In spring, there is often a ‘fall’ of swallows and martins because the Brooks is one of the first stop-off points after their long migration from sub-Saharan Africa.
In summer, the reserve comes alive with the song of warblers: hear the descending song of the willow warblers; test your skills at separating sedge and reed warblers around the water’s edge; marvel at the gun-barrel fire of the Cetti’s warbler; watch the whitethroats display as they fly out and back from their bramble patch and the beautiful tones of blackcaps and garden warblers can be heard from deep within the scrubby woodland.
The variety of flora varies depending on season and the density of grazing so the landscape is constantly changing colour, and in some years the reserve turns purple with purple loosestrife or yellow with yellow iris. The ditch flora is rich and many common dragonfly species can be seen as well as rarer species like the scarce chaser and the white-legged damselfly.
In winter the reserve is good for wildfowl and often there is an influx of short-eared owls from the north which can be seen hunting during the day.
lapwing / Alan Price