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, waxwing
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  • Blog Post: A ode to starlings

    Last night I took advantage of a beautiful evening and cancelled meeting to head out onto the path between Wildlife Lookout and South Hide to watch the starling murmuration. It was such a beautiful evening that I've been inspired to write a rare poem. An icy wind blows from the north As...
  • Blog Post: No need for a long walk

    Don't let the short days, with the nights rapidly closing in and the continuing dull weather, put you off visiting Minsmere this winter. There's lots to see without the need for a long walk around the full circular walks. You may simply want to visit the shop or cafe for some pre-Christmas...
  • Blog Post: Redheads are great

    We're back! Did you miss us? Apologies for the recent closure of the RSPB Community pages. This was due to some of the technical issues that cropped up during the surge in demand for our website over the weekend as everyone tried to input their Big Garden Birdwatch results. I'm told that the...
  • Blog Post: winter arrivals

    Just time for a quick update today, based on recent sightings by colleagues and visitors, as I've not been on the reserve for a few days. Certainly some clear evidence that winter is on it's way, with up to ten Bewick's swans using the reserve for the last few days. They seem to be mobile...
  • Blog Post: Old favourites return

    This week has seen the return of one of our most popular birds: waxwings ! Jon Gibbs spotted a flock of about 20 outside the visitor centre on Wednesday afternoon, and they were seen later that day in North Bushes. About 30 were in North Bushes yesterday too. I've not had any news of them yet today...
  • Blog Post: Unexpected surprises

    One of the joys of wildlife watching is its unpredictability. Take our starlings for a start. After several years without a decent starling roost at Minsmere, we'd almost given up on them returning, and began focusing on the roost at RSPB Snape . Imagine our surprise and pleasure when the roost began...
  • Blog Post: Spectacular evening

    What a great way to end a busy day in the visitor centre. At 3.45 pm I headed down to North Hide to check out the growing starling roost. After a gorgeous sunny late autumn day, it was becoming a bit overcast and misty, but the sunset was still impressive, if short-lived. Small flocks of starlings...
  • Blog Post: Icy blast brings wader bonanza

    It's not often we say this in December, but the Scrape was heaving with waders today. No doubt the bitterly cold north-easterly gales were a factor, with many of these birds seeking the relative shelter of the Scrape, rather than braving it our on the beaches and estuaries, but it just shows that...
  • Blog Post: Feeling festive

    The countdown has begun. It's only 32 days to Christmas - as anyone with children will know. Although advent Sunday is next weekend, we've started the celebrations a week early today with our first Christmas shopping day. The decorations have gone up in the visitor centre. There was a fabulous...
  • 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: A rarity fest

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of an update for the last week - not enough time in the office between meetings and a weekend off are to blame. It's been an excellent few days on the reserve - typically as I've not been out looking for anything. Two groups of birds have stolen the show - raptors...
  • Blog Post: The Five W's

    You've all heard of the three R's of learning. As you're reading this, you'll be familiar with the three W's of the world wide web. Well, today's wildlife highlights centred on the five W's: waxwings, wildfowl, waders, water rails and wagtails. Waxwings continue to be seen...
  • 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: ducks galore

    After the excitement of New Year, the pace of the birding has slowed a little at Minsmere recently, but there's still loads to be seen. Ducks are everywhere, especially wigeons and teals , but the smews continue to steal the show. Up to nine birds have been present over the last week, including...
  • 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: masked visitor

    A rare masked visitor arrived at Minsmere over the weekend. No need to worry, though, as this particular masked visitor was not only harmless but highly prized by many of Minsmere's birdwatchers. The visitor in question was a grey phalarope - a tiny wading bird that hasn't been seen at Minsmere...
  • 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: good news and bad

    First the good news. Waxwings continue to be seen most days at Minsmere. I had 20 over the wardens' office on Wednesday, there were 50 present on Tuesday, and 50 (possibly the same flock?) were seen at Eastbridge yesterday. Let's hope some of them actually hang around for a few weeks, giving...
  • Blog Post: First impressions

    It's been a long ten weeks since I last visited the old Island Mere Hide, so it was with much anticipation that I headed down to the new hide for a quick look yesterday. And I was not disappointed. The hide looks absolutely superb as you approach up the ramp. This will be a great place to watch...
  • Blog Post: Scavengers, one and all

    Sometimes it's the common species that spring the biggest surprises. So it was at lunchtime today when I strolled down to Island Mere. The scene was, as usual, one of calm serenity. The water was mirror-calm, reflecting the low midday sun such that it was impossible to see the island itself. The...
  • 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: 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: 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 Suffolk first

    Hot on the heals of Suffolk's first Hornemann's arctic redpoll at Aldeburgh this week (see Tuesday's North Warren blog) , one lucky birdwatcher was treated to views of another Suffolk first at Minsmere this afternoon. The bird in question was a surf scoter - a North American duck that is...
  • Blog Post: Happy Christmas

    As another year slowly draws to a close, it's time for my final sightings update of the year. The main news is not much change over the last few weeks. That;s not to say that it's quiet. Far from it. Just that as is usual in mid winter, most of the birds are staying put. An exception was...