Marvellous March - What have you seen?

As the sun breaks through and the frost drips from the leaves, the land thaws into beautiful, bountiful Spring.
Toads

Fran Taylor

With sunshine, rainfall and hail all appearing in March, the wildlife has been in abundance, whether on land or on the water.

Sand Martin's arrived in force at the beginning of the month, slightly earlier than in previous years, but the warm spell in February seems to have upset the internal clock of many of our wild and plant life.

Ringed Plovers made an appearance, and poor frogs and toads had no chance when the herons found them! Many pictures were sent to us of herons eating frogs for breakfast, dinner and tea, with the herons looking particularly proud of their capture!

Not to be disheartened though, our amphibian friends made sure they were seen, with mating season in full force and frogspawn seen in the lakes.

Goldfinch

Dave Bennion

Redwings flew in abundance, while the bullfinches rested in the branches. Goldfinches began to appear with a stunning photo taken by one of our regular visitors, Dave Bennion.

Little Egrets found their home once again, and blue tits sung in the trees, with great tits and coal tits joining them. Goldcrests were seen and woodpeckers heard, while butterflies planned their return.

Peacock, red admiral and comma butterflies were seen throughout the month, and an orange tip butterfly was seen towards the end of the month - a magnificent find by frequent visitor, Ken Hayes.

Chaffinches and Chiffchaffs were spotted in flight and Barney the Barn Owl returned once again. He really is a delight to be seen at Brockholes - with his snowy white feathers and majestic stance. 

Wheatear

Trevor Southward

Curlews in huge numbers were spotted on the lakes, while a male sparrow hawk was seen peering from the tree tops, spying on the visitors.

Buzzards, skylarks and redshaks were seen in and around the reserve, watching from above, or wandering along the River Ribble. A wheatear was seen around the playground, and the first blackcap of the year found making its return to the area.

We are lucky to have so many thrushes, jays, swans and grebes which are seen throughout the year, as well as our resident kestrel, Kevin, who enjoys hovering around the car park, welcoming visitors. 

Neil Stanley

Neil Stanley

And while the birds called and flew overhead, the flora and fauna below began to bloom in the undergrowth or high in the trees.

Hornbeam Catkins, a new one for us, were seen in Boilton Wood while Coltsfoot, Red Campion and Wood Anemone start to brighten the forest floor with their beautiful colour. Bluebells started their growth in Boilton Wood, famous for its carpet of colour which we look forward to seeing in the next few weeks.

Blossom and daffodils began to spring into action, while jelly ear fungus clung to the trees in Boilton Wood. 

Wood mice and voles scurried around on the woodland ground, while roe deer were seen skipping around. Bumble Bees and solitary bees have started being seen along the entrance path - so keep your eyes out for them. 

There is so much to be seen here, each day brings new beginnings for wildlife. Let us know what you have found while enjoying your Nature Moments at Brockholes.