Wildlife at Brockholes: a year in review

Wildlife at Brockholes: a year in review

Craig Smith

A year like no other seemed to attract some wonderful and never-before-seen wildlife to Brockholes. One of our regular visitors and wildlife enthusiasts, John Wright, took the time to put together this wonderful list to appreciate the sights from 2020.

More than ever the nature reserve provided a life line to so many people, both through visits in person and seeing photos on line. It provided a insight into the outdoors when trapped indoors, and showed how nature and wildlife will always continue to flourish.

John has shared 12 key moments with us:

1. Smew

Smew - October 2019

Jen Coates

The female smew, first spotted in October 2019 remained and continued to delight visitors into the Spring of 2020.

2. Wood Sandpipers

Wood Sandpipers

Craig Smith

Several of these delightful waders stopped off at Brockholes on their Spring migration.

3. Temminck's Stint

Temminck's Stint

Bill Aspin

This tiny wader is a very scarce migrant so one seen on the 16th May was very notable. It was only the second ever recorded on the reserve since records began.

4. Red-veined Darter

Red-Veined Darter

Simon Joseph

Two of these delightful migrant dragonflies were seen in June. 

Learn more about this species

5. Dark-Green Fritillary

Dark-Green Fritillary

Phil Larkin

This spectacular butterfly was sighted on the 16th June. It was the first record for the reserve.

Learn more about this species

6. Xanthandrus Comtus

Xanthandrus comtus

Trevor Southward

A great name for this hoverfly seen on the 14th July and another first sighting for the reserve.


7. Gannet

Gannet at Brockholes

In Focus

An adult gannet found on the 26th August was sadly in poor condition and was found dead the next day. This was the first reserve record of this spectacular seabird and was the 213th species of bird to be recorded at Brockholes.

8. Bittern

Bittern - Paul Lambert

Bittern - Paul Lambert

The Bittern which appeared on the 28th August was our earliest autumn arrival recorded. It showed regularly in flight during September to the delight of those who saw it.

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9. Hobby


Bill Aspin

A family group of hobbies was present in September and the juveniles provided breathtaking views as they chased dragonflies around the reserve.

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10. Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Bill Aspin

One of these striking birds visited on the 23rd October and was the second record for this species on the reserve.

11. Stonechat


John Wright

Towards the end of the year, five of these lovely stonechat birds could be found. One particularly confiding female entertained many visitors. 

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12. Kevin the Kestrel

Painting of Kevin

Kim Schofield-Jones

Kevin the Kestrel showed beautifully throughout the year and he has lifted the spirits of countless folk both in person and on line. This wonderful picture of him was drawn by Kim Schofield -Jones.

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Please continue to share your wonderful photos

Whether through social media, or directly by email, we love receiving your photographs of wildlife around Brockholes.

Don't forget to enter our photography competition as well, and you could win £100 in focus vouchers!

Enter here

Ben Abbott