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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: A happy ending

    The saga of the nightingale nest had a happy ending over the weekend, as the brood successfully fledged on Sunday. At least one chick was subsequently found - a great reward for the efforts of the parents, and our volunteers who spared several hours helping to reduce disturbance and allowing the adults...
  • Blog Post: travellers from the east - and south!

    It's been a good few days to see migrant birds at Minsmere. The red-backed shrike remains around the seaward end of the North Wall, where it can go missing for periods but shows well at other times. Here's one of Jon Evans photos, as promised on Monday. Better still was a barred warbler...
  • 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: Pectoral sandpiper flexing its muscles

    Lots of migrants are still coming through this week. Only today there was a pectoral sandpiper near Lucky Pool, stopping off on its long journey from Siberia to Southern Africa. It could also have been a bit lost on its way from the eastern coast of North America, as they're sometimes blown over...
  • 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: North Levels Wader Trail - Minsmere, but not as you know it!

    With the breeding season over, it's that time of year again when we open our seasonal trails to give visitors the chance to discover new areas of Minsmere and maybe spot some of our more elusive species. Over the next couple of weeks we'll once again be opening the North Bushes trail to look...
  • Blog Post: Busy, busy, busy. Too much to see and not enough time

    Wow, there's just so much happening at Minsmere - and we haven't even got to May yet! After yesterday's stone-curlew was spotted from the approach road, another was located on the Konik Field, where it showed well all afternoon. Although they are waders, stone-curlews are rarely seen near...
  • Blog Post: A funky chicken moment - aka bitterntastic!

    It doesn't matter how much time you spend watching wildlife, there's always a surprise around the corner. And so it was for Adam Rowlands, Minsmere's Senior Site Manager, this very morning. A few weeks ago Adam spent the early hours showing Mike Dilger round Minsmere to record a story...
  • Blog Post: A great white at Minsmere

    Anyone visiting the Suffolk coast these days can hardly fail to spot a small white heron paddling around in the shallows of an estuary or coastal pool. Little egrets were still rarities as recently as 20 years ago, before starting to breed in the UK in 1995. Colonisation was swift, and they are now widespread...
  • 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: London buses

    Just like the proverbial London bus, good birds often come along together. Earlier today, one of our volunteers reported six spoonbills flying over the reedbed towards Island Mere. Seconds later, the radios crackled into life again as Paul spotted an osprey heading in the same direction. Now, osprey...
  • Blog Post: masked visitor

    A rare masked visitor arrived at Minsmere over the weekend. No need to worry, though, as this particular masked visitor was not only harmless but highly prized by many of Minsmere's birdwatchers. The visitor in question was a grey phalarope - a tiny wading bird that hasn't been seen at Minsmere...
  • 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: Long live the king (eider)

    Just when we thought things were looking settled, a surprise discovery brought local birdwatchers out in force on Sunday afternoon. Unlike the recent run of rare visitors, this bird was slightly harder to pin down due to it's sea-going nature. Luckily, as it drifted up and down the Suffolk coast...
  • Blog Post: Is spring finally around the corner?

    After one of the slowest starts to spring migration on record, we finally heard our first chiffchaff of the spring yesterday. This is almost three weeks later than the usual first arrival date. Given the cold weather that's probably not a surprise, and providing they start to flood in over the next...
  • 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: The French foreign legion

    From time to time we see birds at Minsmere that are sporting various bling. This is usually coloured leg rings, used by researchers to help to track individual birds in the field so that we can learn more about their movements. Occasionally, however, other forms of tracking are used, such as wing tags...
  • Blog Post: Settling in or moving on?

    Mid June is a strange time of year for watching birds. With so many species actively feeding young, many birds are settled, making it fairly predictable which species you'll see on any given visit. Yet other birds are on the move. The last of the northbound wading birds have been moving through Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: Travellers from afar - and Norfolk!

    There's been a world cup feel to Minsmere over the last few days, as three species from three different continents have attracted most attention. The continents: Africa, Arctic Europe and South America. The species: nightingale, spotted redshank and Chilean flamingo. The reasons for a visit: to breed...
  • Blog Post: Rare visitors rain down

    After days of moaning about the westerly winds, many Suffolk birdwatchers have been getting excited about the prospects offered by a couple of days of easterlies. Sure enough, elsewhere along the coast there have been reports over the last couple of days of yellow-browed warblers , firecrests and a red...
  • Blog Post: Northern invaders

    With winter's arrival, some of our more exciting winter migrants are beginning to put in an appearance. Waxwings , in particular, are always popular, and there have been many reports from throughout the UK over the last few days. As usual. most are arriving on the east coast before moving inland...
  • Blog Post: Why not Minsmere?

    I'm sure many of you will be aware of the sandhill crane that has visited Suffolk this week. The fourth UK record, it's visited three RSPB reserves on the Suffolk coast. It made a brief stop at RSPB North Warren , then took up residence at RSPB Boyton Marshes and nearby farmland, with a visit...
  • Blog Post: Insect heaven

    The recent hot sunny weather has been ideal for insects at Minsmere. Even yesterday's heavy thundery showers should have limited effect on the good numbers of butterflies, dragonflies and other insects currently one the wing. July is one of the best months to watch insects, and with the birdlife...
  • Blog Post: Paying homage to North Wall

    It had to be done. I haven't been around the Scrape for weeks, and with North Wall closing for five months on Monday, I had to take the opportunity for a post-lunch walk this afternoon - once the rain had cleared. I'm sure many of our regulars will agree that not being able to complete a circuit...