February 2017

Nottinghamshire, UK

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

A pair of Mandarin Ducks have taken up residence at Attenborough Nature Reserve and could usually be found hanging out close to the visitor's centre throughout the month.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

These spectacularly beautiful little ducks are not native to the UK and the naturalized population here is mostly derived from accidental escapes from wildfowl collections that have occurred over the last 100 years.

male & female Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata)

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

Another introduced species that is a regular at Attenborough is the Red-crested Pochard.

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)

Throughout the winter, a Willow Tit has been visiting one of the feeding stations in a woodland area of the reserve. It has, however, been generally quite shy and elusive, rarely staying in view for more than a couple of seconds as it darted from deep cover to the bird table to grab a seed then fly immediately back to deep cover to eat it. Behaviour like that meant a large dose of patience was required to get the photos shown here...

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)

Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

While waiting for the Willow Tit to put in an appearance I was kept entertained by the constant stream of Nuthatches coming to feast on the seeds. Up to 6 individuals could occassionally be seen simultaneously.

Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

Even the extremely common birds like Dunnock and Robin did their bit to relieve the boredom during the long waits between Willow Tit appearances...

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Attenborough church

Aspen (Populus tremula) catkins

Midway through the month I noticed on the Notts Birders website that a few Bearded Tits were being regularly seen at Langford Lowlands RSPB reserve this winter so, since it is only 30 miles from my home I thought I'd take a trip out there to check it out. I hadn't even been aware there was a RSPB reserve there!

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)

I had absolutely no luck with the Bearded Tits on either of the visits I made this month, but it is quite a nice little reserve with what is probably the most extensive reedbeds in Nottinghamshire and it was a pleasant way to spend the day even if it wasn't very productive photographically. I'll probably be making a few more trips over there in the near future since it is not far to drive so I may yet still catch up with the Bearded Tits at some point.

female Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Common Reeds (Phragmites australis)

Langford Lowlands RSPB Reserve

February 2017 (Venomous snakes) 2017 Index