Marine Biological Association's Bioblitz at Mothecombe

The MBA's Bioblitz – Coastwise was there and got the T-shirt !

Eight Coastwise members took part in the MBA’s Bioblitz at Mothecombe, South Devon on 11/12 June ….and got the T shirt to find that it sported our logo in  illustrious company. What a wonderful welcome.

The bioblitz was organized by the Marine Biological Association under the Natural History Museum’s OPAL project, and brought together experts and volunteers for a 24 hour count of life in the vicinity of the mouth of the Erme estuary.

We had a great time, the weather was gorgeous, the place paradise and the enthusiasm infectious.  A marquee at “Base Camp” housed everything you could need to learn about and identify finds; plenty of microscopes, keys and guidance.  Plants, bugs and beasties, marine and terrestrial were on the agenda.  So much to do and so little time that we mainly focused on marine life, including cetaceans and birds.  Coastwise finds included light-bulb sea squirts (click here) and a spider crab encrusted in organisms (click here) and carrying the anemone Calliactis parasitica.

Highlights included Jack Sewell’s midnight ramble, an introduction to seaweeds from NHM’s Juliet Brodie, and a master-class in flat fish ID from expert Doug Herdson and fellow seine netters - all so patient with our wonder and our many questions.

Could we host something similar in North Devon?  We would like to think so, and certainly we have wildlife of comparable, arguably greater, richness, but finding the people, the site, and the facilities to match those at Mothecombe would be a challenge.

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