The Suffolk Coast
  • RSPB Minsmere

Ssss - Surprising Springwatch on The Suffolk Coast!

Springwatch on The Suffolk Coast - lambs frisking about in the spring sunshine, a distant Bittern boom and the songful chirrup of birds in the budding trees…

But, at RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve the team are shaking things up a bit this year, or should we say ‘snaking’ things up!

Visitor Experience Officer, Ian Barthorpe, tells us that Minsmere's Adders have proved extremely popular over the last few years, so they decided to open a dedicated Adder trail this spring to make it easier to watch these amazing snakes without disturbing them. This also meant training many of their guides giving them more confidence to find and talk about Adders.

Spring is the perfect time of year to see Adders as the males are searching out females and fighting for the right to mate with them. The Adder Trail at Minsmere is near a Hibernaculum (where Adders hibernate over winter) which is why it’s a good place to see them, especially on warm sunny days where, for a few short weeks, they forget their shyness and are very visible. 

Volunteer Guide, Davene Everett says that early morning is a good time to catch them basking, curled up on a pile of leaves -  Use your binoculars to scan the undergrowth systematically, concentrate on the sunny spots and you’ll soon spot one. They can flatten their body to get maximum exposure to the sun’s rays and in the earlier months, it isn’t uncommon to see a number of males curled up together.  Once they’ve warmed up, they’ll be off searching for food.

Surprisingly the Adders biggest enemy is the pheasant, which seems to go out of its way to attack this snake if it sees one. Adders are not large snakes, 2-3 feet is the maximum you’ll find (females are generally larger than the males) and can live for 30 years (if they can avoid predation).

The question we all want to ask is… are they dangerous? Well we’re told they won’t attack a human except in defence, but a bite will be extremely painful and the venom can be fatal, so it’s important to not antagonise them. If a snake rears up and hisses at you, you’re far too close and should back away. Photographers should use telephoto lenses and no matter what the temptation, don’t try and take close up shots with a phone, you’ll be putting yourself in danger - Stay a respectful distance and enjoy watching these fascinating creatures in safety!

Don’t forget to catch the Springwatch shows on TV from 30th May – 16th June.

Picture courtesy of Steve Everett.


Things to see and do


Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


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RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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Cycle Breaks

Cycle Breaks

Ipswich

Supported, gentle cycling & walking holidays along the Suffolk Coast as well as in Constable Country & The Wool Towns and Norfolk and quality bike hire too!

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events


Dunwich Dynamo 2016

Dunwich Dynamo 2016

Dunwich | Sat 16th - Sun 17th Jul 2016

The Dunwich Dynamo is a 200 km night ride from London to the lost city of Dunwich on The Suffolk Coast.

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Nightjars over the Heath Walks

Nightjars over the Heath Walks

Snape |

Join the Wild Adventures under Suffolk's Skies guides for an informative and relaxed evening walk along the Alde estuary and be surprised by nature, scenery and Suffolk's wide and open sky.

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WHERE TO EAT


The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich

Dunwich

There's plenty to enjoy on The Ship's menu from: pie of the day, slow-cooked pork belly, or roast red onion tart through to traditional English puddings like sticky toffee, pear and blackberry crumble and much more, accompanied by good wines at sensible prices, or proper beers and ales - including Adnams and a range of guest ales.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible