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: A week of interesting finds

    As I mentioned in my last blog, there's always something interesting to see at Minsmere, and the last week has been filled with one slightly unexpected find after another, incuding several found on our family activities. The excitement began late morning on Sunday when Peter, one of our volunteer...
  • 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: Time for a lie down

    I timed my walk around the Coast Trail perfectly this afternoon, dodging the showers and spotting some fantastic wildlife. Towards the end of my walk it all got a too much for me and I had to lie down. Well, actually there was a really good reason for lying down in the dunes - and it wasn't for a...
  • Blog Post: Nothing beats variety for a good day out

    For the first time in a couple of weeks I took the opportunity to explore the Coast Trail this afternoon. I had a few target species in mind, but as is often the case I failed to see some of them, instead enjoying good views of a few other goodies. My first target was to see our bee-wolfs for the...
  • 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: Purple heron, glanville fritillary butterflies and some lovely pictures too!

    One of our volunteers known to many as ‘Stan The Man’ shared with me some of his excellent photographs today. Many he had taken on the reserve this morning. So this blog is a bit of a guest blog to share these pictures with you. Bittern Hide has been busy with sightings this morning with...
  • Blog Post: Spring scents and sounds

    On arrival at Minsmere this morning I was greeted to a veritable feast of birdsong - nightingale, garden warbler, blackcap, Cetti's warbler and whitethroat were all singing in the scrub between the car park entrance and the Discovery Centre. Add in blackbird, robin, dunnock, chaffinch, blue tit and...
  • 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: 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: Is it really 4 January?

    I made the most of the winter sun this morning to stroll down to East Hide in search of a few year ticks - the commoner ducks were very numerous with the bonus of six pintails and four tufted ducks, three avocets, a turnstone and a nice flock of 35 dunlins. Even allowing for the spring like weather...
  • Blog Post: Happy Christmas 2015

    Well, that's another year nearly over. As Adam Rowlands reflected last week, it's been a busy one. And certainly an exciting one. Here's a few of my personal highlights from the year. Springwatch . We enjoy having the BBC team with us at Minsmere. They are all friendly and knowledgeable...
  • Blog Post: A burning issue

    Continuing the bonfire theme from my last blog, there's a smoky smell emanating from the office this afternoon. The reason? With no power this morning due to a planned power cut to allow tree felling around the powerlines on our entrance road, several of the visitor team joined the wardens to help...
  • Blog Post: Butcher birds and ghost hunters

    The fantastic autumn migration has continued apace this week with hundreds more goldcrests arriving, as well as the first significant arrival of redwings and fieldfares. With them have come more starlings, helping to boost numbers gathering for the evening murmuration over North Marsh. Finches have...
  • Blog Post: The lull after the storm

    After all of the excitement of last week, sightings have become a little more predictable this week, though there have still been a few unusual species to look out for between the showers and more prolonged rainstorms. The barred warbler remained near the sluice until Sunday before eventually departing...
  • Blog Post: A soggy end to summer

    It seems that as far as the weather was concerned I picked the right week to leave the country, as while I was enjoying (some) sun in central France, the UK was experiencing somewhat variable, and at times very wet weather. And in typical Bank Holiday fashion, today has seen a return of cool, wet weather...
  • Blog Post: Out with the old, in with the new

    Mid August is a time of change. Birds are on the move, with familiar species leaving our shores, to be replaced (sometimes only temporarily) by visitors from farther north or east. Berries are ripening, seeds setting, and leaves are already beginning to change colour. Insects that we've been enjoying...
  • Blog Post: Nature's colours

    We have a fabulous little activity sheet for children called Nature's colours. It's a simple piece of card with 20 different colours and shades. The idea is to walk around the reserve and see how many different colours you can match. For example, the marsh mallow flowers perfectly match one of...
  • Blog Post: Hummingbird steals the show

    As is often the case in August, the buddleia bushes outside the visitor centre have been the centre of attention for much of the afternoon. There's been a great range of butterflies, including several painted ladies and commas as well as the more familiar red admirals, small tortoiseshells, peacocks...
  • Blog Post: Eyes to the sky

    It's certainly been a wet few days at Minsmere, as elsewhere in the country, and it pays to keep an eye on any approaching black clouds before deciding to move on to the next hide as showers continue ot rattle through on a regular basis. Some of them are pretty heavy too. Storm clouds over...
  • Blog Post: Summer wildlife highlights?

    When the radio crackled into life with news of the first sightings of the day, they announcement was almost (!) as much of a surprise as the recent records of bee-eaters and an albatross. Bearing in mind the date (23 July), the report of seven brent geese flying south was unexpected. We wouldn't...
  • Blog Post: Reality returns

    After the buzz of excitement on Monday and Tuesday surrounding "the Minsmere albatross", reality has returned to Minsmere. That's not to say that there's nothing exciting to see. Far from it, as there's still an amazing variety of wildlife to spot. With the buddleias coming into...
  • Blog Post: Much more than birds

    Minsmere is widely known as one of the best birdwatching sites in the UK, but it is, of course, much more than that. It is, quite simply, one of the best nature reserves in the UK - whatever type of wildlife you are interested in. A quick look at some of the highlights from today's sightings board...
  • Blog Post: Sightings hotting up as heatwave hits

    Today has probably been the best day of the summer so far with unbroken clear blue skies and a gentle cooling breeze making a walk around Minsmere's nature trails very pleasant - and much less oppressive than further inland. It was less comfortable in some of the hides, as they quickly heat up like...