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Beside the seaside with Springwatch

June 14, 2010

By Nicky Hoar

Communications Officer, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside… especially when the sun comes out, the water is clear and the wildlife is coming out to play for Springwatch.  Kimmeridge Bay, in the middle of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, was just the spot for swimming with real live wildlife this weekend, but not  before a cup of tea…

Just time for a cuppa DWT

Just time for a cuppa

Yes, it wasn’t exactly a gourmet meal set out on Simon King’s landrover bonnet, but we couldn’t wait to get down to the water.  The whole team rolled up – producer James, researcher Becky, wildlife cameraman Graham and underwater cameraman Scott, not to mention Chris Watson with his sound recording kit and Simon himself, of course.  They didn’t know where to turn first – ravens and rock pipits were hopping about on the cliffs, the strandline was buzzing with hundreds of exciting insects (especially at Stink Corner – the ripest bit of the beach and it sure earns its name) but there was some ace rockpooling to be done too and Simon had brought his wetsuit and snorkel.  Well, until you’re ready, let’s grab a bite..

Emma Rance, Dorset Wildlife Trust's marine officer, fits in time for dessert while they decide what to do first

 Led by our marine officer, Emma, we all set off for the Washing Ledge, one of the many ledges pointing out into the sea on this amazing bit of the Jurassic Coast, and a prime rockpooling site.  There was so much going on around the ledge that cameras, microphones and people were dangling off it all over the place.  Chris Watson picked up an incredible sound of what sounded like hundreds of shrimps having a conversation – we’ll need to investigate to find out who was speaking and what they were saying.  Crabs, fish and anemones were everywhere and the water was so clear that the seabed looked like a garden.

Simon listens to Chris's recording of a shrimp conversation

But enough of all these distractions – nothing was going to stop Simon getting in to see for himself how much marine wildlife lives right here in Dorset.  It’s not been chosen as the next European Special Area of Conservation for nothing.   And it has its own Springwatch nests too – corkwing wrasse are nesting in the bay now and we have our very own cuttlefish nestboxes – open lobster pots designed to attract the cuttlefish to lay their eggs in the relative safety of Kimmeridge. 

Simon loves to be beside the seaside too

Simon was still splashing about happily as I decided it really was time for an ice cream and headed for the car park.  It was the only disappointment of the day – no ice cream van!  What with that meagre lunch and now this setback, I’m in danger of losing weight.  But, never fear, the mobile catering crew will surely come to my rescue as Simon’ team will be reporting from the Dorset seaside for the whole of this final week of Springwatch 2010.   Dorset Springwatch


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 2:32 pm

    It’ll be interesting to hear that shrimp conversation..
    No cake to speak of – what is the world coming to?!!

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