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: 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: A repeat performance

    Following my last blog about Ernie Dale's amazing account of two bitterns at Island Mere, I decided to stroll down there at lunchtime. I wasn't expecting to see any bitterns as i was only planning to spend five minutes in the hide. No, my real target was to add a few newly arrived migrants...
  • 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: 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: 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: Spring in the air

    What an absolutely fabulous day today! Sunny, mild, virtually no wind. Defintiely feels like spring has arrived. Plenty of good indicators in the natural world too. Small tortoiseshell butterflies now flitting about in a few places, and I saw a couple of bumblebees out and about. Strong coconut scent...
  • Blog Post: When the lazy wind doth blow

    I had a quick stroll round the Scrape at lunchtime and was glad I put on an extra layer, for the lazy wind was blowing today. There was a brisk north-easterly, casting a chill feel to the air. They call it a lazy wind in these parts, because it goes straight through you, rather than round. I'm sure...
  • Blog Post: The little and large show

    It's been a very good week for rarities at Minsmere, but also a case of little and large. On Monday a superb male red-necked phalarope was found on South Scrape, where it was watched busily feeding until early evening. Contrary to popular belief, Adam didn't bring one back in his luggage from...
  • Blog Post: A hobby to remember?

    Birdwatching is one of those past times that you can do anywhere, any time. In the last week, for example, I've a marsh harrier flying over my garden whilst I was washing up, and a green woodpecker flew over at eye height as we watered the garden last night. But if you want to see something more...