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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: 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: Giving nature a home at Minsmere

    Have you seen our new logo? This week the RSPB launched our exciting new campaign, with the title Giving Nature a Home. If you check out the new pages on our website you'll find all sorts of ideas about how you can help give nature a home. Perhaps you're able to put up a new nestbox or dig a...
  • Blog Post: Record breakers

    It seems hard to believe that as recently as the early 1990s any sighting of a little egret was a red letter day. Then, in 1996 a few pairs bred in Dorset and Devon and they haven't looked back. They began nesting in Suffolk a few years later, and we can now almost expect to see a little egret anywhere...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch at Minsmere

    Springwatch returned to our screens this week, bringing a host of new stars to our lounges for the next three weeks. There's the usual mix of nest cams, night vision cams, and exciting wilflife stories to inspire viewers to take a greater interest in the wildlife around them. This weekend, we're...
  • Blog Post: A sad sight

    On Saturday morning, Minsmere Field Teacher and Visitor Centre Assistant, Stephen Massey, was walking through the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul church in Aldeburgh when he spotted what looked like a dead blackbird. Approaching closer he realised that the corpse in question was actually a bird of...
  • Blog Post: Swifts under attack

    Following the recent blog about the sad plight of some of our hobbies this spring, there's been a few more dragonflies on the wing this week, especially four-spotted chasers, so hopefully these stunning raptors may now have more food available. There's also been reports of hobbies feeding on...
  • Blog Post: One day wonders

    Minsmere has had a bit of purple patch in the last week or so, although you had to be quick to catcha glimpse of all our unusual visitors. Typically, I missed them all. The first week of May saw sightings of two rare herons in the reedbed: purple heron and two great white egrets. Typically, they were...
  • Blog Post: Managing Minsmere

    Keeping Minsmere in tip top condition for wildlife and people is a careful balancing act. We could make the reserve brilliant for one species, but it might be detrimental for others, or mean visitors can't see anything else. We could make it a brilliant place to see wildlife in one seasn, but there's...
  • 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: The west wind blows

    It was bound to happen. No sooner had I blogged about migrants finally flooding in then the wind swung back to the west, the showers set in, and migration slowed down again. Typical. The main consequence of this has been a relative status quo for the last week. The red-crested pochard remains on Island...
  • Blog Post: A hobby to remember?

    Birdwatching is one of those past times that you can do anywhere, any time. In the last week, for example, I've a marsh harrier flying over my garden whilst I was washing up, and a green woodpecker flew over at eye height as we watered the garden last night. But if you want to see something more...
  • Blog Post: Goggle eyes, orioles & owls

    In my absence on holiday there have been a few notable birds at Minsmere. Typically, some have been more obliging than others, and few people will have been able catch up with all the goodies. For many, the stars of the show have been a pair of stone-curlews that have set up home in the field behind...
  • Blog Post: One of my best Minsmere moments ever

    I had a quick stroll to Bittern Hide at lunchtime int he hope of finally tracking down the purple heron. It was seen about half an hour earlier, but no sign during my visit. Nothing new there. No bittern either. However, I did have one of those magic moments that Minsmere is prone to conjuring up...
  • Blog Post: Looking to the Future

    Hi again I'm back from Derbyshire and refreshed from a week with the family. Much as I love Minsmere, it's great to have a few days away to recharge the batteries. Now I'm back, I'm already looking to the future in several different ways. Yesterday I attended the latest meeting...
  • Blog Post: Fudge anyone?

    Keeping up the insect theme (well, July is the month that many birdwatchers switch their allegiance to insects) I saw my first cinnabar moth caterpillars today. These are the yellow and black striped caterpillars that feed on ragwort plants. If you were like me as a child, you might remember "playing"...
  • Blog Post: buzzing, flitting, flapping and chattering

    Thursday's family day was a great success. About 100 children enjoyed taking part in a range of activities, and from the people I spoke to I know that amny of the parents learned something too. That's the plan - it is a family event afterall and there's always something to learn as far as...
  • Blog Post: Migration steps up

    After a relatively quiet week for birds during the spell of westerly winds, there's definitely been evidence of autumn migration beginning to hit full swing in the last few days. Perhaps the most obvious movements were at sea on Monday, when counts included minima of 575+ gannets , seven great...
  • Blog Post: Latest wildlife news

    First the bad news. Fiona has left us. Yes, after a long stay at Minsmere, it seems that our resident greater flamingo has once again got itchy feet and gone on her travels. She was last seen on 30 June. Intrigingly, a flamingo was spotted on Monday afternoon walking along the runway at manchester airport...
  • 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: Island Mere's the place to be

    There is no doubt that Island Mere is the place to be at the moment. Pride of place goes to the three great white egrets that remain, but there's much more to see from the hide. What's more, you can see it more easily as the wardens went out yesterday to cut the reeds in front of the hide. The...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: beauty in black and white

    After a superb few days of weather that brought in crowds of birdwatchers, walkers and families, a bit of drizzle this morning proved to be good for migrants, with several species of wader and passerine grounded on their long journeys. Pride of place definitely went to the gorgeous male pied flycatcher...