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Some things about the coronavirus outbreak can be wonderful. Whole beaches just to yourself! It’s not quite swimming temperature yet, but the recent rough weather has made for interesting beachcombing.

Last time we had strong easterlies there were many sponges washed up at Urquhart Bluff. When the restrictions are over, visit the Angair rooms and have a look at the marine cabinet just inside the door. Please open the cabinet and feel the texture of the different species.

sponge1Sponge 1

sponge2Sponge 2

This time there have been few sponges, but HUGE piles of seaweeds up to a metre deep.

seaweedPiles of seaweek

Amongst them I found several egg masses of squids, a range of jellyfish, some ascidians and what I think is a sea cucumber, but the museum is having trouble identifying it.

squideggsSquid eggs

seacucumberSea Cucumber

Many cuttlefish have washed up recently, some with nearly all the flesh still attached, so they are not the results of predation. Some I found today are obviously older, as they have goose barnacles attached.

Have you been out looking? Please share your finds

Neil Tucker