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The Great Eggcase Hunt

Great Eggcase Hunts
Join the countryside ranger and have fun helping to hunt for Skate/Ray egg cases (mermaidís purses) along the shore at Torrisdale Bay and Melvich Bay. Letís see who can find the most and win an Easter egg. We will try and identify any egg cases we find and the results will be sent to the Shark Trust to help protect these fascinating fish species.
Torrisdale Bay 15/4/06 - meet at car park at the Strathnaver Bridge by the Skelpick Road (grid ref: NC 711603) at 10.30am.
Melvich Bay 16/4/06 - meet at Melvich Beach car park (grid ref: NC 887648) at 10.30am.
Further Details Tel: Paul Castle, North Sutherland Countryside Ranger 01641 521884

Paula's Egg Case Hunts
Strathy beach on Saturday 15th April
Sunday the 16th April Dunnet Beach.

The Great Eggcase Hunt
There are more than 14 different species of Skate & Ray around the British Isles. Many of these cartilaginous fish, related to Sharks, are in decline.

Orkney has reported to the Shark Trust that they have some very large eggcases and after a comparison of them with several museums, it is firmly believed that they belong to the Common Skate which is rare nowadays although years ago was a common site (they can grow up to 3m in length!)

You can collect eggcases at any time, skate and ray eggcases are washed up on to our beaches all year round. The best time to look, however, is after stormy weather when lots of seaweed and debris have been thrown up on to the beaches. Eggcases are often found in amongst seaweed on the strandline, so keep your eyes peeled they can be difficult to spot at first.

Eggcases are very light when they are dry and the wind can blow them up the beach. The back of the beach, along cliffs or dunes can often be a fruitful location to search.

Whilst youíre on the shore:
∑ Always tell someone where youíre going
∑ Be aware of the tide
∑ Wear appropriate clothing for the weather
∑ Search through seaweed with a stick
∑ be careful of man-made debris
∑ Respect the Seashore Code, and the wildlife on the beach

It is a great activity and gets you out of the house and enjoying nature whatever your age.

Personally I am organizing an eggcase hunt on Strathy beach on Saturday 15th April and then Sunday the 16th April I will be on Dunnet Beach.
If you wish to join me, or even organise your own little hunt on a beach close to you, then you can contact me for more details and I will send you out an ID guide and recording form.

Email paula@tugmistress.co.uk
Phone 01847 896690

You can find more information out at www.sharktrust.org/eggcase

The results for 2005 have now been collated and over 2100 eggcases from 142 different beaches around the UK and Ireland were found. Unfortunately no beaches around the north of Scotland or even above Aberdeen were included. Letís make a difference this year and see what the Far North has to offer.

Hope to meet you at Easter.

Shark Trust Eggcase Hunt
For all the details and records of hunts already taken place 

Images Of Egg Cases
Images Of Egg Cases

Links
Eggcase Hunt In Sept 2004 - BBC

Mermaid's Purses

Marine Life News
See eggcases found in Orkney. they think they are from the an endangered species of Skate

Arkive - Images Of Life On Earth

Coastal Code

British Marine Life Study Society - Scotland

Marine Biological Laboratory

Science & Nature Games

Blue Planet - BBC

Pupil Sea Life Fact Sheet (Pdf)

National Marine Aquarium

Oregon Eggcases

Coastal Habitat - Winter - BBC

Beach Combing - Hebrides

Deep-sea fish species decimated in a generation

Photos Of Sealife Around Caithness