Barrel jellyfish on the spring tide

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These two jellyfish were washed in on the high “spring” tide this morning. I flipped one over, and I think they are barrel jellyfish (aka dustbin lid jellyfish – although these were only about 16″ across).

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The last few nights have seen the highest tides of the year – and it will be a few years before they are so high again. But, because the weather has been so gentle, the tides have done very little damage; hardly even altering the shoreline.

The term “spring” in spring tide comes from old northern European languages meaning to burst (like a pipe springs a leak). The opposite is the “neap” tide, which means pinched (like nip) or scanty.

Orienteering Event

As well as the main footpaths and tracks throughout Newborough Forest, there are a lot of smaller orienteering routes waymarked. These trails take you into some of the nicest and less visited parts of the forest. On the weekend of 22nd and 23rd October 2016, there is going to be an open orienteering competition on these routes. See the poster below for more information:

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Filming for “horse mystery” on the beach

Hot on the heels of the Sandman Triathlon, Newborough Forest and beaches have now been somewhat taken over by crew and their vehicles shooting for a “horsey teen mystery”.

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Cast, including beautiful horses, and crew by Llanddwyn Island this morning

Metro has an article about the production here: there is no name for it yet and it will be aired in 2017.

 

Storm Imogen – a sand eater

Storm Imogen has coincided with the new moon spring tides. The waves are being blown hard against the sand cliffs on Penrhos Beach, eating away the faces that had already become unstable from the incessant rains and winds.

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Storm Imogen driving the waves onto Penrhos Beach

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Sand slip – before the storm (now gone)

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The sea has come right through one of the breaches NRW dug last winter and is now onto the Postman’s Path

Although the winds are set to ease and the waves get smaller, the tides over the next few days will be even higher, so there will probably be more changes to the shoreline before the week is out.

Amongst the flotsam washed ashore by the storm was one of the pink HP printer cartridges the BBC reported on at the start of the year. The cartridges went overboard from a shipment more than a year ago and have been washing up on shores around the UK and Europe ever since. This is the first one I’ve found.

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HP cartridge – the first I’ve found

The stormy tide seems to have swept away much of the goose barnacle covered flotsam and jetsam that was accumulating on the beach. Each year there seem to be more and more of these barnacles washed ashore.

Black sands

The recent stormy weather has brought patches of black sands all along the beaches.

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A variegated scallop shell on the black sand

Sometimes black sands are caused by oil or coal pollution, but these black sands seem to be solely made from smashed up sea shells and their filmy black coatings. They are, in fact, just a very very thin coating on the surface of the sands.

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These black sands are “clean” – they don’t smear or smell

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Black sands, Penrhos Beach, Newborough

Amongst the black sands are huge numbers of intact sea shells: whelks, razors, scallops, otters, mussels, oysters… and these in turn are attracting lots of gulls and wading birds to enjoy the feast.