September has once again been an outstanding month for wildlife out on Brockholes Nature reserve. Rather wonderfully we have seen the return of some of our most popular visitors, and also welcomed some new exciting faces. To start the month, one of Brockholes most sought after characters Kevin the Kestrel was observed providing a characteristically impressive aerial display. Kevin certainly knows how to entertain his fans and always seems to put on a show for his most ardent onlookers. To add to the splendid selection of birds which have been observed this month, a Juvenile Hobby was sighted whistling amongst the extremities of the reserve. These resplendent birds of prey with their long imposing wings and streamlined bodies are perfectly evolved for catching dragonflies and small birds.
What was seen in September?
Continuing with our feathered friends for a moment longer, the spectacular Bittern was once again spotted nestled amongst the reeds on the edge of Meadow Lake. With their wonderfully camouflaged plumage and shy and retiring character, these spectacular birds can be especially difficult to spot. Make sure to listen for its foghorn like call, as even if you can’t get a sighting of this mysterious bird you will most definitely hear it. In addition, a glorious Little Grebe was viewed wading upon the waters of Ribbleton Pool. These noisy little birds are also shy in character, and are renowned for quickly diving under the surface of the water to avoid detection.
Moving into the dense woodland of Boilton Wood, a humble bank vole was observed early in the month of September scurrying amongst the undergrowth. Bank voles are wonderfully inquisitive little creatures and can frequently be viewed foraging for various insects and berries. However, with their rich chestnut brown complexion they can be somewhat difficult to spot, especially at this time of year.
The arrival of autumn is often associated with abscission and a sense of decay within the natural world, however this is certainly not the whole truth. Although there is a diminishment in certain types of plant life in particular, Brockholes is currently awash with a vast array of insects and intriguing fungi. Some particularly pertinent examples include the majestic Glistening Inkcap and Southern Bracket, which is in abundance in Boilton Wood. Migrant Hawkers and Emerald Damselfly are also in healthy supply around the reserve. Migrant Hawkers have been viewed with regularity hovering above the waters of Number One Pit, and with their eye catching pale blue and yellow colouration and delicate constitution they are fascinating creatures to watch on the wing. However, you will have to have a keen eye as Migrant Hawkers are the fastest dragonflies around.
Finally to end this wonderful month for wildlife at Brockholes Nature Reserve, the ever popular Kingfisher was spotted perched upon an elevated branch upon the water’s edge. With their vibrant blue and copper complexion, these beautiful birds are easy to spot as they sit patiently waiting for their next meal to swim by.