One of the great highlights this June was the sight of Ospreys fishing on the reserve. These magnificent birds have often been seen flying overhead, but to see them landing at Brockholes was truly amazing. We do hope to have them nesting here soon, but one step at a time! Spotted Flycatchers have also been seen, a rare occurrence at Brockholes and Tree Sparrows, which are another scarce, but welcome visitor.
Joyous June – What wildlife has been see this month?
From Sedge Warblers to Oyster Catchers, Willow Warblers and Little Ring Plovers – the birds have been in abundance once again, enjoying the warm weather and the dust baths available on the ground. The barn owl started to show itself again, in the early dusk, for all to see in all its glory. Reed Buntings, and once again, large numbers of Swifts, which is fantastic news given their national decline. Hobbies have been seen hunting over Boilton Marsh, and Sparrowhawks above Hill Meadow.
On one of our weekly walks, the Midweek Meander, a Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling between the standing stones and the dipping pool, two Common Terns were spotted over river with another sat on the nest in the new tern raft. A Reed Warbler seen singing in the reeds to the East of the drawbridge near the bee banks, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler in the scrub south of the No1 pit, all on one morning!
Grebes, Coots, herons and swans adorn Meadow Lake as usual, providing a calm, serene backdrop for the reserve’s newly refurbished Kestrel Kitchen. An unseasonal drake Pintail was seen on Meadow Lake while Kevin the Kestrel has been seen bathing in the lakes to cool off after the high temperatures this month. Kingfishers have been a welcome sight on Meadow Lake this month, spotted by a few visitors, both stationary and in flight.
Butterfly season is in full swing now, with our beautiful winged friends ever obliging to being photographed. Common blue, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and a wonderful collection of Painter Ladies have been seen, among many others. The White Letter Hairstreaks have been seen on the wing, which is wonderful, so head over to Brockholes soon as they only stay around for a few weeks.
Damselflies in their hundreds and magnificent dragonflies have taken centre stage this month. Banded Demoiselle’s have been spotted around the reedbeds, their colours truly breath-taking. Lacewings have also been seen, their incredible lace wings shining in the sunlight and their blue-green iridescent colours creating a beautiful sight in the grassland.
A stunning array of moths have started to make themselves known on the reserve, from the Large Skipper right up to the brightly coloured cinnabar and similar looking, but completely different, 6 spotted burnett moth! Blood veined moths have been seen by beady eyed visitors – they blend in so carefully with leaves, you really need to be on high alert to see these wonderful moths.
Insects and bugs are all over the place, with scorpion flies being seen in most areas of the reserve this month. A rosemary beetle, showing off its wonderful colours, Alder beetles climbing the reeds, all different species of bees, from mining bees to bumble bees, spotted all over the reserve at various times of the day. Wasp beetles, spiders, ladybirds and weevils have all been around – even the tiniest of creatures can make such a positive impact on our eco-system.
Plant life is blooming wonderfully thanks to the warm sunshine and intermittent downpours. We have seen a fantastic number of bee orchids around – keep your eyes peeled! They’re small but spectacular flowers.
Amazingly, starlings have been spotted overhead in increasing numbers, practising for their murmuration displays which start around November time. Roe Deer have been seen enjoying the islands and walking into the lakes, while we also welcomed the newest addition to our Longhorn cattle herd, little Teasle.
As always, there is so much more than what can be written in one piece, so head over to Brockholes this July and see what you can find for yourself. We are forever proud of the number of different species seen on our beautiful patch, so let us know what you find then we can add it to our list.