Friday, 18 July 2008

Rock Pooling

I had a rather lazy day today, as I spent too much time standing up yesterday and ended up with a bit of a balloon like knee. Fortunately it responded to rest well, although the England Cricket team didn't make it easy to sit and watch.

There have been a few more moths around the last three days and I've caught several Bee Moths. This is one of the larger Pyralid moths and like some other members of the family the larvae feed on the comb inside bee and wasp nests. I'm not sure were these are breeding, I've hardly seen a wasp this year and I don't know of any bee hives close by.

This morning there were three Early Thorns in one trap. The first brood does arrive quite early in the year, being on the wing in April and May, but these are from a second brood, which normally appears in August in the south of England. There was also a second Langmaid's Yellow Underwing in the trap.

There was quite a low tide this evening, exposing a large are of the chalk shelf. Several streams of fresh water run down from the cliffs and the faults leave rock pools for exploration, Tonight there was quite a large group down there, possible on a school field trip. I must admit that I've always been disappointed when I've been rock pooling on this beach with my grandchildren. I don't know if it's because it's on chalk but there seems to be a limited number of animals and plants in these pools. The number of shells is nowhere near as diverse as on some beaches I've explored in Cornwall and there don't seem to be many Sea Anemones. In spite of this most children still find it fun and if it sparks an interest in natural history it is well worth while.

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