From 4pm on Saturday 6th August to 4pm on Sunday 7th August 2011 we had a BioBlitz at RSPB Ynys-hir. Experts and novices joined forces to count as many different species as they could on the reserve. It was an exciting 24 hours of events looking for birds, mammals, fungi, moths, insects, plants and more. The weather wasn’t as kind as it could have been, the cool, windy and rainy conditions meant the animals were taking cover and more difficult to find. However, we still counted 391 different species! Here is a synopsis of the results:
Eighty species of birds were counted including: black tailed godwit, common sandpiper, garden warbler, goldcrest, goosander, kingfisher, kestrel, little egret, meadow pipit, osprey, pied flycatcher, raven, red breasted merganser, red kite, sand martin, shelduck, snipe, spotted flycatcher, stonechat, whitethroat, whinchat and yellowhammer.
Of the 11 species of bat we know are present on the reserve, only three were recorded during the bioblitz, the common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and lesser horseshoe.
Ninety one species of moths were found in the moth traps. Four had not been recorded at the reserve before, these were three micro moth species mompha raschkiella, rhopobota naevana and zeiraphera isertana and the larger moth epirrhoe galiata (Galium carpet).
Eighteen species of fungi were present including dog vomit fungi and fly agaric.
Four species of dragonfly; black darter, black tailed skimmer, common darter and southern hawker, and four species of damselfly; common blue, emerald, large red and small red were seen.
Ninety nine species of plant were counted by an enthusiastic plant walk. Also thirteen species of lichen and twenty one tree species.
Seventeen species were found by the pond dippers including stickleback, palmate newt and water scorpion. The bug hunters discovered twenty five species of insect.
Although this is not a conclusive survey of the species on the reserve, it offers an interesting snapshot into the 24 hours. We aim to hold one BioBlitz a year for the next three years to survey during the other three seasons.
We would like to thank everyone who was involved, we hope you had as much fun as we did! Particular thanks go to:Tony Allenby for gathering as many knowledgeable people as possible and for guiding the dragonfly, damselfly and butterfly walk.Bob Relph and John Davis for their knowledge of birds and guiding the two bird walks.Ceredigion Moth group, for spending the time putting out all the moth traps on the Saturday evening and checking them the following morning. A special thank you goes to Carol and Evan Lynn for writing up the list of moths for our results.Arthur Chater for his encyclopaedic knowledge of plants.Dave Purdon for finding as many lichens as he possibly could.Jack Grasse for his time in putting out mammal hair traps out and checking them.Russel Hobsen from butterfly conservation.Bob Chilton and Penny David for hunting out the fungi of Ynys-hir.
Summer migrants are slowly departing with no pied flycatchers seen for over ten days now with redstart numbers decreasing fast. Chiffchaff, willow warblers and blackcaps are still here but swifts have long gone and soon flocks of hirundines will be readying for departure too. At the same time, a trickle of autumn migrants are moving through with two green sandpipers and a greenshank on the Breakwater field ditches today. The ospreys which bred on the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust reserve further up the Dyfi are still around, though the female has departed, and the male can often be seen fishing on the Dyfi near the reserve. Goosander numbers have increased to 26 today; it looks as if it has been a good breeding season for them locally. In the sunshine, black darter dragonflies and small red damselflies were flying along the boardwalk with common lizards sunning themselves on the wooden treads.