Thursday 2 July 2020

Watching mussels grow!

Light westerly breezes. Some rain for most of the day, but a little sunshine by evening.

Not much to report. So far all I have is the merger fare from my check of the skeer at low water 16:40. (MD).
Todays title reflects the highlights, it is somewhere between "watching paint dry" and "watching grass grow"!
Little Egret 12
Great Crested Grebe 3 in summer plumage.
The only waders were Oystercatchers and Curlew.
This Herring gull was diving for crabs

Not as elegant as a tern, but not bad!

Now the mussel growing bit.....
On 16th June I posted the picture below of the seed mussels on the skeer. At this stage they are still anchored to the skeer stones. I said at the time that within a month they could be sat on a metre of unconsolidated mud.
This is the same area today. Only two weeks on and they are already almost a metre high in some places. The only thing they are anchored to now are each other. But it isn't enough, the fast ebbing spring tides undermine the edges of the mud, leaving them vulnerable to storms.
These days, the winter storms clear the remaining mussels, but they will be very lucky to last that long this year. The significance of this, of course, are that these mussels are a prime food source for some diving birds, particularly Eider.  I'll probably provide an update in a month or so - meanwhile you'll just have to contain your excitement!