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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings 5th June

    Another mixed few weeks of weather here at the fen, with cloud, blazing sunshine and lightning storms as well as the odd day of non-stop rain! The traditional British weather has brought out some of our much loved Broads specialities. The main attraction of swallowtails has had a very good supporting...
  • 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: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.05.2015

    There seems to have been an increase in Bittern activity this week - suggests that perhaps some females are off nests and out feeding youngsters. There have again been several chases involving multiple birds. his photograph taken by John Crispin is likely to be a female being chased by a male. The size...
  • 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...
  • Media: Bittern at RSPB Insh Marshes

    Taken in Jan 2011 - a very rare sighting of the beautiful Bittern at RSPB Insh Marshes in the Cairngorms, Scotland
  • Media: Bittern - Jim Lodge

    Bittern taken from the car park at Fen Drayton Lakes by Jim Lodge
  • 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: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.05.2015

    Yet another interesting week on the reserve. It seems that even after 9 years of working here there's always something new to experience and enjoy. I was out trying to find poo of various animals for our who's poo? event next week ( this is not the new experience I'm talking about), I was...
  • 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...