Category Archives: Fish

Super-tide in the Cornish Rock Pools – Hannafore

I am a lucky woman. Not only is my other-half proud to be seen in public with me when I’m wearing my oh-so-flattering waders, but he’s even prepared to spend his birthday on the shore.

He says he understands; tides like this don’t come up every day. In fact, watching him lifting stones and kneeling to take photos, I start to suspect he’s becoming as obsessed as I am.

I love my waders! Exploring the Cornish rock pools.
I love my waders!

The tide is already out so far that Continue reading Super-tide in the Cornish Rock Pools – Hannafore

Practice Run – Rockpooling just before the big tides

This weekend will be a rockpool marathon. I’ll be out in my splendidly flattering waders crawling among kelp and tearing my fingers apart on barnacles and keel worms, making the most of the exceptional spring tides.

In preparation I take a leisurely pootle to my local beach, Plaidy. High pressure and calm seas mean this is already a great tide – it will drop another half-metre by Saturday.

Baby sand eel
Baby sand eel

Cornish Rockpools junior is digging sea defences, rescuing the baby Continue reading Practice Run – Rockpooling just before the big tides

Spring in the Cornish Rock Pools

Spring is a wonderful time of year in the Cornish rock pools, although like all things British, it’s hard to predict when it will arrive.

 This time of year, the fish are moving inshore to lay their eggs. In many common shore species, the male stays close by, protecting the eggs until the baby fish hatch. Blennies, in particular, are frequently found hiding among the rocks, close to their precious broods.

A tompot blenny (male) guards his eggs
A tompot blenny (male) guards his eggs
Fish eggs under a rock. Inside, lots of tiny eyes look back at me.
Fish eggs under a rock. Inside, lots of tiny eyes look back at me.

Many crabs too are ‘in berry’, tucking their clutches of eggs Continue reading Spring in the Cornish Rock Pools

Chilly but Fabulous – February Rockpools

I’m not cut out for rockpooling in a northerly wind in February. My hands are too frozen to hold my battered old camera steady, but nothing is going to make me miss this tide. It’s so low that the seagrass at Hannafore is high and dry and a shark is lurking in shin-deep water, but I haven’t seen that yet.

A male Xantho incisus crab
A male Xantho incisus crab
A beautiful dahlia anemone (Urticina felina).
A beautiful dahlia anemone (Urticina felina).

There are fish, crabs, worms and brittle stars in droves Continue reading Chilly but Fabulous – February Rockpools

A Shark in the Rockpools: Hannafore, Cornwall

Fish often become trapped in the shallows during exceptionally low tides, even big fish like mullet and wrasse, but it’s the first time I’ve met an adult shark on a rockpooling trip.

It’s been a cold but productive afternoon and I’m about to head home to defrost my painfully frozen fingers when a movement in the kelp around ten metres away grabs my attention. Continue reading A Shark in the Rockpools: Hannafore, Cornwall