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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: Springwatch 2016: we're ready, are you?

    It hardly seems a year since the BBC Springwatch team rolled out of Minsmere after another exciting series, in which a 5 cm long stickleback stole the show and won people's hearts. A year on, and the BBC production village is complete, the set has been re-dressed, and the everything is gearing...
  • Blog Post: Spring scents and sounds

    On arrival at Minsmere this morning I was greeted to a veritable feast of birdsong - nightingale, garden warbler, blackcap, Cetti's warbler and whitethroat were all singing in the scrub between the car park entrance and the Discovery Centre. Add in blackbird, robin, dunnock, chaffinch, blue tit and...
  • Blog Post: Exciting explorations

    On Wednesday, I joined many of the wardens from the Suffolk Area Team, as well as other members of the Minsmere visitor experience, catering and admin teams, exploring our reserves farther south along the Suffolk coast. This was a chance to learn about the exciting work being done on these reserves,...
  • Blog Post: Great Friday

    I left the comfort of bed early this morning to get to Minsmere early and make the most of a rare opportunity to sit in Island Mere Hide and enjoy the wildlife. Normally I am busy feeding little people and doing the nursery run before I get to work but as today was Good Friday I had the chance to sneak...
  • Blog Post: Mating marsh harriers!

    As I drove up the road to the reserve this morning and saw the sun shining through the trees I knew today was going to be a fantastic day at Minsmere. It didn’t disappoint! It was a fantastic day both in terms of weather, visitor numbers and amazing sightings. Although I didn’t make it...
  • Blog Post: Getting the oxygen pumping

    After another beautiful sunny morning, I decided to wander down to Island Mere at lunchtime. I hoped that I may manage to find an otter, kingfisher, bearded tit or water rail to add to my year list, but sadly I was unlucky with all four species. I was, however, able to watch a group of six whooper...
  • 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: Happy Christmas 2015

    Well, that's another year nearly over. As Adam Rowlands reflected last week, it's been a busy one. And certainly an exciting one. Here's a few of my personal highlights from the year. Springwatch . We enjoy having the BBC team with us at Minsmere. They are all friendly and knowledgeable...
  • Blog Post: Mute, but not silent

    As I stood on Whin Hill this morning scanning across Island Mere and the reedbed beneath murky skies, numerous white specks in the fields beyond were immediately obvious: swans. Checking carefully through the flock, they all appeared to be large mute swans. Although their smaller cousins, Bewick's...
  • 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: Minsmere for all

    Guest blog by Lizzie Guntrip, writer, naturalist, broadcaster and inclusive nature ambassador Sitting on one of the benches at the North Wall, with my feet tucked up underneath me, I hear a nearby “ping-ping” coming from the reedbed in front of us. I am leaning against the bench back,...
  • Blog Post: Summer holidays at Minsmere

    Guest blog by: Alison Cross, Learning Assistant Ian is very good at keeping us all updated about the wildlife seen at Minsmere, while I am going to update you about the little featherless two legged creatures...children! This week is the fifth week of the summer holidays, (for some parents it might...
  • Blog Post: Like London buses

    Just like waiting for a London bus, birdwatching often sees a cluster of exciting birds arriving in quick succession, after a long period of more routine species. So it has been at Minsmere this month. Following hot on the heals of the bluethroat and long-staying red-necked phalarope, we've had several...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch returns - we're open as usual

    This morning we welcomed the local media to the Discovery Centre to meet the BBC Springwatch presenters - Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games - in advance of the show going on air from Monday. It was lovely to see a couple of families playing in the wild zone when the presenters...
  • Blog Post: Turning from blue to red

    After the excitement of Friday's red-spotted bluethroat, another rare visitor was found at Minsmere last night. Unlike the bluethroat, this time the bird stayed into a second day, allowing many visitors to see it - especially as it was first located after most of the staff had gone home yesterday...
  • Blog Post: Insects emerging

    The beautiful warm weather over the last couple of days has encouraged a wider variety of insects to emerge as adults and take their first flights - though sadly it looks as if the temperatures may be set to fall again later in the week. Two of our volunteers were out completing their weekly butterfly...
  • 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: Let's all build a nest

    The breeding season is really getting underway now, with nests and displaying wildlife appearing throughout the reserve. One of the most popular species at this time of year is always our great crested grebes. If you are lucky you may spot their famous famous weed dance - though usually only snippets...
  • Blog Post: Eyes to the skies

    There are many good reasons to be looking at the sky this week. On Friday and Saturday evenings we are working with two local astronomy groups to bring you star gazing at Minsmere. These events, which are free, take place in the Discovery Centre from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, and there is no need to book...
  • 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: More Minsmere murmuration magic

    Yes folks - after a couple of months away from Minsmere, our starlings have returned! Since the middle of last week we've had about 10000 starlings roosting in the North Marsh reedbed at dusk. The flock, which usually forms at about 5 pm, is best watched from the North Wall, or even from outside...
  • Blog Post: Love is in the air

    Couples across the world may be celebrating Valentine's Day today, but did you know that 14 February is an important day in the natural world. Today is traditionally the day that ducks pair up for the year, and certainly there's been a lot of amorous behaviour on the Scrape for the last few...
  • Blog Post: Biting off more than it can chew?

    One of our volunteer guides spent some time seawatching this morning and was rewarded with a dramatic encounter between two large scavengers. Pomarine skuas are usually passage migrants in the UK, but one or two often spend the winter off the Suffolk coast, and one has been seen occasionally all winter...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere is number one

    That's what you tell us anyway. We're now rated as the number one visitor attraction in Suffolk according to Trip Advisor , with 97% of reviews rating Minsmere at least four out of five. We really enjoy reading reviews on Trip Advisor. Many reviews thank our amazing volunteer guides and reception...