compare that to about 12 mm from early March to...
  • 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: The king still reigns

    Our first winter king eider has clearly taken a liking to his chosen stretch of coastline, as he remains offshore today. He seems to start the day off Dunwich, slowly drift south towards the sluice, then head out to sea before reappearing off Dunwich later in the day. he even took a rest on Dunwich beach...
  • Blog Post: Pretty in pink

    As the spring migration gathers pace, new birds are being added to the reserve year list ever day. The following species have already arrived: Sandwich and common terns, little gulls, sand martins, swallows, house martins, sedge warblers, reed warblers (including the earliest ever Suffolk record), blackcaps...
  • 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: A gorgeous morning

    I don't get the chance to lead guided walks very often, so when John Grant asked me to return a favour and stand in for him leading today's walk, I didn't need much persuading. It was, therefore, with great frustration that I opened the curtains this morning to see a thick cloaking everything...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Early November sightings update

    Apologies for the lack of a recent sightings update. It's not that there hasn't been much happening. Far from it. We've actually had a really busy couple of weeks for birds. I'll try to summarise the highlights for you. Skuas have featured heavily for those keen enough to try a bit...
  • Blog Post: Ducks and raptors and reedbed birds

    Water levels are finally beginning to return to normal on most parts of the reserve, with all paths now fully accessible - if a little muddy near the sluice. The Levels are a still looking superb, with shallow floodwater covering the marshes. Huge flocks of ducks are gathering out there, including...
  • Blog Post: Flying the nest, spreading one’s wings

    To quote Bob Marley, ‘the sun is shining, the weather is sweet...’ Today feels much like any other day, and I’m trying to keep it that way. But it isn’t. Today is my last day at Minsmere. On Monday I will take up my new post of Assistant Warden at Elmley Marshes RSPB Reserve...
  • Blog Post: Choose Suffolk

    Eight years ago when I started work at Minsmere, I chose Suffolk. Every year, thousands of birds choose Suffolk. Whether they live here or visit only once, millions of people choose Suffolk. This morning, I joined several tourism colleagues from around the Waveney area and beyond at a workshop about...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere's Springwatch

    Have you been watching Springwatch on the BBC? It was heartbreaking to see those dead lapwing and osprey chicks yesterday after Friday's massive storm, but I was so pleased to see the goldcrest nest has survived - and as for those treecreepers ! After April's flooding at Minsmere, we know how...
  • Blog Post: Film stars in the making?

    Today we had a visit from Grahame, a media man from the Lodge, RSPB headquarters. Grahame came to get some footage of work at Minsmere, specifically about what we’ve been doing for bitterns, but we also had time to visit our new Konik foals for the added aaah factor. So, today was my first taste...
  • Blog Post: The Luck of the Irish

    Having arrived at Minsmere on Easter Sunday this will be my 7 th week here as this years first new “Conservation Intern”. Having come from Ireland and having done all my studying, training, volunteering and indeed birding there, Minsmere is quite an experience. The location of the reserve...