What was seen in October?

Jay collecting acorns by Sadaquat Khan

After a damp start to the month with Boilton Wood flooding, October turned out to be the start of a crisp, bright autumn, with lots of wonderful wildlife to be seen around the reserve.

At the start of the month, we had the last remaining dragonflies and butterflies of the summer months darting around the lakes and reedbeds. A little grebe was seen catching fish on Ribbleton Pool and amazingly, a green woodpecker was reported to have been seen by the river, and a Cetti's warbler in the reeds by Ribbleton Pool.

A juvenile hobby was seen soaring overhead, most likely making its long journey to South Africa for the winter. Birds, especially jays, were spotted collecting acorns, which they bury in the ground with the intention of eating them during the winter. However, those seeds they forget about later turn into oak trees! Stonechats have been seen around the reserve, a welcome sight after low numbers seen last winter at Brockholes.

Reed buntings, dunnocks, blue tits and crows were all seen and heard, creating a wonderful sound to drown out the motorway. Our resident kestrels were out and about, joined by a fellow bird of prey, the buzzard and a sparrow hawk. 

Bee

Fran Taylor

Little Egrets flew over the lakes, while the ground has been teeming with bank voles this month! The bees have been buzzing and goldfinches and nuthatches singing away, with bank voles scurrying on the ground. The rain didn't stop our wonderful visitors coming along and exploring the reserve, while the autumn colours just started to come through. The orange leaves began to emerge as the green tints of summer faded away, and teeny tiny Goldcrests came out to play.

Kingfisher

Helen Earnshaw

There have been some wonderful Kingfisher sightings this month, mainly over Number One Pit Lake, seen from the backless hide. Our resident Kevin the Kestrel has been doing his usual rounds, with many visitors spotting him having his lunch, equally fascinating and gruesome! 

And then came one of the highlights of any autumnal walk - the fungi!

In all shapes, sizes, colours and names, fungi carpets the woodland and creates a wonderful wonderland feel, particularly in Boilton Wood. 

Smew - October 2019

Jen Coates

Wildfowl have been in abundance this month, from tufties to grebes, Canada geese, shovellers and coots, and this month we had a very special visitor. 

A Smew!

The lone female, red headed smew, has been swimming around Meadow Lake close to the Osprey pole and attracted visitors from far and wide to come and watch in awe. 

The first redwings and fieldfares were seen towards the end of the month, a sure sign that autumn is here and colder days are coming. And by the last week of October, our favourites, the murmurations, had just about started. 

The best place to spot these spectacular displays are from the viewing point near the Look Out from around 4pm. Watch in admiration as the starlings tumble and swirl around in the sky. 

Featured Wildlife