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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.
Results for geese, Bewick's swan
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  • Blog Post: Wonderful World Wetlands Day Walk

    Every year I lead a winter wildfowl guided walk on 2 February to celebrate World Wetlands Day - marking the signing of an international treaty to protect the world's most important wetlands for wildlfie and people. Minsmere is one of many RAMSAR sites, designated under this treaty, so it seems only...
  • 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: A Suffolk first

    Hot on the heals of Suffolk's first Hornemann's arctic redpoll at Aldeburgh this week (see Tuesday's North Warren blog) , one lucky birdwatcher was treated to views of another Suffolk first at Minsmere this afternoon. The bird in question was a surf scoter - a North American duck that is...
  • Blog Post: Spring is in the air

    It was a gorgeous spring-like day at Minsmere today. Shame I was in the office. At least two buzzards flew over the warden's office - a sure sign that spring is on its way. Other signs of spring are increasing birdsong, drumming great spotted woodpeckers and flowering snowdrops. A reminder...
  • Blog Post: Autumn gales and winter frosts

    It's been a week of contrasts, though here in Suffolk we have certainly not experienced the full force of the UK's week of wild weather. The week began with the first real chill in the air, but no sign of the snow afflicting northern counties. By midweek, we caught the tail end of the damaging...
  • 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: It's nice to see smew

    Smews are definitely one of my favourite birds. They are scarce but annual visitors to Minsmere, with up to five usually seen between mid December and late February, maybe for slightly longer. They are diving ducks that feed on fish (they're actually the smallest member of the sawbill family, closely...
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year - and some great birding already!

    Wow! What a way to start the new year! Here's a few of the highlights from the first three days of the year: seawatching on 1st - slavonian grebe (very rare at Minsmere), velvet scoter , three eiders , 200+ red-throated divers , 50 great crested grebes geese on 1st included 12 tundra beans...
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year

    So another year ends. It's been an exciting one. Here's just a few of the highlights (I'm bound to have missed a few): funding received from Heritage Lottery Fund to allow us to start work on the Minsmere Discover Nature Project. For details of the other funders for this excting project...
  • Blog Post: Beans and Bewick's

    Winter wildfowl have been vying with the almost resident waxwings and regular otters for top honours this week. Bewick's swans are always a popular species at Minsmere, even though we only ever see small flocks compared to those in the Fens. Up to 17 have been present for the last month or so...
  • Blog Post: A winter wonderland

    The weekend snow has left Minsmere looking even more picturesque than ever. The snow is criss-crossed by the trails of rabbits, muntjacs, red deer, foxes, pheasants, moorhens and a variety of smaller birds. There is a clear patch around each low bush, especailly gorse, where the rabbits have been busy...
  • 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: Winter is upon us

    It hardly seems right to be saying this in mid October, with the sun shining outside, but I can officially declare that winter has arrived. How can I be so certain? Well, I've defined the first day of winter as the day I see my first wild swan - Bewick's swans arriving from Siberia or whooper...
  • Blog Post: Still wild and free

    More than one year after she escaped from Marwell Zoo, and almost ten months after her visit to Minsmere, Fiona the wandering greater flamingo returned to the Scrape for at least her fifth visit on Tuesday. After so long in the wild, without access to food supplements to enhance her colour, she's...
  • Blog Post: Winter wildfowl wonders

    Mid winter at Minsmere means wildfowl taking centre stage. And this year is no exception - although the otters are doing a great job of upstaging them at Island Mere. On Tuesday I led the first of the winter wildfowl guided walks at Minsmere, and enjoyed some great sightings. If you missed it, you...
  • Blog Post: Let the magic begin

    I had another stroll down to the new Island Mere Hide this afternoon to look at the newly installed interpretation, and in the hope of seeing a few good birds. I wasn’t disappointed. As I’ve said previously, I loved the old hide, despite it’s shortcomings, and while I knew its replacement...
  • Blog Post: Old favourites return

    This week has seen the return of one of our most popular birds: waxwings ! Jon Gibbs spotted a flock of about 20 outside the visitor centre on Wednesday afternoon, and they were seen later that day in North Bushes. About 30 were in North Bushes yesterday too. I've not had any news of them yet today...
  • Blog Post: Exploring foreign parts

    Just occasionally, it's nice to have the chance to visit new reserves, even if it does mean spending a few days away from Minsmere's glorious wildlife. On Monday, I took a gorgeous train journey across the Broads and Fens, on route to Peterborough, and on north to Middlesbrough. This train...
  • Blog Post: Winter has arrived

    Temperatures have dropped considerably this week, with the first frosts and some icy rain this morning. There was even a brief spell of sleet early this morning, but I don't think we're going to get any snow on the Suffolk coast yet. With the colder weather our bird feeders have become even...
  • Blog Post: Machinery in the marshes

    The next few weeks will see the arrival of some interesting machinery at Minsmere to help us with our habitat management. First up will be the return of the Truxor to the reedbed. This is a special amphibious reed-cutting machine that can access wetter parts of the reedbed that remain difficult to...
  • Blog Post: Swanning around is otterly crazy

    We've had a couple of days of welcome winter sun this week after what has, at times, felt like one day of rain and gales after another. Today has, at times, felt almost springlike, helped by the robins whistling their melancholic winter songs. Even on the wetter days, though, the weather has often...