Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Let’s be honest, doesn’t Idle Valley sound like a great place to be? It has to be up there with Happy Valley and Easy Street.

The walk was bracing , and there were some interesting birds about but as we sat in the cafe, eating Fat Rascals and drinking tea a member of staff came in and started to engage in protracted loud banter with the cafe staff. I could have done without it, but it wasn’t too bad. When he started moving chairs and tables, including the ones next to us, I began to have flashbacks to our visit to Attenborough NR.

It looked like he was preparing to remove the Christmas tree, which begged the question why he couldn’t have done it before 10 am or after 4 pm when the cafe was closed to the public. It just goes to show how assumptions can be wrong, because he was actually preparing to have a cup of tea and a twenty minute session of complaining about management changes.

What is it about me that seems to attract this sort of thing? All I want is tea and cake.

The lake is quite a big pit, the sun was in my eyes for most of the time and much of the lakeside path doesn’t run along the side of the lake so it wasn’t the easiest place to watch birds. Fortunately we started off with a big flock of Teal (thanks to one of the telescopes in the visitor centre) so we were guaranteed a new bird for the 2017 list. Part way round I picked a couple of Gadwall out of a small flock of ducks – they are quite dull, greyish ducks, but they stood out by body length and dabbling behaviour in a group of Tufted ducks. It’s another new species for 2017 and they were closely followed by a group of Shovellers and a couple of Pochard, which were also new species for the year. Let’s be honest though, on 4th January most species are going to be new for the year.

Before we set off I’d checked up on the recent sightings and looked the rarities up so I wouldn’t get caught out if I saw them. Well, I didn’t get caught out, but that was due to lack of sightings rather than lack of preparation.

One day we’ll find something rare, some day…


Gadwall drake – a rather dull duck


11 thoughts on “Idle Valley Nature Reserve

  1. Pingback: Rutland Water | quercuscommunity

  2. Lavinia Ross

    Those are a beautiful selection of photos from your day, especially the dull duck. I am sorry about the restaurant experience. I hope good days come again, soon!

  3. tootlepedal

    You do seem to have a knack of attracting less than pleasant companions in your search for refreshment. Could you post a list of your intended destinations as a public service so others can avoid going to the same place as you.

    I liked the dull duck. I am sure its mother thought it was charming.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, I do seem to have hit a poor run of form. Since 1st january all traffic lights have been against me too, whereas at the end of last year you could see them turning green for miles ahead. The good days will return…

      I’m planning a trip to Rutland water next week if anyone wants to avoid it!


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