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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: First impressions

    It's been a long ten weeks since I last visited the old Island Mere Hide, so it was with much anticipation that I headed down to the new hide for a quick look yesterday. And I was not disappointed. The hide looks absolutely superb as you approach up the ramp. This will be a great place to watch...
  • Blog Post: Scavengers, one and all

    Sometimes it's the common species that spring the biggest surprises. So it was at lunchtime today when I strolled down to Island Mere. The scene was, as usual, one of calm serenity. The water was mirror-calm, reflecting the low midday sun such that it was impossible to see the island itself. The...
  • Blog Post: Starling roost update

    Many people have been asking us where they watch impressive flocks of starlings on the Suffolk coast this winter. There have only been a few hundred here at Minsmere each evening, so apart from a difficult to see flock at Dingle Marhses, the only notable roost has been the few thousand in Lowestoft Docks...
  • Blog Post: Let the magic begin

    I had another stroll down to the new Island Mere Hide this afternoon to look at the newly installed interpretation, and in the hope of seeing a few good birds. I wasn’t disappointed. As I’ve said previously, I loved the old hide, despite it’s shortcomings, and while I knew its replacement...
  • Blog Post: 6000 minus two equals dinner

    Our starling roost was particularly impressive again tonight. Numbers remain at about 6000 birds, but however good we are estimating such big flocks, they were reduced by two tonight thanks to the successful attacks of an opportunistic peregrine ! One theory behind why starlings gather in such numbers...
  • Blog Post: STOP Press: the starlings are back!

    Great news! There were about 4000 starlings roosting in North Marsh this evening. Why not come along this weekend and watch them? You can visit the Christmas Fair too. The starlings are best viewed from North Wall. We hope they are here to stay and that the flock will increase because it's about...
  • Blog Post: Early November sightings update

    Apologies for the lack of a recent sightings update. It's not that there hasn't been much happening. Far from it. We've actually had a really busy couple of weeks for birds. I'll try to summarise the highlights for you. Skuas have featured heavily for those keen enough to try a bit...
  • Blog Post: Ducks and raptors and reedbed birds

    Water levels are finally beginning to return to normal on most parts of the reserve, with all paths now fully accessible - if a little muddy near the sluice. The Levels are a still looking superb, with shallow floodwater covering the marshes. Huge flocks of ducks are gathering out there, including...
  • Blog Post: Christmas is coming...the goose is getting fat

    Yes folks, Christmas is approaching, and I don't know what to buy. Lots of you obviously do though as Minsmere's visitor centre was a hive of activity over the weekend for our Christmas Fair. Staff and volunteers were on hand to offer advice on buying birdfood , gifts, RSPB chocolate (palm-oil...
  • 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: Autumn gales and winter frosts

    It's been a week of contrasts, though here in Suffolk we have certainly not experienced the full force of the UK's week of wild weather. The week began with the first real chill in the air, but no sign of the snow afflicting northern counties. By midweek, we caught the tail end of the damaging...
  • Blog Post: It's nice to see smew

    Smews are definitely one of my favourite birds. They are scarce but annual visitors to Minsmere, with up to five usually seen between mid December and late February, maybe for slightly longer. They are diving ducks that feed on fish (they're actually the smallest member of the sawbill family, closely...
  • 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Old favourites return

    This week has seen the return of one of our most popular birds: waxwings ! Jon Gibbs spotted a flock of about 20 outside the visitor centre on Wednesday afternoon, and they were seen later that day in North Bushes. About 30 were in North Bushes yesterday too. I've not had any news of them yet today...
  • Blog Post: Unexpected surprises

    One of the joys of wildlife watching is its unpredictability. Take our starlings for a start. After several years without a decent starling roost at Minsmere, we'd almost given up on them returning, and began focusing on the roost at RSPB Snape . Imagine our surprise and pleasure when the roost began...
  • Blog Post: Spectacular evening

    What a great way to end a busy day in the visitor centre. At 3.45 pm I headed down to North Hide to check out the growing starling roost. After a gorgeous sunny late autumn day, it was becoming a bit overcast and misty, but the sunset was still impressive, if short-lived. Small flocks of starlings...
  • Blog Post: Icy blast brings wader bonanza

    It's not often we say this in December, but the Scrape was heaving with waders today. No doubt the bitterly cold north-easterly gales were a factor, with many of these birds seeking the relative shelter of the Scrape, rather than braving it our on the beaches and estuaries, but it just shows that...
  • 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: 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: 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...