Monday, 9 May 2016

The Tice's Meadow BioBlitz - by Archie Kerr

When I finished school on Friday 29th of April I straight away travelled to Tice's meadow. It took us under an hour to get there.

First of all we set up the tent but we had to do it quickly because a rain shower was about to fall! Luckily we had help from Mark and Len!
My Dad outside our tent

Once we set up the tent we had a look around in the big white gazebo and there were Slow worms and Lizards and a spot for bird ringing.
Here I am with a Slow worm
A Lizard
Ok, bird ringing. Roger, Mark and Laura were the ones doing the bird ringing. They were doing all sorts of stuff like weighing them and measuring the wings, seeing whether they were male or female and then they finish off by putting a tiny metal ring on a leg and letting them free.
The reason why they do it is because when it flies free and other ringers catch it in the nets, then they would look up the number on the metal ring to find out more about where the bird has come from.
It was nice to see different birds up close that usually just fly away when you get close to them. Up close I saw: a Song Thrush, a Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Long tailed tit and others I can't remember right now.
Here are some pics:
Here Mark is measuring the birds wing

a female Blackbird

a Sedge Warbler

When the sun was starting to fall, the sunset was just the best!
just beautiful - do you agree?
When it was time to go to bed it was the coldest in the world! We thought it was about minus 2 degrees! It was nice and warm around the fire but in the tent it was freezing and me and Dad slept in our coats in sleeping bags and still under blankets. In the morning when we came out we noticed how icy and frosty it was on the tents but it was still good fun like an adventure!
too cold, many layers!

biggest and hottest ever!

On Saturday saw all sorts of different species of different types of wildlife. I found a common lizard and a few Slow worms:
Slow worm selfie!
I also borrowed Rich Hortons scope to do some birding on the mound - thanks Rich! :)
birding in my PJ's!
Also on Saturday we found loads of insects that my Dad identified under a microscope.
a 24-spot ladybird
a Large red Damselfly on my hand
a Turtle Shieldbug
For the rest of Saturday I just kept having fun and bugging and birding with Dad. On Sunday we checked the amazing mammal traps (the only species we trapped was a mouse but still good to see up close). There were quite a lot and quite a few were empty. 
look at its sharp teeth, everyone knows not to play with these guys!
The best part of the end of the BioBlitz was helping Rich Horton release the newts back into their pond. Here are a few pictures of me releasing the Newts:
The bucket the Newts were in

on our way to release the Newts

a Newt! how cute!
Putting a Newt back in its home

some sort of water beetle
It was a shame that we had to go home because I had such a fun weekend and liked spending time with everyone there. This is my write up and I hope you enjoyed it!
By Archie.