Carnivorous shellfish one to watch out for
My seaside recommendations usually revolve around looking along the tideline for interesting creatures, shells and egg cases washed up by the tide. Two things to look out for at this time of the year along our coastline, particularly on sandy or muddy beaches, are the egg cases of a carnivorous shell and the evidence of its predatory skills. First look for the small banded shells and look for one with a very neat hole, drilled through it. That has been predated by the alder necklace shell or necklace shell which has found its prey and drilled through the shell and sucked out the contents. Great. Alder necklace shell lay bands of eggs in a coil and if the winds are right, they can be washed ashore in great numbers. They look like leathery collars or necklaces, bound together with mucus and sand grains or mud. The necklace shell itself is a small coiled shell, similar to a whelk, but much smaller and can occasionally get washed as well, but it is the prey and the egg cases which are more frequent.
For more information log on to Owen Leyshon, Romney Marsh Countryside Project, telephone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk