A peregrine falcon, water mites and a grey plover recorded during 24-hour Bioblitz at Stanpit Marsh

Bournemouth Echo: WEB SIGHT: RSPB Spider specialist Tony Sheridan, second left, documents species found at the Stanpit Marsh Reserve WEB SIGHT: RSPB Spider specialist Tony Sheridan, second left, documents species found at the Stanpit Marsh Reserve

A PEREGRINE falcon, colourful water mites and a grey plover were just some of the different species recorded at Stanpit Marsh’s second ‘Bioblitz’ at the weekend.

The 24-hour event that finished at 8am on Sunday was organised by Christchurch Council’s Count-ryside Service in a bid to record the diversity of life at the popular nature reserve.

Last year more than 400 species were discovered and it is hoped the numbers will be as impressive this year, once all the data from the latest count is collated.

Speaking to the Echo on Saturday, senior countryside manager Peter Holloway said: “It’s going really nice. We had some thunder this morning but we’ve still had people on every event, so it’s not putting them off too much.

“We’ve had some interesting specimens turn up, including a rather colourful water mite which we haven’t seen before.”

He said there had also been sightings of a peregrine falcon and a grey plover.

Events included early morning photographic workshops, bird tours, plant walks, pond and stream dipping and mini-beast safaris.

During the evening there were dusk bird walks, a bat talk and moth trapping.

There was even an astronomer on hand to tell people about the night sky.

Mr Holloway said: “The Bioblitz was an opportunity to encourage more public participation in nature conservation through a series of guided walks and workshops.

“With the public’s help we’ve been able to conduct an intensive study of the reserve that will add to our knowledge of the marsh.”

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