Druridge Bay, an eight mile arc of sand running north from Cresswell to the harbour of Amble in Northumberland, strewn with wetlands. From lagoons stained the deepest green by summer algae to flooded tyre ruts, glinting water in the arable fields. This blog is a snapshot of research at the University of Northumbria as we explore this pondscape forged between northern sea and sky.
The deluge and floods of 2012 have barely receeded, both from memory or the landscape and winter has lingered on into early March. Here is a stiking recollection from last summer; the scatter of silver shards are a shoal of sticklebacks marooned and doomed on the path to the hides at Druridge Pools. The water had overwhelmed drains and ditches, creating a single washland from the Pools across to the dune tracks. These sticklebacks had ventured out beyond their orginal home, as all species have to, at least some individuals (see blog 19th November for flying molluscs, 12th Jan for airborne pondweed) . This swarm's bad luck left them in trackway puddles as the high water receeded. Reminds me of those fossil fish beds in museums, which conjure up a picture of ancient pools and their floundering inhabitants. I quite often splash through scattering shoals on other paths and tracks around the Bay; adventurous sticklebacks seem ubiquitous. Others will have made it to new pools, their good fortune a curse for many of the invertebrates which are vulnerable to these voracious mini-hunters.