Friday, 10 August 2012

The tide came in

The Safari went out this morning on to Patch 2 but there was little in evidence. A scattering of Sandwich Terns mooched about and although the sea was flat calm like a mirror it took a while to find the first, and eventually only, Grey Seal. Beyond it we saw a bit of decent flock of Common Scoters on the horizon, a quick scan revealed a good number scattered about...we started to count and realised there were more than we first thought. We got a minimum of 3500 not a bad number but not the biggest count of this moult flock so far this autumn.
We missed getting not with a group today and went on the beach at lunchtime on the trail of a fish we'd seen in a runnel yesterday...quite a bit larger and more 'free swimming' than the countless Sand Gobies...perhaps a Sand Smelt, a Sprat or perhaps a small Sand Eel.
Before we'd got to the slade down to the beach we saw the water's edge was a funny colour, but was it a trick of the light or a real effect. Walking on to the beach it became obvious it was a real thing.
A red tide!!! Never seen one of those before and neither had several old timers some of whom had been coming down here fishing for 40 years!

Not sure we'd let our kids in it without finding out what it is. Fortunately it is harmless, but some red tides aren't - ignorance is bliss...or lethal! Hot news in from the Environment Agency confirmed  the orange colouration of the sea along the Fylde is an algal bloom, however it is a non toxic species called noctiluca or 'Seasparkle' (because it gives off light when shaken). Although it is non -toxic there can be amenity issues when the algae die due to the sheer mass.

We collected a bottle full waiting for dark when we can shake it up and hopefully show you the bioluminescence

Thanks to DD for sending through the video this arvo.
Where to next? Moffy is set up and ready to rumble on a rather warm evening.
In the meantime let us know what's sparkling in your outback

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Not sure I'd paddle in that Davo, no matter what the enviroment agency says!

Good luck with the Mothy :-)