Coach Trip to Attenborough Nature Reserve - 30/11/14

The Attenborough Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. 35 birders set off for the 2-hour coach trip, admiring fields bathed in the misty early morning sun. Stopping at the motorway services, a pied wagtail was spotted chasing insects in the car park.

Arriving at the Reserve the group split up to plan a route around the ponds, wetlands, grasslands and scrub. First sightings were Tufted ducks, Mallard, Coot, Canada geese, Great crested grebe, Moorhen, Feral pigeon, Egyptian geese, and Black headed gull.

Leaving Tween pond near the Visitors Centre we followed the path to hear a Cettiā€™s warbler. It was very close but as usual staying well out of sight at first, then in the scrub we saw movement of this elusive bird as we listened to the lovely outbursts of song. Later in the day at a different site of scrub many of us had good views of this little dark red-brown bird over-wintering here, flitting about, unaware of our interest.

The next port of call was the Kingfisher hide. En-route Robin, Magpie, Bullfinch in flight and Lapwings were spotted. Scanning around with our binoculars a rat was seen eating berries from the top of a Hawthorn bush, an unusual sight we thought! Cormorant, a good view of Common gull with his green legs standing on top of a post, Goosander, Goldeneye and Grey heron, Teal and Moorhen were seen on the Main pond. Well camouflaged was a solitary Snipe and then out of the reeds came a Water rail skulking at the waterside. Starling, Long tailed tit, Blue tit, Goldfinch, Starling and Blackbird were added to the species seen around this area.

At the Kingfisher hide the feeders were busy with Tree sparrows, Chaffinch, Great tit, Coal tit, Robin, Greenfinch, and horror of horrors, more than 20 rats feeding on the dropped seeds. To distract ourselves from this seething mass of rats we spotted Teal, Coot, Lesser black-backed gull, Pochard with his lovely rich red head, Wigeon, Shoveler, Great crested grebe, the elegant Gadwall, Greylag geese, and Mute swan. A Treecreeper shuffling up a tree trunk looking for insects was a good sighting.

Walking alongside the river we saw a Little Egret. Arriving at Delta hide, to find it locked (as Brian had said it would be, but we had forgotten this), we sat on logs and admired the reflections of the water, so still and quiet. Kestrel hovered above, and Buzzard flew over. We hoped to spot a Kingfisher but were not rewarded here; others were seen at a different hide. A charm of Goldfinches flew over.

Other good sightings of the day were Little grebe, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Dunnock, House sparrow, Grey wagtail, Reed bunting, Wren, Sparrowhawk, Rook, Wood pigeon, Carrion Crow, Goldcrest, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaw, and Kingfisher.

The field trip list for the day was 61.

The sun was starting to set as we left, with beautiful reflections in the still ponds, a very satisfying day.

JENNY I

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