Wildlife at Retford nature reserve renowned for its bird life is putting on a show for visitors whilst the Wildlife Trust team prepare to welcome three well known ‘birders’.

Whooper Swan - Mike Vickers

The dreary, cold days of early winter sometimes call for a special motivation to tempt us outdoors but at Idle Valley Nature Reserve, off North Road Retford, visitors are finding all the motivation they need thanks to the site’s wild inhabitants.

Up to four short eared owls and other birds are providing visitors with an inspiring wildlife experience, making an afternoon visit to the reserve well worth the effort.

Idle Valley Nature Reserve is currently providing some of the most exciting winter birdwatching in the county and you don’t even have to get up early to experience it
Mark Speck
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer
Short Eared Owl Mike Vickers

Mike Vickers

Speaking about the recent wildlife displays Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer Mark Speck said: “Idle Valley Nature Reserve is currently providing some of the most exciting winter birdwatching in the county and you don’t even have to get up early to experience it. Visitors are regularly being treated to wonderful views of up to four charismatic short-eared owls in the Tiln North area of the site as they hunt for small mammals in the fading light. Visitors should also look out for the ghostly barn owl which is likely to be active in this area around dusk but will hunt during the day if weather conditions made foraging difficult the previous night.”

BITTERN

Tim Stenton

Elsewhere on the reserve patient observers may see a bittern at Chainbridge Pit where this superbly camouflaged member of the heron family has become a regular winter visitor. Up to three great egrets are also present. Nearby, a flock of whooper swans seem settled on Clayworth Common. These wild swans are mainly winter visitors from Iceland.

Visitors can pick up a map of the reserve from the welcoming Idle Valley Centre off North Road where they can also enjoy a spot of lunch or a coffee and cake to help fend off the cold.

With birds putting on such a tremendous display at Idle Valley it seems fitting that the Centre is set to welcome three highly regarded bird experts to give special talks in the coming weeks. On Friday Dec 7th researcher and campaigner Ruth Tingay will present “Who's Killing Britain's Birds of Prey?
And how are they getting away with it?

In January there’s a double dose of bird expertise as the Wildlife Trust welcomes writer and campaigner Mark Avery on Jan 18th and ‘The Urban Birder’ David Lindo on January 26th to present talks.

 

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