What was seen in September?

Catherine Ingham

September sees the start of Autumn, and the popping up of fungi all around the woodland. From 'dead man's fingers' to giant puff balls, we've seen it all so far, with much more to come.

At the beginning of the month, there was a brief sighting of a Garganey on Meadow Lake, a rarity at Brockholes even at the best of times. A small dabbling duck, only slightly larger than a teal, the Garganey was spotted earlier in the year at Brockholes, but we are unsure if they have nested there thus far.

Frog

Bob Entwistle

With wet weather comes our slimy, jumping friends: frogs and toads! Spotted around the outside of the lakes, our amphibians like to stay damp in the reeds, but have been known to venture onto the Visitor Village! Slugs and snails dotted the footpaths, leaving their trails as they went.

The butterflies gave us their final flutter before they disappeared for winter, after a fabulous summer of Painted Ladies in their 'once-in-a-decade phenomenon'. Red Admirals were in abundance, showing off their beautiful bright colours.

Hobby

Ian McGill

A stunning hobby falcon was seen overhead at Meadow Lake, while the herons, gulls and great crested grebes spent their time on the lake, enjoying the roller coaster weather. Goldcrests were seen hiding out in the hawthorn tunnels, and the robins and nuthatches relaxed in Boilton Wood. Blue tits, Great tits, and chaffinches joined the party in the woodland, creating a wonderful birdsong which broke up the rainfall. Goldfinches weren't to be missed over the course of the month, with some mid-mault, awaiting their adult plumage.

The dragonflies and damselflies were flitting around the reedbeds and around the Look Out hide, with migrant hawkers taking the majority of the limelight.

Kingfisher

Pat Aitchison

Bank Voles came out to play in Boilton Wood, seemingly unperturbed by the visitors in the area. Kevin the Kestrel spent a lot of time swooping around the car park, with many visitors catching him eating his lunch (or mice other small creatures!)

There were some stunning Kingfisher sightings throughout the month - showing off with its stunning colourings and poses. They were mostly seen on Meadow Lake, but Pit Number 1 was privy to a few as well. Cormorants were taking over the Tern Rafts on Number 1 Pit Lake while phesants wandered with their juveniles around the reserve. 

Barney the Barn Owl showed his stunning snow white face again, and we had a very surprising and early visit from a Bittern on Meadow Lake. 

This is the earliest sighting of a Bittern at Brockholes, with the previous record being October 27th, 2017.
Bill Aspin, Ornothologist and regular Brockholes visitor
Fungi

Jim Beattie

But as always at this time of year, the star of the show was the abundance of fabulous fungi, gracing the woodland floor and damp bark of the trees.

From sulphur tuft to southern bracket, puffballs and dead man's fingers, Boilton Wood has them all and they really are a treat for all the senses.

And we certainly shouldn't forget the tiny creatures. The alder beetles and the shield bugs, the harvestman spiders and the ladybirds - they all help maintain a happy, healthy, habitat at Brockholes, for all wildlife, great and small.

Featured Wildlife