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Brooding chicks breed success for Brockholes Nature Reserve
A BABY bonanza is taking hold at one of East Lancashire’s wildlife parks.
Brockholes Nature Reserve, just off junction 31 of the M6 at Samlesbury, has seen its feathery friends flourish in the spring sunshine, leading to the 106-hectare park being dubbed ‘prime real estate’ for wading birds.
Staff, volunteers, visitors and bird watchers at the urban wildlife haven have all been gripping their binoculars, watching the baby chicks emerge.
The boom has been put down to extensive reed work, which has been carried out at Brockholes since it was taken over by the Wildlife Trust five years ago.
The conservation work means that animal spotters have seen a re-emergence of wading birds, like reed warblers and bittern, which had not been seen in Lancashire for decades.
Sophie Leadsom, reserve manager at Brockholes, said: “Up until 2009 Brockholes was a quiet, peaceful and tranquil place where very little happened after cessation of quarrying, but this was the calm before the storm.
“There were some birds that called Brockholes home but not many, which meant they quietly went about their business of feeding and raising young without much excitement.”
But since the former quarry was opened as a nature reserve last year, it has been bustling with oystercatchers, redshank, little ringed plover, ringed plover and lapwings.
Sophie said: “It is no longer the peaceful, tranquil place where just a few went about their own business of raising chicks and basking in the summer sunshine.
“Brockholes has turned into prime real estate, the place to be for any self respecting wading bird.
“This brings with it the noisy displays of male birds attracting mates and keeping rivals at bay.
“Now there are so many birds it’s far too easy for a female with a wandering eye to take a fancy to the next door neighbour instead.”
The chicks born this spring are expected to stay with their parents until August.