Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Looe Island, a magical place

Go on.... you know you want to make a visit!! 
This years annual Looe Island survey and campover for Looe VMCA volunteers and CWT marine staff was once again a magical couple of days. Thanks to John and Claire for welcoming us all and thanks to Abby for her fantastic organisation skills! 

Unfortunately due to the mega shoresearch weekend I was too knackered to make the sleep over but got there in time for a huge low tide and to take part in the annual transect survey! Having 2 teams of low water surveyors really made it a pleasure as the onerous quadrats can otherwise make it extremely difficult to fit in an entire survey into one tide! 
Thanks for your help to Cheryl Wiseman, Martin gregory, Sue Pybus and Cat Wilding for your fantastic company and skills! 

The shore on the sheltered side of Looe island is incredibly rich in seaweed and a myriad of incredible creatures can be found among them. There are deep cracks in the rock full of sea squirts and pink plates and the pink encrusted slates on the lower shore hide a myriad of creatures. 
Sue and Cat  on the lower shore - note the fantastic weather!! 

Juvenile squat lobster - this is the second one we found this summer with this unusual white stripe down the back- the other was found on the night rockpooling at Marazion a few days before! Note the massive eyes!! Galatea squamifera

this tiny pheasant shell can be identified by its shape and its white calcified operculum 

Toothed crab - Pirimela denticulata - note the large spine 'tooth' on front of shell. Only the second one I have ever seen! 

Closeup of a worm pipefish

Snorkelling on the Hannafore side of the island the channel is full of non native seaweeds - large stands of Sargassum muticum and big clumps of harpoon weed Asparagpsis armata.

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