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  • Blog Post: Celebrating World Wildlife Day

    Today, 3 March is the UN World Wildlife Day. In celebration, I thought I'd share a pictorial overview of some of Minsmere's amazing wildlife. Let's start with otters . Late winter and early spring is always the best time to see these popular mammals, and they put on a particularly impressive...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 02.03.2015

    Apologies for the slightly delayed blog this week, I'm afraid I was unable to attend work on Friday so it's been pushed onto today! All the photos this week come from the Waltons area of the reserve, where there seems to have been plenty of action this past week. Following on from last weeks...
  • Blog Post: Mud, machines, fences and avocets - an update from the Scrape

    It's been a while since I posted an update on the ongoing work to replace the predator-proof fence around the Scrape. When I let you know about our plans before work started, in a blog back in November , we were expecting to finish the work this week. While work has progressed well, we're...
  • Blog Post: Spring is on its' way!

    Hello all Spring is definitely in the air today, a beautiful frosty morning with blue skies and sunshine! The last few weeks have seen plenty of spring signs emerging with the arrival of the pure and pristine snowdrops, buds bursting on the sallows revealing the pussy willow inside, leaves emerging...
  • Blog Post: Latest bird news and reed bed work on 28th Feb

    Just a brief update to warn our visitors that a group of scouts will be working in the reed bed on Saturday 28th February. We have to get the work done before the lapwings and water rails get down to nesting in the second half of March. The bittern is hopefully still with us, having been seen last...
  • Blog Post: More Minsmere murmuration magic

    Yes folks - after a couple of months away from Minsmere, our starlings have returned! Since the middle of last week we've had about 10000 starlings roosting in the North Marsh reedbed at dusk. The flock, which usually forms at about 5 pm, is best watched from the North Wall, or even from outside...
  • Blog Post: Spring-like sightings

    It has been an exciting few weeks down on Otmoor recently, there are Snowdrops coming up, the birds are starting to sing and pair up and I even took my woolly hat off today! So what has been seen on site recently? Wildfowl are still using the site in large numbers, Wigeon flocks can be seen on...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 20.02.2015

    A bit of a mixed week at Ham Wall this week with some glorious weather for a couple days and a miserable day yesterday. It's been busy though with lots of visitors, including families, over the half term break. There's been plenty for people to enjoy, with the increase in birdsong of particular...
  • Blog Post: Is that a smew (drake) I see before me?

    That red-headed smew is still causing havoc, especially now she has a partner in crime. The drake was first seen on Sunday 8 th and since then the trixy pair have been up and down the reserve. They have been switching between Main Bay and Village bay a few times a day, with occasional jaunts down to...
  • Blog Post: Love is in the air

    Couples across the world may be celebrating Valentine's Day today, but did you know that 14 February is an important day in the natural world. Today is traditionally the day that ducks pair up for the year, and certainly there's been a lot of amorous behaviour on the Scrape for the last few...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.02.2015

    It may still be February but I'm thinking about the arrival of Spring - one of my favourite times of year. There seems to have been an increase in bird song in the past week, showing I'm not the only one with spring on his mind. Blackbirds, Dunnock, Blue Tits & Great Tits and a multitude...
  • Blog Post: Biting off more than it can chew?

    One of our volunteer guides spent some time seawatching this morning and was rewarded with a dramatic encounter between two large scavengers. Pomarine skuas are usually passage migrants in the UK, but one or two often spend the winter off the Suffolk coast, and one has been seen occasionally all winter...
  • Blog Post: A bird's nest in February?

    There was great excitement this week following the discovery of these nests close to the visitor centre! Nests with eggs in February. Surely not? When I posted the pictures on the RSPB Suffolk Facebook page on Saturday, more than one person thought they were chocolate cups filled with white chocolate...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.02.2015

    I've certainly felt the cold on the reserve this week. Temperatures have fallen well below freezing at night time and frozen, although thinly, large areas of water on the reserve. This often means birds are forced to gather closer together in areas of unfrozen water - one such area being in front...
  • Blog Post: One avocet doesn't make a summer

    No sooner had the first avocet returned to the Scrape, signalling the imminent arrival of spring, then the temperature dropped and the snow showers arrived. It's still bitterly cold today, with both the Scrape and Island Mere largely frozen this morning, but at least the sun is shining and the days...
  • Blog Post: Wetlands for people, for wildlife, and for the future

    The theme of this year’s international World Wetlands Day (today - Monday, 2 February) * is “Wetlands for our future”. At a time where evidence of a changing climate grows stronger - eight of the UK’s top ten warmest years (since 1910) have occurred since 1992 - planning for the...
  • Blog Post: Bangled egret

    A new species for the British list!? Sadly no, just a little egret sporting some brightly coloured rings in the field to the west of the reserve today. If you are fortunate enough to see it, please have a good look to see if the rings have letters or numbers on them, and then submit your record to the...
  • Blog Post: Bittern still here + stoats

    At the risk of becoming repetitive, I can report that a bittern is still here. We started a work party this morning, but gave up when the snow made the chainsaw difficult to see. Two of the volunteers took refuge in Reedbed Hide, and were rewarded with a fly-past. After a flurry of records in early January...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 30.01.2015

    Plenty of testing weather on the reserve this week with high winds, driving rain, hail and snow to deal with but none the less we're making plenty of progress. The view from the 1st platform will reveal that work has started on the Avalon hide to the left of the Central Wood. Telegraph poles have...
  • Blog Post: Minsmere is number one

    That's what you tell us anyway. We're now rated as the number one visitor attraction in Suffolk according to Trip Advisor , with 97% of reviews rating Minsmere at least four out of five. We really enjoy reading reviews on Trip Advisor. Many reviews thank our amazing volunteer guides and reception...
  • Blog Post: Flurry of activity at the feeders

    The feeders at the back of the visitor centre are a flurry of activity at the moment, with great spotted woodpeckers and tree sparrows making regular appearances, so it's definitely worth a peek when you're heading onto the reserve. Among the more common blue tits , great tits and coal tits ...
  • Blog Post: Spring is round the corner

    Next Sunday, 1 February, we switch to summer opening at Minsmere. This means that the visitor centre remains open until 5 pm, and the cafe hours switch to 9.30 am to 4.45 pm. To help us to get ready for spring, the cafe will be closing early on Monday, at 2.30 pm, for a deep clean, so if you're planning...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.01.2015

    Yet another busy week on the reserve this week, scrub work underway on the old canal bank/footpath side of the reserve and the new small pedestrian bridge is now open. This will eventually allow access to a new hide (the Avalon Hide) which will be built behind the wood diagonally right of the first platform...
  • Blog Post: A busy week

    While I've been enjoying some extremely memorable birdwatching in Portugal (this isn't the place to relate the stories unfortunately), it's been a really busy week at Minsmere. Work has progressed well on building the new fence around the Scrape. The bank on which the fence will sit has...
  • Blog Post: A fun day on the ranch.....

    Well that was quite a day.... some serious Water Rail action off the Northern Trail and everyone was as well behaved as the trio of birds that spent the day scuttling around the Terrapin Pool. Lots of raptor activity too with five Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards, Peregrines, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels; swirling...