To start this rather exciting month of July, a plethora of delightful insects descended upon the nature reserve. With majestic wildflowers bursting into life, and a multitude of berries beginning to ripen across the reserve, insects of all varieties arrived to take advantage of what was on offer. One particularly splendid example was the magnificent Common Blue Butterfly, which was observed fluttering around the reserve, with its vivid blue colour catching they eye of passers-by. A Migrant Hawker was also spotted skimming across the water’s edge of Ribbleton pool, with its vibrant complexion providing a beautiful sight to behold.
What was seen in July?
Remaining with our smaller inhabitants for a moment longer. A delightful Banded Demoiselle was observed shimmering in the summer sun, above the waters of the River Ribble. Finally with regards our insect friends, the reserve has been awash with the distinctively coloured Cinnabar Caterpillar, as they have taken advantage of the abundance of ragwort.
The month of July also saw us witness two of nature’s truly great sights return to the reserve. As a Buzzard was spotted soaring high in the sky in resplendent fashion, on the lookout for prey. With their imposing wing span and spectacular flying style, this impressive bird of prey is most definitely one of our most breath-taking visitors. In addition to this magnificent sight, there have also been numerous observations of the delightful Barn Owl. Barn Owls are best viewed at dusk, however these shy and retiring creatures are especially difficult to spot. Nevertheless, should you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed as their silent yet majestic flying style really is a sight to behold.
This time of year has also seen the arrival of a delightful collection of juvenile birds. A number of juvenile Chiffchaffs were spotted huddled amongst the trees in Boilton Wood. Additionally a young Jay was spotted in rather damp conditions whistling around the vast expanse of the reserve. A colourful member of the crow family, this inquisitive little bird can be heard darting between trees, and quickly identified by its distinctive screaming call which fills the air.
Finally, although the weather took a turn for the worst for a significant portion of the month, this did little to discourage some our regular Brockholes visitors. One particularly delightful example being the return of the sublime swifts, who have been seen swooping over No1 Pit with regularity. To finish this month, and to the delight of many of our resident bird watchers a Cuckoo was observed perched upon a tree stump.