Out and About at Gorse Hill

What have we been doing?  

Our Blossom and Bluebell Sunday opening on 5 May was a great success with over 70 visitors in the afternoon and the Heritage Orchard and our English Bluebells in the woodlands put on a great show.  We were delighted so many people came.

Dawn Chorus group in Willowbank Wood
Photo by Su Haselton



May also saw our Dawn Chorus event.  As usual we gathered in the darkness at 3.45 am, many of us still sleepy!  Graham Clarkson led the walk again for us this year and we were pleased to welcome new people to this event.  Overall we identified 35 bird species during the walk including the iconic Yellowhammer and the not so colourful Corn Bunting.  We thank Graham for leading the walk for us and also to Fred who cooked the very welcome bacon barms for our breakfast.



Roe deer in Bluebell Wood in May
Photo by Su Haselton




Quietly one May morning on the bird feeding round a Roe deer clearly did not expect to see anybody in the woodland.




Looking for newts
Photo by Su Haselton



We held our first combined Newt and Moth Evening on 15 June and welcomed 17 visitors.  It was still quite light when we started so we were able to enjoy a magnificent sunset watching the sun go down over the Lancashire Plain.  Once we had set up the torches and the moth lights darkness soon took effect.  Unfortunately not many newts showed themselves in the pond but there was plenty of other aquatic life to see.





Moth Trap shining out
Photo by Su Haselton



We attracted eight species of moths: Middle-barred minor, Common Swift, Mottled Beauty, Brimstone, Common Wave, Light Emerald, Silver Ground carpet and a male Pale Tussock.

The bright yellow Brimstones and the pale green Light Emeralds were the favourites with the younger generation.





Start of the meadow tour
Photo by Su Haselton



We held our annual Meadows Day yesterday with 90+ visitors coming along.  The weather was beautiful enabling our visitors to enjoy the meadow,  the wildflowers and insects at their best.  We also  put some tables and chairs outside for people to sit and enjoy their drinks and cakes.



Meadow wildflower walk
Photo by Su Haselton




Hilary led two walks in the 5 Acre meadow, not only identifying a wide variety of wildflowers and different grasses (who knew there were so many!), but also pointing out and catching several interesting insects for people to see close up.


What a picnic!
Photo by Su Haselton



As usual the Teddy Bears and their pals turned up for a picnic




Anyone for tea?
Photo by Su Haselton




Children could also make buzzy bees and if you look at our Twitter feed (just follow the link on the Home Page) you can see some of the wonderful creations.


Thank you to all our volunteers for their hard work yesterday, to Hilary for her interesting walks and to our visitors for coming to support us.

What else have we spotted along the way?

Four-spotted Chaser
Photo by Su Haselton



This lovely Four-spotted Chaser was in the long meadow grass in Rough Hey on Saturday.




male and female Six-spot Burnet moths
Photo by Su Haselton




Also on Saturday, in Margaret’s Meadow, this male Six-spot Burnet moth (the lower insect with the red spots) was paying very close attention to a newly emerged female.





Pisaura mirabilis
Photo by Su Haselton



Several Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) webs could be seen yesterday in the meadow but Hilary managed to find one where the spider was on top of her web guarding her eggs.







Welcome to 2019.  Spring has definitely sprung and at the moment the trees are in blossom, bluebells and cowslips are in flower in many parts of the Reserve.  Do use the link on the Home Page to our Twitter feed to see some gorgeous photos of the blossom in the Heritage Orchard

Bird Cherry blossom
Photo by Su Haselton









Crab Apple
Photo by Su Haselton










Photo by Su Haselton







Photo by Su Haselton








Path into Cabin Wood April sunshine
Photo by Su Haselton




The main pathway into Cabin Wood looks wonderful in the April sunshine






The first moth trapping of the season saw several varieties of species, including

Pine Beauty
Photo by Su Haselton







Common Quaker
Photo by Su Haselton







Flame Shoulder
Photo by Liz Brotherstone











Photo by Su Haselton

but the real find was a very nice Chocolate-tip







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