As the sun set on a beautiful day in Kenton-on-Sea, I joined a group from Sustainable Seas Trust to explore the intertidal pools as we walked from the Bushman’s Estuary towards Shelly Beach. Accompanied by biologists and photographers, our goal was to explore the unique variety of animals that emerge at night along these rocky shores.
During the day these intertidal zones can provide an interesting glimpse into the rich marine life at work along the shore. However, I learned that after the sun sets, it becomes possible to see a different array of species as more animals emerge under the cover of dark. Using a flashlight, it was easy to focus on the incredible diversity at work in any given pool, and expose areas I often overlook during daylight. The highlight was being able to see not one, but two octopi hiding in dark corners. As they are light sensitive creatures, it is more likely to view their activity during these night walks. There was also no shortage of giant periwinkle snails and isopodes to view and photograph, as well as a unique sea star known as the dwarf cushion star. After my first experience exploring these intertidal zones at night I was excited to review the photographs I had been able to take of these close encounters with such unique animals.
SST will be running a guided night walk for people interested in experiencing the atmosphere and biology of the intertidal pools after the sun sets. This walk will be guided by several biologists and photographers eager to teach and assist, so please join us on December 23rd at 7:00PM on Middle Beach.