These past two weeks I have been spoilt, yet again, for sightings of more exciting birds around Nottinghamshire. A fantastic, bright morning out ringing last Sunday, and a dusky afternoon around Attenborough gave nothing short of a treat in my bird count of 2017.

Whilst out ringing, the new sightings of a Marsh and Coal tit, coupled with a Brambling made the frozen toes quite insignificant. As somebody who really is still learning their bird ID skills, it was so interesting and helpful to get up close whilst ringing. This sort of encounter allows you to pick up even the smallest characteristics of a species, like the large black patch between the legs of a female Great tit compared to the thinner and disjointed stripe seen on a male. In a tree, there would not be any hope of telling the two apart, but by getting such a good view makes it simple with some practice.


  • Brambling, male and female
  • Marsh tit
  • Coal tit
  • Long-tailed tit
  • Blue tit
  • Great tit
  • Blackbird


The sun rising over a beautiful new, frosty morning
my first Marsh tit!
my first female Brambling, accompanied by an equally stunning male


another shot of the female Brambling


After a fantastic morning ringing last weekend, this Sunday  was time for a trip to Attenborough nature reserve. The sky was grey and not remotely inviting, but as usual, we were rewarded for our stubborn persistence. A peaceful cycle ride around the whole reserve was a joy even without my first close up shots of a Teal (male and female), but that perfect little pair made my afternoon.

The Goosanders, one of my favourite species, were out in the plenty, each one snootily glancing down their long slightly hooked beaks across the lake. As seems to be the case with these birds, I was made to feel humbled for every moment I  got within 50 yards of these birds before they glided off towards the other end of the lake.

Perhaps our most exciting moment of the afternoon was just as the sun was closing in. We were making tracks back home before being distracted by a group of birders, a scope and many pairs of binoculars. After getting a little closer to the hide we were pointed in the direction of a browny looking shrub on the nearest spit. I was sure that this was not the point of the gathering but for a while, it was quite difficult to see that it was for anything else. After a few minutes, I managed to distinguish a couple of Snipe right at the water’s edge, barely moving, and doing their best effort to remain completely invisible. Like a cloak had been thrown over my eyes it was not a minute longer before they vanished and there was little hope of picking anything out from their brown backdrop again. However short, that glance was pretty special, and we cycled home a little warmer inside than before our encounter with these elusive individuals.


  • Snipe
  • Teal, male and female
  • Red-crested pochard
  • Shoveler
  • Aylesbury duck
  • Great-crested grebe
  • Goosander
  • Tufted ducks
  • Cormorant
  • Canada goose
  • Mute swan
  • Mallard
  • Robin

8 new sightings this week

total sightings: 46


A  dubbed ‘manky mallard’, describing the mallard cross aylesbury hybrid


Red-crested pochard
standing on the bridge was the perfect opportunity to catch the comical tufted ducks undertaking their long dives. One would disappear with a splash, followed by his other fellow submarines on their mission under the surface. The Mute swans were like angry cruise ship obstacles to be avoided with each duck and dive.
a Mute swan, having a groom on the water


territoriality mounted between the ducks as seeds were thrown to them at the edge of the lake
a beautiful male Goosander
an Ayelsbury and a Mallard male looking for food
a female Teal, with the flash of colour under her wing
a male Teal
a very curious robin
male and female shoveler. Interestingly I only found out this afternoon that these birds migrate all the way fro Ethiopia – even with those huge beaks!
a Snipe indicated by the arrow, just to show how hard these birds are to spot
an end to a wonderful afternoon at Attenborough nature reserve



2 Comments Add yours

  1. John Rowell says:

    Nice write up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. georgieswildblog says:

      Thank you 🙂


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