Stormy seas and stranded marine life

tower

DSCN0295According to Met Eireann the bad weather we are currently experiencing has blown down from Siberia. This goes a long way to explaining the chilly temperature this morning. The prevailing wind direction for Ireland is from between the south and west. However over the last week or two they have consistently blown in from the east creating some serious waves and washing up some interesting things.

Scrambling about on low tide at Seapoint we found a large number of small animals washed up and drying out. We tried to return some of the more lively of them to areas were they might stand a chance of surviving. With the looming incoming tide and crashing surf  they are in for a rough few days.

 

air-bag

 

There was the usual bits of marine debris washed up like bits of rope, beer cans and plastic bottles. The not so usual was a Mercedes Benz car air bag.

 

 

purseAlong the high water mark on the beach where seaweed accumulates is a great spot to find Mermaid’s Purses. These are small egg cases from our native sharks and rays. Using the egg case id key from the Shark Trust my best guess would be that the one I found is from a Thornback ray.

 

Around Ireland there is an exciting fisheries conservation project that involves public participation. Marine biologist Sarah Varian is looking to hear about any Mermaid’s Purses found. You can report them through the online form found on her website Marine Dimensions. My little find is in the post for identification.

 

Searching among the broken shells I found a large Dog whelk shell on the high water mark. Picking it up tiny little red legs could be seen curled up inside.

hermy

 

We found a sheltered rock pool and placed the Hermit crab in it, hopefully it can survive another pounding from the waves. Check out the video below to see how the Hermit crab got on.

 

Even without getting in for a dive or snorkel there is still plenty of marine life to be found during storms.