The 2013 Summer shore programme got off to an auspicious start on 14th March with the first members’ shore safari of the year. The visit to Lee Bay on a low spring tide coincided with a rare glorious sunny day.
The good crowd of nearly 30 members, including several newcomers, were rewarded with lots of interesting finds, and as early birds on the shore caught rather more worm than expected, all 2 meters of it.
Very striking yet weighing in at just a few grams, the bootlace worm is one of the longest animals seen on the shore, up to 10 m. The Lee animal, found lurking like a slimy walnut whip under a stone, stretched out to over 2 metres when gently eased out into its full length. Seen here, it took the opportunity to start reknotting under the ministrations of Coastwise share safari team members Eric Pufahl, Sue Austin and Jim Monroe(l to r). (Photo courtesy of Rob Jutsum)
Others were more interested in looking for sea slugs and were not disappointed. Three different species were found, some alongside tell-tale egg strands Goniodoris nodosa, Achanthidoris pilosa (photo being sent to ispot for confirmation) and Berthella plumula.
Theirs were the most conspicuous of several clusters of eggs found which included including those of Greenleaf worm, Flat periwinkle, and clingfish. They and the small size of some molluscs, particularly the blue-rayed limpet, contributed to the impression that a new cycle of shore life was well underway.