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: I do like to be beside the seaside

    The autumn equinox signals the official end of summer today, although the weather bore more resemblance to a summer day than early autumn with bright sunshine, blue skies, barely a breath of wind, and robins singing constantly. All in all the perfect day for a stroll along the beach. The beach...
  • Blog Post: The fruits of autumn

    It seems that after an extremely hot start to the month, autumn has arrived with a flourish this week, with heavy rain on Friday followed by a showery weekend, in complete contrast to temperatures of 30 degrees last week. A walk around the reserve certainly has a more autumnal feel too, with much of...
  • Blog Post: There's so much to see...

    One comment we hear regularly from visitors in mid July is "it's quiet". Indeed it is, in the sense that most birds have stopped singing and the reserve can be eerily silent at times. But in terms of things to see, it's from from quiet, though you may have to change your focus a little...
  • Blog Post: A Mediterranean summer

    OK, so it may be not be Mediterranean weather, but with Glastonbury just finished and Wimbledon underway, what more do you expect? But there is certainly a Mediterranean feel to Minsmere right now as large flocks of Mediterranean gulls are gathering on the Scrape. Numbers fluctuate during the day, and...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: An Egg-citing Easter

    What a weekend! With the dust finally settling (literally following Storm Katie's exploits), it's time to reflect on another exciting few days. The fabulous weather on Good Friday tempted you all out in you hundreds, with Minsmere experiencing one of its busiest days ever. As Amy said in her...
  • Blog Post: Great Friday

    I left the comfort of bed early this morning to get to Minsmere early and make the most of a rare opportunity to sit in Island Mere Hide and enjoy the wildlife. Normally I am busy feeding little people and doing the nursery run before I get to work but as today was Good Friday I had the chance to sneak...
  • Blog Post: It's spring!

    Today is the spring equinox - officially the first day of spring, and the wildlife at Minsmere has clearly responded accordingly, with spring migrants, flowers, birdsong and reptiles all reflecting the changing season. Chiffchaffs are invariably the first spring migrants to arrive, having only traveled...
  • Blog Post: Flopwings, blackwits and awl birds

    For the first time in several weeks I completed the full circuit of the coast trail today. The north-easterly wind made it feel quite cool, especially on the North Wall and the top of the dunes. Out of the wind, though, the sun still had a bit of warmth, and the blue skies gave a lovely springlike feel...
  • Blog Post: Mating marsh harriers!

    As I drove up the road to the reserve this morning and saw the sun shining through the trees I knew today was going to be a fantastic day at Minsmere. It didn’t disappoint! It was a fantastic day both in terms of weather, visitor numbers and amazing sightings. Although I didn’t make it...
  • Blog Post: Mr Blue Sky

    I don't think you could possibly have two more contrasting days that yesterday and today. Yesterday was dull, damp, dreary and downright miserable. So much so that less than 30 visitors actually ventured out onto the reserve. Our volunteer guides did brave the weather though, and found some interesting...
  • Blog Post: It's a ten from Len

    It was a bit of a surprise to wake up to a snowy scene in North Suffolk today, though there was no sign of the white stuff on the ground once I arrived in Suffolk. It has been a cold day with regular showers and some bits of sleet mixed in. Not enough to put me off a lunchtime stroll to look for otters...
  • Blog Post: The spirit of spring

    Guest blog by Ryan Deal, regular Minsmere visitor and sometime volunteer guide The great thing about Minsmere is, no matter how many times you visit, it’s never the same. My visit today was no exception. With all the recent firecrest furore, I couldn’t resist a trip to the Rhododendron...
  • Blog Post: February fire

    After the mildest winter on record, it really felt very springlike as I wandered down to Island Mere hide at lunchtime today. With the sun streaming through the open window I could easily have dozed off, but might have woken with a painful sunburn. On my walk down Whin Hill I could hear a good variety...