'Bumbarrel' is an old name for the Long-tailed Tit, everyone's favourite garden bird. And the reason they're called that is for the shape of their nest. It's almost spherical, with a little hole at the front, and made from a special weave of moss, lichen, spiders' webs and feathers.
Spent today with the Essex team
at Minsmere Nature Reserve on the Suffolk coast. The sun shone beautifully and
still is, as we travel back to Essex. The reserve has undergone some new and
exciting developments and initiatives this year. These all add to the visitors
enjoyment; from a discovery area for families and schoolchildren to a fantastic
new island mere hide. We saw stone curlews, marsh harrier, little gull, bearded
tits and some even saw a bittern. We also saw red Deer, rabbits, dragonflies
and caterpillars….superb day out!
New Information Board
Children can learn about some of
Minsmere’s wildlife whilst playing in the new 'Wild Zone'. There are tunnels to
explore and become sand martin chicks. There’s a forest of logs carved to look
like reeds, with a huge willow-woven bittern nest and eggs in the middle.
There’s a play tree, where they can become squirrles, and a migration maze
where they can discover how avocets, sand martins and wigeon migrate to
Minsmere. Four listening posts introduce some of the sounds of Minsmere.
From the Wild Zone, you can
explore the Wild Wood Adventure, with its seek and find activities, den
building and river-watch hide for younger children, before seeing some of
Minsmere’s wildlife for real from the Wildlife Lookout.
The Wild Zone and Wild Wood
Adventure offer something exciting for families on a visit to Minsmere. The
Discovery Centre, which is used by visiting schools as a great focal point for
their visit, is also used for public family fun days during school holidays.
Sand Martin Tunnel
I just had to have a look inside
the new sand martin tunnels (why should kids have all the fun!). Loved it and a
fantastic way for children to explore and learn.
The new shop and cafe looks as
though it has always been a lovely light, airy and open space, it’s hard to
even remember where the old walls started and finished. And the Dyson
hand-driers; I love them, no more wiping hands down the back of my jeans!
If you have never been to this
RSPB flagship nature reserve, you really should, there honestly, is something
here for everyone. And don’t forget to try the homemade cakes…mmmm…..yummy
Wow, wow, wow, I am knackered but
what a great day. Up at silly hour this morning 03.45 and led a dawn chorus
guided walk at 5 am. I gotta say though, it really is worth making the effort
to get out early at this time of the year. There are no distracting background
sounds, all you hear is the superb sound of the natural world going about its
daily business. We had nightingale, cuckoo, warblers, thrushes, robin and many
Spent the rest of the day to 5
pm, running our visitor centre. Making apple bird feeders and running adventure
trails with the visiting families, terrific. I am lucky to have such an
Trying to stay awake now to watch
the champions league final!