What wildlife has been spotted at Brockholes? – July 2018

31 Jul 2018

It’s been another month of sunshine, right up until the last week when everything got a good (and much needed) soaking! With the start of the Summer Holidays, Brockholes has been at the height of busyness, and the wildlife has been lapping up the limelight too.

We’re so lucky that our visitors are so caring and thoughtful towards the wildlife and environment at Brockholes, and so many of you keep us up-to-date on your daily and weekly sightings in and around the reserve. Thank you for being our eyes and ears – it is so exciting to know what species are wandering around!

Lesser Emperor Dragonfly © Ken Hayes

As is usual at this time of year, butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies are in abundance, with many of you capturing some truly spectacular photographs of them throughout the course of the month. Two wonderful sightings in general were that of the Humming-bird Hawk Moth and the Painted Lady Butterfly. Both species are arriving from Africa and are slowly becoming increasingly

Painted Lady Butterfly ©Ken Hayes

common in the UK. If you have spotted either of these, the Butterfly Conservation would like you to log your sightings. Just follow this link and share your good news! White Letter and Purple Hairstreak Butterflies have been found around the famed ‘butterfly bush’ and there have been so many Common Blue’s spotted, we can’t keep up! We’ve been encouraging people to take part in the Big Butterfly Count as well, taking just 15 minutes out of your day to count the butterflies you can see and log them to assist with identifying trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction. Click here to log your sightings.

Rare plantlife has reemerged at Brockholes this month, as spotted by one of our reserve managers. Lesser Centaury (Centaurium pulchellum) has colonised at Meadow Lake grasslands due to the land management by Lancashire Wildlife Trust. As well as our local resident Kevin the Kestrel doing the rounds throughout the month, and posing for plenty of photos with our wonderful visitors. Roe Deer have been spotted in the woods, hiding amongst groups of volunteers and visitors taking part in Balsam Bashing.

Sedge Warbler © Brian Welch

Speaking of birds, Terns have been flying around, as usual, but there have been some new visitors as well. A Sandwich Tern was spotted at Pit #1 later in the month. When asked how to differentiate between a Common Tern and a Sandwich Tern, LWT Marketing Officer, Charlotte Varela gave a great explanation. “The Sandwich Tern has a white tip on its beak so it looks like it has eaten a Mayonnaise sandwich!” There has also been Sedge Warblers, Hobbies, and Great and Little Egrets, as well as Dunnocks, Sandpipers and our lovely Barney the Barn Owl. Wherever you look at Brockholes, be it up, down, or straight ahead, the wildlife, colours, and sights you will see will all be spectacular.

New life has been born, and fledglings have emerged, this month, with chicks, goslings and ducklings spotted all over the reserve. The Common Tern Chicks have fledged successfully, a first for Brockholes so a great success for the breeding programme.

While we have loved the sunshine, the fear of wildfires such as the ones nearby at Winter Hill, damaging an plethora of land and wildlife species, were always in the back of our minds. The land was getting drier and drier and looking more yellow and brown by the day. After a full day of downpours in the last week, the whole reserve is suddenly looking so much more lush and green, with  wildflowers blooming and everywhere looking remarkably more healthy following a good drenching. Lucky for us (and you), there is so much to see and do at Brockholes no matter what the weather is doing.

We can’t wait to see what August brings and love hearing about your sightings, so keep us up to date over on social media. You can ‘Like’ us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter or follow us on Instagram, or all three!

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