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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: 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: Calling all families

    At long last, we're pleased to announce that the new family facilities at Minsmere are open from tomorrow morning. Children can learn about some of Minsmere's wildlife whilst playing in the new Wild Zone. There are tunnels to explore and become sand martin chicks. There's a forest of logs...
  • Blog Post: Choose Suffolk

    Eight years ago when I started work at Minsmere, I chose Suffolk. Every year, thousands of birds choose Suffolk. Whether they live here or visit only once, millions of people choose Suffolk. This morning, I joined several tourism colleagues from around the Waveney area and beyond at a workshop about...
  • Blog Post: butterflies add a touch of spring

    Today's star birds were a spoonbill and buzzards. The spoonbill was spotted on the Levels this morning before moving to West Scrape, where it remained visible for much of the afternoon. An excellent passage of nine buzzards was noted over Whin Hill this morning, in three separate parties of four...
  • Blog Post: Beaches, beetles, and back to business as usual

    This morning Ricky and I went down to the beach before work to begin our ringed plover monitoring. These little birds make their nests on the pebbly beach and should breed from this time of year on. They can easily and unintentionally be flushed from their nests, and their eggs are so well camouflaged...
  • 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: A great weekend

    We had another great weekend at Minsmere. Our staff and volunteers spoke to many visitors, helping them to spot our special species and make the visit more enjoyable. It was great to see so many families, especially on Saturday when the weather was superb. Sunday remained dull and dreary, with the forecast...
  • 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: 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: from moths to tigers, pond life to warblers

    The sun is shining (at last), and the crowds are filing through the doors for our fourth family day of the summer. It's great to see so many excited faces as children dip their nets in the pond before studying the contents in a waiting white tray. A dragonfly larvae here, newt nymph there, or the...
  • 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...
  • 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: Island Mere still has it's magic

    As many long standing visitors to Minsmere will know, the old Island Mere Hide was one of the best places to watch willdife in the UK, especially rare reedbed species such as bitterns , marsh harriers and bearded tits . I've often described it as my favourite place to sit and relax in England. ...
  • Blog Post: A repeat performance

    Following my last blog about Ernie Dale's amazing account of two bitterns at Island Mere, I decided to stroll down there at lunchtime. I wasn't expecting to see any bitterns as i was only planning to spend five minutes in the hide. No, my real target was to add a few newly arrived migrants...
  • Blog Post: Winter meets spring

    Two species of duck are stealing the show at present: two species that are rarely seen on the same day in the UK. Smews have featured heavily in our sightings blogs for the last three months. We'd usually expect the last ones to be leaving Minsmere in mid March, but the continued cold weather...
  • Blog Post: The king still reigns

    Our first winter king eider has clearly taken a liking to his chosen stretch of coastline, as he remains offshore today. He seems to start the day off Dunwich, slowly drift south towards the sluice, then head out to sea before reappearing off Dunwich later in the day. he even took a rest on Dunwich beach...
  • Blog Post: Pretty in pink

    As the spring migration gathers pace, new birds are being added to the reserve year list ever day. The following species have already arrived: Sandwich and common terns, little gulls, sand martins, swallows, house martins, sedge warblers, reed warblers (including the earliest ever Suffolk record), blackcaps...