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: 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...
  • Blog Post: North Wall purple patch continues

    The North Wall has been the place to be at Minsmere recently. Following on from the red-spotted bluethroat, then some incredibly showy bearded tits, we've had regular bittern sightings from there and then last week's bee-eater. Today, in a case of deja vu, a small crowd of staff, volunteers and...
  • Blog Post: Insects galore - but they'd better beware

    With the return of warmer sunny weather today, the reserve has been alive with buzzing, flitting, chasing and feeding insects. A quick walk this afternoon revealed a superb variety of butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies, hoverflies and bumblebees. Possibly the best place to watch dragonflies and...
  • Blog Post: Reflections on Springwatch

    After another wonderful three weeks of Springwatch, I thought I'd look back at some of the wildlife stories from this year's series. Where else can I really start than with the biggest star of this year's series: Spineless Simon. At just 5 cm length he's certainly not the biggest species...
  • Blog Post: Chicks galore

    Another week of Springwatch is over, with more amazing wildlife stories and footage to remind us all what an amazing place Minsmere is, and how much wildlife is out around the country, often unseen by even most observant wildlife enthusiasts. From the incredible journeys of tiny red-necked phalaropes...
  • Blog Post: Like London buses

    Just like waiting for a London bus, birdwatching often sees a cluster of exciting birds arriving in quick succession, after a long period of more routine species. So it has been at Minsmere this month. Following hot on the heals of the bluethroat and long-staying red-necked phalarope, we've had several...
  • Blog Post: "Loving Minsmere today. The wildlife is amazing"

    On a busy Bank Holiday Monday, the day the BBC Springwatch cameras went live, it was great to hear comments like that in the title of this blog, time and time again from our visitors. We had worked hard to ensure that we were ready for an influx of visitors, and despite records numbers coming to the...
  • Blog Post: Miraculous migration!

    Animal migration is one of nature’s great events. These seasonal movements from one part of the world to another in search of food, to escape the harsh winter weather of northerly or southerly regions, or to find a mate, occur throughout the animal kingdom. Wildebeest in Africa migrate because...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch returns - we're open as usual

    This morning we welcomed the local media to the Discovery Centre to meet the BBC Springwatch presenters - Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games - in advance of the show going on air from Monday. It was lovely to see a couple of families playing in the wild zone when the presenters...
  • 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: Swiftly does it

    On Tuesday morning a message came over the radio that there were good numbers of swifts over the reedbed. I looked at the date on my watch and remarked "28th April. Right on cue." Over the years I have come to expect the mass arrival of swifts to occur within a day or two on 27 April. Yes,...
  • Blog Post: Variety: the spice of life

    There can be absolutely no doubt that spring is here, despite the, at times, chill northerly wind that has been blowing this week. Wader migration is in full swing, warblers are arriving en masse, insects are flitting around the reserve in increasing numbers, and a few unexpected bonuses are thrown in...
  • Blog Post: An unexpected bonus

    Yesterday was a red letter day for me in many ways. I had a rare full day birdwatching, saw my earliest ever swift, and found the rarest bird I've actually found for myself at Minsmere - and that's on my day off! I usually only manage to have a quick lunchtime walk, or visit one or two hides...
  • Blog Post: Southerly airflow brings migrants pouring in

    Is it really mid April? With the thermometer hitting the mid 20s Centigrade yesterday and today it feels more like mid July than mid April - and with the unseasonably warm weather have come scores of migrant birds, flooding onto our shores. Such has been the variety of migrants arriving this week...
  • 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: It's all adding up to spring

    What a fantastic few days we've had. The spring sunshine has led to unseasonably high temperatures, reaching well into double figures, and prompted the emergence of various insects, reptiles and amphibians. Several people reported seeing adders over the weekend, especially between Bittern Hide...
  • Blog Post: Thinking big for nature

    Guest blog by Ally Hoadley, Minsmere volunteer Yesterday's Big Community Work Party went off reserve to Dunwich Forest. Here, the RSPB is working closely with the Forestry Commission to return felled pine forest (grown for timber) back to its natural heathland. On arrival we split into groups...
  • Blog Post: Starling spectacular, rarities and the Brigadier

    What a week it has been. The continuing superb autumn weather, combined with roosting starlings, Minsmere's red deer appearing on Autumnwatch, and our exciting family activity programme all helped to make October half term one of the busiest weeks on record. As well as making some lovely insect...