Minsmere

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 bittern, Recent sightings
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  • Blog Post: A gorgeous morning

    I don't get the chance to lead guided walks very often, so when John Grant asked me to return a favour and stand in for him leading today's walk, I didn't need much persuading. It was, therefore, with great frustration that I opened the curtains this morning to see a thick cloaking everything...
  • 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: Count the legs & divide by two

    Today is apparantly the day that all zoos in the UK carry out their annual stock check. They have to count (and account for) every animal in their collections, from mighty elephants to the tiniest insects. I'm sure it can't be too hard to count the mammals, birds and repiles, but the fish and...
  • 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: Flying the nest, spreading one’s wings

    To quote Bob Marley, ‘the sun is shining, the weather is sweet...’ Today feels much like any other day, and I’m trying to keep it that way. But it isn’t. Today is my last day at Minsmere. On Monday I will take up my new post of Assistant Warden at Elmley Marshes RSPB Reserve...
  • Blog Post: Invaders from abroad

    In recent years there's been a surprising number of species colonising the UK for the first time. Many more are becoming more frequent migrants and could start breeding soon too. Among the new colonists, herons have been particularly prominent. As recently as 1995 the only species of herons breeding...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Minsmere's Springwatch

    Have you been watching Springwatch on the BBC? It was heartbreaking to see those dead lapwing and osprey chicks yesterday after Friday's massive storm, but I was so pleased to see the goldcrest nest has survived - and as for those treecreepers ! After April's flooding at Minsmere, we know how...
  • 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: Film stars in the making?

    Today we had a visit from Grahame, a media man from the Lodge, RSPB headquarters. Grahame came to get some footage of work at Minsmere, specifically about what we’ve been doing for bitterns, but we also had time to visit our new Konik foals for the added aaah factor. So, today was my first taste...
  • 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: 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: African guests

    As many of you will know, the RSPB is the UK partner of a fantastic organisation called Birdlife International . Birdlife International campaigns for improved protection for wildlife, especially birds, globally, through a network of partners in different countries. Many of these partners are new,...
  • 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: 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: 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...