South Cottesloe Beach Sweep 2023

YOUNG NATURALISTS with MAiN Club – 6 August 2023
Beach sweep Aug 2023 – Image by Ry Beaver

The weather was ideal for this year’s beach sweep, but unfortunately, only two families turned up!

There were piles of sea wrack on the beach – mainly seagrass – but the variety of finds was a little disappointing, and some things had dried out. Nevertheless, there were plenty of specimens to classify and talk about at the adult and child levels.

We picked up rubbish as we collected specimens from the beach. There were the skeletons of many species of sponge, cuttlefish “bones” with teeth marks (What ate them?), the remains of corals and lace-corals (Bryophytes), sea urchin tests, sea squirts on stalks, fibre balls, turban shells and other sea-snail shells, a tiny barnacle, red and brown algae (most of the reds had bleached) and seagrasses. There was even a seagrass seedling with its little comb anchor. We talked about seagrass meadows as fish nurseries and as carbon sinks. And we spoke of filter-feeders. The children found a tiny jumping shrimp in the seaweed and a Jumping Spider in the sand dune.

What a way to spend a sunny winter morning!

Mike Gregson