You don’t exactly have to keep your nose to the ground to see them but you do have to be a keen observer to notice all the different tracks and trails left on the soft wet sediments of the beach at low tide. Larger marks left by people and vehicles are the first ones you see. Bird footprints are every where. The birds are feeding on all sorts of invertebrate seashore creatures like worms, small crustacea and molluscs – all of which leave holes, burrows and furrows as they move in and out of the sand and across the surface. Some of the pictures shown here simply aim to give the general context for the area of Whiteford Sands that I was walking across. If you look closely the other images, you will see not only the ripples in the sand but also the intricate network of traces left by the virtually invisible organisms that inhabit this ecosystem. The larger furrows in photos 1, 12 and 13 are made by the common winkle (Littorina littorea Linnaeus). I cannot name each animal that is responsible for each of the other types of trace. However, I am sure that there will be some specialists out there who could, especially those researchers concerned with the interpretation of trace fossils (the ichnologists).
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7 Replies to “Tracks and Trails on Whiteford Sands”
You just amaze me with the breadth of your knowledge and curiosity. Thank you so much for keeping this blog.
Nice shots and descriptions. I love tidepooling and all the strange and interesting creatures that come with it.
Thank you, Linda. I enjoy finding out and writing about the things I see on my walks, and I am glad to hear when other people appreciate my efforts.
Thank you, Jeremy. Nice to hear of your shared interest.
Very interesting …. I’ll look with new eyes from now on
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I can never be bored on a beach – pretty confident you’re the same Jessica!
You are right with that, Aidy.