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The BioBlitz Media Team are here at the Three Brooks Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke for the Bristol BioBlitz 2014 to report back on all the action as it happens!  We’ll be photographing plants, filming anything that flies and blogging about mini-beasts! So stay tuned as we tally the species throughout the day.

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The Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve is a tranquil area in the middle of the bustling community of Bradley Stoke. The reserve has a rich mix of habitats and provides food and shelter to a wide range of animals, including reed buntings, skylarks, great crested newts and slow worms.

Schools day is underway with children from schools in the local area already out exploring the site and making the first discoveries!

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Then from 4 pm today BioBlitz will be open to the public and we will have 24 hours to find and record as many different types of plants, animals and fungi as we can find. Everything we find will be logged and will contribute real scientific data to local wildlife monitoring – so every record you collect makes a real difference! So come on down to join in the fun and release your inner wildlife detective!

You can find out more, including directions on how to get here and the different activities you can take part in, by using the links below:

http://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/three-brooks-bioblitz/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/festival-of-nature-three-brooks-bioblitz/occurrence/405060

 

 

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With the 30 hour BioBlitz deadline looming, we have a fantastic new tally for you! Our naturalists and members of the public have increased our species tally to a mind blowing 418! How many have you found here at BioBlitz 2013?

Latest species tally

Latest species tally

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You’re sure to find something interesting! Explore the woods of Kings Weston Estate with naturalist Gill.

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While we’re very interested in the nature at BioBlitz, this blog wouldn’t be complete without including a few photos of the spectacular house. Built between 1712 and 1719, the house is currently undergoing restoration to bring it back to its former glory.

The stunning central staircase is a particular favourite of ours!

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The field lab at Kings Weston House is abuzz with naturalists identifying and verifying the species discoveries from around the site. As well as microscopes to help identify grasses via their minute differences, there is also a range of kit for people to come and borrow.

If you have an unidentified species, or need some help with ID, pop into the field lab!

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Our roving reporter Kathryn is out and about bringing you the latest action from BioBlitz 2013! The Wildscreen Media Team are now busy editing the footage at BioBlitz headquarters, so watch this space.

If you discover an interesting species, or have a fantastic wildlife tale to tell about Kings Weston House, let the Wildscreen Media Team know!

Roving Reporter Kathryn

Roving Reporter Kathryn

Kathryn

Kathryn in action

Roving Reporter Kathryn

Interview with bird box specialist

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If you fancy a foray into the world of BioBlitzing, take a look at what’s on today. You can hunt down creepy crawlies and, if you’re feeling brave, get up close and personal with spiders! Or play it safe and enjoy one of our guided mammal and woodland walks. We’ve also got naturalists on hand to answer your questions.

And if you feel like exploring under your own steam, come and borrow some equipment from our field lab and see what you can find!

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Come and build a bird box or bee home at BioBlitz today!

We’ve also been chatting with with Keith and Linda from Specialised Nestboxes, you can catch up with their exciting interview later today.

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Nest boxes

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With a night of venturing into the nocturnal world of bats, moths and other mini-beasts, our BioBlitz 2013 total has increased again! We have now discovered a fantastic 321 species here at Kings Weston House. And with our naturalists raring to go this morning, the tally is looking set to increase.

So come down and join us!

The new tally

The new tally

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At dusk this evening a keen group of bat detectives set off on dark and eerie mystery trail around Kings Weston Estate with the hope of tracking down some of the UK’s 12 native bat species.

Led by David Brown with the assistance of fellow bat detector Claire Shellis, the group set off and within about 400 yards of the house we spotted our first flying mammal! Our hand-held bat detectors started to buzz and we turned our heads to the skies where, right above us, a common pipistrelle bat was darting around hunting for insects.

Thrilled by our our first sighting, we carried on walking to find just around the corner a myotis species flying overhead. Our bat detectors were making very different sounds compared to a few moments ago. Bats use high frequency calls, most beyond the range of our human ears, in order to build up a picture of their surroundings, allowing them to hunt for their insect prey at night. Claire explained that the reason why we were hearing different noises from our bat detectors was due to the different frequencies of call used by the two bat species – whereas the common pipistrelle makes a slapping wet sound, myotis species produce a much more dry sound.

As the darkness really started to settle in and the woodlands became eerier, our bat detectors suddenly started producing a much more irregular sound. David soon revealed that what we were hearing was the calls of a serotine bat, which are easily recognisable as they never seem to get into a rhythm! A low flier, the serotine certainly kept the group on their toes!

And if you thought that bats only came out when birds went to bed, you are mistaken!The woodpigeons were particularly active on our brisk walk back to the headquarters at Kings Weston House…!

That’s all from day 1 of the Bristol BioBlitz 2013. We are off to recharge our camera batteries so we can keep you posted on all the activities planned for tomorrow as well as keeping our eye on that all important species total!

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