The Isle Of Coll

We have just returned from the isle Of Coll, in the inner Hebrides , miles of deserted beaches resulted in some good beachcombing finds , lots of long haul fishing litter from across the Atlantic, and two seabeans , a Sea purse, and Sea Heart , both found on the same beach .

However, biodiversity on the beaches and dunes was poor , years of farm animals grazing and trampling has resulted in poor strandline habitat , and damaged or eaten plants , this is not what I expected from such an isolated location .

Common and Grey Seals are prolific , and one Otter was seen running across the beach from its resting place in the dunes .

Although snorkelling in the sheltered bays is good, diving is not really possible without a boat, the pier is also now closed to diving, which was a great shame , as it was one of the reasons for visiting the island .

Barrel Jellyfish on the increase

25th May 2015 , this weekend we spotted around one hundred Barrel Jellyfish , Rhizostoma pulmo along Kimmeridge bay in Dorset .

A dramatic increase in numbers from 2014 , sighting are coming in thick and fast from Dorset, Devon and Cornwall , as yet its unknown why so many are showing , but overfishing of their natural predators within the Plankton chain could be a reason , or it could just be another good year for Plankton and Jellyfish .

We took our Grandson Finn out on the boat in the hope of showing him his first Jellyfish , not only did he see dozens , but he also managed to spend around thirty minutes drifting with numerous Barrel Jellyfish , the photo's taken have caused quite a stir with the media , with many national and international media agencies and newspapers picking up on the story of a ten year old Boy snorkelling with Jellyfish as large as himself .

Posing no real threat to Humans, these magnificent creatures can be observed safely , offering up a unique opportunity to all involved .

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3095867/The-invasion-jellyfish-Tens-thousands-5ft-stinging-sea-creatures-massing-beaches-south-west-Britain.html

 

Barrel Jellyfish on the South coast

25th May 2015 , this weekend we spotted around one hundred Barrel Jellyfish , Rhizostoma pulmo along Kimmeridge bay in Dorset .

A dramatic increase in numbers from 2014 , sighting are coming in thick and fast from Dorset, Devon and Cornwall , as yet its unknown why so many are showing , but overfishing of their natural predators within the Plankton chain could be a reason , or it could just be another good year for Plankton and Jellyfish .

We took our Grandson Finn out on the boat in the hope of showing him his first Jellyfish , not only did he see dozens , but he also managed to spend around thirty minutes drifting with numerous Barrel Jellyfish , the photo's taken have caused quite a stir with the media , with many national and international media agencies and newspapers picking up on the story of a ten year old Boy snorkelling with Jellyfish as large as himself .

Posing no real threat to Humans, these magnificent creatures can be observed safely , offering up a unique opportunity to all involved .

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3095867/The-invasion-jellyfish-Tens-thousands-5ft-stinging-sea-creatures-massing-beaches-south-west-Britain.html

 

Rare Scaly Cricket Chesil beach

As part of our on-going work studying beach strandlines , we decided to set a number of pitfall traps baited with pasty and cat biscuits , on the seaward side of Chesil beach in Dorset .

The beach is made up of shingle and cobbles , with a strandline of dried seaweed and other debris , including large amounts of litter .

The target species were tiny Mites and Springtails , often understudied and under recorded , the following morning revealed many of these species , along with six rare Scaly Crickets Pseudomogoplistes vicentae , and a  multitude of Wolf Spiders, Woodlice , Beetles , and Centipedes .

The Scaly Cricket is only known to occur on a handful of UK beaches , and is endemic to  this strandline habitat .