On the rocks

Tuesday 11 June 2013, 11:52

Springwatch Guest Blog Springwatch Guest Blog

Guest blogger: Richard Harrington, Marine Conservation Society

There is simply nowhere better to see wildlife than on a rocky shore. Choose your tide times carefully, and not just because of safety. A visit should coincide with the times of low water, on spring tides. Spring tides happen around the times of full and new moons, and they leave acres of shore to explore. I'd recommend booking your seaside holidays based purely on when these occur, I do!

Crab Edible crab, Cancer pagurus by Richard Harrington, Marine Conservation Society

Life between the tides is a world within a world, like a miniature version of the ocean. It contains examples of almost any animal kind you could think of finding in the sea, or anywhere else for that matter. Spiny-skinned animals like starfish and urchins, many kinds of crab, stunning anemones and seaweeds, even animals that look like mosses (the bryozoans) as well as potential views of bigger creatures like seals, eider ducks or catsharks.

Blenny Common blenny, Lipophrys pholis by Richard Harrington, Marine Conservation Society

A host of different fishes can be found amongst the toes of paddlers, amid shallow seaweeds, and even on top of rocks exposed at low tide. The common blenny, also called shanny, is adapted to survive out of water for a number of hours. And in the calm of a rockpool, they are often quite approachable, children are usually great at spotting them. Be careful though, their beak-like mouth, for munching barnacles, can give a nasty nip.

 

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    Comment number 1.

    I have a frog in my garden who has lost one of its front feet in the last couple of days.I am feeding it mealworms which it is relishing but what will have caused this injury and will it survive.It comes out of the pond each day and hunkers down in the grass usually same place so I have marked the spot so I don't stand on it.I feel so sorry for the little thing although it does seem to be managing to get in and out of the pond which slopes for all my birds and others.I have not cut my grass in the last week so cannot imagine it would be that as the injury looks so fresh.Is there anything else I can do to help.

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    Comment number 2.

    I have a couple of videos I did last week while the sun shone. One is some jellyfish in Pendennis Marina, Falmouth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450LqdCGvh4 and the other is of some rock pools near St Antony light house near Falmouth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd1j3TAHyQk
    Almost looks like a coral island dive!!!

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    Comment number 3.

    Here is another video from a beach near Falmouth Cornwall UK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VZqrl0NB4I
    This was June 2013

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    Comment number 4.

    I love rockpools, and am looking forward to visiting them at Saunton Sands in Devon - there's always something interesting to see!
    On a similar subject, tonight's Springwatch is featuring nearby Lundy Island, which I am looking forward to watching.
    I have a question for the team:
    Do they know what the effects on wildlife and sea creatures will be from the proposed offshore Atlantic Array wind farm in the Bristol Channel?
    At a distance of 9 miles from Lundy, will its impact be significant on animals such as birds and cetaceans in the area?

 
 

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