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: 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...
  • Blog Post: It's a numbers game

    There have been some impressive counts of birds at Minsmere over the last week or so, including a few unexpected species. Perhaps the most unexpected counts were of one our most familiar birds and its close cousin. On Monday, Minsmere volunteer John Grant spent the morning recording visible migration...
  • Blog Post: Little and large show

    The weekend just gone saw the main focus at Minsmere turn to red deer, with our annual weekend of guides and activities at the viewpoint on Westleton Heath. The red deer rut is one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles in the UK. After all, the stags are our largest land mammals, and the sight of...
  • Blog Post: The colour is purple

    There's still a good selection of wading birds on the Scrape, but one has been stealing the show for birdwatchers this week: a beautiful purple sandpiper. These are usually birds of rocky shores, which means there are few reliable places to see them in Suffolk - the north and west coast of the UK...
  • Blog Post: Osprey!

    The radio crackled into life. "There's an osprey fishing over Island Mere." I grabbed my binoculars and camera, clicked lock screen on the computer and headed out to the Whin Hill watchpoint to try to get a look. I called out to two passing visitors that there was an osprey at Island...
  • Blog Post: Time for a chat about cricket

    The fabulous Indian summer weather has proved particularly attractive to some of our insects, as well as providing perfect conditions for migratory birds to drop in. Our amazing autumn for wryneck records continues. At their final ringing demo of the year last Thursday the Waveney Bird Club trapped...
  • Blog Post: An avian Watford Gap

    There's a real feeling of autumn arriving at Minsmere now, despite weather forecasts for another warm spell arriving. It was cool and breezy for my lunchtime walk today, with a hint of drizzle in the air, but all around were signs that migration is in full swing. As I strolled through the North...
  • Blog Post: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and machines and...)

    Despite the weekend storms and frequent heavy showers, our insects are continuing to attract a lot of attention. Butterflies such as gatekeepers and meadow browns are attracted to brambles, small coppers and common blues on the North Wall and dunes, and red admirals and small tortoiseshells still on...
  • Blog Post: Wonderful waders, beautiful butterflies & happy families

    It's been another gorgeous week at Minsmere. I heard on the radio yesterday that the Met Office were reporting that July was the best ever, and August has certainly started with another day of unbroken sunshine. With such lovely weather it's not been a surprise to see hundreds of happy families...
  • Blog Post: Something for everyone this summer

    With the school holidays now underway Minsmere really does offer something for everyone - and the reserve is looking superb right now. Families can enjoy letting off a bit of steam in the Wild Zone, build a den or stroll to the beach. Every weekday we also have an exciting range of family activities...
  • Blog Post: The excitement continues

    Wow. What a month! July seems to keep getting better and better. After all of the excitement over a new butterfly for the reserve list, we've since added both a new moth and a new beetle. Our wardens and volunteers regularly operate a moth trap at Minsmere, and over the years they have recorded...
  • Blog Post: A collared what?

    After the excitement of last week's run of rarities, attention has focused on two main parts of the reserve this - and for once it's not the reedbed. The buddleias have continued to attract a good range of butterflies. Red admirals, peacocks and graylings dominate numerically, but it's...
  • Blog Post: Surprise visitors from afar

    With migration in full swing, July often brings an unexpected visitor or two to the Suffolk coast, but nothing could really prepare us for the events that have unfolded this week. The excitement began on Monday morning when our Senior Site Manager, Adam Rowlands, called on the reserve radios to say...
  • Blog Post: Fledgings, flowers and migrants

    We've some exciting news on some of the stars of Springwatch this week. First Grub. Those who follow us on Twitter (@RSPBMinsmere) or Facebook (RSPBSuffolk) will already have heard that Grub is alive and well. Adam, our Senior Site Manager, heard a young tawny owl calling from the area of Grub's...
  • 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: Bitterns, beardies and bee-eaters!

    Guest blog by Paul Green, Warden, North Suffolk Reserves Every Thursday morning during spring and summer a team of wardens and volunteers carry out our bittern watches. Each of us sits in somewhere with a good view of the reedbed and waits, recording all bittern activity to help us to locate nesting...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch Week Two: Eggs, chicks and fledglings

    It's been an action filled second week of Springwatch, with many of our star species putting on a great show for visitors too. The bittern chicks have been the most popular stars of Springwatch, and our adult bitterns have proved equally popular with many sightings of females flying over the reedbed...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere under the microscope

    We've talked previously about the incredible variety of wildlife found at Minsmere, with more than 5600 species recorded so far. Such variety may seem surprising to the casual visitor, or even to most of our regulars, who might perhaps spot 40-50 species of birds on a visit (up to 100 are possible...
  • Blog Post: Birds, bugs and more

    As we gear up for the BBC Springwatch cameras to go live next week, it looks like Minsmere's wildlife might be preparing for its five minutes of fame with chicks appearing all over the reserve. We know that some of our marsh harrier and bittern nests now have chicks, the first avocet chicks have...
  • Blog Post: Expecting the unexpected

    Spring is a fantastic time at Minsmere, with so much to see that you never really know what to expect. OK, so you can reliably see black-headed gulls, avocets and lapwings nesting on the Scrape, or perhaps a marsh harrier sky-dancing above the reeds, but will you be lucky enough to spot a bittern...
  • Blog Post: Spring migration hotting up

    With the exciting news that BBC Springwatch is coming to Minsmere, our resident and migrant wildlife is preparing to take centre stage. Our resident bitterns and marsh harriers continue to perform well, while bearded tits are very active at Island Mere and the family of water rails is still putting...
  • Blog Post: beauty in black and white

    After a superb few days of weather that brought in crowds of birdwatchers, walkers and families, a bit of drizzle this morning proved to be good for migrants, with several species of wader and passerine grounded on their long journeys. Pride of place definitely went to the gorgeous male pied flycatcher...
  • Blog Post: The next arrival at Terminal One is...

    It's mid April, so the arrivals and departures board at Minsmere International is constantly changing as new arrivals land and old friends depart. Although numbers of most new migrants are still quite low, the number of species seen is growing by the day. Here's a quick summary of migrant...
  • Blog Post: Back from Africa

    They seem to be a bit late this year, but we've finally had what can be described as a flock of sand martins around the pond today, with up to twelve birds present all day. We've also had further sightings of a swallow and the first house martin over the Scrape today. Another new arrival is...