Thursday 28 August 2014

Welly Walk at Ardnave

A group of 9 of us set off for the circular walk at Ardnave on Monday. Although rather late in the season we did see quite a number of wild flowers and enjoyed watching the Chough probing in the sand and the Arctic Terns gracefully dancing at the tide's edge with the hitherto tantalizing Nave Island as a backdrop. It was with great satisfaction that Paul observed that he must be one of the few people around that can say he set foot on Nave Island before he set foot on the dunes at Ardnave! Quite a few Lion's Mane jellyfish had been washed ashore, along with the much more diminutive By-the-Wind Sailors, an ocean dwelling species that is found in warmer coastal waters. Below is information from Marlin:

Velella velella is a pelagic colonial hydroid. The float, which is an oval disc, is deep blue in colour and can be up to 10 cm in length. Short tentacles hang down into the water from the float. A thin semicircular fin is set diagonally along the float acting as a sail. This sail gives the animal both its scientific (i.e. from velum, a sail) and its common name, 'by-the-wind-sailor'. The direction of the sail along the float determines which way Velella velella will travel. If the sail runs north-west to south-east along the float it will drift left of the wind direction, if the sail runs south-west to north-east it will drift right of the wind direction. Velella velella feeds on pelagic organisms, including young fish, caught by stinging cells on its tentacles. The sea slug Fiona pinnata , sunfish Mola mola and violet snail Janthina janthina prey upon Velella velella.

Arctic Tern, Grey Heron, Mute Swan and cygnets, Sand Martin, Swallow, Chough, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Linnet, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Shag

Pineapple Mayweed, Water Mint, Common Scurvy Grass, Redshank, Grass of Parnassus, Harebell, Common Storksbill, Thrift, Creeping Thistle, Marsh Thistle, Spear Thistle, Forget-me-not, Red Bartsia, Red Clover, Eyebright, Ragged Robin, Devil's-bit Scabious, Polypody, Bog Myrtle

Rabbit, Grey Seal


Grass of Parnassus

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Polypody with spores

Water Mint
(All photos by Paul Dexter)

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