• Dec recent sightings

    If you are planning a visit to Hollesley Marshes soon here is what has been hanging around.

    50 pink feet, 4 bean geese, 120 graylags, 20 barnacles, 280 canada geese, shelduck, shoveler, gadwall, wigeon, pintail, teal, 54 lapwing, 8 curlew, peregrine, marsh harrier, corn bunting.

    Boyton has been a bit quieter but still worth a visit.

    260 Canada geese, shoveler, 39 wigeon, 50 teal, grey plover, lapwing, curlew, black tailed…

    • 7 Dec 2018
  • Oct/ Nov highlights

    The scrape at Hollesley is now looking fantastic since drying it out over the summer. Our highlights for October leading into September are 4 Brent geese, 300 wigeon, 450 teal, 4 lapwing, 2 curlew, 6 godwit, 2 ruff, snipe, 2 green sandpiper, 3 redshank, 2 marsh harrier, and a sparrow hawk. The first 4 White Fronted geese were seen on the 2nd November.

    Boyton Marshes last count saw 60 greylag and 80 canada geese, 4 shoveler…

    • 14 Nov 2018
  • Hollesley Scrape in 2018

    Since its creation in autumn 2013 the Hollesley scrape has enjoyed amazing success! In the following four breeding seasons we have fledged 137 avocet, 100 lapwing and 43 redshank young. Highlights amongst other breeding species have included pintail, yellow wagtail, common gull, ringed and little ringed plovers.

    Just up the coast on Havergate Island RSPB reserve we have nationally important numbers of large gulls (lesser…

    • 13 Feb 2018
  • Recent sightings - 1st September

    You always know when you are leaving summer behind when all the breeding birds and their youngsters have started to move on and you start to see the autumn visitors and migrants arrive.

    It has been a busy time at Hollesley marshes with the scrape and surrounding fields being topped and the sheep being moved around to get the grazing just right. The water is drawing down exposing more muddy edges and attracting waders…

    • 5 Sep 2017
  • July sightings

    Just like last year Hollesley Marshes has had a very successful season again. It was definitely touch and go to start with but eventually Avocets started to show up and nest (these were all most certainly second attempts) towards the end of May.

    Just a quick roundup then. We had 38 pairs of nesting Avocet and have successfully fledged approx 40 chicks to date. 24 nesting lapwing successfully fledging 16 chicks and 8…

    • 27 Jul 2017
  • Geese!

    For those individuals who don’t mind wrapping up warm and braving the cold Hollesley Marshes has been a real treat to visit. After a fairly quiet festive season January has been chock full of bird life on the scrape and out in the surrounding fields. Most notably the wintering geese. In the last week alone we have had top counts of 19 brent geese, 9 Barnacle, 53 European White Front, 102 Graylags, 11 Tundra Bean geese…

    • 3 Feb 2017
  • Peaceful days at Hollesley

    I have had some wonderful calm days walking around Hollesley Marshes and looking out onto the scrape. It has been comfortably warm, no wind and perfectly peaceful. The scrape has been dry for a couple of months so we could graze the sheep, top the grassy areas and get it into good condition for the upcoming winter’s wildfowl and for the spring.

    This past week we have been letting water back onto the scrape and…

    • 4 Nov 2016
  • Perfect weather for ducks

    After an uncertain start to the season Hollesley has proven again to be a haven for wildlife and with a few hiccoughs along the way (e.g hungry gulls and crows) the Avocets and Lapwing have rallied together and managed to fledge over 30 chicks (this number includes the Boyton flash which was also very successful) after a dismal year last year with 0 fledglings we are all very pleased. Myself and many visitors have enjoyed…

    • 11 Jul 2016
  • Spring on the scrape.

    It’s been a more typical spring on the Suffolk coast with warm spells and showers. These conditions are proving very kind to the waders on the reserves. Lapwing settled well with at least 32 pairs sitting on eggs. Unlike last year it looks like we have a good chick survival with broods being seen feeding on the muddy margins around the waters edge. That being said with the warm/wet weather the grass has really rocketed…

    • 31 May 2016
  • Exciting Exlorations

    To enable staff from different reserves and teams to see the work we have been doing here on the South Suffolk Coast we invited them along with us to look at 3 of our sites at Snape, Boyton and Hollesley. Below Ian Barthorpe our visitor experience officer based at Minsmere talks about the day.....

    On Wednesday, I joined many of the wardens from the Suffolk Area Team, as well as other members of the Minsmere visitor experience…

    • 15 Apr 2016
  • Like new

    If you have been to Boyton Marshes lately you will have noticed that the scrape is looking like new. We had a digger spend a couple of days turning the islands over and scraping around the edges to clear away the juncus. We have let the water level rise as high as we can get it to suppress the vegetation growing; we will keep this high until the end of the month and then let it drop.

    Top counts at Boyton this month are…

    • 15 Feb 2016
  • November update

    November has flown by! It has been a relatively quiet month at Hollesley Marshes. The sheep have all been moved off now for the winter and we are just keeping an eye open on what birds we have. So just a quick update today of what we have had at Hollesley this month. Top counts of 16 Barnacle geese, 111 Graylag, 12 Pintail, 1100 Wigeon, 450 Teal, 26 Shelduck, 350 Lapwing, 35 Black tailed godwit, 65 Curlew, 2 Green sandpiper…

    • 27 Nov 2015
  • October update

    October was a great month at Hollesley with the number of waders and duck showing on the scrape growing. The numbers are still growing now so its well worth a visit!

    The waterfowl have most certainly arrived with top counts of  approx 1000 wigeon, 400 teal,  4 pintail, 6 Gadwell and 20 shoveler. Larger flocks of waders can be seen with top counts of 40 golden plover, 200 lapwing, 30 curlew, 7 turnstone, 4 ruff, dunlin, green…

    • 10 Nov 2015
  • August update

    Hollesley marshes has been superb this month with top counts of 25 ruff, 25 green sandpiper, 10 wood sandpiper, 9 common sandpiper, 65 ringed plover, 37 greenshank, 20 dunlin, knot, turnstone, golden plover, grey plover, avocet, redshank, little stint, little ringed plover. Duck numbers have slowly started to pick up. The scrape was topped on the 3rd August and has since been grazed with sheep to keep on top of the grass…

    • 26 Aug 2015
  • Spring weather

    It seems the weather can’t decide what to do, one day it is spring like and warm and the next it won’t stop raining and we can’t hold the scope still!

    But, despite the weather we are cracking on with the monitoring on the scrape for nesting waders – particularly avocets and lapwing. As readers will know we had a fantastic breeding season on the scrape last year with up to 40 avocets nesting and 24 lapwings…

    • 30 Apr 2015
  • waiting for the waders


    The fields at Hollesley which, over the past few months have been teeming with wigeon, Teal, Godwits, Redshank and other waders have now dwindled down so just a few hundred are still remaining. We were able to flood the fields up a bit more this winter than we have in the past due to the absence of the livestock and they looked amazing. If the fields stay naturally wet over the spring then keep your eyes open as they…

    • 13 Mar 2015
  • November highlights

    Suffolk has had its fair share of rain over the last couple of weeks, this isn’t necessary a bad thing, the water levels on Hollesley scrape have risen considerably creating a wildfowl heaven. This month we have had top counts of 450 Teal, 36 Pintail, 1500 Wigeon on the scrape and in the surrounding fields, 100 Graylags, 400 Canada geese, big numbers of Brent and even 7 White-fronted geese today (24/11) which is a first…

    • 26 Nov 2014
  • What a difference a year makes!

    You wouldn't believe it has only been just over a year since the scrape at Hollesley Marshes was completed. What a difference a year and all that hard work makes!

    As you can see from the before shot  below

    and the after shot below

    the once flat and featureless field is now a wildlife haven. We control the water level to create the perfect feeding and breeding environment for waders and wildfowl during the different…

    • 17 Oct 2014
  • Hollesley scrape maintenance

    This time of year can be a very busy time on a wet grassland reserve. All staff and volunteers can take a sigh of relief now the breeding bird surveys are complete and we can crack on with the practical habitat management in preparation for the following year. 

    Inside of the electric fence around the scrape has been topped and is now being grazed by our 5 Exmore ponies. This has returned the vegetation height to an even…

    • 26 Aug 2014
  • Waders a plenty at Hollesley.

    It has been sometime since we wrote a blog of the comings and goings at Boyton and Hollesley. It has been a very exciting time for the reserve team as the new wetland at Hollesley has exceeded all our expectations. As readers will be aware we finished the creation of the new 18 hectare wetland last October with the predator exclusion fence only being finished in March. During construction we were concerned that the hard…

    • 4 Jun 2014
  • Completion!

    After 11 weeks hard work the “scrape” or seasonally flooded feature at Hollesley marshes is now complete.

    A quick recap, the scrape is essentially a shallow seasonally flooded field that is very attractive to a wide range of wildlife. This is due to the wide range of niche habitats that are very attractive to invertebrates and thus birds.

    We created the scrape by excavating 16,000 cm’s of soil to an average…

    • 12 Nov 2013
  • Hollesley Scrape begins to take shape

    More progress has been made on the WREN project at Hollesley marshes in the past few weeks, with at least two key milestones being reached.

    For the past 5 weeks we have had shingle being delivered by CEMEX in order to create shingle islands for common terns and even possibly sandwich and little terns to breed on. This has been piled into discrete mounds in the middle of the site for spreading at a later date. Last week…

    • 1 Oct 2013
  • Holltopia

    The WREN funded project to create the new freshwater scrape at Hollesley marshes continues apace. There has been an impressive amount of dirt moved so far and the field edges are beginning to take shape.

    The exposed mud you see above will form the shallowest point of the new scrape this is expected to have around 10cm's of water at maximum which will create perfect conditions for ducks in the winter and waders in the…

    • 5 Sep 2013
  • Hollesley Marshes, Scrape

    It’s been sometime since our last blog so there’s lots to tell you about.

    The Wren funded project at Holllesley is progressing at an impressive pace. We have finished the design work for the new scrape and we think it will look very impressive from the river wall/pillbox. The scrape will be a mix of open water, bare islands and shingle islands. The aim is to create a home for birds like avocet and terns whist…

    • 20 Jun 2013
  • What do wrens and terns have in common?

    This month we received the fantastic news that we had been successful in receiving a sizable grant application to undertake wetland enhancement works at our Boyton and Hollesley reserves. This project is imaginatively titled the South Alde-Ore Estuary - Future for Coastal Wetlands Project.

    At Boyton there are several fields on the reserve that are higher and drier which means there is an area of the reserve that is not…

    • 18 Jul 2012