One of the great things about being a warden is the diversity of the work involved in managing a nature reserve. We never stop learning new skills and learning about the unique species that live on our sites. Havergate is special in that it is made up with shingle (a unique habitat in itself) and saline lagoons. The saline lagoons are full of invertebrates that support the vast range of bird life found on them. I have a basic knowledge of the species found through doing annual invertebrate surveying but it was great to get out and spend a little bit of time with Mark Telfer, an entomological expert who spent the day assessing what was in the lagoons and particularly looking for rare inverts.
Whilst simply peering into the shallow water at the edge of the lagoon we could see a hive of activity with shrimps darting everywhere but most uniquely he showed me how to spot the Starlet Sea-anemone, a small species that is fairly uncommon and specialised to saline conditions.
Starlet sea-anemone Nematostella vectensis
Photo credit: Mark Telfer
When we were walking back to the boat Mark dived and caught a small beetle which he was surprised and happy to see was a saltmarsh shortspur beetle, another uncommon species.
Saltmarsh shortspur beetle Anisodactylus poeciloides
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