Members Reports and Photos
SUNDAY 30 March 2014
UNIOR MEMBERS’ OUTING, KNOCKSINK
LEADERS: JENNIFER BALL AND NIAMH LENNON
We were in Knocksink Wood for a scavenger hunt on
another occasion and as it is a lovely place we decided to visit again. Everyone
was given a colourfully illustrated clue sheet of 20 things to look for and name
as we walked through the woods and along by the river (Glencullen).
We were on the look out for spring flowers such as
Celandine, Violet, Wood Anemone and Primrose; Willow in flower with yellow
catkins, Beech Nuts from last season and ferns such as Hart's tongue with very
green strap-like leaves. Bramble leaves showed signs of leaf miners - tracks
left behind by the caterpillars of very small moths.
A variety of small animals were seen such as
woodlice, snails, slugs, beetles and both millipedes and centipedes.
Evidence of badgers was seen – an old entrance to
a sett and the scraping of Badgers’
claws (in the search of the grubs of some
beetles and moths for food) on dead and decaying wood (from some of the woodland
trees that have fallen on the ground).
On the clue sheets we were also in the search for
some creatures in the water before they emerge as adults later in the
year. You will see the photographs below of a Mayfly nymph and a
cased Caddis fly larva which which makes its own house of tiny bits of
pebbles and other material. An uncased Caddisfly larva was also found – not
all Caddis species make cases when in the larval form. There is also a photo of
an Adult Stonefly which was found on the riverside before the outing. The
presence of these creatures means that the water in the river was clean. The
characteristic flattened, almost ‘crab-like’ appearance of the Mayfly is an
adaptation to deal with rapidly flowing water. Again the Caddis fly larva
case is modified to withstand the current - in this instance, behaviourally, by
incorporating a small stick or pine needle like a steering oar, to keep it
pointing forward. You can see the head of the larva sticking out. Some say the
stick or sticks are also to prevent predation by trout.
There were 19 children on the outing accompanied by
The outing had a big attendance of 19 children accompanied by adults.
Stonefly adult Caddisfly larva in case Mayfly nymph
Photos © Niamh Lennon
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