Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Brockholes Nature Reserve

At the weekend we went to a new reserve nearby - Brockholes. This area was an old gravel quarry which attracted a number of birds, some of them rare, while it was still working. With the gravel pits now closed, it has been converted into a fully fledged reserve. It has several habitats; the river Ribble (above), woodland and open water.
The woodland section is full of singing birds at this time of year.
There are several pools, large and small, including one with the visitor centre which I unaccountably forgot to photograph. It's designed to attract ground nesting birds, sand martins and species which live in the reeds. We saw one sedge warbler, heard more and also one reed warbler singing, so while the reed beds are still getting going, they're already a success. These are birds we rarely see in our part of the country, so this reserve could be a real treasure.
This is the biggest lake, with a carefully landscaped centre designed to provide safe nesting sites for birds like the little ringed plover, of which there were several bobbing around. At the back of this photo you can just see the beautifully crafted sand/mud bank which already has a number of resident sand martins.

We had a good time, the only criticism of this reserve was the signage (lack of it in some places), and its clearly not yet finished. The biggest problem was that while the website clearly says no dogs allowed, there were no proper signs at the reserve, though while we were there some hastily printed and laminated signs went up, which were ignored. Ground nesting birds and dogs don't mix, so they need to get a grip of this; we saw one dog not only in the main nesting area but off the lead too. The only birds nesting on the lake so far seemed to be canada geese, but if they want others to breed here they will have to enforce the ban.

Since this is less than 30 minutes from home, I'm, sure we'll be back for another visit soon.

Normal gardening blogging will resume this week - have been very busy watering the vegetable plot, no time to take pictures!
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