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, otter
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  • 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: 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: Is spring finally around the corner?

    After one of the slowest starts to spring migration on record, we finally heard our first chiffchaff of the spring yesterday. This is almost three weeks later than the usual first arrival date. Given the cold weather that's probably not a surprise, and providing they start to flood in over the next...
  • 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: A great white at Minsmere

    Anyone visiting the Suffolk coast these days can hardly fail to spot a small white heron paddling around in the shallows of an estuary or coastal pool. Little egrets were still rarities as recently as 20 years ago, before starting to breed in the UK in 1995. Colonisation was swift, and they are now widespread...
  • 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: 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: A spinning coin

    Early on Saturday morning I arrived at Minsmere to lead the first of our regular spring dawn chorus guided walks. It was crystal clear night with a huge full moon casting shadows over the reserve. As we met at 4 am the nightingale at the car park entrance could already be heard, and the first bittern...
  • 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: Rain, snow, wind, sun - what's next

    It's been a real cornucopia of weather since my last blog, with few signs of the coming spring. The weekend saw some of the wettest weather we've had for may years, followed by a couple of days of snow, more rain, strong north-easterly winds and eventually a little bit of sunshine today. The...
  • Blog Post: Welcome rain

    After the exceptionally dry weather of late, it's been a welcome to experience a more typical spell of weather during April. In a month known for it's April showers, the weather has been changeable to say the least in recent days. One minute you look out of the window at bright sunshine, the...
  • Blog Post: Winter is here

    As I sit here and type the sun is trying to break through the heavy black clouds that have been dumping wintry showers on us all morning. We've had reports of snow and hail in nearby villages, and with a strong northerly wind it certainly feels like winter has arrived. For me, the arrival of winter...
  • 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: Croaking, grunting and squealing

    You know spring is just around the corner when a visit to Minsmere requires you to use your ears as well as your eyes. Not forgetting your nose too as the scent of coconut from the gorse blossom will soon be wafting around the car park and beach - and of course the delicious smell of bacon or fresh-cooked...
  • Blog Post: New arrivals and long stayers

    As March progresses we begin to anticipate the arrival of the first spring migrants. Which will arrive first? A wheatear, sand martin or garganey perhaps? In reality, the first migrants, while not exactly slipping in un-noticed, are often forgotten when thinking about spring migrants. At Minsmere...
  • Blog Post: Slithering, booming and dancing

    The mild, generally sunny start to spring continues - with the blip of a very foggy morning yesterday. Bitterns are certainly making the most of the weather, with two males now booming properly, and birds regularly spending time in full view from both Bittern and Island Mere Hides. One has even been...
  • Blog Post: No more murmurations

    Sadly it looks like our very popular starling murmurations are over for another year. From a peak of 40k birds, the flock had declined to about 10k midway through last week. Last night I took the family to see them again and though the birds put on an impressive display the flock was barely 1000 strong...
  • Blog Post: New arrivals trickling in

    Hot on the heels of our recent pair of garganeys, the last week has seen the arrival of the advance guard of some of our earlier spring migrants. Last week I asked whether the first sand martins or wheatears would arrive soon and they finally did so over the weekend, with singles of both species seen...
  • 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: The next arrival at Terminal One is...

    It's mid April, so the arrivals and departures board at Minsmere International is constantly changing as new arrivals land and old friends depart. Although numbers of most new migrants are still quite low, the number of species seen is growing by the day. Here's a quick summary of migrant...
  • 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: Fledgings, flowers and migrants

    We've some exciting news on some of the stars of Springwatch this week. First Grub. Those who follow us on Twitter (@RSPBMinsmere) or Facebook (RSPBSuffolk) will already have heard that Grub is alive and well. Adam, our Senior Site Manager, heard a young tawny owl calling from the area of Grub's...
  • Blog Post: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and machines and...)

    Despite the weekend storms and frequent heavy showers, our insects are continuing to attract a lot of attention. Butterflies such as gatekeepers and meadow browns are attracted to brambles, small coppers and common blues on the North Wall and dunes, and red admirals and small tortoiseshells still on...