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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 16.01.2015

    Happy New Year Everyone!! Welcome to the first sightings blog for 2015!!! Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog last week - I simply just ran out of time. It was notable by its absence - as many of you picked up on the fact it wasn't there and quizzed me - I should of known I wouldn't get away...
  • Blog Post: Bittern bonanza!

    Three photographers have just posted their recent pics of a bittern on the Cambridgeshire Bird Club website. Fantastic! Here's the link http://cambsbirdclub.blogspot.co.uk/ .
  • Blog Post: Bittern swimming + merlin fly-past

    Matt Mellor has uploaded some photos of a bittern swimming on the Fowlmere Flickr website (best to google it). They were taken at c11.50 from Reedbed Hide, looking left at the pool that we have recently weeded. Another visitor saw a bittern in flight this afternoon, and two merlins flew past the hide...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful beards

    Or perhaps that should say "magnificent moustaches?" Either way, I'm talking about the same species. One of our most sought after birds. One of our most beautiful birds. And one that seems to be putting on a really good show this week. I am, of course, talking about bearded tits. Tiny...
  • Blog Post: A most magical sight

    The UK’s smallest bird of prey, the merlin , has been seen dashing around the reserve recently. You can tell merlins apart from other falcons ( kestrels , hobbys and peregrines ) because of their relatively long, square-cut tail and rather broad-based pointed wings, shorter that those of any other...
  • Blog Post: No ducking the issue

    As ever at this time of year it's ducks that dominate the reserve's birdlife at the moment, at least numerically. Large flocks of wigeons, gadwalls, teals, mallards and shovelers are feeding or loafing on the Scrape, Konik Field and Levels, with a several shelducks and a few pintails and tufted...
  • Blog Post: Green-winged Teal, Bittern and Long-eared Owl

    Happy new year. The Long-eared Owl is still on show at the Clarences scrub, and we have Saltholme Guides there daily to show it to visitors. There is also a Green-winged Teal on Saltholme West. It is best seen from Saltholme Hide, looking down the south side of the water body, or in the ditch between...
  • Blog Post: Goosing around

    I am sure if any of you have visited the reserve recently you will have been lucky enough to see and hear the graylag geese over the reserve. There have been great views from almost all of the hides, but the best views seem to be down at the saltmarsh hides (Allen and Eric Morecambe hides). Greylag geese...
  • Blog Post: A New Year bonus

    News broke via our Twitter page of a potentially very rare visitor to Minsmere on New Year's Eve - though no-one had yet seen it! Scientists in Sweden, monitoring the movements of a lesser white-fronted goose fitted with a GPS tracker, had noted it's departure from the Norwegian coast the...
  • Blog Post: Dancing on ice

    Brrrr, it's gotten pretty chilly outside over the past few days. The pools are largely frozen up with a thick layer of ice which means that a lot of the ducks and water birds that frequent the reserve at this time of year have headed onto the open dykes or the saltmarsh. However, the beauty of the...
  • Blog Post: Happy Christmas and farewell to a great year

    Wow, what an amazing year. Minsmere's fame spread in the spring when the Springwatch cameras arrived - and what superb footage they got of bitterns, reed warblers, goldfinches, adders, badger and, of course Grub the tawny owl. With increased awareness of what a brilliant place Minsmere is,...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 19.12.2014

    This will probably be the last blog before the Christmas break arrives - it will return in January!! The biggest news of the week is that we have opened the new car park. There's still some finishing touches to do but we wanted it to be open in time for Christmas, as this will be a busy time with...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 19th December

    It's been a slightly odd week of weather, with a balmy 12 degrees on Wednesday night followed by t shirt weather on Thursday (for working outside at least) and now we are warned of cold air coming to East Anglia over the weekend. This weather could push some more wildfowl south during the weekend...
  • Blog Post: Counting down

    It's an exciting time in our household, as in many around the country, as we count down the days until Christmas. Advent calendars are opened to reveal festive pictures, chocolates, or in our case little Lego toys that will make a lovely Christmas scene when finished. With only seven more sleeps...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 12.12.2014

    The weather this week has certainly reminded us that it's winter. Although the WeBS count (wetland bird survey) for this month was slightly down on Novembe,r the winter pattern of species on the reserve continues.There have been fluctuations in the numbers of wildfowl visible from both platforms...
  • Blog Post: This will quack you up!

    You may sometimes take the massive variety of ducks for granted here at a Leighton Moss. At this time of year, on any day you can go down to the hides and see teal , shoveler , wigeon , pochard and pintail to name but a few. The male goldeneye has to be one of our most elegant winter visitors, it is...
  • Blog Post: Robin the rich to give to the birds

    I am sure we have all started thinking about what’s on our Christmas lists, but have you thought about what the birds might like? Because we have had such a mild autumn many of the birds we see in our gardens may be unprepared for winter. Just a few minutes work can make all the difference and...
  • Blog Post: What a rail place to have a good time!

    The water rail is a relatively common, yet highly secretive bird. It is more often heard than seen. Its high pitched squeal (like a piglet) is really distinctive and is often the only sign of them being present in an area. It has chestnut-brown and black upperparts and black-and-white barred flanks,...
  • Blog Post: Otterly bittern by the Minsmere bug

    Over the last few months we've been treated to some highly enjoyable guest blogs by a few of Minsmere's amazing volunteers. Today I'd like to share another blog by Ally Hoadley, who has recently posted her contribution to an advent calender on the A Focus on Nature website. AFON is a a...