02
Jul-2014

Spectacular Discovery

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Hunting crab-spiders, odd- shaped trees and ‘unidentified’ creatures – just some of the experiences for pupils on a Wild Wonder day with North Nibley Primary School.  Exploring the local churchyard and playing field, through the day the children made so many exciting, surprising and spectacular finds and one discovery that would challenge the ID skills of professionals.

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Hidden in the dark crevice in the fork of a beech tree,  a group of children discovered this mass of ‘alien’ looking things. Not knowing what they were, I promised to identify them for the school using the power of Twitter & online resources. However, I didn’t receive the clear answer I had hoped for and the task of identifying them was turned back to us – school scientists. Watch them and see what emerges – then let us all know. ‘We are waiting for the solution to this wildlife mystery with baited breath!’ BBC Wildlife Magazine.  So for the past week we’ve watched and waited!

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During the Wonder Day the children explored with cameras – discovering and observing their local wild wonders.

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Year 3 & 4 were very excited to discover a ringlet butterfly in the clutches of a yellow crab spider.

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And took this fabulous shot of ants on an iris flower

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Year 5 & 6 made a spectacular discovery in a tree!

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And this bright green spider

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Children in reception, Year 1 & 2 found many different caterpillars – this Peacock (above)

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And another. Ladybird found and photographed by a boy aged 6!

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So many spectacular discovery moments and wild photographs by the children – we all had a fantastic day. But what everyone wanted to know was what were those strange things in the beech tree?  Today it emerged … that they were…

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Muslin Footman Moths (thank you Martin Harvey & Richard Comont for the final ID)

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A scarce and beautiful moth

Muslin Footman Catp

And a Muslin Footman caterpillar

This is the wonder and science of wildlife discovery with schools – thank you so much to all the pupils, staff & parents at North Nibley School.  All photos (except final moth images) by children – you can see more the childrens’ photos on the North Nibley school website. Big thanks also to Richard Comont, Martin Harvey, Jo Cartmell & BBCWildlife Magazine for help with the ID

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