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: 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: Turning from blue to red

    After the excitement of Friday's red-spotted bluethroat, another rare visitor was found at Minsmere last night. Unlike the bluethroat, this time the bird stayed into a second day, allowing many visitors to see it - especially as it was first located after most of the staff had gone home yesterday...
  • 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: Can you tell the difference?

    Guest blog by Catherine Mercer, Little Tern Warden If you’ve been out and about on Suffolk’s coast recently you may been lucky enough to see the arrival of little terns to our shores, marked by their high speed aerial displays and noisy chattering call. These summer visitors have completed...
  • 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: Amazing adders

    Minsmere's adders have proved extremely popular over the last few years, so we opened a dedicated adder trail this spring to make it easier to watch these amazing snakes without disturbing them. We also trained many of our guides to give them more confidence to find and talk about adders. Here's...
  • 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: 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...