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, migrants, bearded tits
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  • Blog Post: Like London buses

    Just like waiting for a London bus, birdwatching often sees a cluster of exciting birds arriving in quick succession, after a long period of more routine species. So it has been at Minsmere this month. Following hot on the heals of the bluethroat and long-staying red-necked phalarope, we've had several...
  • 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: 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: An avian Watford Gap

    There's a real feeling of autumn arriving at Minsmere now, despite weather forecasts for another warm spell arriving. It was cool and breezy for my lunchtime walk today, with a hint of drizzle in the air, but all around were signs that migration is in full swing. As I strolled through the North...
  • Blog Post: A wonderful week for wildlife

    The weather may have been a bit unpredictable week, with bright sunshine giving way to heavy rain, but perhaps we should expect that with Wimbledon and Glastonbury vying with the World Cup for our attention on the TV. Did you know there's a link between Minsmere, Glastonbury and the World Cup this...
  • Blog Post: There were ten in a bed...

    The latest results of our bittern monitoring are very promising with at least ten males now booming throughout the reedbed. Although they are most vocal early and late in the day, they can be heard at any time - and from anywhere on the reserve. I heard one from outside the visitor centre at lunchtime...
  • Blog Post: Otter-ly amazing

    One of the great things about working at Minsmere is that we're surrounded by fantastic nature. It's easy to spend hours watching the feeders at the visitor centre, being entertained by flocks of marsh, coal, blue and great tits, chaffinches, greenfinches and goldfinches vying for the prime spots...
  • Blog Post: They're all still here!

    One of my toddler's favourite stories is Goldilocks and t he Three Bears. I'm sure you know the story. The bears go for a walk and Goldiilocks comes into their house, tries the porridge, tries the chairs then tries the bed. When the bears return and look around they discover, much to baby bear's...
  • Blog Post: Migrants trickling in

    After the incredibly warm dry early spring, April has been typically damp, cool and windy. This has delayed the arrival of some of our earlier migrants. Sand martins are now being seen daily above the reedbeds, but still in small numbers, and several swallows are now present too. The first house martin...
  • Blog Post: Bitterns on top form

    It's mid March, so bitterns have finally started to steal the show back from otters in Minsmere's reedbeds. During the first early morning survey work last week wardens heard at least eight grunting bitterns. Grunting is the precurso to booming. A kind of tuning up. Although they were less vocal...
  • Blog Post: migration in full swing

    Autumn is a great time to witness the wonders of migration, and the last week has been an excellent example. Simply standing on the beach for an hour or so has been one way. On Thursday, for example, a pomarine skua and five arctic skuas flew south just offshore, and there was regular passage of wading...
  • Blog Post: Martins galore

    A quick scan over Island mere from the overflow car park last night showed just how many migrants have arrived int he alst few days. The sky was full fo martins, swarming at great height in pursuit of tiny insects. given the height, distnace and light (looking straight into the sun) I couldn't pick...
  • Blog Post: Time to celebrate

    We're hosting a special celebration event on Saturday to thank our funders, contractors and consultants for their fantastic support during the recent redevelopment work at Minsmere. This event, which will be in the Discovery Centre, is for invited guests and their families. They will all be arriving...
  • Blog Post: A sightings update

    The recent spell of warm sunny weather and light southerly winds has held migration up a little bit, with very few reports of birds such as redwing or brambling that we'd usually expect to arrive in late September. That's not to say that there aren't any winter migrants here yet. Two snow...
  • Blog Post: The name is Bond. Mr Bond.

    It's not everyday that we get a superstar visiting Minsmere, so you can imagine our excitement when we heard that Mr Bond was at Minsmere. Yes, 007 himself. Here on the Suffolk coast. OK, so this Mr Bond is not the spy who has single-handedly thwarted every international terrorist for the last...
  • Blog Post: Racing to victory

    It's been a great week for birdwatching at Minsmere, with an excellent passage of waders and some other great surprises, as you'll see from this guest blog by Jon Gibbs, Minsmere Catering Assistant. As the sun rose over the North Sea on September 15th Robin, Paul, Ian and I gathered at...
  • 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...
  • 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: The west wind blows

    It was bound to happen. No sooner had I blogged about migrants finally flooding in then the wind swung back to the west, the showers set in, and migration slowed down again. Typical. The main consequence of this has been a relative status quo for the last week. The red-crested pochard remains on Island...
  • Blog Post: Pectoral sandpiper flexing its muscles

    Lots of migrants are still coming through this week. Only today there was a pectoral sandpiper near Lucky Pool, stopping off on its long journey from Siberia to Southern Africa. It could also have been a bit lost on its way from the eastern coast of North America, as they're sometimes blown over...
  • Blog Post: Fudge anyone?

    Keeping up the insect theme (well, July is the month that many birdwatchers switch their allegiance to insects) I saw my first cinnabar moth caterpillars today. These are the yellow and black striped caterpillars that feed on ragwort plants. If you were like me as a child, you might remember "playing"...