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: 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: Snakes and lizards alive, but migrants only trickling in

    The cool temperatures and persistent easterly and northerly winds over the past week have delayed the arrival of some our expected early migrants, but with southerlies forecast for a few days, and a rise in temperature, hopefully a few more will arrive this week. Sand martins and swallows have slowly...
  • Blog Post: #signsofspring

    Firstly, apologies for the delay since my last sightings blog. I’ve spent much of the last week in conferences or meetings (more of that later), and then the Community pages had to be closed for maintenance. At last they are back on line, so here's an overdue update. The last time I updated...
  • Blog Post: Eagle alert

    Wow! I'm still trying to get my breath back after running to the Whin Hill watchpoint to see one of the most impressive of British birds, a juvenile white-tailed eagle, circling low over Island Mere. With a two metre wingspan and broad wings, these truly are impressive birds, and it totally dwarfed...
  • Blog Post: Eyes to the skies

    There are many good reasons to be looking at the sky this week. On Friday and Saturday evenings we are working with two local astronomy groups to bring you star gazing at Minsmere. These events, which are free, take place in the Discovery Centre from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, and there is no need to book...
  • 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: 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: Mud, machines, fences and avocets - an update from the Scrape

    It's been a while since I posted an update on the ongoing work to replace the predator-proof fence around the Scrape. When I let you know about our plans before work started, in a blog back in November , we were expecting to finish the work this week. While work has progressed well, we're...
  • 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: Love is in the air

    Couples across the world may be celebrating Valentine's Day today, but did you know that 14 February is an important day in the natural world. Today is traditionally the day that ducks pair up for the year, and certainly there's been a lot of amorous behaviour on the Scrape for the last few...
  • Blog Post: Biting off more than it can chew?

    One of our volunteer guides spent some time seawatching this morning and was rewarded with a dramatic encounter between two large scavengers. Pomarine skuas are usually passage migrants in the UK, but one or two often spend the winter off the Suffolk coast, and one has been seen occasionally all winter...
  • Blog Post: A bird's nest in February?

    There was great excitement this week following the discovery of these nests close to the visitor centre! Nests with eggs in February. Surely not? When I posted the pictures on the RSPB Suffolk Facebook page on Saturday, more than one person thought they were chocolate cups filled with white chocolate...
  • Blog Post: One avocet doesn't make a summer

    No sooner had the first avocet returned to the Scrape, signalling the imminent arrival of spring, then the temperature dropped and the snow showers arrived. It's still bitterly cold today, with both the Scrape and Island Mere largely frozen this morning, but at least the sun is shining and the days...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere is number one

    That's what you tell us anyway. We're now rated as the number one visitor attraction in Suffolk according to Trip Advisor , with 97% of reviews rating Minsmere at least four out of five. We really enjoy reading reviews on Trip Advisor. Many reviews thank our amazing volunteer guides and reception...
  • Blog Post: Spring is round the corner

    Next Sunday, 1 February, we switch to summer opening at Minsmere. This means that the visitor centre remains open until 5 pm, and the cafe hours switch to 9.30 am to 4.45 pm. To help us to get ready for spring, the cafe will be closing early on Monday, at 2.30 pm, for a deep clean, so if you're planning...
  • Blog Post: A busy week

    While I've been enjoying some extremely memorable birdwatching in Portugal (this isn't the place to relate the stories unfortunately), it's been a really busy week at Minsmere. Work has progressed well on building the new fence around the Scrape. The bank on which the fence will sit has...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful beards

    Or perhaps that should say "magnificent moustaches?" Either way, I'm talking about the same species. One of our most sought after birds. One of our most beautiful birds. And one that seems to be putting on a really good show this week. I am, of course, talking about bearded tits. Tiny...
  • Blog Post: No ducking the issue

    As ever at this time of year it's ducks that dominate the reserve's birdlife at the moment, at least numerically. Large flocks of wigeons, gadwalls, teals, mallards and shovelers are feeding or loafing on the Scrape, Konik Field and Levels, with a several shelducks and a few pintails and tufted...
  • Blog Post: A New Year bonus

    News broke via our Twitter page of a potentially very rare visitor to Minsmere on New Year's Eve - though no-one had yet seen it! Scientists in Sweden, monitoring the movements of a lesser white-fronted goose fitted with a GPS tracker, had noted it's departure from the Norwegian coast the...
  • Blog Post: Happy Christmas and farewell to a great year

    Wow, what an amazing year. Minsmere's fame spread in the spring when the Springwatch cameras arrived - and what superb footage they got of bitterns, reed warblers, goldfinches, adders, badger and, of course Grub the tawny owl. With increased awareness of what a brilliant place Minsmere is,...
  • Blog Post: Counting down

    It's an exciting time in our household, as in many around the country, as we count down the days until Christmas. Advent calendars are opened to reveal festive pictures, chocolates, or in our case little Lego toys that will make a lovely Christmas scene when finished. With only seven more sleeps...
  • Blog Post: A ode to starlings

    Last night I took advantage of a beautiful evening and cancelled meeting to head out onto the path between Wildlife Lookout and South Hide to watch the starling murmuration. It was such a beautiful evening that I've been inspired to write a rare poem. An icy wind blows from the north As...
  • Blog Post: Otterly bittern by the Minsmere bug

    Over the last few months we've been treated to some highly enjoyable guest blogs by a few of Minsmere's amazing volunteers. Today I'd like to share another blog by Ally Hoadley, who has recently posted her contribution to an advent calender on the A Focus on Nature website. AFON is a a...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch stars showing off

    We welcomed Etholle George from BBC Radio Suffolk back to Minsmere yesterday to present her breakfast show live from the Discovery Centre. Her story on BBC Look East, filmed last week, was also braodcast on bulletins throughout Tuesday. Etholle was here to celebrate the success of Springwatch six...