Gull And The Sun

Sounds like the name of a seaside pub, I know. As the sun lowers in the sky a lone gull appears to be preparing for it settled on the sea wall. © Peter Hillman ♦ 21st April 2011 ♦ West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales ♦ Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38

Our Star

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. Rachel Carson 1952 No photo filters or effects here … this is a genuine pink sunset. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38Date taken: 19th April 2011Place: West Shore… Read More Our Star

Keeping Balance

On a stroll across a quieter section of beach where the tide had gone out I came across this little arrangement of rocks. They kind of reminded me of the remains of a prehistoric cairn, although this is most likely child’s play. Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer… Read More Keeping Balance

Mysterious Sea Mist

This mysterious sea mist drifted in from Luccombe Bay. As soon as it appeared it disappeared. Memories of John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ came to mind. It had quite an eerie quality to it. Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Isle of Wight, England, August 2018 © Pete Hillman.


No special effects used here. Just a photo as it is, taken from a clifftop and looking down at the shallows below as the tide rolled in and softly kissed and melted the rocky coastline. Double click image to dive in … April 2017, from atop the Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales.

Forever Blowing Bubbles

I don’t know whether periwinkles blow bubbles or not like their terrestrial snail cousins, but this bubble was quite well placed until … … it appeared to pop! Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea), West Shore, Llandudno, Wales.

Two Gapers

I have shown the two gaper shells on one post to illustrate how different they are, beginning with the Sand Gaper above. Sand Gaper (Mya arenaria) A large and robust bivalve, the shell is oval in shape, the anterior end rounded, the posterior end more pointed.  It has concentric ridges and is off-white, grey or… Read More Two Gapers

Baltic Tellin

Macoma balthica The shell is a rounded-oval, although the posterior more angled. The colour is variable from pink to purple, yellow and white. Width 25mm. It is found on the lower shore in muddy sand, and also in estuaries. Common and widespread. Photographs taken June 2012, Llandudno, Wales. Camera Nikon Coolpix P500. © Pete Hillman… Read More Baltic Tellin

Common Cockle

Cerastoderma edule The shell of the Common Cockle is cream to pale yellow or brownish, and it has 22-28 radiating ribs crossed by prominant concentric ridges which may bare short spines. Length up to 5cm. It is found in muddy, sandy and fine gravel shores, from the middle to lower shore. Utilising a muscular foot,… Read More Common Cockle

Peppery Furrow

Scrobicularia plana The shell has numerous fine, concentric rings and grooves. It is dirty white, yellowish or greyish in colour, and is flat, thin and delicate in form. Length 6.5cm. It is found in sheltered, brackish habitats, like estuaries and muddy shores where it burrows up to 20cm, leaving behind a star-shaped tell-tale impression on… Read More Peppery Furrow

Necklace Shell

Polinices catenus The Necklace Shell has a  buff to pale yellow shell with a spiral row of brownish marks near its upper edge. Similar to Alder’s Necklace Shell which is smaller and darker. Shell height up to 3cm. It is found buried in the lower shore, in sheltered to moderately exposed sand. It feeds on… Read More Necklace Shell

Bean Solen

Pharus legumen The shell is elongate, thin and brittle. There are numerous fine concentric lines, with a group of fine radiating striae. It is white or light brown, light olive or yellow. The hinge and ligament is positioned about a third of the way along the length of the mollusc. Length up to 130mm. It… Read More Bean Solen

Common Limpet

Patella vulgata Have you ever wondered what the underside of a limpet looked like? Note the large muscular foot, the relatively small mouth above, and the tentacles either side. The Common Limpet has an ashen-grey or greenish-blue shell, sometimes with a yellow tint, and with radiating ridges. It is conical with an almost central apex.… Read More Common Limpet

Common Mussel

Mytilus edulis Also called the ‘Blue Mussel’, the shells are dark brown, blue-black, or purple in colour. Shell length up to 10cm. It is found middle to lower shore, and attaches itself to rocks via byssus threads. It will also find crevices in the rocks, or attach themselves to manmade structures like piers and harbour… Read More Common Mussel


Haematopus ostralegus This is one of the larger waders, and certainly one of the most distinctive with its black and white body, dazzling red-eye and long, vivid orange-red bill. It has short, pale pink legs, and long and  broad white wingbars with a white ‘V’ on its back can be seen when in flight. In… Read More Oystercatcher

Purple Laver

Porphyra umbilicalis Greenish in colour when young, but becoming purple-red as it matures, and is very resistant to drying out and the action of the waves. It forms thin, delicate sheets which cling to rocks and has a polythene-like texture. Width 20cm. Found attached to rocks in sandy habitats. Abundant and widespread on rocky shores… Read More Purple Laver

Sea Belt

Saccharina latissima Also called ‘Sugar Kelp’ or ‘Poor Man’s Weatherglass’, this is a long, belt-like brown to olive coloured seaweed with wavy edges and a crinkled centre. Length 4cm. It grows in deep pools and around the low tide mark, usually on sheltered rocky shores attached to rocks with a small branching holdfast. A common… Read More Sea Belt

Egg Wrack Wool

Polysiphonia lanosa A brownish-red seaweed which is tufted and made up of branching filaments which gives it a wool-like consistancy. Length 70cm. Found middle to low shore, and grows mainly on Egg Wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) for physical support, known as an epiphyte. It makes use of the hosts buoyancy at high tide so it will… Read More Egg Wrack Wool

Toothed Wrack

Fucus serratus Also called “Saw Wrack’ or ‘Serrated Wrack’, this is an olive to golden brown seaweed, flattened with a prominant midrib and saw-toothed fronds.  Length 60cm. Frond width 2cm. Found on the lower zone, it latches onto rocks on more sheltered shores. A common and widespread species. Photographs of Toothed Wrack (Fucus serratus), taken… Read More Toothed Wrack

Spiral Wrack

Fucus spiralis Also called ‘Flat Wrack’, it is a dark olive-brown or greenish seaweed with a prominent midrib with no gas bladders. There are often pairs of swollen reproductive bodies on the tips of the frond branches. The fronds have a tendency to twist. Length 15 to 20cm. Occurring on the upper shore, preferring sheltered… Read More Spiral Wrack