Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Safari wasn't out on Patch 1 this morning and Patch 2 was hopeless, the strong NWesterly hadn't blown anything of any note anywhere near. So we had to make do with a Brownie Pack at the Rockpools. They hit the pools with gusto.
One of the first creatures out was this tiny jellyfish about 4cm in diameter. The Safari is no expert on jellys and we don't know if it is full size or a small juvenile of a larger species. Two were captured and both were still alive. It was interesting to see their pulsating swimming motion close up in the trays, by my is it difficult to photograph something that is transparent.
Numerous Green Shore Crabs were netted from tiny hatchlings to this menacing 10cm beast - of course we picked him up, what d'ya think we are - chicken? Some were peelers, ie soft after shedding their skin, we also found the shed skins.

Only two Common Sand Stars found their way to the trays this morning, this one was far and away the bigger of the two. Once again it was all Common Prawns rather than Brown Shrimps.
We like the bright blue pincers on the prawns although this one we photographed isn't as brightly coloured as many of the smaller ones. Check out the length of its antennae in the pic above.
Probably the best find of the day was a complete White Piddock shell, usually they are badly broken. Tried to get a pic of it at the end of the session but the contents of the tray it was in had already been returned to the high seas. Only one broken Common Otter Shell was found too, normally these are fairly easy to come across.
We did try taking a picture of a Beadlet Anemone with all its tentacles out with a camera in a plastic bag but the results were hopeless unfortunately. Have to wait until our Extreme Photographer is with us with his proper waterproof camera.
Other finds included a pink coloured Alder Necklace shell, a Striped Venus or two.
Over the course of the week we have had 30+ species of animal along the beach and an uncounted number of seaweeds, one of which, a pretty feathery red one, was a seaweed tick for the Safari - probably seen it before but not taken any notice of it however there wasn't much of it so it could be a recent colonist.
There will be a more scientific survey next Monday afternoon after the National Whale and Dolphin Watch session. If you're in the area please join in and help us record the changing wildlife of Blackpool's South Beach. (Photographers with waterproof cameras very welcome!!!) For full downloadable details see the Solaris Centre website.
Where to next? Just Patch 1 before the National Whale and Dolphin Watch starts in earnest at 7.30 am on Saturday morning to catch the incoming tide - will there be any adventurous souls with us or will we be sat there like Billy-no-mates for four hours? Please let it not be windy and raining like last year...and no tornadoes.
In the meantime let us know if you have jelly in your outback.


Monika said...

That is a great picture of the crab!

Yes, I've got plenty of jelly here - last night thousands and thousands of cross jellies floated by my house. I've never seen anything like it. Too dark for photos unfortunately.

Amila Kanchana said...

Some interesting critters you've posted there! I like that crab best,wonderful shot!