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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: "Loving Minsmere today. The wildlife is amazing"

    On a busy Bank Holiday Monday, the day the BBC Springwatch cameras went live, it was great to hear comments like that in the title of this blog, time and time again from our visitors. We had worked hard to ensure that we were ready for an influx of visitors, and despite records numbers coming to the...
  • 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: Beautiful in blue

    There was great excitement at Minsmere yesterday with the discovery of a beautiful male bluethroat feeding along the edge of a reedbed pool close to the North Wall. Despite breeding in good numbers just across the North Sea in The Netherlands, bluethroats remain rare visitors in the UK. The last record...
  • Blog Post: A touch of colour

    I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend, despite Sunday's rather wet weather - and this morning's! It looks like the April showers have arrived a little late this year - along with autumn gales in May, as once again the British weather bowls us a googly. I've just enjoyed a few...
  • Blog Post: Swiftly does it

    On Tuesday morning a message came over the radio that there were good numbers of swifts over the reedbed. I looked at the date on my watch and remarked "28th April. Right on cue." Over the years I have come to expect the mass arrival of swifts to occur within a day or two on 27 April. Yes,...
  • Blog Post: Variety: the spice of life

    There can be absolutely no doubt that spring is here, despite the, at times, chill northerly wind that has been blowing this week. Wader migration is in full swing, warblers are arriving en masse, insects are flitting around the reserve in increasing numbers, and a few unexpected bonuses are thrown in...
  • 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: Wonderful waders, beautiful butterflies & happy families

    It's been another gorgeous week at Minsmere. I heard on the radio yesterday that the Met Office were reporting that July was the best ever, and August has certainly started with another day of unbroken sunshine. With such lovely weather it's not been a surprise to see hundreds of happy families...
  • Blog Post: Fledgings, flowers and migrants

    We've some exciting news on some of the stars of Springwatch this week. First Grub. Those who follow us on Twitter (@RSPBMinsmere) or Facebook (RSPBSuffolk) will already have heard that Grub is alive and well. Adam, our Senior Site Manager, heard a young tawny owl calling from the area of Grub's...
  • 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: Bitterns, beardies and bee-eaters!

    Guest blog by Paul Green, Warden, North Suffolk Reserves Every Thursday morning during spring and summer a team of wardens and volunteers carry out our bittern watches. Each of us sits in somewhere with a good view of the reedbed and waits, recording all bittern activity to help us to locate nesting...
  • Blog Post: Spring migration hotting up

    With the exciting news that BBC Springwatch is coming to Minsmere, our resident and migrant wildlife is preparing to take centre stage. Our resident bitterns and marsh harriers continue to perform well, while bearded tits are very active at Island Mere and the family of water rails is still putting...
  • 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...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • 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: My First weeks at Minsmere

    Guest blog by Charlotte Bishop Hello, I am a new intern at Minsmere and I have been here for three weeks. I arrived on Sunday 3 July in glorious sunshine and after spending some time wondering when the road into Minsmere would ever end I made it to the volunteer accommodation. I was told I would...
  • 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: 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...