Archive for the ‘Stills’ Category

…and the grand tally for the weekend is (drumroll please!)….

Revealing the final species count!

Revealing the final species count!

…454! What an amazing finale to a fantastic 30 hours of species hunting in Arnos Vale Cemetery. This year’s total species count may not be as high as last year’s, but don’t forget that we’re not in the countryside this time!

Amazingly, 8 species never before recorded in Bristol were found over the course of BioBlitz 2012, and 1 species was even a new record for Avon. And don’t forget, 454 species is just the total so far, with that number set to rise as unidentified records are confirmed by our team of experts. Great work!

The crowds gather for the final species count result

The crowds gather for the final species count result

From cuckoos to cardinal beetles, the diversity of species we’ve witnessed here at Arnos Vale has been staggering, and we’re proud that such a wealth of nature is flourishing at the heart of Bristol.

We think that all of the hundreds of dedicated naturalists, guides, school groups, members of the public, and anybody else who has been at all involved over the last few days have done a hugely impressive job.  We hope you agree!

Cardinal beetle

Cardinal beetle

We hope you had lots of fun discovering new species and places during this year’s BioBlitz. Our thanks to everyone at Arnos Vale for hosting us,  and and to everyone else who joined in.

A toast to all who helped make BioBlitz a great event

Let us know what you enjoyed most, and we hope to see you again next year!

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In addition to the wildlife here at Arnos Vale cemetery, we can’t help but notice that there seems to have been a minor outbreak of guerilla knitting. Here’s some of the evidence…





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Arnos Vale cemetery is home to all kinds of flora and fauna, including some of the most magnificent trees in the city. Here are a few of the trees and flowers we’ve seen on our travels today.






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It’s a fantastic day here at the Arnos Vale cemetery in Bristol, with wall-to-wall sunshine and species galore. It’s difficult to think of a better time or a better place for the BioBlitz. Here are a few photos of this most stunning of venues.





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After spending part of yesterday showing children from local schools how to create their own tracking trap Gill Brown left out her own larger traps overnight here at Arnos Vale in the hope of tempting in some local wildlife when they sniffed the nutty aroma of the breakfast spread peanut butter. She left one trap right next to the path and one in a more hidden location.

Hedgehog tracker

Hedgehog tracker

Earlier on this morning Gill checked her traps and found the footprints pictured below. Can you tell what animal made them?

Hedgehog footprints

If you said Hedgehog you were absolutely right, exactly what Gill and the rest of the Bioblitz team were hoping for. With the evidence of these identifiable black sticky prints we can now add Hedgehogs to our species count.

If you want to know how to make your own tracking trap be sure to look at our previous videos with Gill’s explanation.

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5am on a Saturday and the promise of a fantastic dawn chorus walk, led by budding ornithologist Alex Rhodes, saw me dragging myself out from under the duvet covers and down to Arnos Vale Cemetery almost before the birds had even started singing.

Early morning stroll around Arnos Vale for the dawn chorus

Early morning stroll around Arnos Vale for the dawn chorus

The huge variety of habitats at Arnos Vale meant that we were privileged enough to witness the spectacle of the dawn chorus in all its glory, and we were treated to a tally of species which included wrens, robins, blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, bullfinches, goldcrests, blackbirds, woodpeckers and even a cuckoo. Truly impressive!

Birdwatching on the dawn chorus walk

Birdwatching on the dawn chorus walk

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The Avon Bat Group are a dedicated crew of bat enthusiasts that were on site here at Arnos Vale last night showing members of the public how to use bat detectors and then guiding them on a spooky walk round the cemetery to find the elusive flying mammals.

The Bat group brief the public on what bats they can expect to see and hear on the walk

As well as demonstrating the correct use of bat detectors the group were able to show the public images and sounds of the bats using a iPad funded by South Gloucestershire Council.

Bat detector use

Bat detectors use an ultrasonic microphone to pick up the high frequency bat calls and convert them to an audible sound

Once we set out it did not take long for us to detect the bat’s presence at Arnos Vale. All over we could here clicking noises of bat calls in our detectors.

Bat group using detectors

Using their bat detectors, the bat group hone in on the clicking noises the bats were making

The next day David Brown, from the Avon Bat group confirmed that the clicking and slapping noises matched exactly with the calls made by the common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). If that wasn’t enough he even showed me a captive specimen…

Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)

A captive female common pipistrelle

…with the cutest little feet ever!

Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) feet

The tiny feet of the Common pipistrelle poking out of a volunteers hand

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The sun may be getting lower in the sky, but that means nothing to us at BioBLitz HQ! We’ve got the local Brownies here ready to carry on where the schools left off! They have been making hedgehog survey tubes and they’re ready to head off into the evening and set them all up.

Say "Hedgehog!"

Say “Hedgehog!”

Hedgehog hunters

Brownies demonstrating how the hedgehog survey tube will work!

Other activities tonight include a bat walk and a moth hunt. Stay tuned for blog posts on those later this evening and into tomorrow!

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Check out this little guy – he’s really showing some enthusiasm for nature!

Naturalist of the future?

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We’re going on a bug hunt, we’re going to find some bugs…

Earlier today Pete Dawson, our resident ‘Bug Man’, led a group of home-schooled students from the local area on an exciting trip through the grasslands of Arnos Vale in search of insects, spiders and all sorts of other creepy-crawlies.

We found plenty of intriguing critters to keep us interested, from wasps and spiders to cardinal beetles and butterflies. We even came across a whole host of harlequin ladybirds mating, and Pete explained to the group about the negative impact these seemingly harmless creatures are having on our own native ladybird population.

Always keen to get people engaged, Pete demonstrated how to use sweep nets, pooters and collection pots, before letting the enthusiastic kids loose in search of their own specimens for him to identify.

“It was very fun, very exhausting and very hot”, said Pete. “But its all about finding things, getting people to understand that the world is just full of weird things!”

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