This week I’ve been waxing lyrical about our coasts, and I thought I would round off the week with a celebration of our marine and coastal wildlife.
I have a soft spot for arctic terns. Apart from being incredibly graceful, they manage a gob-smacking annual migration of over 22,000 miles. It's the longest migration of any bird, and worthy of our admiration for that fact alone.
Arctic tern, Farne Islands; Kaleel Zibe (rspb-images.com)
Also getting my ‘seal of approval’ are seals. They are amazingly intelligent and truly playful. As a SCUBA diver, I have had them tug on my fins, and seen them following divers around, gliding just above and behind them in the diver’s blind spot. The stream of bubbles exhaled by the diver hits the seal’s underside, and I imagine they like the feel of it – rather like a mobile Jacuzzi!
Harbour seal, Beara peninsula; Anthony Griffiths
Being underwater is a real privilege. The range of colours can be spectacular, with hot red and orange sun stars, pale pink sea urchins, carpets of brittle stars, and comical tompot blennies.
Sea urchin, Heather Griffiths
Tompot blenny, Heather Griffiths
These are just a few of the hidden jewels that inhabit our seas. The wildlife beneath our waves can be the hardest to protect – out of sight, often mobile, and poorly monitored. We are working hard to change that. It’s a bit of a waiting game right now, but watch this space to keep up with the latest developments as soon as they happen.
And in the mean time, why not show your support for our sealife by telling us what wildlife you hope to see at the seaside this summer. Tweet us @natures_voice, or post on our Facebook page today
Here's looking at you! Heather Griffiths