I was recently asked about the difference between these two adverbs so i decided to help out. There is so much wrong and confusing crap all over the internet regarding these two words so took it upon myself to conduct some serious research and give you people the RIGHT answer
1) The MEANING of these words are basically the same = not long ago/at a recent time. Forums online talk about time in the past, longer time bla bla bla. It has nothing to do with that.
2) RECENTLY and LATELY can both be used in the Present Perfect and/or Continuous with the same meaning:
I've been working loads recently/lately!
I haven't seen Paul recently/lately. Is he still alive?
What have you been up to recently/lately?
3) But, RECENTLY can be used with the past but LATELY can't.
I've put on a lot of weight recently/lately!
I put on a lot of weight recently!
I put on a lot of weight lately!
(Using RECENTLY with the Past is very common in everyday English although most students are taught to use it with the Present Perfect. There is literally no difference in meaning between the first two examples. It's your choice)
4) Word order can be different. RECENTLY and LATELY can come at the beginning and end of a sentence. But only RECENTLY can go before the main verb (but you will find quite a few sources online where LATELY can go before the main verb, too. But those examples are mainly found in AmE sources. Nevertheless, I question the skill of the writer using appropriate English as LATELY before the main verb does sound odd):
I've shot a lot of pigeons recently/lately!
Recently/Lately I've shot a lot of pigeons!
I've recently shot a lot of pigeons!
I've lately shot a lot of pigeons!
That's all you need to know