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  • Blog Post: Hummingbird steals the show

    As is often the case in August, the buddleia bushes outside the visitor centre have been the centre of attention for much of the afternoon. There's been a great range of butterflies, including several painted ladies and commas as well as the more familiar red admirals, small tortoiseshells, peacocks...
  • Blog Post: Recent Wildlife Sightings – Radipole and Lodmoor

    Birds The Lodmoor Marsh Harrier pair and their 4 fledglings have now dispersed as have the Radipole pair with 2 young. There are chicks, ducklings and cygnets about on both reserves. Oystercatchers at Lodmoor have 2 healthy chicks, Mute Swans on both sites have good numbers of cygnets with them...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 31.07.2015

    I know it's only been a few days since the last one but thought it was well worth getting in the usual Friday blog and getting back on track. I hadn't been well for a few days and it was great to be back at work and catch sight of an Osprey. The bird was looking rather tatty - perhaps after...
  • Blog Post: Doves and harriers

    Fowlmere continues to live up to its developing reputation as one of the best places in Britain to see turtle doves. The distinctive purring of the males (and to a lesser extent the females also) is not being heard as often as it was earlier in the season, but you would still be very unlucky not to hear...
  • 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: 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 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: How's the hide coming along?

    If you read my blog last week, you'll know that we are in the process of replacing Public hide. The old one was taken down last week by our wardens and volunteers and then on Monday, Gilleards arrived with the brand spanking new one! The weather on Monday was not kind to them as you can see from...
  • 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 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...
  • Media: Front view of Marsh Harrier

    At this view they look very menacing.
  • 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 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: Speedy Wildlife Walks

    A speedy circuit this morning to open up the hides but quite rewarding in the breezy conditions. It was already pretty warm and there was plenty of insect activity. Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were out egg laying on the Nettles and the first Meadow Brown of the year (for me) was flying strongly....
  • Blog Post: Otter action!

    It's always a special day when I see an otter at Fowlmere. There have been about a dozen sightings a year since the first record in 1997, so the chances of being in the right place at the right time are slim, but it does happen occasionally. I was in Reedbed Hide at about 8pm last night, listening...
  • 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: Marsh harriers nesting

    It has taken some time to confirm that our male and female marsh harriers are actually a pair and have nested. As they have cunningly chosen a site out of view of the hides in an inaccessible part of the reed bed, the early stages of their season have been largely unobserved. The female has adopted a...