Archive for May, 2011

Here is one last video from day 2 of Bioblitz 2011.

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Here is the eagerly awaited bug walk video starring many creepy crawlies and Pete the bug man!

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The Bioblitz team have been a hive of activity following our experts in the field.  Here are todays videos:

Starting the day with a song

The secret lies in the nuts

Pond dipping at Tyntesfield

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Here are two of the eagerly awaited videos of last night’s activities, we hope you enjoy them.

Bats get Apps

Flight of the night-time butterfly

More videos of today’s activities will be coming soon!

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As we turn off our laptops and untangle all the cables, we’ve been trying to think of an appropriate way to end our time here at Tyntesfield. We’re all a bit lost for words, so we thought we’d leave you with a few last photos of this most memorable of events.

Cheering to celebrate the record-breaking species count

Celebrating a record tally

Savita and Vicky with the total

A fantastic achievement



Dawn chorus walk

In search of the dawn chorus

Inspiring the next generation

Inspiring the next generation

See you all again next year…

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A big thank you

As we revel in our success and enjoy the traditional BioBlitz champagne toast with our visitors, it’s important to remember all of the work that has gone on behind the scenes.

So here’s a big BioBlitz thank you to:

  • the guides, who have tirelessly led our visitors on tours and activities throughout the event;
  • the naturalists, who have given so generously of their knowledge and experience;
  • the stewards, who have kept things moving and us on the straight and narrow;
  • the media team, who have recorded the event in such detail and created our amazing blog;
  • our hosts from the National Trust, who have been so supportive and have let us have the run of this fantastic site;
  • the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC), who have kept count of the species and made this a truly scientific venture;
  • Matt the volunteer manager, who has made sure we’re all in the right place at the right time;
  • Vicky the BioBlitz coordinator, who has made sure that we have something to do when we get there; and
  • Savita, the Director of the Bristol Natural History Consortium, who has provided the vision and the enthusiasm (as well as the champagne).

And last, but by no means least, a massive thank you to everyone who has come along to the Bristol BioBlitz, whether in person or online, to get involved and to learn more about the flora, fauna and fungi that the Tyntesfield estate has to offer. Hats off to you all. It’s been truly great. An absolute pleasure.

Savita, Vicky and Matt: three of the key organisers

Savita, Vicky and Matt (in that order)

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The grand total is in…

…and it’s a stonker. The boffins at the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre have just revealed that in the last 30 hours we’ve identified a massive 779 individual species.

Of these:

  • 121 are notable, meaning that they have particular ecological significance;
  • 25 have never been recorded in North Somerset; and
  • 15 have not been seen before in the whole of Avon.

And on top of that, it’s the highest ever BioBlitz tally. An outstanding conclusion to a fantastic, yet exhausting, biodiversity marathon. Hurray!

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Pete the Bug Man with a pooter

Pete the Bug Man with a pooter

Who are you?

Pete, AKA the Bug Man.

Why are you here?

I’m here to help inspire people to look at the world around them differently, and especially to help them take notice of the insect world.

What has been your favourite find?

Someone came across a lovely beetle that looks just like a wasp. In fact, the person who saw it first actually thought it was a wasp! Its a species of longhorn beetle called a wasp beetle.

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It’s all go here at the Bristol BioBlitz as we enter the last few minutes of this marathon biodiversity survey. And the question on everyone’s lips is ‘how many species have we identified?’ The scoreboard still says 448, but it’s been like that since midday and we’ve had results streaming all afternoon.

Will we beat last year’s record of 536? Will we top Helen and Jolanta’s guess of 559 species? And will we come anywhere close to big cheese Savita’s promise of a thousand different types of mammals, plants and creepy crawlies?

The boffins from the BRERC are racing around with clipboards and someone has just stolen my table to set up a champagne reception. Should we read anything into this? Do they know something we don’t? We can’t take the tension much longer, but luckily the end is in sight. Stay glued to your screens. We know we will.

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There was a treat in store for visitors to Tyntesfield this afternoon, with performance poetry from our own BioBlitz Bard, Caleb Parkin. He wowed the crowds with poems prepared especially for the event, exploring species that we commonly see as vermin, viewed through the lens of the seven deadly sins.

The BioBlitz bard as a pigeon The BioBlitz bard as a bed bug The BioBlitz bard as a seagull

The entertainment started with Vermin III, which took the idea of ‘pigeon fanciers’ to the extreme by comparing the humble pigeon with the sin of lust. Not the most obvious choice for a theme, but lines such as

“There’s a vast globe to cover in our poo,

and when we’re gone, who’ll see that through?”

definitely appealed to our audience, especially the younger members. From here, Caleb segued gracefully to the topic of bedbugs, which he paralleled with the sin of gluttony in Vermin V, entitled ‘Let us bite’. With the poet now taking the place of a New York gangster, Caleb’s portrayal of one of the ‘bedfellaz’ will have our visitors laughing (but hopefully not scratching) for some time to come.

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