• A new bird at Minsmere

    After more than 70 years as an RSPB nature reserve, it's not often that we are able to a new species of bird to our already impressive reserve list, so it seems rather apt to have done so on the eve of the Global Bird Weekend, organising in part by our partners at Birdlife International.

    The latest addition to Minsmere's list - a dusky warbler - is another tiny leaf warbler that breeds in Siberia and usually heads…

    • 17 Oct 2020
  • Visitors from the east

    In my last blog I mentioned the change to wet and windy weather. Shortly after that, the wind turned easterly and a flood of migrants arrived on the East coast. 

    These were the perfect conditions for a fall of migrants. It began with flocks of song thrushes and redwings arriving last weekend, accompanied by smaller numbers of starlings, skylarks, blackbirds and fieldfares. there were also flocks of siskins, chaffinches…

    • 9 Oct 2020
  • A Mix Tape for Minsmere

    Guest blog by Mark Solomons, Minsmere volunteer and resident 

    It is exactly a year since we moved to this part part of the world and what a different world it is to the one we left behind on the outskirts of London.

    Of course, we're just discovering what thousands already know. There is nothing quite like nature to take you out of yourself, particularly in the current times when the need to escape has never been greater…

    • 7 Oct 2020
  • What's that wet stuff?

    After an incredibly dry six months, extending back to the beginning of lockdown, the weather gods clearly decided it was time to wreak their revenge, resulting in what can only be described as awful weather on Friday.

    We had actually fared better than forecast for much of last week, with a few showers and increasing wind as the week wore on, but by Friday the heavens open and the wind blew, and only a tiny handful of…

    • 28 Sep 2020
  • 100 years and counting

    Last week we celebrated a very special birthday at Minsmere as one of our amazing volunteers reached the milestone of 100 years old.

    Betty Nelson has been a familiar face here at Minsmere for many years, and welcomed many visitors to Minsmere during her time as a volunteer on our reception desk until 2012. Since then, Betty has taken on an equally important behind the scenes role in the visitor centre, helping us to sort…

    • 23 Sep 2020
  • A busy week all round

    Wow, it's been great to welcome so many of you Minsmere this week - both new faces and familiar, regular guests. The weather has certainly been kind too, with almost unbroken sunshine (bar a couple of very light showers yesterday) and autumnal warmth - providing you found a bit of shelter from today's easterly wind.

    It's also great that everyone is so understanding of the changes that are necessary in these challenging…

    • 17 Sep 2020
  • Welcome back

    It's great to see many familiar faces visiting us again, and even better to welcome so many new visitors to Minsmere in this most difficult of years. It's also heartening to hear how you've missed our regular blogs. I will try to post one blog per week, but can't always promise to be able to as most of our time is taken up with welcoming you all back to Minsmere and explaining the changes to our previous visiting arrangements…

    • 10 Sep 2020
  • Latest update on facilities and sightings

    It's been quite an exciting few days for sightings at Minsmere, but before we get round to those, here's a quick update on what facilities are open, and what restrictions remain in place.

    Visitor centre - open, 10 am  to 4 pm. Face coverings essential. A one-way system is in operation around the visitor centre.

    Shop - open 10 am to 4 pm. Face coverings essential.

    Cafe - open as take away, with outdoor tables only…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • More facilities open so even more to see

    In my first post since the early spring, it's great to be able to report that we've been able to open a few more facilities since Matt's last update. It's probably useful to repeat some of the points from that post too, so below is a summary of what is open and what isn't, followed by a quick summary of recent sightings.

    Entry fees

    We have now re-instated full entry fees for non members. As a reminder…

    • 29 Aug 2020
  • Minsmere opening update 16 August 2020

    A few updates as we progress with reopening:

    Our team is now outside to welcome you at the visitor centre. Come speak to us and we will explain all the changes that have been put in place. Bring your membership cards with you. There is a suggested donation of £5 for non-members or even better you can become a member with us on the day! 

    Our shop is now open! Opening times are 10-4 Monday-Sunday. Our café reopens…

    • 16 Aug 2020
  • Minsmere Update

    We’ve been keeping busy here at Minsmere with many visitors coming to enjoy the reserve. If you’re planning on visiting us here’s everything you need to know before you make your journey 

    Our team is now outside to welcome you at the visitor centre. Come speak to us and we will explain all the changes that have been put in place. Bring your membership cards with you. There is a suggested donation of…

    • 30 Jul 2020
  • There be Dragons!

    Volunteer Philip Riley shares with us his dragonfly sightings from this spring in his local green space.
    • 7 Jul 2020
  • Accessible routes

    Accessibility We have made a few changes to Minsmere in order to provide as safe an environment as possible for visitors, staff and our wildlife. You can view and save our map showing our restrictions and routes attached to the bottom of this blog. W...
    • 12 Jun 2020
  • Re-opening Minsmere

    After a lot of work we have re-opened Minsmere as of last Monday 8th June 2020, but it will be a little different for a while. If you haven't already seen the video about the changes we have made you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=665074787674502

    Thinking of visiting us? To enjoy and help us protect this special place please follow our instructions. If at any point we feel the safety of staff,…

    • 10 Jun 2020
  • My First Visit to Minsmere in 1977.

    Volunteer Philip Riley shares with us his the story of his first visit to Minsmere, back in the summer of 1977.
    • 31 May 2020
  • Finding Escape in Nature- Mental Health Awareness Week

    This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Vicky shares with us her thoughts and feelings during her daily exercise down to the stream, where shes greeted with fledglings, damselflies and swimming grass snakes.
    • 24 May 2020
  • Starting to identify Bees.

    For #WorldBeeDay Philip Riley, Minsmere volunteer, takes us through how his been learning a new skill in lockdown. Identifying bees! Philip shares with us some of the bees found in his garden.
    • 20 May 2020
  • Minsmere in Lockdown

    Tom Williams, our Conservation Intern at Minsmere, is currently living on site aiding our team with essential work. During his daily exercise and while carrying out essential livestock checks, Tom has been catching up with the nature on the reserve, from sedge warbler to orange tips.
    • 11 May 2020
  • Goodbye, for now, see you soon

    Hi all

    Just a quick note to say that under the government's employee retention scheme i will no longer be posting either here or on our social media accounts for the foreseeable future. I'm really sorry that I will not be able to continue sharing news from my garden and daily walks, or from the wonderful Minsmere staff and volunteers. 

    We will, of course, be back once current restrictions are lifted and Minsmere…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • Notes from a Suffolk garden

    Guest blog by Linda Hammond, Minsmere volunteer

    Ours is a small garden with a (disproportionally) large pond. Although there aren’t many trees in the immediate vicinity we have a long hedge along one side which is ‘home’ to a lovely gang of noisy house sparrows. Although we don’t get any particularly exotic wildlife here there’s always something interesting going on. 

    We were adopted by a…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • Lockdown birding: 50 and counting

    In these unusual and difficult times where even most of the staff are unable to visit our wonderful nature reserves, many of us are, at least, still able to find nature around our local area. As you'll have seen from some our recent guest blogs, our staff and volunteers have been enjoying some unexpected sightings on their daily walks and in their gardens.

    I thought it was about time I posted about some of my own…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • Bird song, water voles and the joys of home

    Guest blog by Vicky Bolton, RSPB Minsmere Learning Assistant

    In January of this year I relocated to the rural town of Halesworth, only a stone's throw from my childhood home near Lowestoft. Being busy with two jobs, I barely spent any time in my new home, let alone in its green spaces. Well, now is my chance to discover what wildlife awaits me in my local patch.

    I’d given myself the challenge to develop my bird I…

    • 6 Apr 2020
  • Missing Minsmere

    Guest blog by Phil Riley, Minsmere visitor centre volunteer

    Its Friday 3 April 2020, my alarm has just gone off on my phone to tell me time to go to Minsmere for duty on reception. Three weeks of social isolation and nearly two in lockdown has passed and the garden has become a haven for humans as much as wildlife. I am fortunate to have a bit of garden for the family of five and dog to share.

    We have two feeder stations…

    • 6 Apr 2020
  • Beeflies and birds of prey star in volunteers' gardens

    As you may have read in yesterday's blog, our volunteers have been busy in their gardens, watching some of the amazing wildlife that we can find close to home.

    If there's one good thing to come from the current closure of our reserves, it's the opportunity to spend more time at home and exploring our local area properly. I know that I've already discovered some new footpaths and unearthed a few potentially productive…

    • 4 Apr 2020
  • A volunteer's wildlife garden

    Guest blog by Peter Phillips, RSPB Minsmere volunteer guide 

    My garden abuts open fields at the back and is edged by a good variety of larger trees, although primarily oak and ash, and a mixture of well established deciduous and evergreen hedges.

    I am lucky enough to get a reasonable variety of birds and this year I have already seen returning chiffchaff and a female blackcap drinking at the pond since my isolation started…

    • 3 Apr 2020