Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Malmgreniella lunulata

The Safari was able to get out on to Patch 2 this morning and the wind was pretty strong so we were hopeful that something interesting might have been blown in.
Sadly there wasn't a lot. A clutch of Common Terns were being blown about and weren't fishing  and a few Gannets came past quite close in with more especially immature birds further out. Three Manx Shearwaters swooped through the heavy chop, always good to see these ocean wanderers. We were hoping for Little Terns and Pomarine Skuas but there was no sign of either unfortunately and we still couldn't find a Swift!
Mid-morning our school group turned up and we soon had them in their wellies and over on the beach exploring, this school is from the Midlands and some of the children had never seen the sea before. To say they were excited is a big understatement!
It wasn't long before all manner of Cockles, Mussels and Periwinkles were placed in their pots. A huge recently moulted Green Shore Crab along with its shed carapace.
Pod Razors, Banded Wedge Shells ans large Common Otter Shells were found along with chunky fragments of Iceland Cyprine until one small hand pulled out a complete one (well at least a complete half of one).
More Green Shore Crabs were winkled out of their hidey-holes but we couldn't find any Common Prawns or Brown Shrimps.
One of the teachers clambered rather naughtily clambered up the wall to investigate the higher pools and came back down to earth with several Common Sand Stars, always popular with the kids. We managed to find them an open Beadlet Anemone wafting its tentacles in the water being blown around in the stiff breeze.
A tiny Sea Urchin shell was found the smallest we've ever seen, rather flat and only about seven or eight mil across, never seen one like that before. Also never seen before was a small worm found by teach on the underside of a rock lifted while searching for Blennies. We think it's one of these but we could easily be wrong. The look of it and habitat seem about right though. No we'd never heard of it until we looked it up either!
Still no Swifts!
Once back at Base Camp we learned that there'd been a Little Tern at the nature reserve which we think will be only the sixth record there since the 1950s unless we've missed any in the last few years. A cracking find for someone.
Where to next? Back on the beach with the second part of the same school, what will they find???
In the meantime let us know what's almost unidentifiable in your outback.

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