Mermaids Purse at Cleveleys
Seal visitor at Cleveleys
Yellow horned poppy on Cleveleys beach
At a quick glance, the beach looks like, well, a beach at Cleveleys, but stop a minute and look more closely and you’ll see it’s a rich and diverse environment.
Go northwards past the cafe onto the shingle beach at Rossall Promenade, and the shingle and stone section above high water is home to a wide range of wildlife. There are wild marine plants managing to take hold and grow on the high sections near the wall - these are specially adapted to the harsh environment and regular dowsings with salt laden spray and sea air.
The strand line all along the north west Fylde Coast holds seaweed and twigs in which the sea birds hunt for their food. You’ll see Sanderling and Turnstones running in flocks along the edge of the tide and searching among the pebbles for food - when they stop they are indistinguishable from the stones!
The sea and beach is also home to invertebrates and sea creatures, and a rich diet for the large numbers of Oyster Catchers with their distinctive orange legs and long curved orange beaks.
The sea at Cleveleys is very clean which helps support such a wide range of sea life. Seals are often to be seen, with their black heads bobbing up and down in the water, although you may need binoculars to tell them apart from a swimming gull - unless they have come to shore for a rest!
Cleveleys wouldn’t be the Fylde Coast seaside without a resident population of gulls. There are all the different types of gulls, and the Black Headed ones with orange legs are particularly pretty. They are intelligent birds who can spot a chip wrapper a mile away, and are never slow to exploit a free meal, hanging around the litter bins and watching people with their plaintive cries.
Walking the strandline is interesting, and you’ll find all kinds of flotsam washed up from foreign shores. Mixed in with the man-made articles, you’ll find things like Dog Fish egg cases which are also called Mermaids Purses, and whelk egg cases. Among others you’ll find cockles, razor shells, pretty pebbles and sea glass. Star fish and jelly fish are often washed ashore, and you might spot the occasional cuttle fish bone.
On an evening stroll at dusk, the more observant among you might be lucky enough to spot a bat. Coming out just as it goes dark, they dart and swoop and fly in a totally different, chaotic way to birds. Tiny little things, they dart between the houses, up, down and round, low across the lawns and right up to the windows, catching all the midges and flies that are out at night - and there are certainly plenty of them!
If you are interested in the wildlife to be found on a beach, why not buy a guide book and bring it with you next time you visit. Or you can find out lots more by visiting the Marine Conservation Society website, use this link www.mcsuk.org
Rossall Beach Residents& Community Group is an active local group, and they work with the Waterfront Rangers on community beach cleans and other events to promote good use of the beach. The beach at Rossall Promenade has been adopted by this group. For more information see the website www.rossallbeach.org.uk
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