Different Time, Different Shorelife

At low tide a myriad of shorelife is exposed on the ocean floor which makes exploration very interesting. Different species are found at different times in the season.

May

Many tiny barnacles and periwinkles cling to rocks.  

June

Barnacles and periwinkles are maturing and are joined by whelks, false angel wings and leafy bryozoan. Rock crabs are the first crab species to appear and you will also find some small fish - tommy cod, mackerel and small mouthed bass. Moon snail egg casings also.

July

As the previously seen species develop and grow you will also be able to find  a variety of crab species. The fish species expand to include eels and monkfish. Especially lovely at the end of July is the arrival of the cliff swallows.

August

In very early August, we welcome semipalmated plovers back after their nesting season in the Arctic and subArctic.  They stop and feed on the mudflats before heading to their wintering grounds along coastal areas of USA and South America.  Flounder and squid are also easily spotted at this time of year.

A Self Guided Tour of the Shoreline

A guide has been created specifically for the shoreline at Burntcoat Head Park and is available for purchase in the Lighthouse Shop. Twenty of the most common animals are described, accompanied by photos to help identify them.  As you can imagine, life is challenging when in the course of six hours, living conditions change from a mud flat to a crushing 50 feet of water! But barnacles, slipper limpets, green crabs, and the many others who live there do more than simply survive - they flourish.