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: Little gains and little losses at Benacre

    Guest blog by Rhiannon Baker, Assistant Little Tern Warden Nationally, this year hasn’t got off to a good start for our little terns. We have been hearing the same tune from other sites as far as Ireland, all saying that the terns are late and numbers are half what they should be. This could...
  • 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: ...And then there was one!

    One week of Springwatch left, one great tit chick left, one great spotted woodpecker chick and one water vole baby! On Monday I blogged about how difficult it was to tear myself away from the Springwatch live cameras and how I was struggling with deciding where to go around the reserve. It has only got...
  • Blog Post: Once bittern, twice in the sky.

    I am finding work very difficult at the moment. It is so hard to decide where to take my lunchtime walk because there is just so much going on around the reserve and I am also finding the drama unfolding on the Springwatch live cameras too hard to resist. The live cameras are so addictive and I have...
  • Blog Post: Shades of pink and purple with spots

    Have you been keeping up with the excitement from week one of Springwatch? There are so many stories unfolding, with drama at every turn. Will the stone-curlew egg hatch? How will the single parent blue tit fare? Did the sparrowhawks catch the female swallow? How will the avocet on the Scrape get on...
  • Blog Post: Helping to save a super-hero bird

    Guest blog by Emily Irving-Witt, Lead little tern warden for Suffolk Whilst the little tern recovery project staff eagerly await the ‘re-tern’ of one of our rarest breeding birds to Suffolk beaches, we have been busy monitoring the progress of another endangered nesting shorebird, facing...
  • Blog Post: Woolly Bear Loose At RSPB Minsmere!

    Half term got off to a very exciting start here at Minsmere with the arrival of some very important visitors... no not the Springwatch team (although we are very pleased and excited to see the Springwatch crew here again) but the BBC Blue Peter team. A group of children came to Minsmere from Benhall...
  • 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: Springwatch 2016: we're ready, are you?

    It hardly seems a year since the BBC Springwatch team rolled out of Minsmere after another exciting series, in which a 5 cm long stickleback stole the show and won people's hearts. A year on, and the BBC production village is complete, the set has been re-dressed, and the everything is gearing...
  • Blog Post: Little terns return

    Guest blog by Emily Irving-Witt, Lead little tern warden for Suffolk Little terns We should feel privileged that little terns (Sterna albifrons), the UK's second rarest breeding tern and an extremely rare breeding seabird, decide to breed on our UK coasts. They grace us with their presence...
  • Blog Post: Well worth the wait!

    I spent a while on Saturday afternoon in the warming sun and relentless wind at the North Wall watch point. I was looking for stone-curlews to do some live interpretation to Saturday’s visitors and gain some more information by getting a few to fill in our stone-curlew questionnaire. As I was positioned...
  • Blog Post: A close encounter to remember

    Working at Minsmere has many benefits, not least the regular close contact with nature that I can experience on a lunchtime stroll. Even simply listening to singing chaffinches or looking at the flowing hawthorn is enough to remind me what a wonderful job I have. But every so often at Minsmere we...
  • Blog Post: Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

    I was itching to get out of the office and onto the reserve today for a lunchtime walk for many reasons. There had been sightings of little terns on the reserve today. Kittiwakes were reported on the scrape. Hobbys had been spotted across the reserve. Juvenile adders...
  • 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: Suffolk's Swifts return

    Following on from yesterday's blog about insects and insect-eaters, Jenny James, committee member for the RSPB Woodbridge local group, has written today's guest blog highlighting the work that the group are doing to help these declining birds. Our Woodbridge Swifts group is up and running...
  • 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: Squeak...Squeak ...Plop!

    I didn’t have to venture far from the Visitor Centre today before I encountered some of Minsmere’s mammals and some great invertebrates too! I set off on my afternoon stroll to see whether I could see any stone-curlews from the North Wall viewpoint and also to see some bearded tits as there...
  • Blog Post: A good tern and another

    I was eagerly optimistic as I left my desk at lunch time and walked down to Bittern Hide. I had recently heard over the radio that there had been many sightings of bitterns in flight today and I thought that today may be the day that I saw a bittern for the first time. As I strolled down the hill with...
  • Blog Post: Wildlife Explorers Reunite

    When I woke up on Saturday morning to a bitter north wind I thought to myself, well at least the sun is shining! That thought didn’t last long as on the drive into work the skies opened and it poured with rain! I always pay attention to the weather but I was particularly interested on Saturday...
  • Blog Post: What a great hobby we have

    Working at Minsmere has to be one of the best jobs ever - even if I do spend much of the day in front of a computer rather out enjoying the wildlife. Afterall, as highlighted in the latest (Summer 2016) issue of Nature's Home magazine, Minsmere is the Number One RSPB nature reserve when it comes...
  • Blog Post: One cuckoo may not make a summer, but one swift certainly does!

    Yes folks, it's official. It may be quite cold outside, with a chill breeze and only intermittent sunshine, but summer is here. One of our guides reported the first swift over the Scrape this afternoon. With several swallows and house martins over Island Mere this morning, and well over 100 sand...
  • Blog Post: Exciting explorations

    On Wednesday, I joined many of the wardens from the Suffolk Area Team, as well as other members of the Minsmere visitor experience, catering and admin teams, exploring our reserves farther south along the Suffolk coast. This was a chance to learn about the exciting work being done on these reserves,...
  • 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: A busy walk!

    I took advantage of the glorious sunshine today and took a lovely walk around the Scrape at lunchtime. This week I am going to be away from the reserve for a few days on a training course and I wanted to have a good look around before I go as the reserve can change so much in just a few days. It was...