Monday, 9 October 2017

Scilly mini pelagic - Men o' war!!

A gloomy afternoon session on the waters of the Isles was blighted by (often quite dense) FOG!
There's always something of interest however and I managed to get my first ever images of Portuguese Man O' War...

It has a fearsome reputation! The tentacles can typically dangle down 10 metres where stingling cells paralyse small fish and anything that comes into contact with it!


Despite the gelatinous gas filled bladder which, driven by wind, gives it propulsion, it's not a 'jellyfish'. Its a siphonophore!


And outrageously attractive in shades of pink, blue and purple as the floating surface 'pneumatophore' catches the light...


There was a decent number of birds seen: Shelduck (4), Guillemot, Yellow-legged Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Common Scoter, Great Skua (2), Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Purple Sandpiper (2) and...

 this Spoonbill - looking like it has the hots for a Great Black-backed Gull??! Any idea what the offspring might be??  Or do....


Answer...  Spoon-billed GullNot only will they steal your chips and sandwiches, but they will scoop away your ice cream!

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