BioBlitz 2018 – The results are in! 

405 species were observed and named – with possibly another name to come.  It was a great team effort; many thanks to all who submitted records, stayed up late and/or got up early, and persisted with identifying or confirming unusual species!

A full report and photographs of the day:

The final species list: Bioblitz Species List 2018

BioBlitz 2018 – The results are in!

This year’s Bioblitz took place in Sandown on 12th May as part of the large community festival, Hullabaloo. The recording hub was based in the Discovery Bay marquee next to the Dinosaur Isle Museum. The recording area covered the reedbeds, ponds, woodland and wet meadows of Sandown Levels to the north-east; the immediate surroundings of Dinosaur Isle including the Canoe Lake; and the foreshore north of Sandown to the cliffs and beach as far as Culver.

Moth traps were set up to run overnight on 11th but cool and breezy conditions resulted in a relatively poor catch, which unfortunately has been the trend so far this year. The weather during the day was not very favourable to insect observation either, and coupled with a date relatively early in the season, the total number of insect species was rather lower than previous years.  Just one species of butterfly – the red admiral – was seen on the wing with one more (orange tip) being found at the egg stage. Twenty-six species of moth were found in total, one damsel fly and one dragonfly and nine species of beetle.

A number of botanists worked their way across the Levels, recording both flowering and non-flowering plants. A species which has not previously been recorded on the Island was the constricted feather moss, Hygroamblystegium humile , found in the ditches. On the Pluto pavilion there was a huge concentration of the larva of the bagworm moth Luffia ferchaultella. This species has been seen in a number of places on the Island but only in low quantities previously.

The cliffs provided a good hunting ground for mosses, liverworts and lichens. The grassy edges of the car park yielded some specialist plants of dry sandy grassland including bird’s foot clover, knotted clover and subterranean clover.

The ornithologists reached a total of 49 species during the day, including a whimbrel seen on the beach in the early morning; as the main event began to wind down, two further species which had been elusive during the day, swifts and an oystercatcher, were spotted overhead.

Lab facilities were available this year and collection of water samples from the Canoe Lake and the ditches on Sandown Levels gave a new dimension to the recording. Not all species were fully named, but diatoms and tardigrades were amongst the species on view to the public.

High tide was about 10am, so from early afternoon the beach was accessible to the marine enthusiasts. Although no-one looked at the tyre pools in detail, the groynes and rocks below the cliffs had a range of crustacea, molluscs and algae. The strandline had at least ten species identified including kelps, empty shells and hornwrack, but as they may have just been brought in by the sea rather than being ’resident’ they haven’t been included in the total.

The total of 405 species observed and named – with possibly another name to come – was a great team effort. Many thanks to all who submitted records, stayed up late and/or got up early, and persisted with identifying or confirming unusual species.

Click here for the final Bioblitz Species List 2018

Summary of records by groups




Picture Gallery from the day

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 – 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 – 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

Capturing Our Coast – Volunteer Training Day

CoCoast is a project that aims to find out more about the species that live in our seas and how we can protect them. Within the project, scientists from 7 hubs around the UK work together (more…)

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…)

Recording Now Newsletter – Issue 2 – out now

The latest edition of ‘Recording Now’ the species recording newsletter from the IWLRC / iWatch Wildlife is available now (more…)

Change to Archaeology Talk

The talk on Saturday Feb 17th will be about The Vikings in Greenland and America.

Recorders’ Conference 2018

The Recorders’ Conference is on Saturday 3rd February 2 – 4.30pm in the Arreton Community Centre, Main Rd Arreton (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.


Water Blitz comes to the Isle of Wight…

Become a Citizen Scientist and help your local environment by taking part in the Isle of Wight Water Blitz and help to build up a map of water quality across the island! The Water Blitz will run between the 25th November and the 20th December.

You can be part of current scientific research by using quick and simple test kits to measure the levels of two widespread pollutants, nitrate and phosphate, in the Isle of Wight’s many ponds, ditches and streams.

Opening Event – 25th Nov (10am-12pm) @ Riverside Centre, Newport.

Join us for an introductory talk to the Water Blitz. Find out everything you need to know before collecting your kits and heading out to test your local freshwater habitats.

Find out more here: