Record Centre News

Sussex Bioblitz

Buff-tip Phalera bucephala

In celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity we organised a big recording event at Stanmer Park called Bioblitz, one of many such events held throughout the UK, over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of June, where we tried to record as many species as we could. Luckily it was great weather all weekend so butterflies, dragonflies, moths and more were on the wing. On the Saturday we had 19 naturalists come along to see what we could record so we spilt into two groups – one looking at the plants in the woodland on the park and the other investigating the invertebrates found in the dead wood and general surrounds.

In the evening we set up six moth traps and had a good haul of moths, including a beautiful lime hawkmoth and the twig-like buff-tip. The bat detectors picked up a few species of bat flying about feeding at dusk, such as serotine and noctule. We packed up the moth traps at about midnight, just as we could hear the distant rumble of thunder. Overall we recorded just over 500 species during the day, of which 100 species were plant, 70 were moths and 70 were beetles. Highlights of the day were the Notable A species Drilus flavescens, which is a beetle that predates on snails and three Notable B species including the black-headed cardinal beetle Pyrochroa coccinea.

The next day was more about getting members of the public enthused about recording, so we had a stall at the popular Springwatch event, also at Stanmer Park, and we encouraged people to fill in a postcard which asked if they had seen any of the five species listed: starling, common frog, dragonfly, hedgehog and slow-worm. They could then stick labels on a huge map that we took along, and from this we gathered over 700 records and got people excited about what wildlife can be found in their own back garden. We also ran several guided walks to different parts of the park to see what we could record.