Saturday, 6 March 2021

From Long-Tailed ducks to green jelly blobs - such is life!

This is the 5,000th post for this blog. Pete posted the first one 14/12/06, so not many days missed.

The light breeze had shifted to the SW by morning. Largely overcast but dry.

So far only records from the north shore
Pale-bellied Brent goose 38. There were three groups searching for the remaining pockets of sea lettuce on the skeer 31, 4 and 2 (37, later 38 were counted from Knowlys so presumably one missed on the skeer).
This is the largest group, but probably not all visible on this scan.

These are 2 of the group of 4 searching on the western edge. I've added this as it shows a number of birds feeding. As well as the Geese, there are Eider, Oystercatcher and Redshank.

Red-breasted Merganser 6
Great Crested grebe 14 two groups of 7 but a mile between them.
No sign of any Long-Tailed ducks today
No Knot feeding on the skeer again today
Perhaps this Peregrine is the reason why

Spring is the time of year when these mysterious blobs of green jelly occasionally wash ashore. 
The name for these blobs of green jelly is "Green jelly blobs" - I kid you not (MD)
I say "mysterious" as no one can decide what they are. I've always "known" them to be the egg sacs of green ragworm. This is pretty much what most experts think (but not all - if you're really bored Google "green jelly blobs on the beach"), but what I didn't know is that there is more than one species of green ragworm and they don't know which one creates these. I would have thought that they would all produce something similar (how many forms of green jelly blobs can there be?)
So to maintain the scientific integrity of this blog....
This Green Jelly Blob is likely to be the egg cocoon of a worm of the Polynoidae family.
The tendril hanging behind my fingers is what should have anchored it to a hold fast.
I returned it to the water, but don't hold out much hope for the eggs survival.