EVENTS

Members Reports and Photos

SUNDAY 30 March  2014 

UNIOR MEMBERS’ OUTING, KNOCKSINK           

LEADERS: JENNIFER BALL AND NIAMH LENNON

Scavenger Hunt

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 adults.

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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