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: 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: Minsmere's Springwatch

    Have you been watching Springwatch on the BBC? It was heartbreaking to see those dead lapwing and osprey chicks yesterday after Friday's massive storm, but I was so pleased to see the goldcrest nest has survived - and as for those treecreepers ! After April's flooding at Minsmere, we know how...
  • 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: A natural kaleidoscope

    Midsummer may be a quiet time for birding, but it's far from a dull time at Minsmere. There's just so much to see. With today's wind, many of the insects were seaking shelter on bramble bushes in woodland rides, simply resting in a sunny spot or feeding on the bramble flowers. Some bushes...
  • 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: buzzing, flitting, flapping and chattering

    Thursday's family day was a great success. About 100 children enjoyed taking part in a range of activities, and from the people I spoke to I know that amny of the parents learned something too. That's the plan - it is a family event afterall and there's always something to learn as far as...
  • 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: Travellers from afar - and Norfolk!

    There's been a world cup feel to Minsmere over the last few days, as three species from three different continents have attracted most attention. The continents: Africa, Arctic Europe and South America. The species: nightingale, spotted redshank and Chilean flamingo. The reasons for a visit: to breed...
  • 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: all creatures great and small

    Birds are easy to see (at least many of them are) due to their size and mobility (even the smallest species such as goldcrest or wren are large when compared to insects). Birds are also what most people associate with Minsmere, yet they only make up a small proportion of the 5300 species so far identified...
  • Blog Post: from moths to tigers, pond life to warblers

    The sun is shining (at last), and the crowds are filing through the doors for our fourth family day of the summer. It's great to see so many excited faces as children dip their nets in the pond before studying the contents in a waiting white tray. A dragonfly larvae here, newt nymph there, or the...
  • Blog Post: Another touch of France

    This time last week I was soaking up the rays of French sunshine in the Cevennes, combining leading guided walks with a family holiday. What a great area for watching wildlife. Orchids galore, including two found nowhere else in the world. Loads of butterflies - just don't ask me exactly which blues...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch at Minsmere

    Springwatch returned to our screens this week, bringing a host of new stars to our lounges for the next three weeks. There's the usual mix of nest cams, night vision cams, and exciting wilflife stories to inspire viewers to take a greater interest in the wildlife around them. This weekend, we're...
  • Blog Post: The day after the night before

    Hi everyone. Did you stay up all night to watch the election results? With a toddler in the house, I certainly didn't as early starts are the norm anyway. Now, i'm no expert, but did the electorate actually agree on anything yesterday? Anyway, after all the excitement of yesterday's poll...
  • Blog Post: "Cuckoo, cuckoo"

    Hope you all had a good Easter folks. I spent the break in Shropshire, enjoying a good list of garden butterflies and a thriving colony of house sparrows - something I don't see many of where I live. Also had a great trip to Anglesey to see a selection of birds that are absent here in Suffolk...
  • Blog Post: Fudge anyone?

    Keeping up the insect theme (well, July is the month that many birdwatchers switch their allegiance to insects) I saw my first cinnabar moth caterpillars today. These are the yellow and black striped caterpillars that feed on ragwort plants. If you were like me as a child, you might remember "playing"...
  • Blog Post: dogding the showers

    That was the order of the day yesterday, and could be the case for the next few too if Carol can be belieive on BBC Breakfast News. Despite a wet start to the day, we had another very successful family day. We were actually quite lucky with the weather as there were torrential thunderstorms in Southwold...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Up with lark - or even before!

    Yes folks, it's dawn chorus time again. These walks remain incredibly popular - despite the 4 am start. Five of the six are fully booked: there are still 13 places left for the final walk on Saturday 21 May - if you are quick! This week it was my turn to lead, and Robin Harvey and I duly met 28...
  • Blog Post: On the move or stay at home

    As June drifted seemlessly into July, Minsmere's wildlife responded accordingly. In many ways the birdlife has a more autumnal feel now, with few signs of the recent spring. Meanwhile, for our plants and insects summer is definitely well and truly in full flow. Among our breeding birds, midsummer...
  • Blog Post: Great whites invade Minsmere

    This week there has been an invasion of great whites at Minsmere. Don't worry, though, there's no need to play the theme tune to Jaws just yet, as these are egrets, not sharks. Great white egrets are the larger cousins of our now familiar little egrets. Just a few years ago they remained a...