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, spoonbill
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  • Blog Post: Beautiful in blue

    There was great excitement at Minsmere yesterday with the discovery of a beautiful male bluethroat feeding along the edge of a reedbed pool close to the North Wall. Despite breeding in good numbers just across the North Sea in The Netherlands, bluethroats remain rare visitors in the UK. The last record...
  • Blog Post: Insects emerging

    The beautiful warm weather over the last couple of days has encouraged a wider variety of insects to emerge as adults and take their first flights - though sadly it looks as if the temperatures may be set to fall again later in the week. Two of our volunteers were out completing their weekly butterfly...
  • Blog Post: A touch of colour

    I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend, despite Sunday's rather wet weather - and this morning's! It looks like the April showers have arrived a little late this year - along with autumn gales in May, as once again the British weather bowls us a googly. I've just enjoyed a few...
  • Blog Post: Let's all build a nest

    The breeding season is really getting underway now, with nests and displaying wildlife appearing throughout the reserve. One of the most popular species at this time of year is always our great crested grebes. If you are lucky you may spot their famous famous weed dance - though usually only snippets...
  • Blog Post: #signsofspring

    Firstly, apologies for the delay since my last sightings blog. I’ve spent much of the last week in conferences or meetings (more of that later), and then the Community pages had to be closed for maintenance. At last they are back on line, so here's an overdue update. The last time I updated...
  • Blog Post: Eagle alert

    Wow! I'm still trying to get my breath back after running to the Whin Hill watchpoint to see one of the most impressive of British birds, a juvenile white-tailed eagle, circling low over Island Mere. With a two metre wingspan and broad wings, these truly are impressive birds, and it totally dwarfed...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating World Wildlife Day

    Today, 3 March is the UN World Wildlife Day. In celebration, I thought I'd share a pictorial overview of some of Minsmere's amazing wildlife. Let's start with otters . Late winter and early spring is always the best time to see these popular mammals, and they put on a particularly impressive...
  • Blog Post: More Minsmere murmuration magic

    Yes folks - after a couple of months away from Minsmere, our starlings have returned! Since the middle of last week we've had about 10000 starlings roosting in the North Marsh reedbed at dusk. The flock, which usually forms at about 5 pm, is best watched from the North Wall, or even from outside...
  • Blog Post: An opportunistic otter

    It was a bit of a heron fest at Minsmere today. A great white egret spent a bit of time at Island Mere this morning, with bitterns seen in flight there later. Seven spoonbills moved from the Scrape to Lucky Pool this morning. Plus of course there were little egrets and grey herons to be seen. The...
  • Blog Post: A wonderful week for wildlife

    The weather may have been a bit unpredictable week, with bright sunshine giving way to heavy rain, but perhaps we should expect that with Wimbledon and Glastonbury vying with the World Cup for our attention on the TV. Did you know there's a link between Minsmere, Glastonbury and the World Cup this...
  • Blog Post: There were ten in a bed...

    The latest results of our bittern monitoring are very promising with at least ten males now booming throughout the reedbed. Although they are most vocal early and late in the day, they can be heard at any time - and from anywhere on the reserve. I heard one from outside the visitor centre at lunchtime...
  • Blog Post: Slithering, booming and dancing

    The mild, generally sunny start to spring continues - with the blip of a very foggy morning yesterday. Bitterns are certainly making the most of the weather, with two males now booming properly, and birds regularly spending time in full view from both Bittern and Island Mere Hides. One has even been...
  • 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: Island Mere's the place to be

    There is no doubt that Island Mere is the place to be at the moment. Pride of place goes to the three great white egrets that remain, but there's much more to see from the hide. What's more, you can see it more easily as the wardens went out yesterday to cut the reeds in front of the hide. The...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating spring

    The Spring Celebration weekend once again proved to be highly successful. The format is simple. Our wardens and volunteer guides are stationed around the reserve at key locations to help visitors to learn about Minsmere's special wildlife. The tricky part is the unpredictability of the wildlife that...
  • Blog Post: Giving nature a home at Minsmere

    Have you seen our new logo? This week the RSPB launched our exciting new campaign, with the title Giving Nature a Home. If you check out the new pages on our website you'll find all sorts of ideas about how you can help give nature a home. Perhaps you're able to put up a new nestbox or dig a...
  • Blog Post: Settling in or moving on?

    Mid June is a strange time of year for watching birds. With so many species actively feeding young, many birds are settled, making it fairly predictable which species you'll see on any given visit. Yet other birds are on the move. The last of the northbound wading birds have been moving through Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: a new day dawns

    And what a glorious one it was too. It's always a joy to arrive at Minsmere before first light and watch as the reserve rapidly wakens - notwithstanding the lack of sleep that accompanies such an early start. In fact, my wildlife watching began within five minutes of leaving home this morning...
  • Blog Post: What no football?

    I was asked a question today that was perhaps only part in jest: "Where's the big screen on the Scrape?" The reply from one of our volunteers was "how many birds watch football?" My reply to that, looking at huge picture of a robin in the reception area was "Robinho for one...
  • Blog Post: Insect heaven

    The recent hot sunny weather has been ideal for insects at Minsmere. Even yesterday's heavy thundery showers should have limited effect on the good numbers of butterflies, dragonflies and other insects currently one the wing. July is one of the best months to watch insects, and with the birdlife...
  • 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: 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...