Yesterday we had another school visit the Nature Reserve, this time it was all the children from Tilling Green Infant School in Rye. Whilst hunting around on the saltmarsh for crabs and other creepy crawlies, we found 4 Sea Slater woodlice (Ligia oceanica). The largest one can be seen below. The body was over 2cm long.
Sea Slaters can be clearly identified by the large size, flattened body and pair of long ‘tails’. They can be found around the high water mark, but even though they have a pair of gills they do not live in the water, prefering to hide in a nice damp environment. The maximum size they can grow to is 3cm long.
Whilst walking the dog along the edge of the saltmarsh close to Lime Kiln Information Centre,Â I came across a Compass Jellyfish, that had been washed up in the high tide earlier in the day.Â It measured 16cm diameter,Â but they can be up to 20cm.
Last Friday saw a few select visitors head down to Rye Harbour to help hunt for Mermaid’s Purses that get washed ashore on the beach. These are the eggcases of skates and rays. Once found, they were collected, identified and then the results get sent off to the Shark Trust to help with their research into locating nursery grounds in the UK waters. In total we found 52 Thornback Rays, 14 Spotted Rays, 3 Undulate Rays and 1 Blonde Ray.
Thornback Ray Eggcase hiding amongst bittersweet and sea kale plants
When you are next down on the beach keep an eye out for these eggcases, collect them, then please hand them into Lime Kiln Information Centre along with details of the date and location that they were found. The eggcases will then be identified and the results sent off to the Shark Trust to help with their research.
Whilst cleaning up the beach during the workparty last week, this eggcase was found amongst the rubbish. It is the largest that has been found on the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve so far, and has been identified as a Blonde Ray Eggcase. The eggcases of skates and rays often get washed up on the beach, but it is unusual to find one with all the ‘horns’ intact.
If you find any eggcases washed up on the beach, please hand them into Lime Kiln Information Centre along with details of the date and location that they were found. The eggcases will then be identified and the results sent off to the Shark Trust to help with their research.
Walking along the strandline yesterday morning, I found a total of 31 Mermaid’s Purses. These are the eggcases of skates and rays. Once the infant has hatched the empty eggcase gets washed ashore, and by collecting and identifying them, we can help the Shark Trust locate important nursery grounds in UK waters.
The eggcases I found included a number of different species, however the find was dominated by 22 Thornback Rays, 5 Spotted Rays, 1 Undulate Ray and 3 Blonde Rays.
Flat Beach and Ternery Pool:
300 Sandwich Tern
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Green Sandpiper
2 Arctic Skua (chasing Terns)
60+ Common Scoter
Dawn at the Bittern Excavation on the 27th after overnight rain
111 Greenshank, 22 Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Black Tailed Godwit.
Today 3 Arctic Skua chasing Terns offshore and a Marsh Harrier at Harbour Farm.
32 Little Egret could be seen at the roost.
125 Greylag and 64 Canada Goose
1 Wood Sandpiper
5 Green Sandpiper
2 Barn Owl
At Castle Water:
6 Common Sandpiper, 5 Green Sandpiper
3 Whimbrel, 10 Little Egret
At Ternery Pool:
2 Roseate Tern
400+ Sandwich Tern, 150+ Common Tern
4 Common Sandpiper
50+ Common Scoter