a guide to rock pooling at lunderston bay
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A guide to rock pooling at Lunderston Bay. www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk. www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk. Lunderston Bay. View looking north towards Dunoon during a mid tide. At the high tide the rockpools are covered by the sea. The Strandline. This is the area where the sea washes up debris.

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a guide to rock pooling at lunderston bay

A guide to rock pooling at Lunderston Bay




Lunderston Bay

View looking north towards Dunoon during a mid tide.

At the high tide the rockpools are covered by the sea.

the strandline
  • This is the area where the sea washes up debris.
  • There can be more than one strandline present – showing where different tides have reached.
intertidal zone
Intertidal Zone
  • This is the area which is covered over by the high tide.
  • This is the best zone for rock pooling.
  • Barnacles cover most of the rocks on the beach in countless millions.
  • When the tide comes in, feathery jointed limbs emerge to catch food as it floats by.
  • Each limpet has its own home groove – an indent on the rock where it sits every low tide.
  • At high tide it grazes on algae on the rocks, rasping it off with its tongue.
whelks and periwinkles
Whelks and Periwinkles
  • Look for the Dog Whelks and their egg sacs under the rocks.
  • Whelks are predators which feed on other shelled animals, including periwinkles and bivalves.
  • Periwinkles are the most common shelled animals on the beach. They graze on seaweed attached to the rocks.

Dog Whelks


mussels and razorshells
Mussels and Razorshells
  • Mussels and Razorshells are both bivalves, meaning they live between two half shells.
  • Mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces using a sticky thread-like material. They are found in large clusters.
  • Razorshells live under the sand and are usually only seen as empty shells.



  • Four types of crabs can be found at Lunderston Bay: Hermit Crabs, Shore Crabs, Velvet Swimming Crabs and Edible Crabs.
  • Hermit Crabs live in the shells of other animals such as periwinkles and whelks. Their size depends on the size of shell they are living in.
  • Shore Crabs are the most numerous crab species at Lunderston Bay.

Hermit Crab

Shore Crab

  • The Common Starfish typically has five arms. They can re-grow arms if they lose them to predators.
  • Starfish move around using hundreds of tiny tube feet found on the underside of their arms.
sea urchins
Sea Urchins

Green Sea Urchin

Sea urchins are sometimes called sea hedgehogs. They tend to browse using a beak-like mouth to scrape algae and invertebrates off the rocks.

sea anemones
Sea Anemones
  • One type of anemone occurs at Lunderston Bay: the Beadlet Anemone
  • The Beadlet Anemone is typically a bright red colour. At high tide their tentacles come out to catch prey.
  • At low tide they close up, resembling blobs of jelly.
marine worms
Marine Worms
  • The casts commonly found on the sandy beach are evidence of the Lugworm.

Lugworm cast

  • The Ragworm hunts small creatures by crawling across the sand and captures them using its powerful jaws.




  • Several types of fish can be found in the rockpools at Lunderston Bay. They include the Butterfish, the Common Blenny and the Rock Goby.

The Butterfish has a snake-like appearance. It has mucus-covered skin and a series of black spots down its back.

The Common Blenny can be found hiding under rocky overhangs at low tide.

Common Blenny

tips for a safe visit

Tips for a safe visit

Do not run when on the rocks. The rocks can be slippery and running through rockpools will disturb the animals.

Do not walk off from your group.

Do not pick up anything you are unsure of, including any litter.

Do not put anything in your mouth.

Always put animals back where you found them. Make sure when turning over rocks to put them back the way they were.

Always wash your hands afterwards.

Always listen to what the Rangers are saying.



Remember – The beach is home to many creatures so it’s important to look after it.

We look forward to seeing you at Lunderston Bay!