Thursday, 20 March 2014

Newquay Shoresearch

 Once again Newquay's shoreline revealed some fantastic secrets on Tuesdays shore search survey
We started out exploring the boulder zone down at the Gazzle a cove on the North side of Towan headland. this more sheltered but still relatively exposed site is rich in biodiversity and the cliff and large boulders are covered in a thick layer of purple coraline algae and supports a diverse underboulder community of sponges, hydroids, bryozoans, tube worms of many species, and loads of crabs, cushion stars, cowries, brittlestars and broad clawed squat lobsters.

Painted topshell Calliosotma zizyphinum

The Boulder zone at extreme low water - the Gazzle - a truly rich habitat
Closeup of a Gem anemone,  Aluactinia verrucosa taken at Towan beach, Newquay by Matt Slater

Green Sea urchin  Psamechinus millaris

A tube worm possibly Sabellaria spinosa? and a crevice sea cucumber Aslia lefevrei

Found in gulley  a Beautiful Dahlia anemone 

Closeup of a very unusual red colour morph of a Daisy Anemone, Cereus pedunculatus.

Sunlight through the Sargassum - Towan beach pools
Banded pincer weed Ceramium, in the sunlight 
Moving on along the rugged coast there we found several pools that would be great to come to on a low tide but sadly the water had covered them - you need to be very careful rockpooling at Newquay because of the potential for large swells! Today wasn't too bad but make sure you don't get swept off the rocks if you go there yourselves! After surveying I took a quick trip down to Towan beach and enjoyed exploring some of the familiar pools in front of the harbour wall, home to gem anemones, green urchins and beautiful sea weeds - I hope you enjoyed the arty photos taken with my underwater camera!

Thanks to my volunteers Cheryl and Rachel it was a great survey with lots more photos saved into the Shoresearch Dropbox!
Sadly we didn't find any stalked jelly fish but I am still sure they must be there somewhere- It would be good to snorkel this site and see if they are there in the shallow sub tidal! Newquay marine group volunteers please get out and look for them!



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