I thought these clear little blobs washing up on the shoreline were some stage of a jellyfish life-cycle. However, I now think that they are sea gooseberries (Pleurobrachia pileus, in the phylum Ctenophora – so not even a jellyfish at all).
A sea gooseberry on an oystershell
I wasn’t sure if these things could sting, which is why I put this one on a shell to photograph it. However, unlike jellyfish, sea gooseberries don’t even have stingers.
A sadder sight lately along the tide line is the numerous dead dogfish. I guess they’re discarded by fishermen. There have been quite a lot of skate or ray carcasses too, just their spiky spines and heads with their wings removed. At least the birds love feeding on the skate remains and the flesh doesn’t last for long. By contrast, the dogfish just stick around (except for the ones that get eaten by the four-legged dogs walking on the beach – some of the local dogs seem to find part rotted dogfish particularly tasty).
One of the many dead dog fish on Llanddwyn and Penrhos beaches lately. I thought this one had particularly pretty markings.
Another dead dogfish…
A discarded midsection of a skate
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).
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.
After yesterday’s storm with its hurricane force winds, the beach is littered with jellyfish and parts of jellyfish.
I think this may be a barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo). One of the few intact jellies on the beach.
One of the many scarf-like jellyfish “fronds” on the beach
There are also plenty of windblown trees throughout the forest, mainly they’ve been cleared from the roads, but some are still blocking the track to the residents’ car park.
Fallen trees on the track to the residents’ car park