Before reading Cliff’s note today I was out on the shore enjoying the sunshine and extremely low tide and found a furrow in the wet intertidal sand being made by a Necklace Shell (bottom right). I presumed it was hunting for its next victim. (I’m pleased Barry found this, because I had no pictures of one, and a search on Google produced only one tiny image! Cliff)
Archive for September 20th, 2008
The bivalves in the photo (Common Cockle Cerastoderma edule, Rayed Trough Shell Mactra corallina & Banded Wedge Shell Donax vittatus) have all been predated by Common Necklace Shell Natica alderi.
Whereas herbivorous gastropods ie snails use their radula to scrape plant matter from stones, there are some carnivorous species which drill into the shells of bivalves lying peacefully in the sand filtering food from the surrounding water.
Netted Dogwhelk Nassarius reticulatus predates Barnacles in this fashion.
Highlights from the Beach Reserve this morning included, a Short-eared Owl which gave fantastic views in the early morning light inflight over the shingle ridges at Ternery pool. An Arctic Skua , 27 Sandwich Tern and 11 Common Tern were offshore, 250 Meadow Pipit and 400 Swallow passed overhead. At Castle water, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Green Sandpiper showed well from the hide, 200 Meadow Pipit (pictured) were feeding in the fields nearest to the hide. From the viewpoint 3 Whinchat, Marsh Harrier, 50 Linnet, 30 Goldfinch, 65 Siskin and a Redstart.
Meadow Pipit near Castle Water hide