Trip reports

Field Trip - Attenborough Nature Reserve

Goosander on water

Sunday, 6 December 2015

As we arrived at the car park, it appeared that we were the first on site! We ploughed into the Visitor Centre to warm up with a "cuppa" and a breakfast bap - this seems to be a pre-requisite for our Group to function!
We were then properly ready for our exploration of this huge reserve which is centred on a series of lakes and with the River Trent bordering its eastern side. Attenborough has a country park feel about it with numerous locals making the best of its variety of walks and outdoor pursuits. However, although you never really feel as though the place is crowded (except possibly at the Visitors Centre), you can soon find yourself experiencing a sense of "far from the madding crowd" once you start exploring the trails around its 560 acres.

Our first stop was the Visitor Centre, where Gadwall, Teal, Great-crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Black-headed Gull, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen and the resident Egyptian Geese greeted us. Redwing were spotted around the car park, as was a flock of Long-tailed Tits.

At Church Pond, Cormorant were on the Tern platform with wings outstretched, along with Mute Swan, Shoveler, Pochard, Gadwall and a few Goldeneye.

Following the Kingfisher Trail; Bullfinch, Redpoll, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wren and Dunnock were in the trees and shrubs bordering on the Tween Pond - on which various gulls congregated, including Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed, Herring and the "not so common" Common Gull.

Walking by the edge of the village and on to the Works Pond, a pair of Goosander were seen in the distance not far from the gravel works. From here, we walked on to Delta Path where Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were actively feeding in the trees. A Cetti's Warbler gave brief views and a Buzzard was also seen from this spot, calling as it soared above us. Other birds of prey seen during the day included a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

Taking the trail towards the River Trent via the North Path, Little Grebe were spotted on the narrow lakes alongside. The Trent was high and fast-flowing meaning that not much was to be seen on the river itself. Passing a field on the far bank, we could see a large flock of Greylag Geese with a few Canada Geese mixed in. These were disturbed by a dog walker and they took off - flying directly over us in a cacophony of honking and beating wings. What a sight!

Making our way towards the hide on Clifton Pond, we ran into a sharp shower which had us immediately making for shelter - just as someone pointed out a Sparrowhawk perched on a wooden pylon looking pretty sorry for himself. Two members of our group were lucky enough to see a Bittern in this area.

Other notable birds seen during the day were Water Rail, Snipe, Little Egret and Grey Heron. But a surprise sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (a "lifer" for one of our party) was a highlight of the visit and Great Spotted Woodpecker was also seen.

A most enjoyable day for everyone with favourable weather, lots of good walks and plenty to see.

35 attended
65 bird species seen