Saturday, 16 April 2011

light-hearted all taxa listing in great company

Going out with the Sussex Wildlife Trust today was a great deal of fun. As part of the Youth Council I get to do some pretty awesome stuff. Today was a 'Bioblitz' day in Stanmer Park, where we attempted to record as many species as possible in a little area members of the Youth Rangers (a different part of the wildlife trust altogether), manage for wildlife. It was a great day, and hopefully a predecessor to doing something like this on a larger scale for members of the public. Thanks to Renzo Spano, Dave Barker, Daniel Meads and everyone else for making it so enjoyable.

Our target, not knowing wuite what to expect, was 50 species, including all taxa. we surpassed that easily and we weren't even trying very hard! However, I learn a lot from the people there, and it was good fun being able to have a go at identifying some tricky species I wouldn't have attempted otherwise. I also probably showed off my smart-arse knowledge of birds a little bit too much!

Plant-wise, I managed to, after quite a lot of detective work, identify one of the plants as Cotton Thistle. Now I know what it is, I'm sure I'll be seeing it everywhere I go! We also saw about 20 other plant species overall, without too much effort on our behalf.

The pond was full of wonders, including Frog and Toad Tadpoles, the larvae of a Broad-bodied Chaser, Whirlygig Beetles, Smooth Newts, a Damselfly Nymph and perhaps, best of all, a Smooth Newt Tadpole. I was rather surprised as I have only ever seen Newtlets before, never a newt in this early stage of metamorphis. Though this is probably more through lack of looking than anything else!

Around the pond were a few Large Red Damselflies, and butterflies included Orange-tip, Small and Large Whites and Small Tortoiseshell. I saw Buff-tailed and Red-rumped Bumble-bees, and, after a great amount of effort, caught one of the smaller bees too. In the book this was shown as Andrena Haemorrhoa, it didn't give it's english name. I had to wait until I got home to find out it is also called the EARLY MINING BEE. I'm not sure why that is in capitals as they are pretty common, but it was the first time I have ever identified one of these smaller bees on my own and I'm rather proud! I also managed to photograph and identify a Common Carpet-moth.

Birdwise there wasn't too much to see. Willow warbler and Jay were the best birds, while Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were all heard, we saw the resident Sparrowhawk and Kestrel and had some nice views of Long-tailed Tit. But the birds weren't really that important. The best thing was learning a lot about other wildlife, from some very knowledgeable people, and having a great laught at the same time. Thanks again to Renzo for organizing this and to everyone who came along and made it such fun.

Large Red Damselfly

Common Carpet-moth

Early Mining-Bee

Smooth Newt tadpole. Told apart by the feathery gills (which you can just see)
and the rounded tail.

No comments:

Post a Comment