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  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.07.2016

    Yet again another wonderful week on the reserve - although the very hot weather has made working quite difficult as well as perhaps calmed down some of the activity from the birds. The early mornings have been the time to come by the sounds of it, with cooler weather, good light and a magical feel. ...
  • Blog Post: There's so much to see...

    One comment we hear regularly from visitors in mid July is "it's quiet". Indeed it is, in the sense that most birds have stopped singing and the reserve can be eerily silent at times. But in terms of things to see, it's from from quiet, though you may have to change your focus a little...
  • Blog Post: Marsh harrier success at Ouse Fen

    It has been a successful year for marsh harriers at Ouse Fen. Six nests were recorded and, so far, eight fledglings have been spotted! There are now nearly 400 breeding pairs in the UK, mainly in eastern and south-east England but the story hasn’t always been so positive. Marsh harriers suffered...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 19 July 2016

    After a few weeks without an update (apologies!) the weather has finally broken and we are currently basking in 35 degree heat. Since the last update there have been a number of notable species seen; firstly on my way into work on 29 June I heard a Savi’s warbler reeling, this stayed until...
  • Blog Post: Giving Nature a home.

    Yesterday afternoon for the third year in a row I was lucky enough have a Hummingbird Hawkmoth visit our front garden gathering nectar from the lavender, a truly amazing moth aptly named as it flitted from frond to frond, then zoomed off. Amazing enough in itself. We have also had a Privet Hawkmoth....
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 15.07.2016

    Well, there's no doubt as to the star of the show this week. On Sunday evening a Collared Pratincole was spotted on the reserve and with it, over the next few days, came many visitors hoping to add one to their list. It's a summer visitor to southern Europe but a vagrant to these parts (and a...
  • Blog Post: Close encounters

    Getting out and enjoying nature is always rewarding. I find that whether I see a mallard or a marsh harrier when I go for a walk around the reserve I come back with a clear mind, feeling refreshed and inspired. There are some days however when taking a walk in nature, that you unexpectedly stumble upon...
  • Blog Post: Marsh Harrier Update

    Now is a good time to come to Radipole Lake and Lodmoor to see our resident Marsh Harriers. Both pairs have successfully bred this year with 3 juveniles each so potentially we can see 10 Marsh Harriers on the wing. There were very good views of the Harriers in front of the North Hide lunchtime calling...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.07.2016

    Firstly, apologies for the 'missing blog' last week. We've been having a few computer problems at the office recently but i also had to go out late on Friday to rescue a poorly swan who was taken off to Secret World for some treatment. I know - excuses, excuse! Well, I've left myself...
  • Blog Post: Red-backed Shrike and red-trousered Hobby's.

    This weekend has been quite nice weather-wise well apart from a downpour yesterday afternoon, so all in all it has been perfect for a walk onto the North Kent Marshes to see what is around. Really the best bird of the weekend has been the relatively long-stay Red-backed Shrike at Allhallows. It was...
  • Blog Post: A Mediterranean summer

    OK, so it may be not be Mediterranean weather, but with Glastonbury just finished and Wimbledon underway, what more do you expect? But there is certainly a Mediterranean feel to Minsmere right now as large flocks of Mediterranean gulls are gathering on the Scrape. Numbers fluctuate during the day, and...
  • Blog Post: The benefits of being a warden

    One of the joys of being a warden is being on the reserve in the early mornings. I noticed this female Marsh Harrier on the gauge board in the Wildlife Watchpoint cut this morning as I entered the hide. Ed brought the reserve camera and managed to get this shot as I slowly opened a shutter. Just...
  • Blog Post: Quick update 27 June

    We still have a few swallowtails on the wing with two seen today near the pond dipping platform, plenty of dragonflies as well as kingfishers and a few bittern sightings. The heavy rain has made quite a few of our paths a bit soggy so if you are visiting please wear stout footwear. The first field...
  • Blog Post: 'What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours.......

    brought the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain'. If only that were the case. Where the leave vote leaves the future of our nature is anyones' guess, only time will tell. On the positive side the sun did shine today and so the insects and butterflies took advantage. I saw in...
  • Blog Post: Marsh Harrier Juveniles Fledged at Radipole Lake

    Good news from Radipole! For the 8th year running our resident Marsh Harriers have successfully nested, and the three youngsters were seen in flight yesterday with mum and dad in attendance. So you could potentially see 5 of these magnificent birds of prey, right here in the centre of Weymouth. ...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.06.2016

    Once again a very active and interesting week on the reserve. You may have read articles this week on social media regarding some of our extra special birds we have on site at the moment. Great White Egrets were the main feature giving news of probable number of nests and about the ringing of some of...
  • Blog Post: what comes out after dark...

    Summer evenings at Leighton Moss are a magical time, after the visitor centre closes at 5 pm the pace on the reserve slows down and you can really enjoy this special place at its most peaceful. It’s also when you might see some of our nocturnal residents; a colony of soprano pipistrelle bats. ...
  • Blog Post: A catalogue of birds

    As the BBC Springwatch team were leaving on Sunday, Minsmere played host to another exciting event in partnership with Aldeburgh Music and BBC Radio Three. As part of the annual Aldeburgh Festival, Aldeburgh Music hosted a series of events around Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux. Starting with...
  • Blog Post: Ouse Fen just got bigger!

    A bold vision is coming to life at Ouse Fen - we are busy turning the largest sand/gravel quarry in southern England into the country’s largest reed bed! Last month, 96ha of restored land was transferred from Hanson Aggregates to the RSPB at Ouse Fen. This means that the nature reserve now covers...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 17 June 2016

    Generally a very nice week with warm sunny conditions interspersed with rain showers and the odd overcast day like today (Friday). The highlight of the week will have to be the swallowtails once again. When the sun was shining we had plenty of sightings from all over the reserve, including; five...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 17.06.2016

    As often with Ham Wall it's the long legged birds which steal the show. Bitterns are still busying themselves feeding youngsters. The activity suggests that we have at least 7 nests on the reserve this season. Waltons is a good area to try and track them down but they are also within the Loxtons...
  • Blog Post: Marsh harrier majesty

    A walk down the causeway at RSPB Leighton Moss in summer isn’t complete without a glimpse of a majestic marsh harrier . It has been a fantastic year here for these birds, with five adults in total, three females and two males, on the reserve since early spring. Marsh harriers are one of the...
  • Blog Post: Sightings at Lodmoor and Radipole Lake, Early Summer 2016

    Lodmoor had the best of the recent sightings. A booming Bittern was there from 8th May although it's gone quiet now. Other highlights include up to 10 species of waders including Black Winged Stilt (10th May), summer plumage Knot and Grey Plover, Little Stint, lots of Whimbrel and a couple of Avocet...
  • Blog Post: Rubbish and rubbish weather.

    Yesterday at Cliffe pools I bumped into two very nice gentlemen, who informed me they were doing a bug survey for Bio-scan. I have heard of Bio-scan and their own blurb states:- Bioscan is one of the UK’s longest established environmental consultancies specialising in applied ecology; they said...
  • Blog Post: The birds and the bees (and butterflies and dragonflies)

    As Springwatch draws to a close for another year, the wildlife can once again return to centre stage at Minsmere, and many species are already vying to steal the limelight. Bitterns in particular have been very popular, with one male continuing to parade around in front of Bittern Hide, even booming...