Sunday, 3 December 2017


I touched on baitdiggers in an earlier post but thought I'd do a bit more research into the worms they seek.

The Lugworm, or Blow Lug Arenicola marina is conspicuous by its absence. What you do see however, are two telltale indicators of its presence. On flat sand, when the tide is out, you will often see lots of little sand wiggles, some forming a messy pile, others an almost perfect Fibonacci spiral. Sometimes they are the same colour as the sand, at others they are dark, showing there is a layer of mud, just below the surface. Close by there will often be a dimple. The worm lives in a U-shaped burrow and the cast is sand that has passed through the creature, after the food has been seperated from it and the 'dimple' is where its mouth lies as it sucks in the sand. These are what the baitdiggers look for.

The other feature of low tide is the wading birds, commonist of which round here is the Oystercatcher Haematopus. The latin name comes from Greek, haima, blood, pous, foot. The common name replaces the older Sea pie.

However, the name Oystercatcher is a bit of a red herring (sorry about the mixed metaphors) as they generally eat mussels and cockles, bristle worms and even sea urchins, small fish and crabs.

Whatever they eat, they are are always entertaining to watch as they dabble around in the rock pools, their song, an urgent piping, then taking off in a flurry of wings when disturbed.

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