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  • Blog Post: Sightings hotting up as heatwave hits

    Today has probably been the best day of the summer so far with unbroken clear blue skies and a gentle cooling breeze making a walk around Minsmere's nature trails very pleasant - and much less oppressive than further inland. It was less comfortable in some of the hides, as they quickly heat up like...
  • Blog Post: Up from the depths

    As regular readers of these blogs will know, Minsmere has an amazing variety of wildlife, from majestic red deer to minute fungi, but some species remain hidden from view, below ground of beneath the water. Just occasionally they may leave the safety of their burrows or pond, affording visitors a rare...
  • Blog Post: Records tumble

    The early indications are that we're set for one of the best breeding seasons at Minsmere for a long time. Indeed several records look like being broken. One record that has been broken this morning is for the biggest ever flock of bee-eaters to be seen in Suffolk. Adam Rowlands, our Senior Sites...
  • Blog Post: Insects galore - but they'd better beware

    With the return of warmer sunny weather today, the reserve has been alive with buzzing, flitting, chasing and feeding insects. A quick walk this afternoon revealed a superb variety of butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies, hoverflies and bumblebees. Possibly the best place to watch dragonflies and...
  • Blog Post: Reflections on Springwatch

    After another wonderful three weeks of Springwatch, I thought I'd look back at some of the wildlife stories from this year's series. Where else can I really start than with the biggest star of this year's series: Spineless Simon. At just 5 cm length he's certainly not the biggest species...
  • Blog Post: Hobby's steal the show

    Spineless Simon might be stealing the limelight for BBC Springwatch viewers, but although he continues to attract a crowd of admirers at Island Mere, the highlight for many visitors over the last couple of days has been the hobbies at Bittern Hide. These super-sleek highspeed falcons have been dashing...
  • Blog Post: Chicks galore

    Another week of Springwatch is over, with more amazing wildlife stories and footage to remind us all what an amazing place Minsmere is, and how much wildlife is out around the country, often unseen by even most observant wildlife enthusiasts. From the incredible journeys of tiny red-necked phalaropes...
  • 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: "Loving Minsmere today. The wildlife is amazing"

    On a busy Bank Holiday Monday, the day the BBC Springwatch cameras went live, it was great to hear comments like that in the title of this blog, time and time again from our visitors. We had worked hard to ensure that we were ready for an influx of visitors, and despite records numbers coming to the...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch returns - we're open as usual

    This morning we welcomed the local media to the Discovery Centre to meet the BBC Springwatch presenters - Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games - in advance of the show going on air from Monday. It was lovely to see a couple of families playing in the wild zone when the presenters...
  • Blog Post: Turning from blue to red

    After the excitement of Friday's red-spotted bluethroat, another rare visitor was found at Minsmere last night. Unlike the bluethroat, this time the bird stayed into a second day, allowing many visitors to see it - especially as it was first located after most of the staff had gone home yesterday...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful in blue

    There was great excitement at Minsmere yesterday with the discovery of a beautiful male bluethroat feeding along the edge of a reedbed pool close to the North Wall. Despite breeding in good numbers just across the North Sea in The Netherlands, bluethroats remain rare visitors in the UK. The last record...
  • Blog Post: A touch of colour

    I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend, despite Sunday's rather wet weather - and this morning's! It looks like the April showers have arrived a little late this year - along with autumn gales in May, as once again the British weather bowls us a googly. I've just enjoyed a few...
  • Blog Post: Bitterns’ got talent

    When we started planning the BBC Springwatch series, the BBC had a wish list of species that they wanted to get footage of at the nest. As ever with nature though, what you want and what you get to see are not necessarily the same thing. One species that was high on that wish list, was the bittern...
  • 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: Birdsong reaching a crescendo as nesting activity increases

    As I sit at home typing this blog before heading to the reserve later, I’ve been serenaded by a blackbird for at least the last three hours. Probably the same blackbird that has been busy gathering buggy suet bits from the lawn for the last three weeks. The first baby blackbird appeared in the...
  • Blog Post: Reasons to love Minsmere

    Minsmere has that special magic about it that means you never really know to expect. Take Wednesday morning, for example, when one of our regualr visitors who lives locally spotted a puffin flying north just offshore. Puffins are scarce birds in Suffolk, probably most likely to be spotted in the autumn...
  • Blog Post: Summer slumbers

    First, apologies for the lack of updates for a few days. No excuses really, but I ran out of time on Friday and had the day off on Saturday to spend with my parents who were visiting - and of course with my wife and son. Second, I'm writing this update having not even seen Minsmere since Friday...
  • 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"...
  • Blog Post: Flying the nest, spreading one’s wings

    To quote Bob Marley, ‘the sun is shining, the weather is sweet...’ Today feels much like any other day, and I’m trying to keep it that way. But it isn’t. Today is my last day at Minsmere. On Monday I will take up my new post of Assistant Warden at Elmley Marshes RSPB Reserve...
  • Blog Post: Springwatch at Minsmere

    Springwatch returned to our screens this week, bringing a host of new stars to our lounges for the next three weeks. There's the usual mix of nest cams, night vision cams, and exciting wilflife stories to inspire viewers to take a greater interest in the wildlife around them. This weekend, we're...
  • Blog Post: babies galore!

    For the first time in two weeks I strolled around the Scrape last night. I say strolled, but it was more of a route march: one hour to get right round the Scrape, including ten minutes in East Hide and a quick glance from South Hide, between leaving the office and attending a local meeting. In such...
  • Blog Post: Bonjour. Comment ca va?

    Pardon mon ami. Je fait en vacance a la France. I hope that says "Sorry, friends. I have been on holiday in France." Although I've been back to France for what has become a regular trip in recent years, I must admit that my command of the language remains very poor. Yes, I did successfully...
  • Blog Post: What no football?

    I was asked a question today that was perhaps only part in jest: "Where's the big screen on the Scrape?" The reply from one of our volunteers was "how many birds watch football?" My reply to that, looking at huge picture of a robin in the reception area was "Robinho for one...
  • Blog Post: A happy ending

    The saga of the nightingale nest had a happy ending over the weekend, as the brood successfully fledged on Sunday. At least one chick was subsequently found - a great reward for the efforts of the parents, and our volunteers who spared several hours helping to reduce disturbance and allowing the adults...