|Small red-eyed Damselfly*, one of the first insects we saw on arrival|
We arrived at NT Wicken Fen on the first day of Chris Packham's UK BioBlitz at the site. There was quite a buzz, and although the BioBlitz did not begin until the late afternoon, we were able to do a couple of 15 minute Butterfly Conservation 'Big Butterfly Count' surveys in advance of the main proceedings.
I'm glad to report that when the time came for the start of the Wicken Fen BioBlitz, David and I kickstarted the count with our sightings of a Water Vole and a Banded Demoiselle. Yay!
We had also seen a Grass Snake, but, alas, before the opening of the proceedings so it could not be counted.
My first 'Big Butterfly Count' surveys, lasting for 15 minutes, produced the following results:
Sadly the following species did not show up during either of my counts, though we saw a couple of Blues on the wing during the afternoon (hard to ID) and one or two Red Admirals:
- Painted Lady
- Small Tortoiseshell
- Red Admiral
- Common Blue
- Holly Blue
- Silver Y Moth
- Six-spot Burnet Moth
Our butterfly surveys complete (and these were separate from the BioBlitz), we kept an eye out for other species. By this time the BioBlitz had begun and I was delighted to see my first Banded Demoiselle of the season. Sadly the Water Vole was too fast for us to catch on camera though we enjoyed hearing it munching away before the telltale 'plop' that preceded its brief appearance.
|Demoiselle, Wicken Fen, 21 July 2018|
The kind members of NT/Bioblitz staff posed for me in the photo below, after recording our two sightings. By now their list will be looking pretty full!
And here's David (Gill) standing outside the BioBlitz Recording Centre.
Earlier in the day David had managed to get a photo of the Grass Snake ... You really need to see the photo on a large screen to be convinced, but it is there in the centre of the photo, moving horizontally across the lode to the left, just behind a horizontal reed.
What a great day, and we wish everyone at Wicken another terrific day tomorrow when Chris Packham will be on site for part of the day.
* My thanks to Conehead for alerting me to the fact that this is the Small Red-eyed Damselfly.