Well that's the last time that I went rock pooling anyway. So when I saw an opportunity in the Southampton Natural History Society programme I was quite excited. Images sprang to mind of a hot, sunny day, pottering about in rock pools with my net, catching all manner of weird and wonderful fish and crabs.
But hang on a minute, there aren't any rock pools near Southampton, it's all mud or concrete! In fact I cannot think of any rock pools anywhere in Hampshire. Nevertheless a small group assembled at Calshot spit in cold, cloudy weather at what looked to me like high tide! After wandering along the shore looking at various plants, the tide eventually began to drop. There weren't any rock pools but there were a few pools and a few rocks! I didn't count everything that we saw by any means but I did manage to get 30 new species. Some of those where the photo's didn't come out too badly were:
Leathery Sea-squirt Styela clava - rather gross but also rather cool.
Blenny Lipophrys pholis - probably my favourite creature of the day.
So it wasn't quite the afternoon that I had imagined but it was good fun, and interesting to see what lived on a rather nondescript beach. Next year I must pick a hot, sunny afternoon and visit some real rock pools.