Friday, 25 November 2011

Shark Report.

Bright sunshine and a high tide induced me to visit the bay. Not too many visitors and some unseasonably mild weather made it a pleasant walk along the narrow strip of shingle still exposed just beyond the houses.

A group of about 40 Black-headed Gulls picked at the foam as the waves broke and rolled onto be beach.

I had recently noticed a distinct lack of Rock Pipits around the bay this autumn, so it was good to see at least six in that small stretch.

They were very active, chasing each other around the groynes and feeding amongst the sea-weed. I suppose if you've got feathers it's best not to face into the wind!

This Lesser -spotted Dogfish, (Scyliorhinus canicula) was washed up onto the waters edge. There was no obvious sign of damage and the gulls had so far not been pecking at it. This small shark goes under the alternative name of Rough Hound, and when sold in the fish-bar has the more attractive Monika of Rock Salmon. Dogfish are bottom-living sharks which are most commonly encountered on sand or gravel at depths between 1-50m, It feeds on a range of bottom-living invertebrates, especially crabs, shrimps, molluscs and worms and also some small fish.It is a common and widespread fish around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Having had my dose of the sea, I moved to higher elevations, passed the lighthouse and then walked to Fan Bay. There were absolutely no small birds to see and I can get bored with a few Carrion Crows, Jackdaws and Herring Gulls, so I decided to leave the cliff top and move a little inland. Back on March 16th 2009 I found a tree near the "Three Sisters" that was laden with buntings like an over productive apple tree. Today there was but one Corn Bunting in the same tree, but the stubble around had attracted several more, along with a few Yellowhammers and Skylarks. It was mainly little brown jobs, albeit one with a yellow head. A single Stonechat seemed to be moving round with a Dunnock, the two of them sticking closely together for several minutes. Quickly the sun dropped into the lower part of the sky and the haze soon had wiped out the bright shadows that there had been just a few minutes before. At the same time I was reminded why it was more usual to where a coast of some sort at the end of November. A brisk walk across the stubble warmed me up and I was cheered by the sight of several more Corn Buntings an Yellowhammers and the thought of a nice cup of rosy when I got home.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Here in France the fishmongers' name for Dogfish is saumonette and in Australia shark meat is called 'flake' and is the most popular fish for fish'n'chips (doesn't fall apart when cooked, guaranteed no bones).