Bird's Eye View of Bute

Greater Pipefish

(1) Greater Pipefish

(1) Greater Pipefish

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The Greater Pipefish.

Got the bus out to the Bruchag Road , then walked down that road to Bruchag Lodge, then on to the shores.  This was not long after those terrible gales that hit this shoreline badly. In some areas, it enhanced the shoreline, sending large stones, then smaller ones, finishing it off with nice soft sand, which levelled it nicely, but in other parts, farmers lost part of their land and fencing.
As I walked amongst the rubbish and debris I came across a Greater Pipefish, which was only the second time that I have seen one, the first being after strong winds last year. It was dead and in the shape of the letter U, and it was upside down, which made it easier to spot as its belly is much lighter in colour then the topside. Next one was in the same area this year, amongst the washed up seaweed, and it was in good condition, but dead! I say good condition, as you would not like me to send you one that was half eaten?
They have a tough life , as they wander amongst the seaweed, eelgrass and rocks which are subject to high winds and waves, and they have no hands to hold on with , only one small pair of fan-like fins behind their head for propulsion, and can only wind themselves around whatever is available, and if that comes loose ,so do they. Size. 50cms, 18 ins.
After taking a few images of it , I retraced my steps back to the main road, then went over Lord James' Ride to the West Road.
Not a lot I can say about this fish so I have added on what I did afterwards.

This was a good move as I got to the Barnauld  Burn, there was a pregnant sheep caught in Briers.  ( Brambles). It was well and truly stuck, and for what length of time I do not know, but it was not that long as the grass around it was barely eaten. Sometimes the grass was long since gone and around them is bare earth or mud.  Well I always carry a pair of snips to cut the briar’s, and if that is too hard, I also have a 'Legal' knife  to cut through the fleece.  Well the sheep was not too keen on me and tried to escape, which usually works, as they really put an effort into it.  Well it was not to be so I got a hold of it and started cutting the briers.  It spun round trying to get away from me then it seemed to realize that I was there to help,and stayed still.  It only took a bout two minutes, but it was now clear to  run and run it did , then  walked to the rest of the flock, and not a Shepherd in sight.
The next day the field was empty of sheep, as they had been moved to pastures new , so even if I had not released it , it would have been by the next day , but I was not to know that , that is why I took the matter into my own hands, and I will continue to do so.

Norrie Mulholland.

First Published in the Buteman 09-05-2014


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