Filey Brigg and Hayburn Wyke

Field work continues with a brand new shore each day.  Filey Brigg is a long narrow peninsula on the North Yorkshire coast.  Its steep cliffs are 20 metres high and consist of a variety of Jurassic rocks containing fossils of dinosaurs and ammonites. In 2001 the substantially complete skeleton of a plesiosaur was found by an amateur collector, Nigel Armstrong in the Speeton Clay.  The well-preserved skeleton was removed from the clay in one block weighing about one and a half tons. The skeleton was identified as being that of an elasmosaur, a long necked plesiosaur of which there are several types and the Filey specimen is about 140 million years old.  As we scramble over the large blocks on the north side of the Brigg trace fossils are conspicuous and abundant.

Ian finds the tiny sea slug Limapontia capitata in the grazed green algal turf at the top of the shore.  He is a very competent ‘finder’.  At Hayburn Wyke later in the week he uncovers a young lobster in the kelp zone of the boulder shore.  You can’t help admiring the brilliant Prussian blue carapace of the live animal.  There are still quite a few people who believe the animals sport their red colour in life.

Talking of red we have a great treat in store when we leave the shore.  We trawl ourselves up the cliffs and wooded slopes above Hayburn Wyke to rejoin our cars parked at the Hayburn Wyke Inn.  Just before we leave the woods to cross the fields we come across a clearing with a cluster of Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric.  Continuing on our way we repair to the Inn for welcome refreshment.




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