Buzzing about the Bio-blitz…

Well the day had finally arrived our big 24 hour Bio-Blitz with the YWT and the sun was in all its glory.   The main aim was to find and record as many species of flora and fora in Toad holes Beck and Raw Nook NR within a 24 hour period as well as enjoying the local bio-diversity.  In addition there were various organised activities throughout the day.

I personally set off at 11 am and wandered into Raw Nook Nr to look for butterflies to record.  On the way I saw at 2 Painted Lady butterflies….brilliant but there was more to come at Raw Nook Nr as I found a Small Heath butterfly….

A site first!!! with the nearest colony been at the Dealburn Road site at Low Moor.

More butterfly news came when the YWT conducted a guided plant and tree walk and found a further 2 Painted Ladies. All these butterflies looked very pale and worn suggesting these migrants had traveled a long distance.

The day seemed to fly by and it wasn’t long before there was a group gathering for the pond dipping session at 5.30pm.

The event was well attended with children’s faces beaming with excitement as they caught and identified (With the help from Sarah from the YWT) numerous pond creatures.

Excited children at the pond dipping ( Some adult also wanted to join in the fun!! )

After my tea I returned to YWT gazebo to be met with big smiling faces…..

Peter Gurney ( YWT officer) had been walking up a small path at Toad Holes Beck where against all the odds he had found a Bee Orchid which has never been recorded before at the site…Brilliant news Peter.

An excellent count of 25 people turned up for the YWT’s Bat Walk at 9 pm and the bats certainly didn’t disappoint…

It was then time to put out my moth trap to see what species of moths we could record.  We also went into Raw Nook putting a sugar/alcohol mixture on some of the trees and watched and recorded various moths feeding…Well…what else would you want to do at 3 am in the morning!!!!

The moth trap was finally opened at 7 am and it was a real delight to note how many people were interested in these wonderful insects.

At 8 am the moment everyone was waiting for the opening of the small mammal trap laid down by experts from the YWT. 

Wood mouse

Brilliant… 2 Bank Voles and 3 Wood mice (which is a new species for our group) were caught. The rodents were then released back to their homes by some very… excited children..

It was now 9am and I was shattered…but just had enough energy to conduct a Bird song Walk.  However, coming back through Toad Holes Beck a member of the YWT shouted ‘ Tree Creeper ‘

Now hands up Martyn I thought no way…I have only 2 records of this rare visitor and both are in autumn…But she was right a stunning adult Tree Creeper..Well done!!!

As yet myself and Peter Gurney have not formulated all the records but my guess would be over 200 species were identified and logged with at ‘least’ 4 new species for our recording area. Further details to follow.

A big ‘Thank You’ to Sarah Goldsmith and Peter Gurney from YWT for all their hard work in making the event such a success.

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