Beach Feast

‘The strong southwesterlies and 6 metre tides earlier this week created a sea rough enough to bring about a ‘Mussel’ tideline, with thousands of mussels thrown up onto the beach. The tides were not that high and I wonder sometimes if that can be more damaging to the rock shorelife as the big waves crash there continuously rather than running up onto the top of the beach. The prom itself was clear of shingle.

Young Herring Gulls were learning to ply their trade in their first serious weather. Adults were hanging back while first summer birds (a year old) sometimes appeared to find themselves in their own cohort. Generally though it was a free-for-all at this marine feast. As well as foraging over the water Gulls pick up mussels from the beach and then drop them from some height to break open the shell and I met one person who had nearly been struck on the head by one of the flying shellfish.

In a rough winter this tideline can last for weeks and is a favourite of Carrion Crows as well as the gulls.’ Andrew Grace


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