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Recent sightings

  • 15 April 2014

    The next arrival at Terminal One is...

    It's mid April, so the arrivals and departures board at Minsmere International is constantly changing as new arrivals land and old friends depart. Although numbers of most new migrants are still quite low, the number of species seen is growing by the day.

    Here's a quick summary of migrant arrival dates so far (note: blackcap and chiffchaff are not included as one or two overwinter, so spring arrival dates can be difficult to judge)

    • Spoonbill: 2 March. A very early arrival. One has been on the Scrape for most of this week too
    • Stone-curlew: 13 March. Several pairs now present including one pair regularly visible from the west end of the North Wall (please do not attempt to watch these birds from anywhere else as they are extremely sensitive to disturbance
    • Garganey: 16 March. A pair for just a couple of days. The next arrival is overdue
    • Sandwich tern: 22 March. Up to four birds are present on the Scrape daily
    • Wheatear: 23 March. Several sightings since, both on the dunes and north of the North Wall
    • Yellow wagtail: 29 March. A very early record, but none since
    • Sand martin: 30 March. A late arrival date, but there are now about 30 pairs actively excavating burrows in the bank outside the visitor centre, so let's hope they breed successfully this year
    • Sedge warbler: 30 March. Only a handful have arrived and they are not yet singing regularly. They seem to be late.
    • Black redstart: 31 March. One or two more since
    • Hobby: 3 April. An early arrival, followed by a second sighting a couple of day s later, but none since
    • Little gull: 3 April. One or two on several dates since, including two adults on South Scrape today
    • Swallow: 3 April. A late arrival and still present only in single figures
    • Reed warbler: 4 April. An early arrival. Only one or two since.
    • House martin: 5 April. Another early arrival, but only or two so far
    • Willow warbler: 5 April. A late arrival, but singing daily since at North Hide and a few elsewhere on the reserve
    • Cuckoo: 10 April. An early arrival calling near Eastbridge. Heard most days since, including at least two today
    • Ring ouzel: 10 April. One on the heath
    • Little ringed plover: 11 April. One on the Scrape
    • Nightingale: 11 April. A late arrival along the bridleway. Two heard on the heath yesterday and one near the car park entrance this morning - just in time for our first Sounds of Spring guided walk.
    • Redstart: 11 April. A stunning male has been feeding north of the North Wall yesterday and today
    • Grasshopper warbler: 13 April. One heard between Wildlife Lookout and South Hide. This is now a very rare bird at Minsmere, with only one heard last spring. We haven't heard it since
    • Common tern: 15 April. Two on South Scrape today.

    A wheatear by Jon Evans

    Other migrants include black-tailed godwits (96 this week), ruff, spotted redshank, knots (28 on 11th) and turnstones on the Scrape.

    Departure dates are harder to judge, but several winter visitors are still hanging on. The highlight here is undoubtedly the jack snipe that has continued to show regularly at Island Mere until yesterday at least. A short-eared owl was seen again on Sunday, as was a hen harrier. A few redwings and fieldfares were still on the heath late last week too. On the Scrape there are still a handful of pintails and good numbers of teals, but most of the ducks have now left. Offshore, the few remaining red-throated divers are acquiring their summer finery.

    Other birds of been merely passing through, and not actually touching down at Minsmere. There has been an excellent passage of buzzards so far this month (and a pair displaying near Eastbridge), along with the odd red kite, though numbers of the latter on down on recent springs. A real highlight for those lucky enough to see it (sadly not me, again) was the raven seen on several dates between 124 March and 10 April. I missed the last sightings as I was in the middle of a long phone call - very annoying!

    There's also increasing breeding activity, with avocets, black-headed gulls, lapwings and redshanks already establishing territory on the Scrape, great crested grebes displaying at Island Mere, ten booming bitterns and several pairs of marsh harriers in the reedbed, bearded tits feeding chicks at Island mere, the sand martins, and nuthatches calling at Canopy Hide. Among the commoner nesting birds, the pair of great tits using our nestcam box now have seven eggs. They can be watched on the TV screen in the shop. 

    Of course, birds aren't the only things to see in spring. It's been a great week for butterflies, with the following species all seen regularly: peacock, small tortoiseshell, comma, speckled wood, small copper, orange tip, brimstone, small, large and green-veined white. Other insects seen on the wing this week include buff-tailed and early bumblebees, seven-spot ladybirds, alderflies, bee-flies and honeybees. Adders continue to be seen regularly, while mammal sightings include water voles, brown hares, stoats, otters and grey seals, as well as the more regular rabbits, grey squirrels, red deer and muntjac. And, of course, there are some interesting flowers to look out for, including cuckoo-flowers, mossy stonecrop and gorse.

    Water vole by Jon Evans

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 5 April 2014

    Back from Africa

    They seem to be a bit late this year, but we've finally had what can be described as a flock of sand martins around the pond today, with up to twelve birds present all day. We've also had further sightings of a swallow and the first house martin over the Scrape today. 

    Another new arrival is willow warbler, with one singing near North Hide to join the growing numbers of blackcaps and chiffchaffs. The first reed warbler was reported at Island Mere yesterday (earlier than usual) and a few sedge warblers are now back too. Cetti's warblers are showing exceptionally well at times too, especially from Bittern Hide.

    The warm sunshine today tempted a few butterflies onto the wing with reports of small copper, orange tip and several small white as well as the peacocks, commas and small tortoiseshells that have been around for a while. 

    Adders continue to perform well between Bittern Hide and Island Mere, and the first slow worm of the year was seen today too.

    Bitterns, bearded tits, marsh harriers and water rails have all been showing well, especially at Bittern Hide, and jack snipes were seen at Island Mere and North Hide. Other highlights today included Mediterranean gulls, ruffs, spotted redshank and buzzards, as well as the regular avocets, lapwings, redshanks, oystercatchers and gulls.

    Will the first nightingales arrive this week? 

    sand martin by Jon Evans

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 31 March 2014

    There were ten in a bed...

    The latest results of our bittern monitoring are very promising with at least ten males now booming throughout the reedbed. Although they are most vocal early and late in the day, they can be heard at any time - and from anywhere on the reserve. I heard one from outside the visitor centre at lunchtime today. It's amazing to think that there were only eleven males in the whole country as recently as 1997. It's also a good time of year to see bitterns feeding in front of Island Mere and Bittern Hides. If you look down from the Island Mere boardwalk you can watch sticklebacks in the ditch below - which might explain why the bitterns are happy to come close.

    Here's a bittern eating sticklebacks by

    For the last week or so the bitterns have, however, only taken second billing with our adders being the real stars of the show. Many visitors have come back reporting seeing adders, especially close to the path from Bittern Hide to Island Mere, including several reports of pairs dancing in courtship, or even mating. There have been great photos and videos posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as on the Forum. I really must get out there myself to see them. There have been a few common lizards seen too.

    Bitterns aren't the only attraction in the reedbed either. Several pairs of marsh harriers are now displaying and nest building, Cetti's warblers are in full song, bearded tits put in an occasional appearance, great crested grebes are displaying and otters are still seen on most dates. At Island Mere there is a lovely summer plumage water pipit, an adult male ferruginous duck has been present since last Wednesday (though goes missing for long periods), and a jack snipe has been seen since Saturday. A second jack snipe was found at North Hide today. Both are typically difficult to spot, and sharing their chosen feeding areas with a few common snipe.

    Out on the Scrape we're now up to 105 avocets, with a few pairs already beginning to nest. Lapwings and redshanks are also displaying, and the black-headed gulls are beginning to settle on their chosen islands, Among the gulls are at least two Mediterranean gulls, two Caspian gulls and a yellow-legged gull. Other waders present in recent days include a few black-tailed godwits and turnstones, two ruff, a spotted redshank, a grey plover and several dunlins. There are also still good numbers of ducks, including a few pintails and pochards.

    Migration has been slow starting this year, although there have been several buzzards and a few red kites passing through in the last few days. The first blackcaps were finally heard on Saturday, a sedge warbler was heard yesterday, and a few sand martins were seen yesterday. Two female black redstarts have been feeding along the northern edge of the car park for most of today, part of a small influx into Suffolk over the weekend. A spoonbill has been on the Levels since Saturday too.

    Blackcap singing by Jon Evans

    There are still several small tortoiseshells. peacocks and comma butterflies, and the first bee-flies of the spring have been seen around Whin Hill.

    Also, a few weeks ago we mentioned the new nestbox camera that is feeding live pictures into the shop. A pair of great tits is busy building a nest already, so we hope for some egg-sciting news shortly. 

    Talking of eggs, Easter is just around the corner. Why not bring the family to take part in our programme of family activities during the school holidays, starting from next Tuesday, or come and see Paul Dyson's wildlife art exhibition from Friday 4 to Monday 7 April. For full details see here.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 26 March 2014

    New arrivals trickling in

    Hot on the heels of our recent pair of garganeys, the last week has seen the arrival of the advance guard of some of our earlier spring migrants. Last week I asked whether the first sand martins or wheatears would arrive soon and they finally did so over the weekend, with singles of both species seen on Sunday. They were preceded, on Saturday, by two Sandwich terns - another typical early migrant. The weekend weather was obviously conducive to migration as there were also sightings of sanderling on the Scrape, two outgoing bramblings in the dunes and a raven over Westleton Heath and Mount Pleasant. The latter is still a very scarce bird in Suffolk, with just a couple of records a year at Minsmere, so was a welcome find for the few people lucky enough to spot it.

    Wheatear by Jon Evans

    Potentially as rare as the raven locally is another northern European crow, the hooded crow. A bird resembling a hoodie (as they are popularly known) was glimpsed over Scotts Hall on Monday. However, the possibility of it being a hybrid could not be ruled out: there are known to be a  couple of hybrids resident farther north along the coast.

    Another very early spring migrant is the stone-curlew, and the first two were actually seen at Minsmere on 13 March. However, due to their sensitivity to disturbance, please wait until they settle to nest close to the visitor centre again before trying to spot them - we plan to set up a viewpoint on the North Wall again if they nest in the usual spot. Our wardens are already busy preparing nesting plots on various parts of the Sandlings grasslands in anticipation of the return of our regular breeding birds.

    As the rest of our migrants slowly begin to trickle in, it's worth remembering the hazardous journeys they undertake every year between the UK and Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. The RSPB's Director of Conservation highlighted some of these dangers in his blog this week, especially focusing on the illegal trapping of many migrants in Cyprus - you read his blog here. There are already reports of swallows, house martins and yellow wagtails elsewhere in Suffolk so it's worth keeping your eyes peeled if you're visiting Minsmere this week. We might even expect the first nightingales towards the end of next week!

    Wader migration is beginning to pick up with sightings in recent days of ringed plovers, dunlins, sanderlings, ruffs, bar- and black-tailed godwits, spotted redshanks and turnstones. Ducks are beginning to depart, including a breif visit by a female goosander on Monday, and a few brent geese are being seen most days as they begin the journey back north. Peregrines and buzzards are seen most days, and there have been further red kites sightings int he last week.

    Among our resident birds, there are now six booming bitterns, with birds regularly seen from Bittern and Island Mere Hides. Marsh harriers are already nest building, as are lapwings on the Scrape. At least one pair of great crested grebes is displaying on Island Mere. Avocets began displaying yesterday, though the black-headed gulls aren't really showing much sign of settling on nests yet. And of course our smaller birds are displaying, singing and nest building in the woods.

    On sunny days there are regular reports of some of our reptiles: common lizards, grass snakes, and especially adders. The latter put on a really good display yesterday and there is a video of a pair dancing on the RSPB Suffolk page. Don't forget you can see regular news, sightings and photos on Facebook, and @RSPBMinsmere on Twitter. Otters, too, continue to be seen on most days.

    The spring sunshine has also been good for flowers and insects. The blackthorn bushes are looking particularly impressive this year, and local road verges now have alexanders, primroses  and red dead-nettle flowing in abundance.

    Primroses - a classic early spring flower

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 17 March 2014

    No more murmurations

    Sadly it looks like our very popular starling murmurations  are over for another year. From a peak of 40k birds, the flock had declined to about 10k midway through last week. Last night I took the family to see them again and though the birds put on an impressive display the flock was barely 1000 strong. It's likely that the mild weather and the switch to westerly winds has finally tempted most of the birds to begin the return journey to their breeding areas farther north and east - in countries like Sweden, Finland, Germany or even Russia.

    Despite the lack of starlings, last night's visit was definitely worthwhile for probably the best sunset I've ever seen at Minsmere - in more than 11 years working here!

    The starlings aren't the only ones heading north or east as our two remaining redhead smews were last seen on Thursday. In their place have come a pair of garganeys that arrived on the Scrape yesterday and can be watched from North Hide or the Wildlife Lookout. Garganeys hold the distinction of being the only species duck that is a summer visitor to the UK, earning them the colloquial name of cricket teal. They are also very shy when breeding, so are best seen when they first return from Africa in the spring - from as early as early March. That's also when they look at their best, as Jon Evans' photo from last spring shows.

    There have been good numbers of red kites reported in Suffolk over the weekend, and another was spotted over Minsmere at lunchtime today. Peregrines are still hassling the ducks on the Scrape, and at least two sparrowhawks paid close attention to the starlings last night. The final marsh harrier roost count of the year last night resulted in a count of four males and seven females. The first pair are already nest-building at Bittern Hide. We also now have at least four booming bitterns.

    Otters and stoats are still being seen regularly, as are adders near the path from Bittern Hide to Island Mere. The Bittern Hide red deer are quite happy to pose for the cameras too.

    In the woods we can now hear chiffchaffs in various parts of the reserve, along with our resident songsters: robins, wrens, dunnocks, chaffinches, blackbirds and tits. great spotted woodpeckers are drumming too.

    Will the first sand martins and wheatears arrive this week? I hope so.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 15 March 2014

    Slithering, booming and dancing

    The mild, generally sunny start to spring continues - with the blip of a very foggy morning yesterday.

    Bitterns are certainly making the most of the weather, with two males now booming properly, and birds regularly spending time in full view from both Bittern and Island Mere Hides. One has even been wandering around on the Scrape close to North Hide this week. Otters, too have been seen from all three of these hides on a regular basis. 

    Also in the reedbed our marsh harriers are sky-dancing in courtship, and some pairs are already starting to gather sticks and dried reeds to build their nest platforms. Another impressive courtship dance is that of a pair of great crested grebes, and they've been performing both at Island Mere and behind the Wildlife Lookout this week.

    Lapwings are courting on the Scrape near North Hide, while avocets have peaked at more than 80 birds already. Migrant wading birds include up to 20 black-tailed godwits, odd ruff and spotted redshank and several turnstones. A woodcock was flushed from beside the path in North Bushes this morning. The odd Mediterranean gull may be spotted among the growing numbers of black-headed gulls, with the volume on the Scrape gradually increasing as the gulls return. Up to three spoonbills have been on the Levels this week too.

    Woodcock by Jon Evans - this one was taken in the snow last winter

    Birdsong echoes from the woods, with several chiffchaffs in full song, goldcrests and treecreepers joining the resident tits, finches, robins and wrens in song, and great spotted woodpeckers drumming.

    It's not just birds that signal the early arrival of spring though. Adders continue to be seen regularly between Bittern and Island Mere Hides, and a lovely grass snake was spotted resting on the path near the toilets this morning before slowly slithering off towards the pond. Toads continue to be seen and heard in the ditches too.

    An adder by Nick Burfield

    At least four species of butterflies have already been seen this year - peacock, small tortoiseshell, comma and brimstone - and the first bumblebees are on the wing. Blackthorn bushes are bursting into bloom, the daffodils are knodding their golden trumpet-shaped flowers outside the visitor centre, and the beautiful scent of coconut is wafting from the flowering gorse.

    Of course, there are still a few signs of winter lingering yet, with good numbers of ducks on the Scrape - though the two remaining redhead smews were not reported today, for the first time, suggesting that they may have departed. A few redwings and fieldfares are still in the woods too. There's still several red-throated divers offshore too, and another harbour propoise was spotted this morning.

    Don't forget you can keep up with the news from Minsmere and other Suffolk reserves, share your photos and find out what events are happening by checking out the RSPB Suffolk Facebook page or following @RSPBMinsmere on Twitter

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 10 March 2014

    New arrivals and long stayers

    As March progresses we begin to anticipate the arrival of the first spring migrants. Which will arrive first? A wheatear, sand martin or garganey perhaps? In reality, the first migrants, while not exactly slipping in un-noticed, are often forgotten when thinking about spring migrants.

    At Minsmere, the first real signs that migration is underway are the return of the waders and gulls to the Scrape, ready for the coming breeding season. The oystercatchers were the first to return this year, quickly followed by avocets and ringed plovers. Numbers of avocets have increased rapidly, with 80 birds present on the Scrape today. They looked absolutely gorgeous in the beautiful spring sunshine over the weekend. Other waders reported today include a spotted redshank, ruff, a couple of black-tailed godwits and redshanks, and four turnstones. Only the redshanks will breed at Minsmere, but all are a sure sign that the seasons are changing.

    The black-headed gulls are beginning to stake a claim to islands on South Scrape, where there the faint but familiar chorus of calling gulls on Saturday afternoon when I strolled around. Among them are a couple of Mediterranean gulls - another sure sign that spring is nearing. In fact, the gulls at Minsmere this week have given some lucky visitors a whistle-stop European tour as we've also seen both Iceland and Caspian gulls on the Scrape among the more familiar common, herring, lesser and great black-backed gulls.

    A more surprising early migrant this week has been spoonbill, with two birds commuting between the Scrape and Levels - early March is quite early to see these elegant birds at Minsmere. The bitterns are now beginning to "grunt" though I've not heard reports of full booming yet. They are also showing regularly from both Bittern and Island Mere hides. A pair of great crested grebes has also returned to Island Mere where they are displaying - as are the marsh harriers.

    Two of our smallest birds are also typical early spring "migrants" - though it's hard to be certain whether they are truly new arrivals or lingering winter visitors: chiffchaffs are now singing and a firecrest has been seen for the last two days between Bittern and Island Mere Hides. At the other end of the size spectrum there has been an excellent passage of common buzzards over the last week or so.

    A firecrest by Pixellence

    Of course, there are also many winter birds still lingering. Among the large flocks of ducks on the Scrape are two smew, several pintails and a few pochards. Two whooper swans have been present over the weekend, and a water pipit was seen at Island Mere yesterday, while good numbers of red-throated divers remain offshore.

    Otters have been popping up all over the place this week, including at Island Mere, Bittern Hide and on the Scrape from North Hide. Stoats are seen regularly too. The warmer spring weather over the weekend lead to several sightings of adders, and at least four species of butterflies were seen yesterday: comma, peacock, small tortoiseshell and brimstone. 

    Small tortoiseshell - the most numerous of our butterflies so far this year

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 5 March 2014

    Croaking, grunting and squealing

    You know spring is just around the corner when a visit to Minsmere requires you to use your ears as well as your eyes. Not forgetting your nose too as the scent of coconut from the gorse blossom will soon be wafting around the car park and beach - and of course the delicious smell of bacon or fresh-cooked scones greets early visitors to the cafe.

    One of the most familiar and characteristic sounds of spring at Minsmere is the deep, resonant booming call of a male bittern. Before they start booming properly though, the first sounds heard are best described as grunts, while the birds "tune" up for their proper display in a few weeks time. Despite the mild spring, our bitterns have only just started grunting, with the first two heard on Sunday evening. I'm looking forward to hearing this impressive call in the coming days. Although they are only just becoming vocal, bitterns are showing exceptionally well at present, with one on view at Bittern Hide for an incredible 2.5 hours yesterday!

    Bittern by Ian Clarke

    Other sounds can be heard emanating from deep within the reedbed too. Pig-like squeals signal the presence of another skulker, the water rail. They can be heard throughout the year, but are particularly vocal in spring, though like the bitterns they are reluctant to show themselves very often. Likewise the Cetti's warbler, with an impressively loud song. March is a good time to look for them before leaves on the willows begin to obscure them. Listen too for the high-pitched pinging of bearded tits - easier to hear before the reed and sedge warblers arrive next month - and the whinnying call of courting little grebes. Incredibly, a little grebe was photographed on Monday carrying a young chick on it's back - this is an exceptionally early breeding record for one of our smallest water birds.

    It's not just birds that be heard in the reedbed either. At lunchtime today we could hear a chorus of croaks from the North Wall as the toads began their annual courtship. This is a sound that has become sadly less common in recent years as both frogs and toads decline in numbers, so to hear it was a welcome surprise. They're not the only reptiles and amphibians to have emerged from hibernation either as there have been several sightings of adders in the last ten days.

    A pair of mating common toads by Ian Barthorpe

    Perhaps the most characteristic sound of spring at Minsmere is the cacophony of the black-headed gull colony on the Scrape. We expect them to return and start prospecting for nests soon, though water levels are still quite high following the wet winter. We have, however, welcomed some of our breeding birds back with up to 20 avocets, four pairs of oystercatchers, the odd ringed plover and a Mediterranean gull on the Scrape this week, while lapwings have begun displaying and shelducks are definitely pairing off.

    Elsewhere, great spotted woodpeckers are busy drumming in the woods, nuthatches are calling near Canopy Hide, woodlarks and Dartford warblers are singing on Westleton Heath, and all our common tits, finches and thrushes are in full song. Some early nesters, such as robins and long-tailed tits, will soon be laying eggs and a pair of great tits is already prospecting the new nextbox with camera that is beaming images into the shop. Another sign of spring has been the regular passage of common buzzards over the reserve this week, including at least 20 yesterday, while small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies are already on the wing.

    It's not all about spring wildlife though. Three redhead smews remain on the Scrape and two whooper swans have returned to the reedbed pools (have they been hiding for a few weeks or are they different birds?) Offshore we've had a winter peak count of 1000+ red-throated divers this week, but a harbour porpoise yesterday was a real bonus. Otters continue to be seen most days, and the biggest draw of all is the starling roost at Island Mere - you need to be in the hide from 5 pm and be prepared to stay til dusk (about 6 pm), but get there early if you want a seat.

    With mild weather set to continue, no doubt our first chiffchaffs, sand martins and wheatears will begin to arrive soon. Why don't you come along to look for them yourself?

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 1 March 2014

    A wealth of wildlife

    Minsmere's a great place to watch all sorts of wildlife, and our mammals are no exception. Some, of course, are easier to spot than others: rabbits are almost guaranteed along the entrance road, grey squirrels patrol the feeders at the visitor centre or play chase among the oaks in the woods, and red deer are regularly seen around Bittern Hide or in the field north of the visitor centre.

    Some of our less easily seen mammals have been putting on a good showing for those visitors lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time this week. Otters continue to show regularly from both Bittern Hide and Island Mere, but not quite so close as the one that a volunteer watched just three feet in front of him on the East Hide entrance path on Friday! Stoats are beginning to be seen regularly, in various parts of the reserve, with one seen carrying an unfortunate water vole earlier in the week. Their smaller cousin, the weasel (told by the lack of a black tip to the tail) was seen near the Whin Hill Watchpoint yesterday.

    Stoats by Ian Barthorpe

    Badgers are rarely seen, due to their nocturnal behaviour, but one of the wardens watched one on the path near Island Mere just before dusk a few days ago. Chinese water deer have been seen in the reedbed recently too - until last year this species was very rarely seen at Minsmere. And grey seals have been seen most days close to the shore by visotrs scanning the sea for red-throated divers or passing gannets.

    The mild sunny weather on Wednesday tempted an early adder out of hibernation close to the path from Bittern Hide to Island Mere, while a small tortoiseshell butterfly was seen on the same day. There's several other signs of how early spring has arrived this year too: blackthorn bushes coming into flower, daffodils already in full bloom (just in time for St David's Day today), great spotted woodpeckers drumming, woodlarks singing on Westleton Heath, greylag geese prospecting nest sites, and two pairs of oystercatchers already on the Scrape.

    Despite the early spring, bitterns have not yet been heard grunting, although they are seen regularly at Bittern Hide and Island Mere, or flying over the reedbed. Marsh harriers have begun displaying on sunny days, and Cetti's warblers are in full song. 

    It's not all spring-like though - especially on a dull wet day like today. The three smew remain on the Scrape (photo below by Adam Rowlands), several pochards remain on the Scrape, a stunning drake red-crested pochard has been found on the Konik Field today, a water pipit was at North Hide yesterday and two snipe remain at Island Mere.

    And last, but not least, our starling roost continues to attract the crowds at Island Mere. You  need to be in the hide by 5.15 pm - but it may be standing room only earlier than that - and stay till it gets dark. It's well worth it though, as these murmurations are among the most impressive wildlife spectacles in the UK.

    Don't forget that you can keep up with the news from Minsmere (and other nature reserves in Suffolk), by following us on Twitter @RSPBMinsmere or liking us on Facebook at RSPBSuffolk. You don't need to have accounts to see our updates, just click on the links. 

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

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Your sightings

Grid reference: TM4767 (+2km)

Red-rumped Swallow ()
17 Apr 2014
Nightingale ()
18 Apr 2014
Wheatear (1)
18 Apr 2014
Cetti's Warbler ()
18 Apr 2014
Avocet ()
18 Apr 2014
Bar-tailed Godwit (3)
18 Apr 2014
Whimbrel ()
17 Apr 2014
Jack Snipe ()
17 Apr 2014
Caspian Gull ()
17 Apr 2014
Iceland Gull ()
17 Apr 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.24746,1.61705
  • Postcode: IP17 3BY
  • Grid reference: TM473672
  • Nearest town: Saxmundham, Suffolk
  • County: Suffolk
  • Country: England

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