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  • Blog Post: Eyes to the sky

    It's certainly been a wet few days at Minsmere, as elsewhere in the country, and it pays to keep an eye on any approaching black clouds before deciding to move on to the next hide as showers continue ot rattle through on a regular basis. Some of them are pretty heavy too. Storm clouds over...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 27.07.2015

    Apologies for another late blog - I've been laid out with a sickness bug and have just got back on my feet. I was even happier to be back when I caught up with the Osprey which several people reported to me this morning. It was seen over Waltons (and beyond), Loxtons and from the second platform...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 24th July 2015

    A sunny start to the week with dark rain clouds building as I write, this has produced a week of butterflies, dragonflies as well as some bird species featuring on this weeks round up. Swallowtail caterpillars can be seen in all stages of their development from the small black and white stage right...
  • Blog Post: Summer wildlife highlights?

    When the radio crackled into life with news of the first sightings of the day, they announcement was almost (!) as much of a surprise as the recent records of bee-eaters and an albatross. Bearing in mind the date (23 July), the report of seven brent geese flying south was unexpected. We wouldn't...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 17th July 2015

    This week started off overcast and drizzly and ended up hot and windy, so once again we have seen a range in weathers bringing a range of sightings. Now is the traditional quiet time for birds at the fen. The birds have had a very busy time for the past 3 months singing, feeding young and in some...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 17.07.2015

    It seems to be slowly creeping towards that very quiet time of year on the reserve. July is half over and August is fast approaching. Many birds are in moult after breeding which makes flight more difficult so they tend to be more hidden and of course there's a lot less singing. They've been...
  • Blog Post: Reality returns

    After the buzz of excitement on Monday and Tuesday surrounding "the Minsmere albatross", reality has returned to Minsmere. That's not to say that there's nothing exciting to see. Far from it, as there's still an amazing variety of wildlife to spot. With the buddleias coming into...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 10.07.2015

    It's been a bit of a changeable week on the reserve and there's a distinct sense of bird life just slowing down a little as we approach the end of the breeding season for many species. The sight of c60 Lapwings flocking together - often disturbed by birds of prey such as Marsh Harriers passing...
  • Blog Post: Much more than birds

    Minsmere is widely known as one of the best birdwatching sites in the UK, but it is, of course, much more than that. It is, quite simply, one of the best nature reserves in the UK - whatever type of wildlife you are interested in. A quick look at some of the highlights from today's sightings board...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 03.07.2015

    Well, this blog quickly follows the last one but there's plenty to write about. The best news of the week came on Wednesday when Chris Sperring MBE of the Hawk & Owl Trust came in to check our Barn Owl Boxes for us. The first 2 boxes disappointingly were being used by Grey Squirrel and the 3rd...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 2nd July

    Wow what a hot week! The weather here at Strumpshaw has been up to 31 degrees on Wednesday, with warm sunny spells to continue into the early part of the weekend at least. The hot weather has certainly had a large affect on the wildlife here at the fen. The invertebrates have had yet another explosion...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 01.07.2015

    Apologies for the lack of blog last week - I was away for much of the week and just haven't had the time this week until now. I did spend a couple of days with work over at Arne in Dorset - a reserve well worth a visit. Good views of Nightjar, Spoonbill and Dartford Warbler the highlights. I'll...
  • 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: North Wall purple patch continues

    The North Wall has been the place to be at Minsmere recently. Following on from the red-spotted bluethroat, then some incredibly showy bearded tits, we've had regular bittern sightings from there and then last week's bee-eater. Today, in a case of deja vu, a small crowd of staff, volunteers and...
  • 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: Recent Sightings 19th June

    This week has seen some warm sunny weather and some cold windy weather, so the sightings for the week have been up and down with the weather conditions playing a large part in what is seen each day. Swallowtail butterflies are past their peak now, so the chances of connecting with this magnificent...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 19.06.2015

    A nice bunch of photos this week thanks to contributions from both John Crispin and Robin Morrison - thank you both very much - the photos really make the blog what it is - rather than just my ramblings. During the last couple of weeks there has been, not surprisingly, an increase in the number of...
  • 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: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 12.06.2015

    Another great week on the reserve, with plenty to see for our growing numbers of visitors. It's been so great to be hearing such positive things from our guests and even more rewarding to be able to give them an interesting wildlife spectacle. There are several stars of the show each week at present...
  • Blog Post: A record year for booming male bitterns

    Guest blog by Simon Wotton, Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science The Bittern is an elusive bird seen occasionally skulking through reedbeds looking for fish or flying over a reedbed on its broad, rounded, bowed wings. The males make a remarkable booming sound in the spring...
  • 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: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.06.2015

    The very windy weather on Monday & Tuesday meant there was a lot less activity - that is apart from the hundreds of Swifts swooping around the reserve who seemed to buck the trend - it was a fantastic sight. I'm guessing the wind must have kept the insect life a lot lower and the Swifts took...