The 2016 Atlas of Life and Four Winds BioBlitz on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November was blessed by unexpected good weather and a number of exciting finds as well as art and music. 0ver 90 bird species were spotted, Koala scat was found and a possible new species of spider was recorded by Helen Ransom from Narooma on a survey led by Stuart Harris. The spider has been sent to experts for identification and in time we will know if it is indeed a new species.
90 school students from across the Shire explored with Bournda EEC and a host of families and friends attended the bioBlitz from 6 am until late after dark when the moths, possums and night creatures had come out. 65 surveys were led by expert scientists and naturalists to explore and record the Four Winds site and nearby forest and beach habitats to build the biggest species list possible over two days.
The waterbug team led by Cecil Ellis and Steve Skinner had fun observing what range of creatures are living in the dam on site and they visited a site on the Murrah river not far from Four Winds that had been a Reference site in the 1980’s. We were delighted to record that the water is still very healthy, with a few of the key target species that indicate the highest level of water quality.
Steve Williams came all the way from Bendigo to see our NSW moths and found a number of species he had never seen before. Andrew Claridge and David Jackson showed how to set small mammal traps and Andrew Morrison set camera traps and they recorded a host of creatures – goannas, echidnas, antechinus and a fox, all looking for food near the cameras.
Four Winds provided the fabulous setting for the BioBlitz, Masterclasses in botanical illustration and photography and a splendid concert by Four Play string quartet to finish the week-end off.
A big thanks to all Survey Leaders and Volunteers and everyone who joined us to participate and who made the event such fun. Together we are building a significant species list of what lives here now and we will return from time to time to see how the biodiversity has increased ast the Four Winds planting program adds to the mix of habitats on their site.