• A week to remember

    It’s been a good week for birdwatchers, although some of our more unusual visitors have proved to be a bit elusive at times.

    Up to three cattle egrets have been seen occasionally, but distantly, on the South Levels. Another, still bearing some orangy breeding plumes, has been seen on the Scrape on several occasions, where its presence has not been welcomed by the resident little egrets. Sightings of cattle egrets…

    • 17 Sep 2019
  • There's always one that gets away

    It's that time of year when birds are on the move, and you never quite know what to expect. That has certainly been the case over the last few days, with sightings of a very late swift and a juvenile cuckoo yesterday despite a sudden drop in temperature and a late autumn feel to the weather. 

    Yesterday's cuckoo, by Clare Carter

    A shift in the wind to a northeasterly on Sunday saw the arrival of a beautiful juvenile…

    • 10 Sep 2019
  • New faces and fond farewells

    Autumn is a time of change in the natural world, but it's also one of change among the management team here at Minsmere.

    Last week we bid farewell to our Visitor Operations Manager, Louise Gregory, who many of our visitors will know well. Louise has moved just up the coast to work for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust at Carlton Marshes, where she will be managing their new visitor centre when it opens next spring. This…

    • 4 Sep 2019
  • A life among the cows

    Regular visitors to Minsmere, or readers of these blogs, will know that our wardens are helped in their management of our important habitats by various four-legged creatures. The most popular of these are our konik Polski (AKA Polish ponies), which can currently be seen grazing on the Konik Field. Where the ponies are, you can often find several wagtails and pipits feeding around their hooves, searching for flies that…

    • 3 Sep 2019
  • Birds and bees and dragonflies and...

    The late August bank holiday heatwave was a mixed blessing. As the holiday hordes headed to the coast, anyone choosing to walk around our nature trails needed to be prepared, with suncream slapped on, a wide-brimmed hat, and, most importantly, a drink in their bag. There were, of course, opportunities to cool down by dipping your toes into the sea, seeking out shady patches for a rest, or making the most of the cooler…

    • 27 Aug 2019
  • Love Minsmere Festival

    On 15 September we'll be hosting the first-ever Love Minsmere Festival, to celebrate the reserve, its rare wildlife and to send a powerful message to EDF that we all Love Minsmere and want to see it protected from the impacts of Sizewell C.

    Earlier this year, over 20,000 people like you emailed EDF Energy telling them why they must protect RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in their plans to build a new twin-nuclear reactor…

    • 22 Aug 2019
  • All change

    It's amazing what a difference two weeks makes. After a relaxing couple of weeks with the family, I returned to find the reserve looking decidedly different too. That said, many of the changes are subtle, and there's still an amazing variety of wildlife to spot.

    Vegetation grows quickly in warm, wet weather, so our wardens have been busy clearing small patches of pathside vegetation to improve the views onto the…

    • 19 Aug 2019
  • Recent sightings 16th August 2019

    Recent sightings from this week:

    16 Aug – Little gull – 10 on East & South Scrapes

    16 Aug – Wood sandpiper – one on East Scrape

    16 Aug – Spotted redshank – six across Scrape

    16 Aug – Dunlin – 20+ on the East Scrape

    16 Aug – Black-tailed godwit – 12+ on East Scrape

    16 Aug – Ringed plover – two on East Scrape

    16 Aug – Avocet – 100+ on the…

    • 16 Aug 2019
  • Minsmere sightings 9th August

    A quick round up for this week: 

    9 Aug – Wasp spider – four in the dunes between Public hide and North Wall – please watch where you walk
    9 Aug – Spotted redshank – 19 on East & South Scrapes 
    9 Aug – Avocet – 420+ on East Scrape
    9 Aug – Little ringed plover – two on East Scrape 
    9 Aug – Dunlin – 40+ on the Scrape
    9 Aug – Black-tailed godwit – 230+ on East…

    • 10 Aug 2019
  • Minsmere service station

    With the school holidays in full swing the visitor team have been busy running our usual popular family activities. If you are planning a visit with your children or grandchildren, then there's plenty for them to do, apart from the amazing wildlife watching. Old favourites like den building and the sand martin tunnels have been joined by a nature library in the woods and our Discovery Trail, complete with brass rubbings…

    • 1 Aug 2019
  • Important visitor information

    On Monday 12 August, RSPB Minsmere’s café will be closed all day as staff and volunteers will be attending the funeral of our colleague, Chris Offin. The visitor centre and shop will be open for light snacks, and family events will run as normal.

    Chris was a Catering Assistant at Minsmere for more than 21 years and was one of the longest serving members of the team. He was a dedicated member of the team,…

    • 29 Jul 2019
  • Time for a wash & brush up....and sleep!

    I'm just back from a long week away at a major music festival. When I say away, I mean in a tent less than 10 miles from home, surrounded by thousands of other families, with long queues for the showers, loud music until the early hours, and an amazing array of entertainment for all interests - rock, pop, gospel, soul, dance and folk music from upcoming bands and chart-toppers alike, comedy, theatre, dance, lectures,…

    • 22 Jul 2019
  • The colour is purple

    Last week's marsh sandpiper headed off elsewhere after just a couple of days, but there has been no let-up in the wonderful wildlife sightings since its departure. Waders have continued to pass through in good numbers, often lingering close to East Hide, in particular.

    One of the joys of watching passage waders in midsummer is that they are still sporting their breeding finery. The spotted redshanks look particularly…

    • 17 Jul 2019
  • A rare find caps an interesting day

    Yesterday was an interesting day to say the least. It didn't start well but certainly finished on a high. In fact, by 9.30 am I felt like I should perhaps go home, following a series of incidents that meant the day didn't really start as planned. Thankfully that was as bad as it got, though the tills continued to misbehave throughout the morning. These things are clearly sent to test us.

    I was, however, buoyed…

    • 11 Jul 2019
  • Bees, butterflies and beetles

    Insects were very definitely the theme of my lunchtime walk today, but not quite in the way that I had hoped. 

    Buoyed by the reports from our guides over the weekend, I set myself the task of tracking down some of our more interesting butterflies. Here, for starters, are the full butterfly and dragonfly lists from last week's butterfly transect, with thnks to our guides Phil and Derek for sharing the lists.


    • 3 Jul 2019
  • Red deer rut safaris - bookings open

    Yes folks, it's that time of year again. 

    Although the red deer rut doesn't start until late September, we've opened bookings for our very popular 4x4 deer safaris already. Demand is always high, and spaces are limited, so don't wait, reserve your place today.

    The tours will run for three weeks, from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 20 October only. On weekdays there is just one tour, starting at 2 pm. At…

    • 2 Jul 2019
  • Reasons to be vegan

    Guest blog by David White, Assistant Retail Manager 

    Veganism is on the rise and there are lots of different reasons why so many people are taking up the plant-based diet. A well-planned vegan diet can have some excellent health benefits. Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol. As well as lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

    The other ethological…

    • 28 Jun 2019
  • Beginning birdwatcher part 3 - taking notes

    One of the most important lessons that any beginner birdwatcher can learn is, "don't be afraid to ask." If you don't know what something is, then someone else probably does, but if you don't ask them, you'll never learn. The second part of this lesson is, "don't be scared to make mistakes." We can't be expected to know everything, and as with everything else in life, we can only learn from our mistakes.…

    • 27 Jun 2019
  • North Wall minibeasties

    As anyone who has visited Minsmere in summer will know, when you plan a "quick walk to East Hide" it usually turns something more akin to a "slow meander along the North Wall." That was certainly the case today.

    I skipped quickly past the pond, with little but a quick glance at the sand martins and a scan for dragonflies - there were four-spotted chasers, azure damselflies and blue-tailed damselflies…

    • 25 Jun 2019
  • Things that go "eek", "screetch" and "churr" in the dark

    We're often asked what time Minsmere is open, and when the best time to visit is. The simple answer to the first question is always - although we don't recommend that you try to walk around the nature trails in the dark, and the reserve is completely closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. However, for most people, visiting will be confined to the hours during which the visitor centre is open - 9 am to 5 pm.

    • 24 Jun 2019
  • To bee, or not to bee?

    An alternative title could be, when is a bee not a bee? When it's a flower, perhaps! This afternoon I have been to one of the less well visited parts of the reserve in search of another exciting discovery: bee orchids.

    I've regularly seen bee orchids just a few hundred metres south of the reserve boundary, on Sizewell Beach, but I don't recall hearing about any recent sightings on the reserve itself, so I took the…

    • 18 Jun 2019
  • Vagrant dragons, painted ladies & tented homes

    In my last last blog I promised to update on insect sightings, and since then we've spotted a few more goodies, despite the inclement weather. Tuesday, in particular, was a good day for insect watchers, with a notable influx of painted lady butterflies along the dunes. I didn't get a chance to get out myself so missed this influx, but I was pleased to find one of these large migratory butterflies this afternoon. I've…

    • 14 Jun 2019
  • High rise or ground floor?

    Last week we celebrated World Oceans Day. The world's oceans are vital, providing food, regulating our climate, and providing a home for countless different types of wildlife. But they are under threat from pollution - not least the rapidly rising tide of plastic that's finding its way there - overfishing, and climate change. 

    The RSPB works very closely with our Birdlife International partners to protect the world…

    • 10 Jun 2019
  • Volunteer Voices: Henry

    Our Conservation Intern Henry Page describes his incredible experience tracking down our latest rarity, a Cretzschmar’s bunting.

    What I thought would be a normal day at Minsmere RSPB turned into a mega cascade of events. I am currently living on site and involved in the RSPB’s internship program for practical conservation. Living on site has its perks and I am usually out on the reserve long after people have gone…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Exciting times

    Why is it that every time I go on holiday something exciting turns up at Minsmere? Not that I should complain as I was watching some amazing wildlife in Scotland. Staying just around the corner from the Springwatch base in Nethybridge, we were lucky enough to spot red and black grouse, ptarmigan, golden eagle, crested tit, pied and spotted flycatchers, redstart, slavonian grebe, three species of diver, osprey, short-eared…

    • 4 Jun 2019