What’s been going on in conservation?

29 Oct 2018

Keeping our visitors and supporters up-to-date on the wildlife and conservation happenings at Brockholes is a highly important task.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has thousands of members, whose membership and donations help towards maintaining all our nature reserves and conservation projects. It’s important for members and supporters to know exactly where their money is going, and what we are doing to help support wildlife in your area.

Shrub clearance around Meadow Lake

October has been busy for our conservation team and volunteers who have been undertaking the task of clearing shrubs across the reserve. This is in preparation for the electric predator fence installation to protect waders from foxes. We have foxes on the north side of Boilton Marsh who come out of their den for breakfast, lunch and tea times – so it is up to us to protect our wildlife to ensure our waders can continue to breed.

The Roe Deer we have on the reserve are safe from the foxes and are continuing to roam, undisturbed around our beautiful 250-acres.

Murmuration of Starlings © Pat Aitchison

Wildlife enthusiasts have already started looking for the Bittern which visits Brockholes each winter. So far, no sightings have been recorded for 2018 but no doubt our bittern friend will appear very soon. It is most commonly seen near the reeds at the edge of Meadow Lake. The Bittern is very well camouflaged, with pale brown plumage, streaked with beige and black markings, so keep your eyes peeled when you come to visit, and don’t forget to tell us if you spot it!

You may have started to see the beginnings of some stunning starling murmurations in the sky, as the birds perform their areal displays to keep warm and ward off predators before roosting for the night. If you have never seen a murmuration before, they really are a spectacular sight. Join our murmuration watch evening to find out more from a bird enthusiast who knows the ins and outs of these beautiful, oily black, birds.

Further afield in Preston, where Brockholes is based, there has been a roost of Pied Wagtails spotted. These common birds are often seen in towns

Redwing © Ged Gill

and cities, and also murmurate in the sky like starlings. Keep an eye out for them when you’re out and about in the town.

Brockholes has been alive with the sound of birdsong this October, with fieldfares, dunnocks, nuthatches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, redwings and whooper swans spotted, to name just a few.

There are still butterflies and dragonflies to be found, soon to become a rare sight as the frost settles in heading into November.

November will bring about some changes for Brockholes, with the visitor village closing both Monday’s and Tuesday’s in order for us to carry out improvement works to enhance the visitor experience. The gates to the reserve will still be open from 6am until 7pm, 7 days a week, but please note there will be no ameneties available on Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Also, the car parking charge will drop to £3 a day from November until April 2019.

 

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