Today might have started out a little cloudy and rainy but the sun came out just in time for our rockpool safari in the afternoon.
With the use of our trusty guides we explored New Quays coastline with a wonderful group of keen rock poolers and aspiring marine biologists. Families stepped carefully over the rocks to see what cryptic creatures our Research Intern Jordan O could find amongst the rocks.
Along the way he explained how to identity the many different species of kelp we are lucky to have, such as Bladder wrack, Serrated kelp, twisted kelp and Sugar kelp. Each one varying in texture and size to create perfect hiding spots for small animals. Scattered over the entire rocky shore we also found plenty of limpets and barnacles, robust gastropods who can survive for hours out of the water by securing themselves to the rocks, creating a tight seal to prevent dehydration. Interns Katherine and Poppy also found some beautiful Beadlet Anemones and Snakelock Anemones, with their distinctive red and green colouration they truly look like the flowers of the Welsh seas.
Upon investigating under the layers of sea grasses and kelp we were able to find several rockpool inhabitants such as Common Shore crabs, Common Prawns and even a few fast-moving Shannies.
All participants were lucky enough to find a variety of Periwinkles and Top shells, some shells were unfortunately empty but gave us a great opportunity to examine the patterns up close.
A sadly deceased shore crab whose carapace had been opened gave us the opportunity to have a close look at its internal structure.
Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten the stars of this week… Cardigan Bay’s dolphins. We had a great team of experienced interns make their way South to Mwnt to conduct land surveys and record any cetacean activity. Despite the windy weather, Clare, Megs and Layla managed to record 9 Bottlenose dolphins, including 1 juvenile and 1 calf.
Tomorrow we will be running a marine mammal stranding workshop where we will teach you how you can help a stranded cetacean. Come join us at Dolau beach at 10:30 to see what you can learn about assisting our marine mammalian neighbours. Our weekly beach clean will also be tomorrow, starting at 3.30PM on Dolau Beach. We also have another Rock Pool Safari scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
To see what other events we have on offer in New Quay and online please visit https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2021-on-site-and-online-events/
Research Intern and part-time blogger