Monday, December 13, 2004

Strange Nudibranch

Went down to the beach today hoping to have a look at how the fringing corals are doing. Unfortunately, the tide didn't go down as low as it was supposed to, so I spent most of my time near the shore where the water was clear. Lots of people at the beach today, probably all trying to make good use of the good low tides during the school holiday month - including a few groups doing surveys, the Park Watch group, and a couple of families with happy children playing around the shallows. Met a few interesting people.

The green filamentous algae (Bryopsis?) was everywhere. There was oodles of it. Oodles and oodles. And oodles. It covered the entire shore in a thick mat of green and made it difficult (as if the silt wasn't enough!) to see what was in the water. The other normally abundant seaweeds and sea grasses seemed to be in reduced numbers. There was a small patch of Enhalus which was flowering. There was also quite a large patch of Thalassia where the sea grasses can usually be found near the jetty.

A pair of juvenile Butterflyfishes were spotted today, along with many small crabs, and quite a few polychaete worms. The colonial zoanthids also seem to be back in great numbers. The highlight of the day was this amazing nudibranch.

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