Can You Spot These Animals at Holgates?

The area surrounding Holgates is full of wild surprises! We mean animals of course! Heading your way to the Holgates area soon? Be sure to have this list at hand.

Red  Squirrel2

The area surrounding Holgates is full of wild surprises! We mean animals of course! When visiting the lakes with the family, the best thing to do is get out and about, especially with the sudden arrival of spring (and some sun!)

The area surrounding our parks - Silverdale and Arnside AONB - doesn’t have that acronym after it for no reason. It truly is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the habitants living amongst the landscapes make up a great portion of its beauty. Heading your way to the Holgates area soon? Be sure to have this list at hand.

There’s a surprise around every corner!

Tawny Owl

Be sure to listen out for the ‘toowhit-twhoo’ of the tawny owl when visiting our parks. In the area, we are lucky to have a healthy population of these adorable birds. If you take a stroll in the evening, especially in Spring you may hear them calling to each other.

Tawny owls can be quite difficult to spot as they are extremely territorial, however we’ll let you in on a tip – The songbirds will give away their location by making a big commotion when they spot a tawny owl, so if you hear a commotion of little birds tweeting, keep your eyes peeled and get the camera at the ready!

You may recall the Holgates team chattering about a resident tawny owl which loves our park so much, he returns again and again! Boomerang keeps trying to invite himself back into his parent’s home - you can read about when he returned in February last year here.


Avocets

A scarce wader, this stunning bird is unmistakable. It feeds on aquatic insects, worms and crustaceans so can be found wondering around and sweeping near shallow water. This is how it finds its breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; it sweeps from side to side over the water in the hope of grabbing a bite to eat. It can also be seen in estuaries and mudflats at the coast as this is where they breed - on exposed mud in a dug-out scrape.

If lucky you may catch a wild Avocet, or you could visit Leighton Moss Nature Reserve where the Avocets love to hang out. You can see them from the hides overlooking the Allen and Eric Morecambe Pools - especially in Spring and Summer.


Bittern

Bitterns are actually one of the UK’s most rare and threatened birds; and one of the most beautiful. They are shy and spend most of their time hidden away in large reedbeds, where they feed on fish and eels.

To spot one of these you will have to be patient and calm. They stand motionless for long periods of time and are super camouflaged. March and June are the best Spring and Summer months to spot them.

Their numbers are slowly rising, so be sure to shout about this if you spot one, and spread the word about the beautiful Bittern! Again, Leighton Moss could be the perfect place to spot a Bittern amongst the wetlands and reeds.


Butterflies

The area surrounding Holgates, especially the Morecambe Bay limestone hills are an important area for butterflies in Northern England. This is because of the coastal climate and abundance of grassland, varied woodland and limestone pavement. A whopping 34 species of butterfly have been recorded in the area.

The AONB partnership and Butterfly Conservation are working together on a project of habitat management to enhance the areas on which butterflies depend.

Some species to look out for include the Red Admiral, the Peacock, the Painted Lady and the Holly Blue.

Be sure to check out their twitter account to see the latest sightings. See if you can spot these while out and about.

You can also see an index of ALL the butterflies in the area here, so you know what to look out for.


Red Squirrel

Lancashire has a small population of red squirrels, and while there has been constant conversation about the devastating endangerment of red squirrels, they are bouncing back! The reds are expanding from their stronghold on the Sefton Coast and thanks to the perseverance and dedication of volunteers and project officers, the population has increased to almost 90% of what it was.

If you want to spot a wild red squirrel, the prime spotting times are morning and late afternoon, as that’s when they are most active.

The red squirrel can be found in woodlands, as they make a nest out of twigs. Be sure to adventure though the nearby woodland to catch a glimpse - and be fast, because they are speedy creatures!

There is a large area where you could spot them which you can see here.


If you are lucky, you may also see deer. While they are rare to see in this season, it isn’t unknown!


Looking for a base for your outdoor wildlife adventures? Here at Holgates, we are surrounded by stunning scenery and plenty of beautiful creatures. Simply get in touch with our team today for more information about the perfect sanctuary after a day of nature exploring!

You can see our full infographic about the Wildlife at Holgates here.

What will you spot? Why not tweet us @HolgatesCP with what you spot? We would love to see!