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  • Blog Post: Autumn at Fen Drayton Lakes

    Autumn is here! While for some the countdown is on to the start of spring (174 days, if you are interested!), I absolutely love this time of year. My jumpers are unpacked and I am l can't wait for the colourful and crisp walks that this season brings. Autumn is a great time at the reserve as well...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 23.09.2016

    Well, as promised, the area in front of the 1st viewing platform is wetting up nicely and beginning to create a bit of interest. We managed to walk out on the flat area just in front today to place a grit tray for Bearded Tits to use. They change there diet around this time of year and move from a diet...
  • 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: Bittern release

    Took an unexpected call from Caroline at Wildlife Welfare in the week asking if they could release a bittern on site, after it had been hit by a car in Letchworth! The team at Wildlife Welfare based in Stevenage had been in touch with RSPB HQ at the Lodge after the bird was bought in for a bit of advice...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 16.09.2016

    Another week has flown by but it's been a productive one. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers we have finished reed cutting on the islands in front of the 1st viewing platform and we are currently raising the water levels once more. There have been some naturally lower and stickier parts on the...
  • Blog Post: Rumblings in the reedbed

    If you are visiting the reserve in the next couple of months you may hear some rumbling, slushing and crashing noises coming from the Dosthill part of the reserve. Don't worry, the koniks and cows haven't escaped! - it's only the contractors in their machines, here to do a project for us...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 09.09.2016

    Well you may have noticed yet another missing blog from last week. It was my own stupid fault as I badly cut the back of my hand at work last Friday morning and ended up in hospital having it stitched. I know excuses, excuse. It was a bit tender to say the least but I'm better now (thanks for asking...
  • Blog Post: Waders, raptors & more along the North Levels Trail

    I certainly picked a good time to go on holiday, with the bee-eater turning up on the first day of my break! While it was obviously disappointing to miss such a stunning bird, I was at least able to find a few species that are hard to come by in Suffolk: chough, raven, Manx shearwater, shag and what...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings & news from RSPB Ham Wall - 26.08.2016

    It's the start of a very busy time at Ham Wall for staff and volunteers (even if the birds are a little quiet). We're making good progress with clearing the reeds from the islands if front of the 1st platform. It may well be a couple more weeks before we finish but the end results are usually...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 12 August 2016

    This week had quite an autumnal feel, with low temperatures and a fresh northerly breeze, however by Friday it was back up to 25 degrees hot and sunny with blue skies. The bird news this week is once again a little thin on the ground, however as always there is still plenty to see. Kingfishers...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 12.08.2016

    Well it's been quite a time since the last blog but it seems all the favourites have still been performing at Ham Wall in my absence. The 2 Glossy Ibis are still being seen regularly - usually in the area in front of the second platform but we have also lowered levels in the adjacent section (to...
  • Blog Post: Back to reality - whatever that is!

    Wow, what a week! Last week was rather busy here at Minsmere, with the combination of (mostly) good weather, lots of families enjoying our various holiday activities, and the bizarre sighting of a blue chicken (aka purple swamphen) that drew in the crowds. The swamphen remained all week, and was...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 8 August 2016

    Wildlife on the reserve: Summer is well on its way, as we have all felt from the recent high temperatures, and the breeding season is drawing to a close. The spring symphony has passed and an aural tranquillity has settled over the reserve. However the quiet is not to be mistaken for inactivity, there...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 30 July 2016

    A largely fine, warm week with warm nights, dry except Thursday afternoon when there were heavy showers. This weeks star species has to be garganey, for the past week we have had up to 11 of these migrant ducks in front of Tower Hide. They are currently in eclipse plumage so not the dapper looking...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.07.2016

    Yet again another wonderful week on the reserve - although the very hot weather has made working quite difficult as well as perhaps calmed down some of the activity from the birds. The early mornings have been the time to come by the sounds of it, with cooler weather, good light and a magical feel. ...
  • 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: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 15.07.2016

    Well, there's no doubt as to the star of the show this week. On Sunday evening a Collared Pratincole was spotted on the reserve and with it, over the next few days, came many visitors hoping to add one to their list. It's a summer visitor to southern Europe but a vagrant to these parts (and a...
  • Blog Post: Close encounters

    Getting out and enjoying nature is always rewarding. I find that whether I see a mallard or a marsh harrier when I go for a walk around the reserve I come back with a clear mind, feeling refreshed and inspired. There are some days however when taking a walk in nature, that you unexpectedly stumble upon...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.07.2016

    Firstly, apologies for the 'missing blog' last week. We've been having a few computer problems at the office recently but i also had to go out late on Friday to rescue a poorly swan who was taken off to Secret World for some treatment. I know - excuses, excuse! Well, I've left myself...
  • 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: The joy of volunteering

    Guest blog by Stan Singleton, Volunteer Minsmere guide Volunteering! Why do we do it? Life already offers other interests, obligations, but it is the lure of several hours in the fresh air and, here at Minsmere, an opportunity to watch wonderful bird-life. Absorbing bird song becomes a way of life...
  • Blog Post: Quick update 27 June

    We still have a few swallowtails on the wing with two seen today near the pond dipping platform, plenty of dragonflies as well as kingfishers and a few bittern sightings. The heavy rain has made quite a few of our paths a bit soggy so if you are visiting please wear stout footwear. The first field...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 24 June 2016

    A warm week with a wet start and a humid end, very heavy rain on Thursday night left much surface water on the trails and roads. A week with all the expected summer species seen including a late(ish) cuckoo on Tuesday, two bitterns in flight together on Friday, marsh harriers feeding young and...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.06.2016

    Once again a very active and interesting week on the reserve. You may have read articles this week on social media regarding some of our extra special birds we have on site at the moment. Great White Egrets were the main feature giving news of probable number of nests and about the ringing of some of...
  • 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...