Spring low tide at Flat Rock

The rock pools at Flat Rock have been covered in sand for a few months, but gradually the sand is clearing and seaweeds and algae (with associated fauna) are coming back. The lowest tides of the spring give a good opportunity to go further out on the platform than usual.

Here’s a nudibranch I’d not seen before, although they are apparently common – Sebadoris fragilis. They grow up to 12 cm and this one was about 8 cm long. (IDs courtesy of Nudibranchs of the Sunshine Coast).

Discodoris fragilis

Discodoris fragilis

discodoris-fragilis_2 discodoris-fragilis_3

There was only one Discodoris fragilis, but over a dozen Plocamopherus imperialis – breeding time? They can grow up to 10 cm, but this one wouldn’t have reached 2 cm.

Plocamopherus imperialis

Plocamopherus imperialis

plocamopherus-imperialis_2

plocamopherus-imperialis_6red-and-orange-nudibranch-at-flat-rock-2Also common is Rostanga arbutus, max. size 1 cm. It’s tiny.

Rostanga arbutus

Rostanga arbutus

Below is possibly Kaloplocamus acutus – if it is, it’s way off the 6 cm length of adults. This one might have been 1 cm.

Kaloplocamus acutus

Kaloplocamus acutus?

It was definitely breeding season for the limpets …

Limpet egg masses

Limpet egg masses (white circles)

… and the cartrut shell (Dicathais orbita). The egg cases are yellow when ‘fresh’ and go purple after a while. (The purple cases below are in front of and separate from the yellow cases behind.)

egg-cases

Cartruts in the process of laying eggs

cartrut-eggs_1 cartrut-eggs_2This live shell (possibly Cabestana lampas) is common, but I saw only one …

Cabestana lampas

Cabestana lampas

Note the 'eye stalks' and syphon

Note the ‘eye stalks’ and siphon (left); photo by Andrew

Black feather duster worm …

black-feather-duster-worm

We saw three small sharks resting in the crevices, but it was impossible to get decent shots because the water was rippling through fast. One was a clearly a wobbegong but the other two were different.

There were over a dozen sea hares, perhaps in preparation for mating, too. They form mating chains, one behind the other.

Aplysia dactylomela

Aplysia dactylomela

aplysia_2A lot of birds were resting on the platform. It annoys the heck out of me when people allow their dogs to run free there – no dogs are meant to be on the platform, and only dogs on leashes on the beach. The migrating seabirds need rest and refuelling.

A pair of beach stone-curlews (Esacus magnirostris, aka beach thick knees because that’s what they have) flew quickly past, crying their curious call. It was the first time I’d seen this species in the wild.

Beach stone curlews

Beach stone curlews

Beach stone curlews

This is either the grey-tailed (Heteroscelus incanus) or the wandering (Heteroscelus brevipes) tattler. The grey-tailed is more common.

Tattler

Tattler; photo by Andrew

I think the birds below are sandpipers, but there are a lot that look alike and I haven’t worked out how to distinguish them yet. Any ideas appreciated.

Unknown

Sandpipers?

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7 Responses to Spring low tide at Flat Rock

  1. Roz says:

    What a wonderful place! The pics are great and your explanations and captions make for in interesting read.
    I must go down to the sea again!

  2. Cate Clark says:

    Thanks for the plethora of beaut pics and explanations, Joy. Maybe more rock platforms in your new retired status.

    On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 5:58 PM, A-roving I will go wrote:

    > Joy Window posted: “The rock pools at Flat Rock have been covered in sand > for a few months, but gradually the sand is clearing and seaweeds and algae > (with associated fauna) are coming back. The lowest tides of the spring > give a good opportunity to go further out on the plat” >

  3. Peter says:

    Hi Joy,
    Love your Blog.
    Good to see lots of Nudies.
    We must get to Flat Rock.
    Hopefully will get some photos in a couple of weeks.

    Peter

  4. Pingback: Another Woody Head nudibranch | A-roving I will go

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