Beachcombing

Field Paintings

The recent tidal surge and stormy weather have beached hundreds of starfish on the strand line at Hayling Island in Hampshire. Whilst beach combing with family over christmas we found hundreds of Common Starfish along with several beautiful Sunstars, a unusual prawn-like creature which I haven’t been able to identify yet (now identified it is the Mantis Shrimp Rissoides desmaresti) , and the bizarre Sea Mouse.

It is named after its resemblance to a bedraggled mouse with black bristles and luminous green and pink hair on the sides but is in fact a worm. They are quite large (10-15 cm) long and usually live buried head first in sand banks offshore where they scavenge for food.

John Walters

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