Nurdles

img_7426This Sunday the weather was not too bad and we went for a stroll on Sandy Acres Beach in Hayle on the North coast. Not much exciting had washed up after Storm Angus. However, there was an enormous amount of nurdles, small plastic pellets that are the base material to produce final plastic products. These things end up in the sea due to spillages and present a large environmental problem as animals mistakenly feed on them. They concentrate pollutants on their surface and break down in even smaller particles (ending up in smaller animals), exacerbating the problem. I should have counted them, but there were definitely between 10 and 100 per meter strandline.  I recorded the find at the nurdlehunt website, a good place to start to learn more.img_7454

a brief beach comb at Sandy Acres Beach

IMG_2878Sunday was a beautiful spring day and we headed out to a new spot: Sandy Acres Beach on St. Ives Bay, North Cornwall. Beautiful dunes and a vast beach with very few people on it! With the kids running amok, I had only very little time to scour the high tide strand line. However, even with only 50 meters or so covered, it was the best bit of beach combing so far. Many cuttlefish bones, bits of Horn wracka and quite large mussels covered in seaweed holdfasts. Below a quick snap. At the bottom, I am not 100% sure, two Thornback ray Raja clavata- a Spotted ray Raja montagui and just above that a tiny Small-spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula mermaid’s purses (egg cases, see here for a useful key). Next to the mussel Mytilus edulis, some Hornwrack Flustra foliacea (a Bryozoan), two sponges which might be Mermaids glove and Chocolate finger sponge (thanks Steve Trewhella at the Beachcombing facebook group) and a spiky piece of Sea beard Nemertesia antennina, a hydroid. At the right of that a piece of a whelk Buccinum undatum egg cluster (better pic here). Not a bad haul, looking forward for a proper walk along this beach very soon!IMG_0975