D iscovered this jellyfish/party balloon hybrid on a beach in Co. Fingal, Ireland, last week. Hybridisation is well understood by the science community, but never before has it been observed between a living organism and a man-made material.
This further compounds the problem of persistent plastic in our oceans – jellyfish today but just imagine if cod start to hybridise with crisp packets, or tuna with lucozade bottles. It’ll be chaos down at Morrisson’s fish counter.*1
*1Plastic pollution is actually seriously shit – we don’t deserve this lovely planet.
We have a family of grey wagtails moved into our garage. It was due to be renovated this summer – that will have to wait a while now. A security webcam diverted to naturewatch duties.
From Preston and the excitement of the Dull Men's Club outing we drove straight to Fenns Bank for an overnight in the new (life-changing) VW van and have breakfast with the wildlife on the edge of Britain's most southerly raised bog. I grew up[sic] here, and it has become an annual pilgrimage for us to partake in the isolation and contemplation this place gives. Not to mention some amazing bird watching. Herewith a selection of photos. Most speak for themselves, but of note is the remains of WWII Star Fish site - decoy bonfires to lure the Luftwaffe, and the photo with the red arrow is probably the saddest photo I've ever taken - as a young boy these fields were full of lapwings, vast flocks of them that darkened the sky. Today, this single individual who, although a speck in the photo, didn't seem to know what to do with himself and just wandered around, confused "Where is everyone?"
So, another Sunday, another litter-pick. This morning, Ynyslas, with Beach Cleans 2018 group led by Philip Stallard. Today I was mostly picking forensically - where you delve into the high tide line and tease out all the tiny bits of jetsam from the straw, twigs, mermaids purses and other organic, meant-to-be-there debris. In order not to plunge into an irretrievable depression from the sheer scale of all this shite, your mind tends to wonder as to the provenance of it all. Today, among the myriad bottle tops and cotton buds, I found rather too many shotgun cartridges. Also, three combs, two fishing lures and about 500 yards of rope of varying thickness in lengths of three inches or less. I also found two ear defender plugs – clearly a matching pair, yet they had somehow been tossed across the oceans to land upon Ynyslas within a foot of each other. Today, Keri also found a bunch of Audi car keys, registration VX57 NMY. Most useful find of the day was Lance Corporal Evans seen displaying his military prowess in the picture below. Oh and the telly must have dropped out of someone's pocket as they walked the path along the river Leri – happy to return it to its rightful owner. From great height.
We are not powerless...
Beach litter-picking in a 40mph wind is a blast - literally. Great turn out today weather considered - and in two hours collected all of the crap you see here from what looked like a tidy beach.
Today I concentrated on the miniscule stuff trapped within the tidemark seaweed. Still managed a sack full including 70+ cotton bud sticks - all of them blue.
You meet some great people doing this: Aberystwyth Beach Buddies, Surfers Against Sewage, Llanidloes river cleaners (forgot what you called yourselves)
#plasticpollution #saveourseas #PlanetBeforeProfit #SaveOurSeas plus any number of hash tags. #goodjobidonthaveagun
If you were to doubt, in any way, the problem our world has with plastic – a beach litter-pick is both catharsis and enlightenment. Two hours, a dozen or so volunteers and a truck load of washed-up rubbish – a feel good way to spend a Saturday morning. This was Tan-y-bwlch beach, Aberystwyth and had only been litter-picked a matter of weeks ago. The pile in the bottom pic was the tally after 2 hours. By end of the day on Saturday 450kgs had been collected. Breathtaking. Thanks be to Aberystwyth Beach Buddies for their organisation.
He lives by our back door. He likes people, blades of grass and flower bulbs. He also likes the limelight. I suspect he has not long for this world.