On Tuesday 22nd February, we all met at the Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Council, caught the ferry at the Mayflower steps and went to Batten Bay. We ate some yummy lunch (pasties, cake and fruit!), got our wellies on and then began our search for marine life. We ventured down to the shore and began looking under rocks to find whatever we can, and there was lots to find! There were lots of Velvet swimming crabs, shore crabs, a blenny fish, prawns, starfish and many others, including a montague crab (they’re my favourites, they look very strong!). We even found a crab that was so small it looked like a tiny pebble (“We’d better put him down extra carefully!”).
In the meantime, lots of people played on the beach, building sandcastles and collecting old shells, so there really was something for everyone! Many of the girls loved learning about the limpets and different snail shells they could find, and some were very surprised indeed to find a hermit crab living inside an old shell!
Then on Wednesday 23rd February, we were off out again! This time we went down to Devil’s Point Beach. We started by playing “True or False”, to see how much we really knew about life in the ocean. Did you know that Whales have belly buttons?? Well, they do!
Many of us splashed around the rocks and found lots of interesting species. We found a starfish, and not everyone believed you could get them in the Plymouth Sound before we did, it’s always a nice surprise what you can find! A little later on some rain arrived, but that didn’t stop us in our hunt! We did a Shore Life Survey as we went, and wrote down everything we found, and we found a lot! There were all sorts of crabs found, including narrow-clawed and broad-clawed porcelain crabs, velvet swimmers and shore crabs. We were looking out for invasive species, and found some Pacific Oysters. We also found an edible crab who had recently shed his shell and was waiting for
his new one to get hard, and a Yellow Plumed Seaslug.
Teaching us about the different sharks and rays in the area was Jon from the Sharks Trust, with whom we had a little look around for “mermaids purses”, which are actually shark and ray egg cases. We were also joined by Joy, who is a Plymouth Council Play Officer, who showed us how to get artistic at the seaside! Many of the kids helped to make a beautiful mermaid, using seaweed for hair and pebbles for her face. They also got busy making sandcastles and animal shapes.
We have some photos from Devil’s Point for you to see here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluesound/sets/72157626165996358/ All future events can be seen at www.bluesound.org.