The Birds of Rushcliffe

Gamebirds, Divers, Grebes, Seabirds and Herons

Red-legged Partridge and chicks
Red-legged Partridge and chicks

Red-legged Partridge Common and widespread throughout the Rushcliffe countryside with their numbers artificially supplemented for shooting. Breeds

Grey Partridge Widespread but much less common than Red-legged and far less common then formerly. Breeds.

Quail A scarce summer visitor that is more frequent in some summers than others. Normally only detectable by its distinctive call, the species could turn up in almost any agricultural location. Breeds.

Pheasant Common and widespread throughout with their numbers artificially supplemented for shooting. Breeds

Reeve's Pheasant One of several species of unusual pheasants that are occasionally released. This species has been seen at Widmerpool.

Red-throated Diver Very rare winter visitor most often in harsh weather. One flew over Ironmongers pond at Wilford (just in Nottingham but it must have passed into Rushcliffe!) on 8th February 2009.

Black-throated Diver Very rare winter visitor. The most recent Rushcliffe record was at Holme Pierrepont on 3rd December 1988.

Great Northern Diver From none to five typically occur in Notts in winter and Holme Pierrepont gets its proportion with the most recent on 12th December 2009.

Little Grebe Fairly common on large lakes at Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe CP.

Great Crested Grebes displaying
Great Crested Grebes displaying

Great Crested Grebe Common on large lakes at Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe CP.

Red-necked Grebe Very occasional in winter at Holme Pierrepont but by no means annually.

Slavonian Grebe A very scarce winter visitor to Notts but the Trent Valley and Holme Pierrepont are favoured.

Black-necked Grebe Occasional birds can be seen at any time of the year and the species has bred.

Fulmar Apart from individual birds at Holme Pierrepont in May 1993, October 1994, June and September 1997 and May 1998, there were an amazing six, circling over Plumtree on 2nd August 1988 and other exhausted birds at Keyworth in September 1990 and Bingham in September 1993.

Manx Shearwater One in September 1977 at Trent Bridge, one at East Leake, August 1982, one on the Trent at Lady Bay in August 1994 and singles at Holme Pierrepont in May and September 1998.

Leach's Storm-petrel One was picked up dead at Stanton on the Wolds on 8th May 1977, one was on the Trent around Barton in Fabis on 30th September 1978 and and another was at Wilford on 6th October 1980. Two more recent records are both from Holme Pierrepont on 28th September 1994 and 14th October 1997.

Storm Petrel One picked up exhausted at Aslockton on November 27th 1982 was released off S Devon a few days later.

Gannet One 31/3/1952 at Barnstone, One 9/9/1974 at Aslockton, One found dead at Ruddington on 14/9/1979, One exhausted at Holme Pierrepont on 20/9/1990 and two flew over Rushcliffe CP (Ruddington) on 20/10/2000.


Cormorant The first Rushcliffe record I can find is of one that was shot at Barnstone in December 1959. The species is now common throughout Rushcliffe waterways including those as small as the fishpond at Owthorpe. Overall their numbers are now declining.

Shag One on the Trent at Trent Bridge on 23/7/1972 and one at Holme Pierrepont on 17/12/1978.

Bittern A dramatic increase in the number of Bitterns wintering in Nottinghamshire is reflected in a proportion of records from Holme Pierrepont with one being seen as late as 25th June in 2009 and booming being heard earlier that year. Others have made it to near Barton in Fabis. Bred in Notts for the first time in recent history in 2014.

Black-crowned Night Heron One at Ratcliffe on Soar 28th April 1968.

Squacco Heron An adult at Attenborough on 27th June 1998 crossed the river to Barton Flash where it fed for an hour and amazingly another Attenborough bird, this time a juvenile flew onto Barton Island (on the Trent but marginally in Rushcliffe) on 29th October 2011.

Cattle Egret One at Radcliffe on Trent on 4th April 1999 was the first for Notts. The second was at Attenborough on 2nd May 2008 and on the 3rd, it flew into Rushcliffe for a while, spending the day near Barton in Fabis. This species, like the Little Egret and Great White Egret is becoming more frequent and all three have now bred in this country along with Purple Heron.

Little Egret
Little Egret

Little Egret The first for Rushcliffe was one at Holme Pierrepont on May 31st 1996. Until then, the species was a very rare visitor (only 4 previous Notts records) but now it can be seen all year round somewhere in the county but, it seems, not very often in Rushcliffe

Great White Egret One at Attenborough June 16th 1989, roosted that night across the river in Rushcliffe amongst the heronry at Barton in Fabis. This was the first certain Notts record since prior to 1838, but British records have since become more frequent. Another was at Holme Pierrepont on 20th July 2003 and Holme Pierrepont also shared in a large influx during 2010 with a bird that flew across the A52 on 12th December. Another four have been seen in the vicinty of Barton in Fabis on 21st October 2007, 27th September 2008, 6th June 2009 and 4th May 2010.

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Grey Heron A common bird throughout Rushcliffe, with wanderers sometimes finding garden ponds and pastures to its liking. The biggest heronry in the Borough at Barton in Fabis has now been abandoned in favour of Attenborough, seemingly because of the increased presence of Buzzards in the riverside woodland. This leaves the small heronries at Thrumpton and Holme Pierrepont as the only Rushcliffe nesting sites.

Black Stork One was in the vicinity of Colston Basset - Cropwell Bishop - Kinoulton from 13 - 16th June 1999. This was probably the first genuine Notts record as a report of one shot in autumn 1871 at Colwick is impossible to verify.

White Stork One on 8/9 May 1977 at East Leake/Bradmore. One at Holme Pierrepont on 27/4/1998, one at West Bridgford 7/5/1999 and one at Bassingfield/Holme Pierrepont on 14/11/2005.

Glossy Ibis An extremely rare vagrant though one favoured the Lowdham area between 2013 and 2015 and this or a different bird flew over Holme Pierrepont on 15th December 2013

Spoonbill One at Holme Pierrepont and other nearby localities from 8th to 10th July 1986. On 3rd April 2009 a bird that had visited Attenborough was observed from the Rushcliffe side flying towards Ratcliffe on Soar.