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  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.04.2016

    Another interesting, wildlife packed, week on the reserve this week. You could be fooled into thinking it was winter at times on the reserve this week until you hear the chattering of Reed warblers in the reed beds, the calls of Cuckoo, booms of Bitterns and the melody of warblers and other song birds...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 29 April 2016

    Cold air still hangs over us, but the suns warmth is clearly strengthening, the temperatures are predicted to rise soon. This week has seen the last of our expected migrants return, namely garden warbler . We now have the full set on our sightings board, even if a hobby just put in a brief flyover...
  • Blog Post: What a great hobby we have

    Working at Minsmere has to be one of the best jobs ever - even if I do spend much of the day in front of a computer rather out enjoying the wildlife. Afterall, as highlighted in the latest (Summer 2016) issue of Nature's Home magazine, Minsmere is the Number One RSPB nature reserve when it comes...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.04.2016

    Another brilliant week on the reserve this week with, once again, loads to report. Birds of prey feature highly this week, although I'm falling short of photos in this area I'm afraid. Last weekend, Monday and Tuesday saw Short Eared Owl hunting over the reserve (probably 2 different birds...
  • Blog Post: One cuckoo may not make a summer, but one swift certainly does!

    Yes folks, it's official. It may be quite cold outside, with a chill breeze and only intermittent sunshine, but summer is here. One of our guides reported the first swift over the Scrape this afternoon. With several swallows and house martins over Island Mere this morning, and well over 100 sand...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.04.2016

    If there was any lingering doubt that spring had sprung last week - there can be no doubt now. It's been a week teeming with new arrivals and great wildlife sightings. It's hard to know where to start, so lets start with some spring arrivals. Tuesday saw the first report of Cuckoo on the reserve...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 15 April 2016

    Another week of contrasting weather; warm sunshine at times followed by thunderstorms and persistent rain on Friday, quite a typical spring week. The birds have been continuing to arrive from Africa throughout the week with additions including reed warbler, grasshopper warbler and common tern....
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

    It's been a superb spring day at Minsmere, with migrants galore a few notable surprises. The wet start clearly grounded a few migrants, and it didn't seem to put visitors off either. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was a cuckoo heard calling a couple of times beyond Island Mere late...
  • Blog Post: Dungeness weekly update!

    What a busy week we have had on the reserve! Most days the weather has been kind so we have been flooded with visitors over the Easter break. Our insects are starting to emerge with all of our ‘Big 7’ species of bee being spotted out and about. Peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies have emerged...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.04.2016

    The star of the show this week was probably the White Stork. It's been seen a few times in the local area and was first seen circling high over Ham Wall on Tuesday. It was than seen flying in front of the Avalon hide the next day too and is still currently in the local area as far as I know. John...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 7 April 2016

    A week consisting of typical April weather, mild and sunny days interspersed with cold winds and heavy showers, there was even a pretty impressive thunderstorm one evening. It has been another good week for unusual species on the reserve, with the penduline tit taking up the star position. The penduline...
  • Blog Post: This weeks wildlife at Dungeness

    I hope you weren’t caught out by any April Fool bird sightings today! The past week has been filled with the sights and sounds of spring. We’ve had queen bumblebees buzzing around the reserve looking for a place to start a nest, our colony of Andrena vaga bees or grey-backed mining bees...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 01.04.2016

    There's a bit to catch up with as I was away last week but there's so much going on I'll focus mainly on the past 7 days or so. Yet another mixed bag of weather this week: rain, high winds and hail and then some glorious sunshine. Spring has most definitely arrived and there is evidence all...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 1 April 2016

    A week of spring sunshine, with some interspersed cloud. Enough warmth in the sun to bring out some insects. The highlight of the week was the penduline tit , after two months it finally gave itself up for the morning on Thursday being faithful to the area just beyond the first sluice. It was particularly...
  • Blog Post: An Egg-citing Easter

    What a weekend! With the dust finally settling (literally following Storm Katie's exploits), it's time to reflect on another exciting few days. The fabulous weather on Good Friday tempted you all out in you hundreds, with Minsmere experiencing one of its busiest days ever. As Amy said in her...
  • Forum Thread: Bittern Photo number 2

    Taken at Mere hide on good Friday.
  • Forum Thread: Bittern Photo, Good Friday

    This was Taken at the Mere hide on Good Friday, it was roaming around the front of the hide for approx 8 mins before being chased by a goose.
  • Blog Post: Easter Saturday update

    A quick update lots of springy sights and sounds on Good Friday with several small tortoiseshells and peacock butterflies, toads on the paths and birds singing. Despite the cooler windy weather today there was lots of activity this morning and all thse pictures were taken during a couple of hours on...
  • Blog Post: Spring is here at Dungeness!

    Spring is officially here! Today we have had reported sightings of our first swallow, house martin and wheatear of the year! Just in time for Easter – fantastic! Bitterns have also been heard clearing their throats and practicing small booms, they have been heard early in the morning over the...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 24 March 2016

    This week has seen some good birds at the site again; the penduline tit has been busy keeping people waiting throughout the reserve. It has now been seen either side of Tower Hide, half way along the riverbank and from the river end of Sandy Wall, so it does get around a lot, but it is possible to see...
  • Blog Post: It's spring!

    Today is the spring equinox - officially the first day of spring, and the wildlife at Minsmere has clearly responded accordingly, with spring migrants, flowers, birdsong and reptiles all reflecting the changing season. Chiffchaffs are invariably the first spring migrants to arrive, having only traveled...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 18.03.2016

    There have been several 'firsts' for me this week. On Monday I have my first Sand Martins of the year - I heard them (perhaps 3) fly over the car park in the morning. Later on a visitor reported seeing some from the first platform. As I traveled into work on Thursday morning a single House Martin...
  • Blog Post: Flopwings, blackwits and awl birds

    For the first time in several weeks I completed the full circuit of the coast trail today. The north-easterly wind made it feel quite cool, especially on the North Wall and the top of the dunes. Out of the wind, though, the sun still had a bit of warmth, and the blue skies gave a lovely springlike feel...
  • Blog Post: Bittern Again....

    The bittern (s) continue to provide a good show for some of our visitors to Fen Hide; regular Brian Sandison had some fabulous views this weekend (12/13 March) of both the bittern and an equally obliging otter . Otter (Brian Sandison) Bittern (Brian Sandison) This morning’s...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.03.2016

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog over the last couple of weeks. I was helping to run a corporate team day for some employees of Bristol City Council 2 Fridays ago (when I usually write the blog) and just didn't have the time. Then I was off on annual leave last week. It means there's a...