Hill End to Spaniard Rocks & Back: Step-by-Step Part 3

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The sky became bluer and the vast expanse of low tide sand seemed superficially at least to be featureless – but peering into the distance, towards Burry Holms, there was an unexpected dark line. Viewed through the zoom, it turned out to be something interesting on which dozens of young gulls and a few crows were having a great feast.

During the early hours of the morning the sea had brought in a sad harvest of seashore creatures now lying dead or dying on a bed of broken plant stems and fragments of blackened driftwood. Most of the animals were common starfishes (Asterias rubens) but rayed trough shells (Mactra stultorum), the elongated Pharus legumen, common whelks (Buccinum undatum), and the occasional masked crab (Corystes cassivelaunus) were also present. What had caused this mass stranding event I do not know but it happens every now and again. I have photographed similar multiple deaths on this beach before.

You can click on any picture to see the whole gallery in enlarged format

5 Replies to “Hill End to Spaniard Rocks & Back: Step-by-Step Part 3”

  1. I always used to think that birds did not like to eat the dead starfish on the beach but last week the birds were definitely having a go. The young gulls were walking around with the starfish in their beaks.

  2. Thank you, Evelyn. It is sad that the starfish and so many other creatures were washed up but I guess it all gets recycled in the natural way and other organisms benefit in the long run.

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