Minsmere

Minsmere
Explore, discover and enjoy nature at Minsmere. There's always something exciting to inspire a return visit to Suffolk's natural treasure.
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  • Blog Post: Back to reality - whatever that is!

    Wow, what a week! Last week was rather busy here at Minsmere, with the combination of (mostly) good weather, lots of families enjoying our various holiday activities, and the bizarre sighting of a blue chicken (aka purple swamphen) that drew in the crowds. The swamphen remained all week, and was...
  • Blog Post: There's so much to see...

    One comment we hear regularly from visitors in mid July is "it's quiet". Indeed it is, in the sense that most birds have stopped singing and the reserve can be eerily silent at times. But in terms of things to see, it's from from quiet, though you may have to change your focus a little...
  • Blog Post: A Mediterranean summer

    OK, so it may be not be Mediterranean weather, but with Glastonbury just finished and Wimbledon underway, what more do you expect? But there is certainly a Mediterranean feel to Minsmere right now as large flocks of Mediterranean gulls are gathering on the Scrape. Numbers fluctuate during the day, and...
  • Blog Post: A catalogue of birds

    As the BBC Springwatch team were leaving on Sunday, Minsmere played host to another exciting event in partnership with Aldeburgh Music and BBC Radio Three. As part of the annual Aldeburgh Festival, Aldeburgh Music hosted a series of events around Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux. Starting with...
  • Blog Post: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and dragonflies)

    As Springwatch draws to a close for another year, the wildlife can once again return to centre stage at Minsmere, and many species are already vying to steal the limelight. Bitterns in particular have been very popular, with one male continuing to parade around in front of Bittern Hide, even booming...
  • Blog Post: Once bittern, twice in the sky.

    I am finding work very difficult at the moment. It is so hard to decide where to take my lunchtime walk because there is just so much going on around the reserve and I am also finding the drama unfolding on the Springwatch live cameras too hard to resist. The live cameras are so addictive and I have...
  • Blog Post: Shades of pink and purple with spots

    Have you been keeping up with the excitement from week one of Springwatch? There are so many stories unfolding, with drama at every turn. Will the stone-curlew egg hatch? How will the single parent blue tit fare? Did the sparrowhawks catch the female swallow? How will the avocet on the Scrape get on...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch 2016: we're ready, are you?

    It hardly seems a year since the BBC Springwatch team rolled out of Minsmere after another exciting series, in which a 5 cm long stickleback stole the show and won people's hearts. A year on, and the BBC production village is complete, the set has been re-dressed, and the everything is gearing...
  • Blog Post: Well worth the wait!

    I spent a while on Saturday afternoon in the warming sun and relentless wind at the North Wall watch point. I was looking for stone-curlews to do some live interpretation to Saturday’s visitors and gain some more information by getting a few to fill in our stone-curlew questionnaire. As I was positioned...
  • Blog Post: Insects emerge

    The sudden and welcome increase in temperatures has seen the emergence of a good variety of insects over the last few days - as well as the annual emergence of human lower legs as the shorts get their first seasonal airings. At least six species of dragonflies and damselflies have been seen so far...
  • Blog Post: What a great hobby we have

    Working at Minsmere has to be one of the best jobs ever - even if I do spend much of the day in front of a computer rather out enjoying the wildlife. Afterall, as highlighted in the latest (Summer 2016) issue of Nature's Home magazine, Minsmere is the Number One RSPB nature reserve when it comes...
  • Blog Post: One cuckoo may not make a summer, but one swift certainly does!

    Yes folks, it's official. It may be quite cold outside, with a chill breeze and only intermittent sunshine, but summer is here. One of our guides reported the first swift over the Scrape this afternoon. With several swallows and house martins over Island Mere this morning, and well over 100 sand...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

    It's been a superb spring day at Minsmere, with migrants galore a few notable surprises. The wet start clearly grounded a few migrants, and it didn't seem to put visitors off either. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was a cuckoo heard calling a couple of times beyond Island Mere late...
  • Blog Post: An Egg-citing Easter

    What a weekend! With the dust finally settling (literally following Storm Katie's exploits), it's time to reflect on another exciting few days. The fabulous weather on Good Friday tempted you all out in you hundreds, with Minsmere experiencing one of its busiest days ever. As Amy said in her...
  • Blog Post: It's spring!

    Today is the spring equinox - officially the first day of spring, and the wildlife at Minsmere has clearly responded accordingly, with spring migrants, flowers, birdsong and reptiles all reflecting the changing season. Chiffchaffs are invariably the first spring migrants to arrive, having only traveled...
  • Blog Post: Flopwings, blackwits and awl birds

    For the first time in several weeks I completed the full circuit of the coast trail today. The north-easterly wind made it feel quite cool, especially on the North Wall and the top of the dunes. Out of the wind, though, the sun still had a bit of warmth, and the blue skies gave a lovely springlike feel...
  • Blog Post: Mr Blue Sky

    I don't think you could possibly have two more contrasting days that yesterday and today. Yesterday was dull, damp, dreary and downright miserable. So much so that less than 30 visitors actually ventured out onto the reserve. Our volunteer guides did brave the weather though, and found some interesting...
  • Blog Post: It's a ten from Len

    It was a bit of a surprise to wake up to a snowy scene in North Suffolk today, though there was no sign of the white stuff on the ground once I arrived in Suffolk. It has been a cold day with regular showers and some bits of sleet mixed in. Not enough to put me off a lunchtime stroll to look for otters...
  • Blog Post: February fire

    After the mildest winter on record, it really felt very springlike as I wandered down to Island Mere hide at lunchtime today. With the sun streaming through the open window I could easily have dozed off, but might have woken with a painful sunburn. On my walk down Whin Hill I could hear a good variety...
  • Blog Post: Time for reflection

    After a week or so away from the reserve, there's always plenty to reflect upon once I return - though the mountains of emails need to be dealt with first! Although my week was spent mostly sightseeing and visiting family, I was lucky enough to spot a some interesting wildlife on my travels: ring...
  • Blog Post: February Flirtation!

    Half term week at Minsmere has had many highlights. The sunny days have brought with them many visitors to the reserve and many great sightings. I have spent the week in the Discovery Centre helping families create nest boxes for National Nest Box Week so have missed my walks around the reserve but I...
  • Blog Post: We've been waiting to see smew

    They've been a long time in coming, but on Sunday we finally welcomed two smews to Minsmere for the winter. Smews are scarce winter visitors to the UK, with only a few hundred present in most winters, but the mild weather this year has made them even rarer than usual, with very few present at...
  • Blog Post: A warming winter fire(crest)

    The two firecrests that have taken up winter residence around Scotts Hall and the Rhododendron Tunnel continue to attract a lot of interest - for those lucky enough to actually see them. Frustratingly, they seem to avoid the attentions of most of our volunteers, despite many visitors having had good...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating our wonderful wetlands

    Today, 2 February, is World Wetlands Day. This is an important event, at it marks the signing of an international treaty on wetland conservation, the RAMSAR Treaty, signed in the Iranian town of Ramsar on 2 February 1971. Many of the world's most important wetlands, including RSPB Minsmere, are...
  • Blog Post: It's your turn to start counting

    I often write in these blogs about counting Minsmere's wildlife, whether for breeding bird surveys, roost counts or simply counts based on observations from our volunteer guides. For example, our guides have been diligently counting lapwings this week, with more than 500 present on the Scrape. Now...