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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: 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...
  • Blog Post: A busy week

    While I've been enjoying some extremely memorable birdwatching in Portugal (this isn't the place to relate the stories unfortunately), it's been a really busy week at Minsmere. Work has progressed well on building the new fence around the Scrape. The bank on which the fence will sit has...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful beards

    Or perhaps that should say "magnificent moustaches?" Either way, I'm talking about the same species. One of our most sought after birds. One of our most beautiful birds. And one that seems to be putting on a really good show this week. I am, of course, talking about bearded tits. Tiny...
  • 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...