Wildlife

The Big Track Interactive Map

Wildlife

Nottingham’s waterways are teaming with wildlife. See what you can spot on your Big Track trip.

Cormorant

This large water bird is a great fisher, which can often been seen standing with its wings held out to dry. They can be seen in reservoirs, lakes and gravel pits.

Moorhen

A ground-dwelling bird which can be seen all year round, anywhere near water. They feed on worms, snails, insects, water plants and fruit.

Gray Wagtail

A distinctive, colourful bird with a yellow under-tail and grey upper parts, it can be seen near city centres, small rivers and lowland streams.

Kingfisher

Kingfishers are fast flyers. They hover above the water’s surface hunting for fish. They can be seen by still or slow moving water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas.

Mute Swan

Swans often stay in the Trent Valley all year round, feeding on plants, insects and snails. A person’s ‘swan song’ – his final word, derives from the folkloric belief that swans sing only once before they die.

Goosander

A diving duck which feeds on fish with its serrated bill and forms flocks of several thousand in some parts of Europe.

Mallard

The commonest duck in England.The male is noticeably more colourful than the female, with a shiny green head and a purple breast. They feed on acorns, plants, seeds and of course, bread.

Canada Goose

Feeding on grass, roots and leaves, this species was introduced into the UK from North America and multiplied so successfully that in some parts of the county they are considered a pest.

Heron

A solitary bird that stalks its food close to the banks of rivers. There are nearly 12,000 pairs in the UK and they can be mostly spotted in wetland areas.

Great Crested Grebe

A beautiful water bird, which was once hunted to near extinction for it’s ornate head plumes. Watch out for their elaborate courtship display as they rise out of the water and shake their heads.

Dragonfly

Notice the large eyes, transparent wings and an elongated body as they fly around wetland areas looking for flies, bees and butterflies.

Damselflies

Also seen around the wetlands, Damselflies are smaller and weaker fliers than dragonflies.

Gudgeon

Commonly seen in still waters with a clean gravel bed, these fish feed on organisms that live on the bottom of lakes and ponds.

Pike

A strong camouflaged predator with keen eyesight and elongated jaws. Pike eat fish but are also known to have taken moorhens and ducklings to their watery death. They can grow to an incredible 1.5m long.

Stickleback

The three-spined and ten-spined stickleback can be found in ponds, streams, & canals throughout the Big Track. They feed on fish eggs, invertebrates and can grow to a length of 6cm.

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