As part of the Blackwater CIS Projects, a Bioblitz took place on Saturday 5th September at Milford Cutting in partnership with the Wildlife Friends of the Callan.
The site is a former railway cutting and on the banks of the River Callan and on the day it played host to a full programme of guided biodiversity walks and talks.
Facilitators Karl Hamilton, an ecologist, and Paul Moore, an entomologist, lead the Group around the nature reserve, owned and managed by Ulster Wildlife, to explore woodland and aquatic plants, woodland and aquatic invertebrates, and bird species within the woodland and along the River.
Highlights of the day were:
- a sighting of Great Spotted Woodpecker, a conservation success story within Ireland (it conveniently re-introduced itself in 2004 and has since spread widely across the island);
- getting to see the largest strand of a rare and local tree species – Irish Whitebeam – in Northern Ireland;
- one of the Group finding a cluster of Collared Earthstars, a bizarre species of fungi that is perfectly camouflaged against the woodland floor;
- and Paul introducing us to some bizarre native and non-native invertebrates that have been found in Northern Ireland.
All in all a great day with great, enthusiastic people in a great location.