27 Jul
2013
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Rockpooling

We slide and slither down the steep, rain-gouged path to the beach and race to cool off in the sea.

We swim in the gentle waves, then, refreshed, potter about the rock pools with a net and white tray.

With our first dip of the net we catch a Common Prawn. Then, we lift some stones and find a handful of Common Shore Crabs, which wave their pincers at us menacingly. Next, I am delighted to discover a bizarre Sea Hare. There are seaweeds galore to search beneath – Sea Lettuce and Gutweed, Irish Moss and Toothed Wrack, grazed by marauding herds of Common Periwinkles. Jewel-like Beadlet Anemones and a couple of day-glo Snakelocks Anemones cling to the rocks, waving their tentacles.

I proudly present Izzy with a Hermit Crab I have found, but she is unimpressed, absorbed in attempting to use the floating tray as a boat.

Before we leave, I am determined to get a closer look at one of the many fish I have seen dashing through the water and when I eventually do scoop one up, I find that I have caught a brightly patterned Long-spined Sea Scorpion.

Tired and happy, I scramble back up the hill with Izzy in my arms. At the top, I am about ready to drop from heat exhaustion and am more than happy to pause for a while, gazing out over the Great Mew Stone in the sparkling blue sea and reflecting on our perfect afternoon.


 

 

Checklist

  • Beadlet Anenome
  • Common Limpet
  • Common Periwinkle
  • Common Prawn
  • Hermit Crab
  • Long-spined Sea Scorpion
  • Sand Hopper
  • Sea Hare
  • Shore Crab
  • Snakelocks Anemone

Practicalities

The National Trust car park at Wembury Beach was full, so we carried on driving towards Wembury Point and parked at the end of the road, then followed the marked footpath down to the beach. This was very steep and totally unsuitable for buggies. It was also overgrown and nettles were abundant! A toddler wetsuit proved essential for sea-swimming.

Please always follow the Seashore Code when rockpooling.

Other places to go rockpooling

So, what do you think?