Wednesday, 12 June 2013

BioBlitz 2013! (8th June)

BIOBLITZ!!!  A 24 hour event that EcoSoc students (including me) have been planning for months.  The day involved a full list compilation of all living species seen in the period of one day on campus and at the two local res's, College and Argal.  My first visit to the res's was at 1-2am to check on the moth traps to make sure they were working.  A brief check on the outside of one of the traps yielded a Brimstone moth and a very active Cockchafer.  Other species of note included 4 Tawny Owls (3 of which I only heard), also a couple of squeaking noises from a shrew species in the undergrowth and a couple unIDed bats flying about.

An hour and a halves sleep later, I was up again for some bird ringing!  As it happened this was interrupted with torrential rain and only a couple minutes into the ringing, we had to abandon it.  Before the downpour, we did catch a Nuthatch, male Bullfinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin and a single Chaffinch.

male Chaffinch


It was as the rain began to bucket down that we remembered about the moth traps still being out, so in a mad rush we pelted around the reservoir attempting to salvage what might have been left inside them.  Thankfully we didn't come across any drowned moths but we did bring the feeble results back to the toilet block at Argal where we kept them dry and IDed them before releasing them later in the day when the rain eased up.  As it happens, despite IDing the lot, the rain water had fully saturated our heads and I could no longer soaked in any more of the names.  In short, I can't remember the name of a single moth that we caught other than this decent IDable pic of a Grey Dagger which I photographed later in the day.

Grey Dagger

Thankfully, after the initial setback we rearranged and arrived back on site, following a quick trip back to campus, to start the day in ernest.  Thankfully, this time in significantly drier conditions and bright sun!  The entire day comprised of IDing the remaining moths, walking the west bank of College and checking the pitfall traps.  2 Four-spotted Chasers on the west bank of the reservoir were my first for the year and butterflies of note included Speckled Wood , Common Blue and Large White.  A singing Reed Warbler was a surprise to hear, given the absence of reeds and the mammal traps caught a rather soggy but well fed Bank Vole.  On a bief excursion back to campus, I noted the following, 1 mico moth sp. and 1 Small Phoenix.

unIDed mico moth

Small Phoenix, on campus

Common Blue

The evening mothing was by far the most productive and rounded the day of nicely from about 9pm-0:30ish the next morning.  My species list for that evening comprised:

1. Common Marbled Carpet
2. Flame Shoulder
3. Green Carpet
4. Lychnis
5. Small-square Spot
6. Red Twin-spot Carpet
7. Square Spot
8. Common Wave
9. Buff-tip
10. Pale Tussock
11. Small Angle Shades
12. Brown Silver-line
13. Small Rivulet
14. Clouded Border
15. Peach Blossom
16. Pale Prominent
17. Square Spot
18. Devon Carpet
19. White Ermine
20. Peppered Moth

Buff-tip, almost everybodies highlight of the evening!

Small Rivulet

Flame Shoulder


forms 1/3: Common Marbled Carpet

forms 2/3: Common Marbled Carpet

forms 3/3: Common Marbled Carpet

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

Pale Tussock

Small Angle Shades

Peach Blossom

Brown Silver-line

Common Wave

Clouded Border

Peppered Moth

Square Spot

Pale Prominent

Devon Carpet

Plenty of Cockchafers also inturupting the mothing session and just after midnight, I found this young Palmated Newt scuttling across the path.

Palmate Newt


Caddisfly species

1 comment:

  1. This is no longer Samuel Birding but Samuel Mothing. Do you know how many species were recorded.