20 Nov 2010

Rhizostoma octopus.

Not a mollusc but a stonking great jelly fish. The common name appears to be 'Sea Mushroom' Jellyfish but for Hilbre Obs members it'll always be 'dustbin lid' jellyfish.

A quick trip to Hilbre yesterday afternoon after the tide revealed around 50 of these creatures washed up on the strandline.

Why Octopus? Becasue they have eight large tentacles. Its eight 'legs' are covered with a network of mouths that catch particles fanned down onto them by the swimming motion of the bell. They looked positively prehistoric.

A pre-dawn journey this morning was in order to get to Hilbre before high tide. Plenty of birds moving with a few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes grounded in the slightly misty early morning conditions. Suprisingly there were also a couple of late Goldcrests.

 Overhead passage consisted of Starlings, Siskin, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch and Skylark. A short seawatch resulted in a few unusual sightings - Gannets, Kittiwake (adult & juvenile) and an adult Little Gull!

Wader numbers a increasing with at least 21 Purple Sandpipers being logged earlier in the week. Not so many today though but there was the added bonus of a Grey Plover.

Despite a search of likely areas close to home this afternooon there were no sightings of Waxwings but I'm sure I'll see more this winter!

No comments :