Minsmere

Minsmere
Explore, discover and enjoy nature at Minsmere. There's always something exciting to inspire a return visit to Suffolk's natural treasure.
Results for recent sightings, marsh harrier
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  • Blog Post: Managing Minsmere

    Keeping Minsmere in tip top condition for wildlife and people is a careful balancing act. We could make the reserve brilliant for one species, but it might be detrimental for others, or mean visitors can't see anything else. We could make it a brilliant place to see wildlife in one seasn, but there's...
  • Blog Post: Count the legs & divide by two

    Today is apparantly the day that all zoos in the UK carry out their annual stock check. They have to count (and account for) every animal in their collections, from mighty elephants to the tiniest insects. I'm sure it can't be too hard to count the mammals, birds and repiles, but the fish and...
  • Blog Post: Early November sightings update

    Apologies for the lack of a recent sightings update. It's not that there hasn't been much happening. Far from it. We've actually had a really busy couple of weeks for birds. I'll try to summarise the highlights for you. Skuas have featured heavily for those keen enough to try a bit...
  • Blog Post: Ducks and raptors and reedbed birds

    Water levels are finally beginning to return to normal on most parts of the reserve, with all paths now fully accessible - if a little muddy near the sluice. The Levels are a still looking superb, with shallow floodwater covering the marshes. Huge flocks of ducks are gathering out there, including...
  • 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: Winter wildfowl wonders

    Mid winter at Minsmere means wildfowl taking centre stage. And this year is no exception - although the otters are doing a great job of upstaging them at Island Mere. On Tuesday I led the first of the winter wildfowl guided walks at Minsmere, and enjoyed some great sightings. If you missed it, you...
  • Blog Post: Let the magic begin

    I had another stroll down to the new Island Mere Hide this afternoon to look at the newly installed interpretation, and in the hope of seeing a few good birds. I wasn’t disappointed. As I’ve said previously, I loved the old hide, despite it’s shortcomings, and while I knew its replacement...
  • Blog Post: Christmas is coming...the goose is getting fat

    Yes folks, Christmas is approaching, and I don't know what to buy. Lots of you obviously do though as Minsmere's visitor centre was a hive of activity over the weekend for our Christmas Fair. Staff and volunteers were on hand to offer advice on buying birdfood , gifts, RSPB chocolate (palm-oil...
  • Blog Post: 6000 minus two equals dinner

    Our starling roost was particularly impressive again tonight. Numbers remain at about 6000 birds, but however good we are estimating such big flocks, they were reduced by two tonight thanks to the successful attacks of an opportunistic peregrine ! One theory behind why starlings gather in such numbers...
  • Blog Post: how about marsh mallows then

    Ok - so perhaps there may be a food theme developing with the titles. Stick with me and I'll explain more. Do you enjoy eating marsh mallows, perhaps toasted over an open fire or on the BBQ? I guess lots of you will having one of the latter this weekend, though probably not the former! If so,...
  • Blog Post: Migration steps up

    After a relatively quiet week for birds during the spell of westerly winds, there's definitely been evidence of autumn migration beginning to hit full swing in the last few days. Perhaps the most obvious movements were at sea on Monday, when counts included minima of 575+ gannets , seven great...
  • Blog Post: North Levels Wader Trail - Minsmere, but not as you know it!

    With the breeding season over, it's that time of year again when we open our seasonal trails to give visitors the chance to discover new areas of Minsmere and maybe spot some of our more elusive species. Over the next couple of weeks we'll once again be opening the North Bushes trail to look...
  • Blog Post: Wonderful World Wetlands Day Walk

    Every year I lead a winter wildfowl guided walk on 2 February to celebrate World Wetlands Day - marking the signing of an international treaty to protect the world's most important wetlands for wildlfie and people. Minsmere is one of many RAMSAR sites, designated under this treaty, so it seems only...
  • Blog Post: Island Mere still has it's magic

    As many long standing visitors to Minsmere will know, the old Island Mere Hide was one of the best places to watch willdife in the UK, especially rare reedbed species such as bitterns , marsh harriers and bearded tits . I've often described it as my favourite place to sit and relax in England. ...
  • Blog Post: Settling in or moving on?

    Mid June is a strange time of year for watching birds. With so many species actively feeding young, many birds are settled, making it fairly predictable which species you'll see on any given visit. Yet other birds are on the move. The last of the northbound wading birds have been moving through Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: important guests

    Every day we see a wide variety of visitors at Minsmere. They come from many different backgrounds. Some are serious, life-long birdwatchers; some complete beginners. And everywhere in between. Their ages range from a few weeks to more than 90 years. They may be teachers, nurses, senior managers, unemployed...
  • Blog Post: Bees, butterflies & barbeques

    Midsummer is often a quiet time for birdwatching at Minsmere, but luckily there's some fantastic wildlife to spot wherever you are on the reserve. Insects probably take centre stage right now, especially with the glorious sunny weather we've been experiencing this week - at long last. Butterflies...
  • Blog Post: Northern invaders

    With winter's arrival, some of our more exciting winter migrants are beginning to put in an appearance. Waxwings , in particular, are always popular, and there have been many reports from throughout the UK over the last few days. As usual. most are arriving on the east coast before moving inland...
  • Blog Post: Why not Minsmere?

    I'm sure many of you will be aware of the sandhill crane that has visited Suffolk this week. The fourth UK record, it's visited three RSPB reserves on the Suffolk coast. It made a brief stop at RSPB North Warren , then took up residence at RSPB Boyton Marshes and nearby farmland, with a visit...
  • Blog Post: Insect heaven

    The recent hot sunny weather has been ideal for insects at Minsmere. Even yesterday's heavy thundery showers should have limited effect on the good numbers of butterflies, dragonflies and other insects currently one the wing. July is one of the best months to watch insects, and with the birdlife...
  • Blog Post: Waders anyone?

    Water levels are at last returning to normal, and while some parts of the visitor trails still have a few puddles, they are almost all completely accessible now. I say almost all, because a short section between South Belt crossroads and the Wildlife Lookout (West Hide) remains flooded and is accessible...
  • Blog Post: A repeat performance

    Following my last blog about Ernie Dale's amazing account of two bitterns at Island Mere, I decided to stroll down there at lunchtime. I wasn't expecting to see any bitterns as i was only planning to spend five minutes in the hide. No, my real target was to add a few newly arrived migrants...
  • Blog Post: Floods wreak havoc

    The last few weeks have seen almost unprecidented levels of rainfall in Suffolk. In a month known for its showers, April has been one of the wettest on record. Here at Minsmere, we recorded an incredible 121 mm (about 8 inches) of rain during the month. Compare that to about 12 mm from early March to...
  • Blog Post: Winter meets spring

    Two species of duck are stealing the show at present: two species that are rarely seen on the same day in the UK. Smews have featured heavily in our sightings blogs for the last three months. We'd usually expect the last ones to be leaving Minsmere in mid March, but the continued cold weather...
  • Blog Post: Pretty in pink

    As the spring migration gathers pace, new birds are being added to the reserve year list ever day. The following species have already arrived: Sandwich and common terns, little gulls, sand martins, swallows, house martins, sedge warblers, reed warblers (including the earliest ever Suffolk record), blackcaps...