Scorching Summer Safari Season ! Don't just lie on the beach............
The weather was fine for the Festival shore safari, the 5th safari in our 2011 summer programme. About 40 people assembled at Barricane for 11am, mostly couples and some families with very young children. Jim Monroe and Mavis Symmons led groups down the shore while other Coastwise members went out to find interesting creatures.
The main finds of interest centred on sea hares and the jellies stranded on the shore, particularly the sea gooseberries. These were placed in the aquarium with some small fish and crabs and proved a magnet for both visitors and Coastwise members. Dave Jenkins brought along some of his strandline finds, including a dolphin skull, and ocean drifters such as Violet Snails and tropical beans, collected during twenty years of beach combing.
A push net made by Malcolm Roberts for Coastwise had its first outing. Using it, both he and Coastwise guest, Brian Watts of Woolacombe, scoured the shallows. This ‘sand dredging’ resulted in a small collection of sand camouflaged shrimp and crabs demonstrating the adaptive behaviour of these animals. Brian ventured into some of the lower shore pools where he caught small fish including young flaties and Lesser Weaver Fish, fortunately avoiding being stung by the latter.
After the safari Clive Symmons and Jim Monroe went pool snorkelling and despite being thwarted somewhat by water clouded by silt and plankton, still managed to spot a couple of Ballan Wrasse in the pool.