Category

Botany

BioBlitz 2018 – Saturday12th May

This year the IW Bioblitz  is planned to be part of a larger community event Hullabaloo in The Bay during the weekend of 12th and 13th May 2018.

The 12th is the principal Bioblitz slot – where we’ll be recording 10am to 4pm for the majority of groups, with the evenings (Fri 11th & Sat 12th) available for those of you specialising in nocturnal species.

There are 2 main survey areas to explore:

·        The reedbeds and grazing marshes, wet woodlands and ponds and ditches (plus the boating lagoon), around Brown’s and off behind the zoo

·        The foreshore, intertidal and soft cliffs from the Sandown library to Culver – including several large areas on the red cliff where you can easily get up into the wilder parts from the beach below or from the coastal path above. Low tide is at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

The Recording Hub will be based in the vicinity of Dinosaur Isle as part of the ‘Discovery Bay’ area (look out for the IWNHAS & iWatchWildlife Flags). There will be a supply of recording sheets as in past years for those who wish to use them, and also plant recording cards, ID charts and books plus some field equipment and microscopes.

Please do contact Anne Marston – anne.marston@iow.gov.uk to confirm if you would like to come and be involved in the recording effort as we need to arrange car park passes asap.

If you are part of a group who would like to contribute some walks or other activities during the event, it would be best to contact suggest you Ian Boyd –  ian@arc-consulting.co.uk directly if this isn’t already in hand.

Marine experts recording by Arc Consulting

Marine life ID by Arc Consulting

Looking forward to seeing you there and making some records!

Wildlife recording

Discovery Bay! 2018

Discovery Bay! 2018
Saturday 17th March 10:30am – 4:30pm

Science, Nature, Art… Become a Bayologist in 2018 and celebrate British Science Week in The Bay… with a day of scientific discovery and pop-up natural history, on land and on sand! (more…)

New Year Plant Hunt 2018 – the results

The dates for this year’s event were set by the BSBI as 30th December 2017 – 2nd January 2018. The weather was mixed in the final days of December, but a check of a weather forecast site  predicted overcast conditions on the Isle of Wight for 30th December. However no rain was forecast until after dark, so a group of nine set off northwards from Winchester House car park to explore Lake cliffs. This was new territory for all of us!

We walked down Littlestairs path, along the Esplanade to Ferncliff path, back up to the cliff to make a brief detour to Battery Gardens and then returned to our starting point along the cliff top path two hours later.

New Year Plant Hunt rules require the flowers to have anthers or stigmas visible to qualify as ‘flowering’. Around the car park and on our way to the cliff, we found creeping buttercup, daisy, common cat’s ear, and winter heliotrope. On the cliff face we found broom, gorse, and greater periwinkle. Looking along the talus slope and behind the beach huts at the base of the cliff provided the opportunity to add naturalised plants such as red-hot poker and Hebe ‘Blue gem’ to our list.

Hydrangea proved to be the subject of much debate -could we count it or not? ‘When is a flower not a flower?’ – when you are observing are sterile bracts and there are no anthers or stigmas, it doesn’t count!!

Re-ascending the cliff gave us a pot marigold flower in pristine condition. The walls around Battery Gardens enabled us to find ivy-leaved toadflax, pellitory-of-the-wall and Sicilian chamomile and there was a primrose in flower at the edge of the grass. A quick tally from the mobile phone screen gave an approximate total of 45 species so far, so a target of 60 was set. The clifftop yielded a fine specimen of field scabious and a patch of red valerian amongst others. Back at the car park our provisional total was 58, so much searching under fences and on walls occurred to find keel-fruited cornsalad and trailing bellflower.

Checking of the results later made our total 61, though the BSBI website does not entirely agree; that comes down to the group leader’s issues with the mobile phone app recording form! However, we were top of the leader board for quite some time until the Swanage and Cornwall groups got going! And yes, the weather kept dry for us, except for the briefest of showers at Battery Gardens. The  final results are here.

 

New Year Plant Hunt

The dates for the official NYPH are now on the BSBI website (http://bsbi.org/new-year-plant-hunt) and it is 30th December to 2nd January.  The botany group expedition is planned for Saturday afternoon 30th December (with reserve date on Monday 1st January if we are rained off on Saturday). Feel free to do your own expedition in a convenient location as well!

Location Lake Cliffs, meeting at the car park by Winchester House SZ588 826 at 13.30 aiming to finish by 15.30, and  walking down the cliff path to the beach, along the beach to the north, back up the next cliff path and back along the top of the cliff to the cars.

Come and support one of new young botanists

Summer Recorders Event

Sunday 2nd July saw the gathering of folks from across the Island with an interest in species recording and identification for an afternoon of fieldwork and workshop sessions to explore and examine the diverse and surprising flora and fauna of The Bay at the first IWNHAS Summer Recorders Event.

With Dinosaur Isle as our base, we set off on three different fieldwork sessions to collect grasses, sedges & rushes with Colin Pope, Insects with Ian Boyd and check the overnight moth trap with Iain Outlaw. (more…)

Summer Recorders Event – Sunday 2nd July

Just a few days left until the very first IW Summer Recorders Event takes place at Dinosaur Isle, Sandown on Sunday 2nd July 2pm – 5pm, so please register and book your place asap.

This is a great opportunity to brush up your species identification skills as we explore the surrounding habitats to collect specimens and return to Dinosaur Isle to examine and identify them. (more…)

Go Wild in Parkhurst Forest – 7th Annual IW BioBlitz

This Friday 2nd June sees the 7th Annual BioBlitz being held this year in Parkhurst Forest, Newport 10 – 4pm and brings amateur and specialist wildlife spotters together to record our treasured natural heritage. (more…)

Wight Botanists New Year Plant Hunt 4th January 2017

Eight of the botany group gathered at the top of Appley Steps to start the hunt for native and naturalised plants (not planted in gardens) which were in flower. The definition of ‘in flower’ requires the anthers to be visible. A male Hazel (Corylus avellana) catkin fully open had already been observed and at our feet was a plant of Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) in bloom. We set off along the cliff top and round Rylstone Gardens to find more species, including Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major). (more…)

New Year Plant Hunt

The BSBI’s New Year Plant hunt takes place from 1st-4th January 2017. Further details can be found here

Locally, we are planning to go out as a group on Wednesday 4th January, meeting at 2pm at the top of Appley Steps near Rylstone Gardens in Shanklin (grid reference SZ 585808). Parking is available in nearby streets. We will take a circular route including part of the Esplanade, the cliff footpath and the cliff top to see how many native or naturalised plants we can find in flower.

Please note the walk will include steep ascents and descents; strong footwear recommended.