To start this month’s review of the amazing wildlife spotted at Brockholes Nature Reserve. We must commence with an exciting first for the reserve, rather spectacularly a Gannet was observed wading upon the waters of Number One Pit. This delightfully impressive bird, with its black tipped wings and piercing blue eyes, provided a real moment of excitement for many of our resident bird watchers. There was a moment of concern for this majestic sea bird however, given the distance from its usual resting place. Although, it is now believed that this particular Gannet must have got caught out in the strong and forceful winds of Storm Francis.
What wondrous wildlife was spotted in August?
Remaining with impressive firsts for a moment longer, a Bittern was sighted at Brockholes Nature Reserve in the month of August for the very first time. This notoriously shy bird, can be particularly hard to spot, as they regularly stand motionless amongst the reeds for long periods of time, to avoid being detected. However, should you get the chance to view one of these magnificent birds, make sure to pay close attention to one of the reserves most complex characters. Also spotted this month was one of our more regular visitors, the magnificent Mute Swan. Despite its frequency, this resplendent creature should not be disregarded, as when observed in full flight these noble birds truly are breath-taking.
In direct contrast to the previous awe-inspiring sightings, a humble young whitethroat was sighted nestled amongst the undergrowth of Boilton Wood. Likewise, a vibrant Bullfinch and inquisitive Song Thrush were observed whistling amongst the extremities of the reserve. Although, often overlooked amongst the plenitude of other characters out on the reserve. These small and captivating little birds bring a sense of excitement to Brockholes that should not be underestimated.
Moving on to another often underappreciated asset, the reserve has been awash with an abundance of wildflowers and fascinating plant life. One particularly pertinent example being the delightful Purple Loosestrife. This tall and imposing plant is regularly sighted upon the water’s edge, with its vibrant magenta flowers providing an eye catching shock of colour. Likewise an abundance of Great Burnet has burst into life across the reserve. A member of the rose family, its deep crimson flower heads radiate wherever it is spotted.
The aforementioned plant life, also serves an imperative role in attracting an abundance of insects and pollinators onto the vast expanse of the reserve. And thankfully a mass of insects have been observed buzzing around Brockholes. Common Blue Butterflies have been viewed with regularity, alongside the delicate and intricate Small Copper Butterfly. In addition, a pair of fascinating Common Blue Damselflies were viewed contorted in a mesmerising fashion.
To conclude this wonderful month for wildlife at Brockholes Nature Reserve, a flock of Common Terns were viewed performing an exquisite aerial display over Meadow Lake. With their impressive and exhilarating flying style, this large collection of resplendent birds provided quite the show for all who were lucky enough to observe it.