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Results for marsh harrier
  • Blog Post: We've been waiting to see smew

    They've been a long time in coming, but on Sunday we finally welcomed two smews to Minsmere for the winter. Smews are scarce winter visitors to the UK, with only a few hundred present in most winters, but the mild weather this year has made them even rarer than usual, with very few present at...
  • Blog Post: A beautiful day to watch birds of prey

    It’s a beautiful day here in sunny Silverdale and what better way to spend it then basking in the sun and watching some wonderful wildlife! The sight of birds of prey swooping and soaring through the clear blue sky is truly magical and here at RSPB Leighton Moss we have not been short of these...
  • Blog Post: Brews, birds and a brand new boardwalk

    It might be a bit blustery out there, but the sun is shining, so it is the ideal day to come for a stroll round Leighton Moss. There's lots to see - large numbers of teals , wigeons and some shovelers are gathered at Tim Jackson hide, as well as a flock of redshanks and a lone dunlin on the bank...
  • 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 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 at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.02.2016

    I wouldn't say spring is in the air but there are certainly a few signs of change on the reserve this week. Snowdrops are out along the rail path, although not yet on the car park boardwalk at the Shapwick end where there are large clumps each year. Birdsong seemed quite significant this morning...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating our wonderful wetlands

    Today, 2 February, is World Wetlands Day. This is an important event, at it marks the signing of an international treaty on wetland conservation, the RAMSAR Treaty, signed in the Iranian town of Ramsar on 2 February 1971. Many of the world's most important wetlands, including RSPB Minsmere, are...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 9 January 2016

    Wet, mild, and very wind to end, just about sums up this weeks weather! It has not quite decided which season it should be at the moment, so unsurprisingly the wildlife is also beginning to feel a little confused. Sightings from the fen this week have included a hen harrier, a juvenile male seen...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.01.2016

    The best news of the week was being able to get the Avalon Hide back open again. As you may know the access had become extremely muddy and too difficult access. It's taken a lot of work in a short space of time but we've done it. Rubber matting has been laid throughout the woodland and beyond...
  • 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: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 22 January 2016

    A freezing start to the week brought ice to much of the reserve, but with clear skies it was a most pleasant until Friday when a mass of warmer air arrived, bringing cloud and rain to the fen. The colder conditions did not push the hoped for wildfowl to the area, perhaps it was too little too late...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.01.2016

    It was a bit of a shock on Wednesday with temperatures of -6 degrees on the reserve during the day. This however did not stop me from hearing my first booming Bittern of the year. I sounded like it was over at Waltons and boomed in sets of 3 on several occasions. One closer to me tried to reply but let...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: Smew, Siskin and Snow!

    The Big Garden Birdwatch Lounge is thrumming with activity. Those two nuthatch have been busy at the feeders, we have also had a reed bunting, bullfinch and a siskin sat almost within touching distance of the visitor centre windows. Beyond the balcony a flock of around 20 siskin were spotted in the...
  • 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: What delights doth the New Year bring!

    New Year's Day Although a cold and quite dull day, the Reserve was brimming with hardy soles enjoying the great outdoors after the Christmas break. 'Col' reported having seen a female/juv Marsh Harrier from the hide. LOGBOOK SIGHTINGS NVH - Marsh Harrier perched in front of the LH...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 17 January 2016

    Winter has finally arrived! As I write this sightings blog the sky is blue, the air is crisp and Reception Broad is covered in ice apart from a 15m hole containing over 50 ducks of varying species. A cold snap has come as quite a shock to the system, but a welcome and quite needed shock. The avian...
  • Blog Post: Winter arrives at last

    What a difference over the last couple of days. It's finally starting to feel like winter. Like most of the country, we had a bit of snow yesterday - just enough to turn everything white for a few hours. And the sharp frost this morning left some of the smaller reedbed pools frozen for the first...
  • Blog Post: Much-Harriers-in-the-Marsh.

    Yesterday was another volunteer day and so it was back for us to The Sanctuary for more coppicing, clearing of the Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Bramble that so choke the Woodland habitat. On the trek to the woods Will the Warden and I saw a beautiful Male Marsh Harrier quartering the flooded scrapes just...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 15.01.2016

    A much colder feel this week and it finally felt like winter on the reserve - there were even a couple of icy patches. As with last week there seems to be an upturn in the numbers of wildfowl on the reserve - I have particularly noticed good numbers of Teal this week. The Dusky Warbler was seen again...
  • Blog Post: Radipole Lake Reserve Update

    It's a beautiful sunny day down here at Radipole Lake. As you might expect after the recent rain, the water levels are higher than normal and the reserve is accessible but muddy in places. The North Hide is open but wellies and caution are required as the boardwalk is flooded or slippery in places...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 2016 - Chapter 1

    Fairburn may have been flooded but the wildlife doesn't seem to be too bothered! The recent sightings book is as full as ever and there is plenty to see. The flashes were busy with 70+ curlew and 30+ goldeneye on New Years Day, and more than 100 golden plover were seen over this week. It’s...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.01.2016

    Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the first sightings blog of 2016. Having been away over Christmas, it's always nice to get back to work in such a wonderful place. I've tried to keep my eye on things from afar by watching Twitter updates and looking at the Somerset Ornithological Society...
  • 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...