Thursday, 2 April 2015

Butterflies, fossils and starfish

Today was our last day on holiday and it's been a real Bug Mad kind of day, with butterflies, snakes, fossil hunting, starfish and a return to Bug Mad island.

We started with a visit to the nearby butterfly gardens where there were lots of butterflies flying around. We saw owl butterflies, blue morphos and monarchs amongst others and BMG held some of the butterflies.

Owl butterfly feeding on rotten banana

Owl butterfly

Blue morpho

Monarch butterfly

Indian leaf butterfly

Not sure what this one is called, but it looked a bit like a big bat
BMG spotted a butterfly in trouble, caught up in a huge house spiders web, so she mounted a rescue operation and helped the poor butterfly to safety.
A butterfly in danger
Rescue complete
There were also birds and reptiles at the park, so we had a look round. BMG would really like a pet snake, but I'm not sure I could cope with that (I have a bit of a fear of snakes).

Northern Pine Snake

Bearded dragon

African grey parrot

Ringneck parakeets
Golden pheasant with attitude
We were near to Bracklesham Bay, well known for its easy to find fossils, so decided to go and hunt for sharks teeth. As usual we were there at the wrong time as the tide was in, but we walked along the beech, hunting for fossils, dodging the waves as the tide slowly went out.
We found lots of fossilized shells
The closest we came to finding a sharks tooth -
I'm not sure it is one though! 

We found some pretty shells whilst hunting for fossils
Then we went back to our beach for a last low tide hunt through the rocks, where we found lots of live starfish. Earlier in the week we'd been so excited to find a couple of dead starfish washed up on the beach, so it was brilliant to find them all alive. There were also lots of common whelks that were out of their shells.

When we moved on to a second set of rocks, we found lots of anemones, but no starfish or common whelks. Strange that one set of rocks was home to one set of creatures and a second set of rocks only a few meters away was home to a different set.

Common starfish

Common whelk
The tide was slightly lower than last time we were there (and we wore wellies) so could easily get out to Bug Mad Island. We didn't have a flag to plant in the island though!

Bug Mad Island was reclaimed

Looking back from Bug Mad Island - the nearest rocks had anemones
and the set further away had starfish and whelks

We had a look for the large fossil we'd found a couple of days ago in one of the giant rocks, but we couldn't find it. We did find lots of others though, including some that looked like fish fins.

What a great last day to our holiday!

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