• Beeflies and more (and an update on facilities)

    Following the second stage of the lifting of Covid 19 restrictions, it's been great to welcome back many familiar faces - some for the first time in more than a year - as well as lots of new visitors.

    Let me start this week with a reminder of what's open, or not.

    Car park, toilets and nature trails - open dawn to dusk

    Reception - open 9 am to 5 pm

    Shop - open 10 am to 4 pm. Binocular hire is now available again…

    • 15 Apr 2021
  • Eagles!

    Having complained about not seeing the mythical white tailed eagles it seems someone was listening, and kindly sent three our way over the last couple of weeks (more importantly there were all on days when I was working so I could get a nice photo!). A great deal of interest is in the birds reintroduced from the Isle of Wight project, but it appears the birds over the reserve were from the continent and making the most…

    • 10 Apr 2021
  • Latest sightings and facilities update

    What a strange week we've had for the first week since the lifting of the stay at home guidance. What started out as a couple of days that felt more like midsummer than early spring, has ended with a return to winter as northerly winds grip the east coast. What's more, it looks like we're in for some even colder weather early next week, with the chance of some wintry showers. That's not good news for the butterflies and…

    • 2 Apr 2021
  • Next phase of re-opening

    It's certainly been a strange winter and early spring, but with the clocks going forward this Sunday to welcome in the start of British Summer Time, and the next phase of the government's Covid-19 restrictions being lifted on Monday, there is light on the horizon.

    As the "stay at home" message is replaced by "stay local" there will, at last, be an opportunity for a few more of our regular visitors to finally make…

    • 26 Mar 2021
  • The year of the big white bird

    Guest blog by Mark Solomons, Minsmere volunteer and local resident.

    There's an unwritten rule among newspaper sub editors that any story about egrets must have one of two headlines. Either 'no egrets' if they become endangered or 'egrets, we've had a few' if they are booming.

    At the moment it's the latter.

    Britain is becoming home to a greater variety of what can best be described as big…

    • 18 Mar 2021
  • Looking forward to welcoming you back

    Hi everyone.

    It's been a long time since I've had a chance to update you all about what's going on at Minsmere. I hope that some of you have been able to keep to updated via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    I finally returned from furlough again at the start of last week, allowing me to come to Minsmere again for the first time since New Year. It was very exciting to walk around the Scrape last Wednesday…

    • 16 Mar 2021
  • New Covid 19 update, 7 January

    This information is different to our previous post saying we would remain closed, so apologies for any confusion caused. We had to work quickly to adhere to the Government guidance we received yesterday, and after discussion with relevant Government departments, the situation (as we and others across the sector understood it) was that sites where visitors usually pay for entry would have to close. However, today we have…
    • 7 Jan 2021
  • Tier 4 - what's open & what's not

    As seems to be the norm this year, no sooner do I write a blog outlining our opening arrangements then they change as government advice is updated. That was the case again this week, but due to the Christmas break I have not be able to update the news since the announcement that Suffolk, like many parts of the southeast of England, entered Tier 4 on Boxing Day.

    So, what does Tier 4 mean for opening arrangements here at…

    • 29 Dec 2020
  • Christmas cheer

    As I write, it's a dull, dreary, wet day, which I'm sure chimes with the feelings of many people as this unusual Christmas season approaches. With plans changed, and many families unable to meet with their loved ones, I hope this blog will bring some much needed cheer to our readers, especially the photos at the end.

    As a rule, little changes in terms of daily sightings during mid winter, with most of our winter…

    • 21 Dec 2020
  • Winter wildlife highlights

    It's been a glorious winter day today: clear blue skies and an absence of wind, making for the perfect conditions to enjoy a relaxing winter walk. The wildlife certainly obliged when I headed out at lunchtime, too.

    But first, some excellent news. We've already had an incredible 55000 people sign our Love Minsmere e-action, helping us to fight the potentially devastating development of Sizewell C. If you haven't yet…

    • 15 Dec 2020
  • Living at Minsmere through the autumn

    Guest blog by Matt Livesey, Minsmere Intern

    All photos by Matt Livesey

    My first autumn spent in Suffolk has been a special one. I began my role as residential conservation intern at Minsmere at the beginning of October, and living at the heart of a nature reserve really is a magical experience.

    Within my first week I saw stone-curlew and Dartford warbler, as well as the first whooper swans of the autumn briefly stopping…

    • 10 Dec 2020
  • Welcome back

    It's great to have been welcome visitors back into the shop, cafe and hides since Wednesday. We've made the visitor centre feel a bit more Christmassy, with trees in reception and the cafe. This year we've also treated the birds to their own Christmas tree: we've cut down a Corsican pine from the dunes and strung a variety of fruits, nuts and fat cakes to the branches. This tree, and the adjacent feeders, continue to…

    • 7 Dec 2020
  • Post-lockdown opening

    We’re excited to be able to re-open some of our facilities for you on  Wednesday 2 December!  

    We are in Tier 2, so here's a quick summary of what’s available at Minsmere 

    Car park open (dawn to dusk)

    Outdoor, Covid-secure, staffed Welcome Point (10 am to 4 pm) 

    Reserve trails open (dawn to dusk) 

    Hides open (dawn to dusk). Face coverings required. Maximum of six people per hide. 

    Toilets open (10 am to 4…

    • 27 Nov 2020
  • Why I love Minsmere

    Minsmere has been a huge part of my life, but I'm concerned that the Minsmere that I love so much is under threat from the current proposals by EDF to build a massive new nuclear power station on its southern boundary.

    As a child I often read about the amazing birds seen here, dreaming that one day I'd have the chance to see a bittern, marsh harrier or avocet. I never thought that I'd get to work there one day. I…

    • 24 Nov 2020
  • If you go down to the woods today...

    OK, you might not be in for a surprise, but you'll certainly be rewarded with something special. Woodland walks in autumn are always special, and are guaranteed to bring the child out in all but a few people. After all, is there anything more enjoyable than walking through a deep litter of golden leaves, taking the chance to swing your boot, and giggling as the leaves tumble back down around you?

    If you're really…

    • 20 Nov 2020
  • Of Moths and Men

    Guest blog by Mark Solomons, Minsmere volunteer and resident

    Under the darkness of night a group of men set out their traps. They range from the smart and sophisticated to bizarre looking, almost Heath Robinson-like. And that's just the men. You should see the traps!

    Hours later, as dawn breaks over what tourism chiefs like to call The Sunrise Coast, the men return to see what denizens of the night have been lured…

    • 14 Nov 2020
  • An exciting weekend, despite lockdown

    One of the advantages of living close to the Suffolk coast is that it's easier to spot some wildlife, see the sea, and enjoy some welcome fresh air during your local walk, and there were certainly a few people doing just that during the lovely sunny weather over the weekend. It was great to see that social distancing was being adhered to at all times, and family groups were not mixing at all as visitors took advantage…

    • 9 Nov 2020
  • Still lots to see - but keep safe

    Unlike during the first lockdown, we're pleased to be able to keep the nature trails at Minsmere open this time round, allowing local people to enjoy the reserve as part of their daily outdoor exercise. It's been good to see a few locals out and about enjoying the lovely weather yesterday and today. With government guidance to avoid unnecessary journeys and stay local, we know that a visit to Minsmere is, sadly, not an…

    • 6 Nov 2020
  • Covid 19 update for November

    We know that for many of you, Minsmere provides enjoyment and solace in the natural world throughout these challenging times. In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during the Second Lockdown, our car park, trails and toilets remain open for you to visit. Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you can visit with, hygiene and follow all signage on-site…

    • 4 Nov 2020
  • Last chance for Christmas card shopping (for now)

    With another lockdown set to start on Thursday, you have just today and tomorrow left if you want to buy your Christmas cards, crackers, calendars or nature-themed presents in person, as we will, unfortunately, be closing the shop again from close of play tomorrow.

    You will, of course, still be able to stock up on Christmas goodies, birdfood, feeders, etc, via the RSPB's online shop, at https://shopping.rspb.org…

    • 3 Nov 2020
  • Farewell to summer

    Today marks the last day of British Summer Time, with the autumnal windy weather feeling very apt. Much as I love autumn and winter for their colours, fresh air and wildlife, there is a downside to the clocks going back: it will be dark when I drive home from work after tonight!

    Autumn is, of course, a season of plenty in the natural world, with hedgerows dripping with berries and verges and field margins full of seed…

    • 24 Oct 2020
  • 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