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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 sand martin
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  • Blog Post: Minsmere for all

    Guest blog by Lizzie Guntrip, writer, naturalist, broadcaster and inclusive nature ambassador Sitting on one of the benches at the North Wall, with my feet tucked up underneath me, I hear a nearby “ping-ping” coming from the reedbed in front of us. I am leaning against the bench back,...
  • Blog Post: Learning about sand martins

    Guest blog by Allan Smith, Waveney Bird Club Ringing Group The Waveney Bird Club have been ringing Minsmere's sand martins for the last two years, with the first ringing session of 2015 recently undertaken. Sand martins feed on small aerial insects throughout the year. They are summer visitors...
  • Blog Post: Records tumble

    The early indications are that we're set for one of the best breeding seasons at Minsmere for a long time. Indeed several records look like being broken. One record that has been broken this morning is for the biggest ever flock of bee-eaters to be seen in Suffolk. Adam Rowlands, our Senior Sites...
  • 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: #signsofspring

    Firstly, apologies for the delay since my last sightings blog. I’ve spent much of the last week in conferences or meetings (more of that later), and then the Community pages had to be closed for maintenance. At last they are back on line, so here's an overdue update. The last time I updated...
  • 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: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and machines and...)

    Despite the weekend storms and frequent heavy showers, our insects are continuing to attract a lot of attention. Butterflies such as gatekeepers and meadow browns are attracted to brambles, small coppers and common blues on the North Wall and dunes, and red admirals and small tortoiseshells still on...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch may be over but the wildlife remains

    Wow, what an amazing three weeks. It's been a whirlwind of emotions with fledgings and predation, new discoveries and surprise observations. There were moments to make to you laugh, and others to make you cry. Footage to make some hide behind the sofa and events that will never be forgotten. Who...
  • Blog Post: Expecting the unexpected

    Spring is a fantastic time at Minsmere, with so much to see that you never really know what to expect. OK, so you can reliably see black-headed gulls, avocets and lapwings nesting on the Scrape, or perhaps a marsh harrier sky-dancing above the reeds, but will you be lucky enough to spot a bittern...
  • Blog Post: Back from Africa

    They seem to be a bit late this year, but we've finally had what can be described as a flock of sand martins around the pond today, with up to twelve birds present all day. We've also had further sightings of a swallow and the first house martin over the Scrape today. Another new arrival is...
  • Blog Post: New arrivals trickling in

    Hot on the heels of our recent pair of garganeys, the last week has seen the arrival of the advance guard of some of our earlier spring migrants. Last week I asked whether the first sand martins or wheatears would arrive soon and they finally did so over the weekend, with singles of both species seen...
  • 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: The early bird(watcher) earns their rewards

    Mid April means the start of our popular dawn chorus guided walks at Minsmere. Now, you may wander why anyone would want to get up before the lark in time to arrive at a nature reserve while it's still dark, but that's probably the best time to visit Minsmere. Just ask the 16 eager souls who...
  • 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: Cuckoos and swifts arrive to celebrate spring

    It's Spring Celebration tomorrow, and the birds certainly seem to know that we're here to celebrate spring. The first cuckoo of the year was reported calling near Island Mere - a great way to celebrate St George's Day. let's hope we get a few more than for the last few years, but I'm...
  • Blog Post: Bitterns on top form

    It's mid March, so bitterns have finally started to steal the show back from otters in Minsmere's reedbeds. During the first early morning survey work last week wardens heard at least eight grunting bitterns. Grunting is the precurso to booming. A kind of tuning up. Although they were less vocal...
  • Blog Post: A taste of the Costas

    Firstly, an apology for the lack of recent updates. I've been away for a couple of weeks and with so much work going on at Minsmere I didn't ask anyone to write an update in my absence. Also a reminder that you can see more regular, brief updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages. With spring...
  • Blog Post: A spring in my step

    It's been lovely to have a couple of short strolls around parts of Minsmere this week. The warm sunshine has put a real spring in my step, and it really feels like the seasons have changed at last (especially after a week in up to a foot of snow in Estonia earlier this month!) The bumblebees have...
  • Blog Post: migration in full swing

    Autumn is a great time to witness the wonders of migration, and the last week has been an excellent example. Simply standing on the beach for an hour or so has been one way. On Thursday, for example, a pomarine skua and five arctic skuas flew south just offshore, and there was regular passage of wading...
  • Blog Post: Martins galore

    A quick scan over Island mere from the overflow car park last night showed just how many migrants have arrived int he alst few days. The sky was full fo martins, swarming at great height in pursuit of tiny insects. given the height, distnace and light (looking straight into the sun) I couldn't pick...
  • Blog Post: Travellers from afar

    Nature never ceases to amaze me, and today saw another example of just why. Robin Harvey found a dead black-headed gull on the Scrape this morning. While this is always a sad sight, it's also part fo nature, and not something that we get too emotional about. However, this gull was different. It...
  • 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: Another touch of France

    This time last week I was soaking up the rays of French sunshine in the Cevennes, combining leading guided walks with a family holiday. What a great area for watching wildlife. Orchids galore, including two found nowhere else in the world. Loads of butterflies - just don't ask me exactly which blues...
  • 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: It's all happening right now

    Migration. Don't you just love it? The unpredictability. The stories of incredible journeys and survival against the odds. Best of all, is the knowledge that the season's are changing and the natural world is still alive and waiting to spring its next surprise upon us. OK, so maybe not everything...