I have always been a great fan of walking the strandline of whatever beach I am on as you never quite know what you are going to find. It is often the best way of seeing creatures of the deep that one would not normally get to witness in their natural environment. Just locally I have been treated to washed up jellyfish of various species, a Sea Mouse, Starfish, all sorts of shells and even the odd marine mammal. My house is testament to these exploits as although living things are obviously left in place, I have collected the odd buoy and interesting piece of drift wood as well as relics of ancient shipwrecks and even small parts from a world war two tank.
My best find by far though happened last week during one of our walks around the Machynys peninsula. On my way across the beach to photograph the sunset I spotted something white in the sand and stopped to investigate further. On closer inspection it quickly became apparent that I had found the skull of an Oystercatcher, my favourite bird and one of the most common residents on the Burry. It was complete with the exception of its lower mandible which amazingly I found about twenty metres further along the beach, again in perfect condition. They were far too beautiful and intricate to leave to an uncertain fate so I took them home, cleaned them up and added them to my growing collection of beach paraphernalia.
Having examined the skull closely I’m surprised at just how large the eye sockets are and how small the area for the brain is. I guess the phrase “bird brained” really is founded in reality.