Saturday, 25 July 2015

Attenborough Nature Reserve with Sorrel Lyall

Today I met up with a fellow young wildlife enthusiast, Sorrel Lyall. I first saw Sorrel on Springwatch Extra earlier on this year, and after following her of Twitter I realised that she lives in Nottingham too (and we had both been to the same prom a few weeks previously!) We decided to meet up at Attenborough Nature Reserve as it's local to both of us and is home to an amazing array of different species, having many hides for us to enjoy. 

One of Sorrel's photos on display on her wildlife website

It was weird meeting someone so similar, having an interest in both nature and art…even if she's a little better at identification than me! Attenborough has a huge collection of paths and trails meandering along the river trent, around the lakes, and amongst the meadows and reed beds, providing various different habitats for various different species. The last time I came to Attenborough I saw my first kingfisher so I was optimistic about what to expect! We gave the 'Bittern hide' a fair amount of time but with no luck unfortunately. One thing that we were focusing on was butterflies and bees…and there were plenty of them! Having bought myself a butterflies and moths book not too long ago I am starting to improve on my recognition of individual species. Birds were obviously still noted too:

  • Long-tailed tit - Aegithalos caudatus
  • Blue tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
  • Common Greenshank - Tringa nebularia
  • Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
  • Reed warbler - Acrocephalus scirpaceus
  •  Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
  • Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
  • Tufted duck - Aythya fuligula
  • Egyptian goose - Alopochen aegyptiaca
  • Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
  • Barnacle goose - Branta leucopsis
  •  Lapwing - Vanellinae vanellinae
  • Great crested grebe - Podiceps cristatus
  •  Black-headed gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
  •  Common tern - Sterna hirundo
  • Grey heron - Ardea cinerea
  • Moorhen - Gallinula

Below are a few of the photos I took during our time at Attenborough.

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus

Comma - Polygonia c-album

White (Green veined?)

Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais Urticae 

Having been working in the Lepidoptera department at the Natural History Museum a few weeks ago it was pleasing to see some live specimens! I'm slowly becoming much more interested in Lepidoptera (butterflies & moths) and Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants & sawflies) having been at the NHM…now I just need to brush up my identification skills!

If anyone knows, let me know!

Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus (also spot the damselfly top left!)
Egyptian Goose - Alopochen aegyptiaca
It was a really reassuring to meet someone interested in the same things as me, giving nature hope for the future. Sorrel and I are hopefully going to be featured in "The Nottinghamshire Photography Society"'s newsletter soon so keep your eyes peeled! I look forward to catching up with her again at Birdfair at Rutland Waters later on in the Summer. If you want to follow her on twitter, click here

Sorrel's website & blog: