Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 14 October 2014 22:16
Four nights, three men, two countries and one camper van. I've been on a bit of an adventure for the last few days taking in an eclectic range of species from Wild Boar to Pilchard. Small Cushion Star (above) to Heath Grasshopper. Where better to start though than the end? The end of the world. Well, the end of the Gower in South Wales or the Worm's Head to be precise...
...we (Seth Gibson, Danny Copper and I) decided to go rock-pooling along the Welsh Atlantic coast so we drove to the end of the Gower. The Worm's Head is an impressive island (it looks a bit like a dragon) that is accessible for 2.5 hours either side of low tide. We got there a little after low tide but we had plenty of time on the second day too for rock-pooling. Ricocheting Choughs bounced along the thermals around the car park, this is a striking landscape.
Fish were on my mind but the smaller, shallower more sheltered rock pools were providing lots of new species other than fish. This Elegant Anemone was quite a looker.
Compared to the more intricate and subtle beauty of the Daisy Anemone.
However, I think my favourite new species was the Green Sea Urchin. Exactly the same colour combo as a Snakelocks Anemone!
Saddle Oyster, Black-footed Limpet and Trophon barvicensis were all knew molluscs for me but the fish were pretty quiet. Shanny was the most abundant with a few Five-bearded Rocklings and singletons of Long-spined Sea Scorpion and Butterfish. Then we stumbled upon a rock pool full of fish!
We hoyed a few out and after a bit of deliberation and an expert second opinion, we believe they are in fact Pilchards (fin position and radial marks on the gill covers clinches it). Quite an unexpected tick and with Transparent Goby added retrospectively from Rye Bay in August, I'm now on 78 fish. Next up it's the Wild Boar story...