Meet Anthony and Mel, our duo of top CoCoasters for Summer 2017 based in Scotland...















"Signing up was actually all Mel’s idea. She’s always loved hopping about rock pools, while I was more to be found on top of rocks looking out for seabirds. But her enthusiasm won me over, and the day with Hannah Grist teaching us the ropes made it seem all the more appealing. Somehow I became enthused about barnacles (not just because it meant my quadrat was much more portable….), while Mel went down the route of anenomes.

All of which has lead to us spending even more time on seashore rocks, and spotting things we’d never really noticed before. A definite highlight for Mel was finding a first blue-rayed limpet (though a first live sea urchin, and first strawberry anenomes also ranked highly); while I spent a good ten minutes on one coastal trip voyeuristically engrossed in a couple of hermit crabs mating. But the most interesting moment for me was finding some just-submerged barnacles, and seeing, for the first time, close-up, the little fanned feet combing the water.

Mel has definitely been the more actively recording of the two of us, as it took me a while to get to grips with barnacle identification. I think I’m there on some key differences now, and a recent trip to Skye saw me photographing and recording a couple of different species. So after a slow start on my part, I now take the little quadrat with me whenever there’s any chance at all of a coastal walk. Mel, meanwhile, will continue apace!" - Anthony, CoCoast Scotland.