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  • Blog Post: For love of Fairburn - Kate

    Cupid will be hard at work this weekend and since 'tis the season, several of the staff here on the reserve have decided to share just what it is about Fairburn they love so much. Here is our Visitor Operations Manager, Kate: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3<3 <3 <3...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings: that woodpecker is drumming!

    Reed bunting sightings have exploded this week, there is at least one pair that has been regularly seen at the wildlife garden feeders, and we’ve had some lovely views of them from the office windows! Male reed bunting, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) Each week we get one or two recorded sightings...
  • Blog Post: A warming winter fire(crest)

    The two firecrests that have taken up winter residence around Scotts Hall and the Rhododendron Tunnel continue to attract a lot of interest - for those lucky enough to actually see them. Frustratingly, they seem to avoid the attentions of most of our volunteers, despite many visitors having had good...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 1st-31st January 2016

    The start of a new year is often viewed as a new start. While we may not be able to wipe all things from the past, here at the reserve we can at least clear the species list and look forward to compiling the new one. By the end of last year we had recorded a total of 118 bird species for the reserve...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 5 February 2016

    This week has been mostly dry, mild and earlier in the week very windy. The star bird this week was the Siberian chiffchaff , which returned briefly on Saturday and Sunday along the riverbank. The bird stayed long enough for a few people to see it and then it was gone, until I heard it again in...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: A kingfisher down on his luck

    It has been a fantastic week for birds of prey again with the marsh harrier out at about almost every day, visible from both Lin Dike and Pick-up. Also from Lin Dike there have been buzzard, peregrine and sparrowhawk seen. A sparrowhawk and buzzard down near Charlie’s, a couple of red kite over...
  • Media: Waiting patiently

  • Media: Kingfisher waiting

  • Blog Post: Icy blasts and wintery weather!

    8th January. Rained most of the day but still cold.. There had been snow showers overnight on high ground: looking across the Solway, the Scottish hills were snow-capped. There was a flurry of garden birds eager to top up from the feeders. An interesting article appeared in Birdguides: British...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: First Signs of Spring

    Signs of spring are popping up around the reserve, hawthorn has already been spotted coming into flower, and this week we had our first snowdrop sighting in the grass by the visitor centre. Skylarks have been seen on the stacks and around the Lin Dike link a few times, and they have also been heard singing...
  • Blog Post: It's your turn to start counting

    I often write in these blogs about counting Minsmere's wildlife, whether for breeding bird surveys, roost counts or simply counts based on observations from our volunteer guides. For example, our guides have been diligently counting lapwings this week, with more than 500 present on the Scrape. Now...
  • Blog Post: Getting the oxygen pumping

    After another beautiful sunny morning, I decided to wander down to Island Mere at lunchtime. I hoped that I may manage to find an otter, kingfisher, bearded tit or water rail to add to my year list, but sadly I was unlucky with all four species. I was, however, able to watch a group of six whooper...
  • Blog Post: Bitterns and barn owls

    The water level is finally beginning to drop! Hoorah! And all the paths are now open on the reserve. You will still need waterproof boots to get around some parts and wellies to get down to Lower hide, but most of the paths are thankfully now clear of water! There’s loads to see out on the reserve...
  • Forum Thread: Kingfisher delight!

    After several fleeting visits over the last few months we were thrilled today when a stunning specimen landed on the pergola in our garden to survey our pond below. It actually stayed for 30 seconds which was long enough for me to take a few photos :)
  • Blog Post: Unsettled end to December.

    23rd December. Stormy conditions with a very strong SW wind blowing all night. The wind had not abated by the morning and continued most of the day - interspersed with hail showers. Certainly a lot colder! At 9 am small groups of Barnacles started to trickle by, flooded off their roosts further...
  • Blog Post: The surprises continue

    Hot on the heels on my two butterfly sightings on Monday, there have been further notable sightings this week. Perhaps the most surprising was the three spoonbills that dropped onto East Scrape on Wednesday. Although common visitors in spring, winter records of spoonbill are rare. We assume these were...
  • Blog Post: More goodies

    We have had some more good sightings since the fun of New Year's Day. On the 2nd a raven flew over the car park; this is a species we wouldn't expect to see. A bittern flew past Reedbed Hide at 16.34 on the 5th, presumably the same bird that was present earlier in the winter. Also a woodcock...
  • Blog Post: Off to a good start

    The New Year started with a beautiful blue sky yesterday morning, before the cloud rolled in on the biting easterly wind. The sun brought out the crowds too, helping us to compile a respectable New Year's Day list of 86 species of birds plus at least five mammals. Although the weather has been a...
  • Blog Post: Off to a good start - Happy New Year!

    With the exception of a singing Cetti's warbler and a pinging bearded tit, the reserve seems to have been rather quiet over Christmas, so it is nice to report some good sightings to start off the New Year. An otter was seen twice in the mere from Reedbed Hide, once mid morning and again mid afternoon...
  • Blog Post: Another year ends - roll on 2016

    It's been a wild and wet end to 2015 - though rather less wild here in Suffolk than in many other parts of the UK. We hope not too many of you have been affected by the flooding over Christmas. Ironically, given how much rain we've had, Minsmere's paths are actually relatively dry - though...
  • Media: Kingfisher at Blacktoft Sands 13 Dec 2015. Taken from First Hide, mobile phone and telescope.

  • Blog Post: Mince Pies & Magical Murmurations: Guest blog by Eleri Wynne, Communications Officer, RSPB Cymru

    I have only very recently been privileged to see my first starling murmuration. My first experience was at RSPB Newport Wetlands a few weeks ago, followed by a gorgeous murmuration at sunset in Cardiff Bay and if I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t realise just how breathtaking this natural phenomenon...
  • Blog Post: Mute, but not silent

    As I stood on Whin Hill this morning scanning across Island Mere and the reedbed beneath murky skies, numerous white specks in the fields beyond were immediately obvious: swans. Checking carefully through the flock, they all appeared to be large mute swans. Although their smaller cousins, Bewick's...
  • Blog Post: Wetland wildlife delights

    It's been a bit of a wild and windy day today as Storm Desmond has made its presence felt - albeit without causing the disruption experienced farther north - but for those brave enough to venture out onto the reserve, there has been a wealth of wetland wildlife to enjoy. The day started with a...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 1st August – 31st October by Alan R & Claire M

    After a pretty dismal summer weather-wise, the better weather in August was a welcome relief! It was a great month for raptors, with osprey spotted hunting on both the Barr Loch and Aird Meadow throughout the month, a peregrine over the Aird Meadow on the 14 th , frequent sightings of kestrel , and a...