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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 starling roost
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  • Blog Post: Another year ends - roll on 2016

    It's been a wild and wet end to 2015 - though rather less wild here in Suffolk than in many other parts of the UK. We hope not too many of you have been affected by the flooding over Christmas. Ironically, given how much rain we've had, Minsmere's paths are actually relatively dry - though...
  • Blog Post: Winter's arrived

    I'm back from a superb week watching eagles, otters, dolphins and much more on the beautiful island of Mull, and it sounds like I've missed quite an exciting ten days here at Minsmere too. I always consider that winter arrives with the first sighting of a "wild" swan. For me, that...
  • Blog Post: Not ducking the issue

    Every summer, once the breeding season is over, Minsmere's wardens, volunteers and contractors turn their attention to the task of habitat management, helping to create the perfect home for an incredible variety of nature. Work continues throughout the autumn and winter, and it's not an easy...
  • Blog Post: Butcher birds and ghost hunters

    The fantastic autumn migration has continued apace this week with hundreds more goldcrests arriving, as well as the first significant arrival of redwings and fieldfares. With them have come more starlings, helping to boost numbers gathering for the evening murmuration over North Marsh. Finches have...
  • Blog Post: Arriving tired and hungry

    We've all been there, and got the T-shirt. A long journey with kids is almost guaranteed to include the words "Are we there yet?" In many cases these might be repeated many times, and perhaps by the adults as well as the children. At least we are usually able to provide an answer, as...
  • Blog Post: Murmurations return!

    Yes folks, I have good news. The starlings are back. Last night about 6000 starlings were seen over North Marsh, putting on a great display from about 6 pm to 6.30 pm. The best place to watch from is probably the North Wall. We hope that numbers will increase in the coming weeks, and the favoured...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch revisited

    After all the wet weather recently, it was great to have a couple of dry days on Monday and Tuesday. We even managed to see the sun again. (Sadly it's wet again today, though the forecast is better for the rest of the week). The better weather couldn't have better timed either, as I welcomed...
  • Blog Post: Starling spectacular, rarities and the Brigadier

    What a week it has been. The continuing superb autumn weather, combined with roosting starlings, Minsmere's red deer appearing on Autumnwatch, and our exciting family activity programme all helped to make October half term one of the busiest weeks on record. As well as making some lovely insect...
  • Blog Post: It's a numbers game

    There have been some impressive counts of birds at Minsmere over the last week or so, including a few unexpected species. Perhaps the most unexpected counts were of one our most familiar birds and its close cousin. On Monday, Minsmere volunteer John Grant spent the morning recording visible migration...
  • Blog Post: No more murmurations

    Sadly it looks like our very popular starling murmurations are over for another year. From a peak of 40k birds, the flock had declined to about 10k midway through last week. Last night I took the family to see them again and though the birds put on an impressive display the flock was barely 1000 strong...
  • Blog Post: Croaking, grunting and squealing

    You know spring is just around the corner when a visit to Minsmere requires you to use your ears as well as your eyes. Not forgetting your nose too as the scent of coconut from the gorse blossom will soon be wafting around the car park and beach - and of course the delicious smell of bacon or fresh-cooked...
  • Blog Post: A wealth of wildlife

    Minsmere's a great place to watch all sorts of wildlife, and our mammals are no exception. Some, of course, are easier to spot than others: rabbits are almost guaranteed along the entrance road, grey squirrels patrol the feeders at the visitor centre or play chase among the oaks in the woods, and...
  • Blog Post: Murmurs of spring

    There can be no doubt about the highlight of the last week or so. At long last we have an impressive murmuration of starlings at Minsmere this winter. The flock has been estimated at 30-40000 birds. They are roosting in the reedbed south of Island Mere and are best watched from Island Mere Hide. Birds...
  • Blog Post: And they've left again!

    Soon after posting yesterday's exciting news that our starlings had returned came the disappointing news that they'd already relocated to somewhere else. Last night only a few hundred starlings were seen, and they haven't come back tonight either. We don't know know where they've...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere murmurations - the starlings have arrived!

    They've kept us waiting again this year, but last night we were treated to the amazing spectacle of a murmuration at Minsmere as 10000 starlings gathered above the reedbed before settling to roost between Bittern and Island Mere Hides. Large flocks of starlings swirling across the sky like clouds...
  • Blog Post: Starling update

    Following the flooding at Snape and Dingle marshes it's likely that the flocks of starlings roosting at these reserves have declined or moved - I've not had any updates. However, we have at last located a sizable roost - 6-8000 birds - at RSPB North Warren. These are best viewed from the reedbed...
  • Blog Post: Where are the starlings?

    Can anyone help us? We're trying to find thousands of starlings? The large roost of starlings at Snape/Iken has declined to just a few hundred pairs, and we've not been able to relocate an impressive flock yet. We're aware of several thousand birds in Lowestoft Docks, where they are always...
  • Blog Post: Otter-ly amazing

    One of the great things about working at Minsmere is that we're surrounded by fantastic nature. It's easy to spend hours watching the feeders at the visitor centre, being entertained by flocks of marsh, coal, blue and great tits, chaffinches, greenfinches and goldfinches vying for the prime spots...
  • Blog Post: Starling roosts

    At this time of year we start to get lots of enquiries about starling roosts, especially after seeing some of the amazing images on BBC Autumnwatch last week. While we're yet to get a roost here at Minsmere this autumn, we have managed to locate a sizable roost on the Suffolk coast - at Snape. It...
  • Blog Post: What no starlings?

    If, like me, you watched Countryfile on Sunday night, you'll have seen the fantastic swirling clouds of starlings above the Somerset Levels. There really are fewer better spectacles in the UK. Sadly, the starlings do not seem to be playing ball here on the Suffolk coast this winter. After the...
  • Blog Post: A different type of feather?

    I was walking through the office this morning when something bright caught my eye. A moth, on the carpet, near the door. I just managed to stop a colleague standing on it before it flew to the window and allowed me to take this photo . Now, I'm no moth expert, and our number one moth man is on annual...
  • 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 touch of the exotic

    Despite the deep freeze conditions, there was a touch of exotica at Island Mere today. A Chinese feel to the birding. The reason? The unexpected appearance of a pair of mandarins, sharing the tiny ice-free pool with a few gadwalls, shovelers, mallards and teals, five female tufted ducks, a drake pintail...
  • Blog Post: Just missed a good one!

    Great walk yesterday morning to celebrate National Farmhouse Breakfast Week. It was cold but clear with a red dawn sky over the sea when we started at 7 am. Gorgeous sunrise as we reached East Hide, and not too cold when sheltered from NE wind. We had some cracking views of wildlife too, before returning...
  • Blog Post: The Five W's

    You've all heard of the three R's of learning. As you're reading this, you'll be familiar with the three W's of the world wide web. Well, today's wildlife highlights centred on the five W's: waxwings, wildfowl, waders, water rails and wagtails. Waxwings continue to be seen...