Tuesday, April 10, 2012


On Saturday April 7 I was on Reserve Guide duty at Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Brockholes reserve. I walked round anticlockwise on a sunny if slightly cool day. Each time I visit Brockholes the skylarks give me a musical reception and today they did not disappoint. As I strolled on the path through the coltsfoot, two oystercatchers and three greylag geese flew over. I went towards the River Ribble where a group of committed birders were on the lookout for ospreys passing on their way to Scotland. Whilst I was there there were some sand martins performing aerobatics and chattering as they did. Boilton Wood is at its best at this time of year with all the spring flowers bursting out. My favourite is the bluebell, as you can see
At the entrance to the wood was a plethora of colour. The deep blue of hyacinthoides contrasting with the yellows of lesser celandine, coltsfoot, daffodil and golden saxifrage. More variety with both wood sorrel and wood anemone splashing their white blooms, the green of dog mercury and today a new colour - red campion. Flowers are not the only pleasure. A bumble bee bombus pascuorum and a fly, which looked like   polietes, buzzed amongst the blooms. A little further I saw a large white patch moving through the trees. It was the unmistakable rump of a roe deer. I was quite surprised, since it was five minutes to mid-day. Most times I see these delightful creatures is nearer to dawn or dusk. Once clear of the wood, my walk took me past some tufted ducks and great crested grebes. On to Number one pit where canada geese, mute swans, and more tufted ducks mixed with the ever aggressive coots. On the island several lapwings had already staked out their territories and were defending them with enthusiasm.I did see a few redshanks being very active. Continuing on to the Ribble Way I saw a wonderful bank of moschatel, also known as Town Hall Clock 
The final leg of the journey meant I could take advantage of the hide along this stretch. A jay screeched its displeasure, but I was more interested in the three little ringed plovers not too far away on the island. I glanced towards where the sand martins had nested last year and was thrilled to see a common sandpiper. The reason for this was,not just that the plovers and sandpiper were new for the year, but it means my total is now 300

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