Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

05-05-12 : Bioblitz at Kingston Hill

A drizzly grey morning greeted the ecologists and volunteers who turned up for the second ever Kingston University mini-Bioblitz.

Our temporary identification lab!

A Bioblitz is the coming together of volunteers, scientists, naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts, students and members of the public - working together to find as many different species as possible within a natural area – all whilst racing against the clock! All of the events run across the country are overseen by the Bristol Natural History Consortium.

Kingston Hill campus was our target area for the day, and with woodland, pond and open grassland habitats to explore, we were expecting great things. 

The morning saw us searching around the pond area where we listened for birds (Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush), admired our grassland flora (Yorkshire fog grass, Wavy bittercress, Good Friday grass), tracked badger signs (footprints and latrines) and undertook a spot of pond dipping. Without a doubt the highlight was finding a minute newt egg folded up in a sedge leaf.

Newt egg
Pond dipping!
Puzzling over insect identifications

The afternoon saw us move into our campus woodland, where we spotted more birds, insects, fungi and many more species of flora.

We still have some unidentified species - there was a definite gap in fungi knowledge on the day - can anyone help us with these species?

In total we managed to identify an impressive 101 species over the event - a marked improvement since we blitzed Tolworth Court back in 2010.

Thanks to all the volunteers who came along to help us on our quest - we hope you'll join us next year! Thanks also to the ecologists who came along too: Alison, John and Tom - your ID skills were a massive help.

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