A black tern flying over Number One Pit at Brockholes nature reserve

What’s been seen at Brockholes? – May 2018

30 May 2018

It’s been an exciting month at Brockholes! With spring in full swing there has been plenty to see on the reserve, including a handful of rare species!

A secretive Savi’s

The start of the month whipped birders into a frenzy as a very rare Savi’s warbler was heard calling away in the reeds. Its soft song sounds a little like a grasshopper, and can be heard by clicking the audio player below. The Savi’s warbler only stuck around for a week, but it created that much interest we think our birdwatching year may have peaked already!

We have also seen glossy ibis visit Brockholes, though only for a circuit of Meadow Lake before flying off elsewhere. Charming!

Wading whimbrel

A flock of whimbrel standing in a lake at Brockholes

Whimbrel have a dark cap and a pale eye-stripe. Photo Credit: Ged Gill

Whimbrel have flocked here in good numbers for their annual summer holiday. Brockholes is one of only a handful of places they can be seen in Lancashire, so we feel very lucky whenever the birds return to Meadow Lake, Number One Pit and the River Ribble. You can read more about these rare birds – including how to tell them apart from curlews – in this blog post by Volunteer Ranger, Helen Earnshaw.

A tern up for the books

A black tern flying over Number One Pit at Brockholes nature reserve

A black tern circles Number One Pit. Photo Credit: Jo Humphreys

Terns have also paid Brockholes a visit this spring! A pair of common terns were seen on the raft, while most recently, two black terns have been photographed at Number One Pit, where they have been picking off food from the surface of the water as they drift overhead.

The stars of spring

Kevin the resident kestrel enjoying a dust bath in the Brockholes car park

Photo Credit: Trevor James Southward

It’s always thrilling to see rarities on-site, but don’t discount the other birds at Brockholes! Sedge warblers, linnets and whitethroat have all been showing well and singing their hearts out – even the grasshopper warblers have come out of hiding for a few decent photos! Then there is lovely Kevin, one of our resident kestrels. He put on a real show for one visitor who caught him taking a dust bath in the car park!

Which birds have you spotted at Brockholes this month? We’d love to see your pictures.

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