Wildlife survey a huge success

Sunset at Saltwick
Sunset at Saltwick

Rare species were spotted for the first time in Whitby as hundreds of people joined in a major wildlife surgery.

The Bioblitz on June 21 and 22, was organised by Whitby Naturalists’ Club and included many different events including nature walks and pond dips as well as the chance for people living in Whitby to take part in a 24 hour recording of nature in the town.



Around 500 people visited the Bioblitz operations centre at Whitby Museum with many more joining the outdoor activities around the town.

The species count of wildlife seen around Whitby stands at 358, with a few still to be confirmed.

In Whitby the blackbird was the most common garden bird with grey squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers mice and bats all frequent visitors to people’s gardens.

The club received 634 records from the public with chairman of the naturalists’ club, David Minter clocking spotting 150 different species.

David Perry with an earth worm at Pannett Park''w132602d

David Perry with an earth worm at Pannett Park''w132602d

One of the organisers Wendy English said: “The Bioblitz cruise got things off to a great start, with around 40 people enjoying views of Whitby in the evening sun, with five.

“Meanwhile, Paula Lightfoot leading the sea shore search commented ‘love was in the air on midsummer night!.

“There were mating shore crabs, dog whelks laying eggs, male shannies guarding eggs and lots of tiny juvenile flat fish swimming around.”


Carla and Teddy Bluckley investigating some owl pellets''w132602c

Carla and Teddy Bluckley investigating some owl pellets''w132602c

Despite the poor forecast, the weather proved mainly fine, and a number of uncommon species were discovered for the first time in the Whitby area:

l Dingy skipper butterfly at Upgang Ravine

l Three lesser whitethroats ringed by the bird ringers at Upgang Ravine

l Sea club rush in Whitby Abbey pond

l Chocolate tube slime mould found in Cala Beck

Inside the museum, owl pellet dissection, seaweed pressing and rocks and fossils proved popular and there was a strong flavour of the sea, with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Sea’s project, the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union Marine and coastal section and the Seawatch Foundation all present.

From the moors, the Hawk and Owl Trust, National Trust, National Park were represented, with iSpot, a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature, helping to identify difficult species.

Wendy added: “I would like to say thank you to all the people who sent in their records and the naturalists, stall holders and members of Whitby Naturalists’ Club who all worked hard to make the event a success.”