You would not go to Nottingham for a holiday would you? It is said to be the murder capital of the UK. Cricket lovers go for test matches at Trent Bridge and there is the legend of Robin Hood.
We went to visit a friend and found a delightful haven at the Attenborough Nature Centre & Reserve. It is a mere 5 miles from the city centre.
The nature reserve was opened by Sir David Attenborough. It occupies 145 hectares beside the river Trent on the site of former gravel beds. To our advantage there are paths around smooth enough for a wheelchair; our friend is paraplegic.
There is a decent café and education centre and along the paths there are bird hides where you can pause for serious bird watching.
The flooded gravel lakes are home to water fowl of many species. We saw an Egyptian duck (Alpochen aegyptica), which is said to be a pest. It is native to Egypt (you guessed that, didn’t you?) but some were brought here and now breed. It has very pink legs. The Grebe are a delight and then there are the usual mallard and swans.
For a while we watched a large black bird perched in a tree. I was convinced we were looking at a plastic bag stuck on a branch until it flew away. We think it was a heron.
There are reed beds and reed loving birds but we did not get to see them. There is said to be Bittern but we did not hear one booming. You need patience, warm clothing and a good pair of binoculars.
Of course we are well provided with bird watching locations around Chandler’s Ford, even our gardens are havens for woodland varieties. I did not expect to find such a good site so near to Nottingham by the Trent where even the hides are wheel chair accessible. Well done, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust who own and run the site.