Attenborough Nature Reserve 25th November 2018

Most unusually this trip started out with a delay in the arrival of the coach. Whilst waiting we didn’t sight any notable birds but the group were kept entertained by an array of runners including numerous Father Christmases, elves, dogs and pushchairs braving the cold to participate in the Wilmslow half marathon. Eventually the coach arrived and we were pleased to set off to Attenborough.

The reserve consists of lakes, wetlands, grasslands and shrubs. The large lakes have been formed by flooded pits and these have become the most important bird overwintering area in Nottinghamshire for Shoveler and diving ducks.


On arrival at the visitor centre we received a warm welcome from staff and an assortment of ducks and geese waiting in anticipation for food outside the main entrance.

Walking out to the first hide from the visitor centre I was pleased to see my first Goldeneye of the winter season and 2 Egyptian Geese feeding around the area. Looking out onto the water swans could be seen tipped upside down feeding and there were a number of cormorants all perched in the trees.

Leaving the visitor centre we headed over a bridge leading to the main area of the nature reserve here I was reliably informed by other members of the group that I had just missed a Kingfisher flying past. However, I was rewarded with a good view of a number of male and female Goosander handsomely showing off their winter plumage. A skein of geese flew over in a v shape their wings rhythmically flapping confirming winter was truly here. Just to the other side of the bridge a Cetti’s Warbler could be heard in the shrubs but true to form was elusive in being sighted.


Out on the various lakes there was an assortment of ducks including Gadwall, Teal, Shoveller, Wigeon and Pochard. Common Gulls had taken convenient positions out on the posts and Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls were sighted. Flocks of Lapwings were also gathered on the rocks occasionally taking to the air displaying their flickering flight.
Following lunch I moved onto another hide where I was reliably informed that I had just missed a Water Rail a few seconds before entering!

I spent the majority of the afternoon taking a pleasant stroll along the side of the river Trent where there more Goosander, Dabchicks and Great Crested Grebes. The surrounding woodlands provided other sightings including Long-tailed Tits, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

We finished the day back on the bridge looking out for a murmuration of starlings - we saw the outline in the distance as the light was beginning to fade. Although I hadn’t seen anything new or particularly unusual Attenborough had proved to be a lovely place to visit with a lot of different species and in total the group saw 58 birds.

A final bonus for the day was the wonderful sunset.

Photos by Robert D


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