Yesterday I was helping to staff the Chorley NATS stall at the BioBlitz event at Cuerdan Valley Park, Bamber Bridge. These events provide a snapshot of the diversity of wildlife as surveys are undertaken to record the plant, insect and animal life found. As I made my way to the event, I passed a beetle expert busy with the survey.
It was heartening to see how much life had been found in the river and ponds. Species such as stonefly larvae and also dragonfly larvae testify to how well oxygenated and unpolluted the water is. Birdwatchers might be interested to know that crossbills have recently been seen in the park and a hobby put in a brief appearance.
Quite a few organisations had stalls so there were plenty of opportunities for networking and collecting some brilliant teaching resources. I also sold a few copies of my book, from the field book, and although not my main intention for attending, it was pleasing.
Of course we could BioBlitz our gardens and back yards and might be surprised what we find. My garden has been host to at least four blue tit broods and one great tit brood over the past couple of months. I love watching the yellow/green versions of these species as they forage around curious and not yet as wary as they will become. I've also had young coal tits, robins and blackbirds too. I'm not sure what's happened to the song thrush I heard all spring but I haven't seen any young.
You're probably wondering about the photos. Well, I decided to have a go at growing my own herbs and some vegetables this summer. I've enjoyed nipping out to collect fresh rosemary, parsley, coriander, basil and baby lettuce leaves etc. I have managed to find a variety that the slugs don't eat! Above is some sweetcorn - I just have to work out when it's ready for harvest. All advice welcome. And below are my yellow courgettes. I decided to grow them because I don't see the yellow ones in the shops. Bees seem to love their flowers.
The BioBlitz photos are used with the kind permission of Chris Rae