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Barn Owl Tyto alba ©Steve Blain Website

Nottinghamshire has an uncanny knack of turning up the unexpected as witnessed by some UK firsts such as Egyptian Nightjar, Lesser Yellowlegs, Dusky Thrush and, more recently, Redhead. The birding habitats vary from the Trent Valley with its numerous gravel pits to extensive woodland estates, some of which have no access at all! There is remnant heathland running patchily up the spine of the county, a stronghold for Nightjar, Woodlark and other heathland birds. Our highest point is a pit top, whilst equally man-made are the unpleasant prairies of modern farming in the northeast. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has many reserves, large and small, from Attenborough in the south to Lound in the north.

Special birds include Honey Buzzard breeding in summer and lots of wildfowl and over wintering.

See below for the recently (June 2001) started news group and mailing list for all the latest in the county.

Top Sites

Clipstone Forest

Satellite View

is an area of extensive conifer and broad-leaved plantations and heaths and host all the expected species. Good access through a network of trails.

Colwick/Netherfield/Holme Pierrepont

Satellite View

The close proximity of three large sites means that they probably have the longest list of species in thecounty. County additions have included Bufflehead, Yellow-browed Warbler, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper and Long-tailed Skua.

Forest Country

Satellite View

Clumber lies at the centre of a number of sites which include Welbeck, Thoresby and Rufford. At Welbeck, there is a raptor watchpoint (SK580721) and is as good as any in England with Honey Buzzard, Goshawk and Osprey viewable over the private and well protected woodland. Clumber has all the woodland birds, noteably Hawfinch in winter.


Satellite View

As big as Lound but more water dominated. A good site at any time of year with a large winter gull roost. The UK's first Redhead occurred here on a pit which is part of the complex.

Idle Valley Nature Reserve


Satellite View

The site formerly refered to as Lound used to consist of lots of gravel workings surrounded by arable fields and copses. Things have changed here and after over 50 years of gravel extraction and restoration work mainly by Tarmac quarries Ltd. The whole area is a new SSSI NR. Tarmac in consultation with Notts Wildlife Trust have worked to restore the area as a predominantly wetland reserve. The whole area from the town of Retford, going North up to and beyond Lound village, on the west bank and adjacent to the river Idle has been almost compleetly restored and is the new Idle Valley NR. Most of the old Lound gravel pits complex is now part of an SSSI, which is in turn a large part of the new and enlarged IVNR you see today. The reserve is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The work on the reserve is suported by lottery funding. NWT also share a brand new eco friendly visitor centre at the Retford end of the reserve with the North Notts College. The first really notable bird for the new reserve was a Steppe Grey Shrike…


Satellite View

Langford is the site of a proposed RSPB reserve and is attracting good numbers of waders. Besthorpe had seen better days but is currently (2011) undergoing a facelift with a new hide and scrape, while Girton is still working. All three sites are worth birding and often attract county rarities.

Mission Carr Nature Reserve [The Carrs]


Satellite View

consists of lowland farmland, ditches and river. In Winter its good for swans and raptors; on passage Dotterel are a highlight some years, and, in summer there are lots of Corn Buntings.


Mark Dennis



County Recorder

Andy Hall

10 Stavertob Road, Bilborough, Nottingham NG8 4ET

0115 875 9043


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 326

County Bird - Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Useful Reading

The Birds of Nottinghamshire

Annual Reports available from j.swindells@btinternet.com

The Status of Birds in Nottinghamshire

by Jason Reese, illustrated by Chris Orgill Direct from author: at: http://notts-uk-birding.webs.com £12 inc P&P

Where to watch birds in the East Midlands

by Rob Fray, Christopher Helm 2006 See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713675306

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List

To post to list: Nottsbirdsnews@yahoogroups.com

List contact: Nottsbirdsnews-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: Nottsbirdsnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Welcome to Nottsbirdsnews. A forum for anyone in Nottinghamshire with an interest in birds to discuss news and views, on all bird sightings and bird related subjects around the County… The main aim of Nottsbirdsnews group is to improve communication between birdwatchers throughout the County and also to increase and encourage free and open discussion on all aspects of Birdwatching and birding throughout Nottinghamshire…

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

New Horizons Tours

Tour Operator

Welcome to our Birdwatching courses, tours and tailor made itineraries. Christopher & Alison Hall, New Horizons, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, NG16 3DD Tel/Fax: 01773 716550.

Verdant Wildlife

Tour Operator

All our tours are on gentle to moderate terrain unless otherwise stated, but we do recommend a basic level of fitness, sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing. A welcome pack including a tick list and copy of the Birdwatcher's code, lunch and refreshments are included in the price and binoculars can be provided if required. Transport between sites is provided unless otherwise stated…

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Browns B&B


The award winning" Browns," was established in 1990. We are the only 5 Star Gold Award, with Visit England in North Nottinghamshire, and also 5 Gold Star Award with The AA, and have Mobility Level 1 with NAS. Since 2008 we have been included in The Michelin Guide...


Netherfield Wildlife Group


Monitoring the Netherfield Lagoons, Nottinghamshire - The Netherfield Wildlife Group was formed in August 1999 to ensure the continued wildlife interest of the Netherfield Lagoons. The lagoons were owned by UK Coal and had been used to settle the slurry washed from the coal at nearby Gedling Pit. When the pit was closed the lagoons became redundant and the owners planned to restore the site. There were various inappropriate plans being discussed by them and the local council and so the group was formed to provide a body to argue for a more ecologically friendly approach…

Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers


A website giving information about birding in Nottinghamshire, web site includes membership details, sites to visit, updated bird news, events, etc. An excellently constructed site that is full of useful info. Membership details from Howard Broughton forestrub@aol.com & Annual reports from Reg Davis regdavisreg@aol.com

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust


Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is the county's leading conservation charity run by local people for the benefit of local wildlife, with 67 nature reserves - part of a UK network of 47 local Wildlife Trusts working to protect wildlife.

RSPB Nottinghamshire Members Group


The Nottingham Local Members Group of the R.S.P.B. was started in 1974, and currently has over 300 members. They hold indoor meetings, which consist of an illustrated talk by a guest speaker at the Y.M.C.A. on Shakespeare Street in Nottingham on the first Wednesday in the month from September to May inclusive. Admission is £1.50 and tea and coffee is available. Nest boxes and a selection of bird food as well as R.S.P.B. sale goods are on sale. They also run monthly field trips throughout the year, as well as beginners walks, Nightjar watches and a birding weekend. Every type of birdwatcher is catered for from the first timer to the expert, everyone is made welcome…

Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project

The Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project aims to conserve and increase the population of barn owls in Rushcliffe by: Discovering the size and distribution of the existing population. Increasing awareness of the needs of the barn owl through advice. Encouraging sympathetic management of feeding and breeding habitats. Providing artificial breeding sites in suitable locations…


Attenborough Nature Reserve


Satellite View

An award winning eco-friendly visitor attraction surrounded by the tranquil waters of the beautiful Attenborough Nature Reserve. Situated within easy reach of Nottingham and Derby. Barton Lane, Attenborough NG9 6DY…

King's Mill Reservoir


Satellite View

King's Mill Reservoir is a medium-sized reservoir sandwiched between the towns of Sutton in Ashfield & Mansfield in west Nottinghamshire. It covers approximately 70 acres (28ha) and is maintained naturally by the River Maun. Most of the edge of the reservoir is vegetated with trees and scrub, predominantly willow but also ash, birch, popular, oak and sycamore. Patches of Phragmites and reedmace can also be found in several areas. In close proximity to the reservoir are a number of paddocks and areas of arable land, although these have been significantly reduced recently with the construction of the new (unwanted and waste of time) A617 bypass!

Wollaton Park Wildlife


Satellite View

The main attraction in winter is the visiting wildfowl and the flocks of finches and thrushes. Several different ducks may be seen on the lake at this time including wigeon, gadwall, pochard and the odd shoveler. The new year sometimes brings more interesting species such as smew and goosander and in harsher weather goldeneye…


Birds Of Attenborough


James Shergold is a young birder and photographer – his website is dedicated to the wildlife seen in Long Eaton and Attenborough…

The Beardy Birder


Blogging on behalf of the birds of Nottinghamshire and beyond…

The Verdant Wildlife Blog


Blog of bird tours to Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and beyond…

Other Links



Timmermans Garden Centre, Lowdham Lane Woodborough, Nottingham Nottinghamshire, NG14 6DN, Tel: 0115 966 4033 - Birdfeeders4less are an online supplier of wild bird products. Products include bird tables, bird boxes, food and much more…

Birding in Nottingham and Beyond


Birding in Nottingham and Beyond is a personal record of sites in Nottingham, the rest of the UK and other parts of the World I have visited. The Nottingham section may be of interest to anyone who spends time in the City and wants to fit in some bird watching. Most of my overseas trips have been during school holidays and so the information gathered may be of particular interest to those birders who are also restricted to these dates to go abroad. The site includes a variety of photographs of birds and other wildlife. Trips to Kenya, various parts of North America and the Caribbean and parts of Europe are included. There is also a section of general tips for bird watchers based on personal experience.

Birds of Nottinghamshire


At the moment there are no RSPB reserves in Nottinghamshire, but work is going ahead on the Langford Lowfields site. This resembles a muddy moonscape now but by the year 2020 when it is handed over to the Society it will be a premier site for Bitterns.

Eakring Birds Webpage


A Guide To The Birds Of The Eakring And Kersall Area Of Nottinghamshire, England. - Since 1998, when I first started recording the birds of the Eakring/Kersall area of Nottinghamshire, there have been numerous occasions when the transition from the former study area of King’s Mill Reservoir distinctly paid off. Although the regular sightings of some scarce county species and indeed some county rarities were sacrificed, this present area as a whole has produced a string of regular sought after rarities and local patch ticks, worthy of many of the traditional top birdwatching sites in Nottinghamshire. Site by Trevor Pendleton illustrated brilliantly by the author.

Erewash Valley Wildlife


A site to discuss and promote the extensive wildlife rich area of the Erewash Valley on the Derbyshire/Notts Border…

Species Action Plan - Barn Owl


The barn owl is found in almost every continent and is one of the most widely distributed land birds in the world. It nests and roosts in tree cavities, old and derelict farm buildings and barns, and feeds mainly on small mammals such as voles, shrews and mice. Barn owls hunt mainly at night, and may be seen over areas of rough grassland, field margins, hedgerows and derelict land, as well as along water courses, woodland edges and newly planted woodland. The presence of barn owls is a good indicator of the health of biodiversity in lowland areas, as the range of habitats needed by the species is also vital for a wide variety of other animals and plants.

The Birds of Barton in Fabis and Clifton


Since moving to Clifton in 1995 I have been using the grove area as my local birding patch and try to visit the area at least twice a week more if possible. To say that this area is underwatched by birders is a understatment i have only seen a handful of other birders in eight years of birding in this area. Good birds have been found at this site but only with a lot of dedication and time seaching the various woods, fields and ponds…

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Mike Warren


Early paintings contained very decorative backgrounds to the bird subject. This emphasis has gradually given way a greater realism while retaining a strong design element. Pictures are painted with acrylics or watercolours on pure rag paper…

Bird Carver - The Bird Whittler


Glyn is a professional bird whittler, and has extensively studied birds in their natural habitats. Each individual edition songbird is whittled from a block of lime, using only a knife. They are then hand painted with acrylics…

Photographers - Ray & Gemma Purser


Bird pictures & more…