The new moon last week was extra-close to earth and has accentuated the spring tides that we saw this weekend, giving rise to a perigean spring tide. High spring tides climb up especially high, and on the same day low tides plunge especially low. This of course means that beachcombing along the low water mark becomes even more interesting, as animals and plants not normally visible from the shore, are exposed at low water.
Large common starfishes were in abundance over the weekend on the sandy shallows, their bright orange legs standing out against the sand. There are plenty of species of seaweed to be found on the shore at Carry Farm like the bladderwrack, eggwrack, kelp and red seaweeds, a coral like pink seaweed. Underwater, the red seaweed, along with the pink rock lichen, looks magical, and can only be seen on the Carry shore on a very low tide.
If you look extra hard, you will find well disguised and hiding underneath the seaweed at the rocky point, Clabby Doos, an extra large horse mussel that can live for 25 years and colonise just below low water. Large queenie scallops were also spotted, along with the more common razor clam, abundant on sandy shores.
Next time there is a low tide, make sure you find time to put on your wellies and beachcomb along the low water mark where sea urchins, crabs, sea anemones and starfish are plentiful. Spring tides occur every two weeks so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the magical underwater world on our doorstep.