British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline

Here’s our list of some of the most common British coastal wildlife.

The British coastline is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from playful dolphins to stinging jellyfish. In fact there are over 1200 different species of plants and animals on the coast.

Here, then is our list containing some of the most common of theseā€¦


Gallery: British Coastal Wildlife


Seal

seal photo


A common sight on the shores of the UK, the seal is also one of the most popular wild animals. The most numerous types are the grey seal and common seal.


Viper’s-bugloss

British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline 1

The upright, blue flower spikes of Viper’s-bugloss can be spotted on chalk grassland, sand dunes, cliffs and banks. Its spotted stem is thought to resemble a viper.

Source: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/vipers-bugloss

Gannet

gannet photo


The gannet is both graceful and brutal – its plunging dive to spear fish is one of the wonderful sights of British wildlife.


Dolphin/Porpoise

bottle nosed dolphin photo
Photo by chaunceydavis818 British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline 2

The most common form is the harbour porpoise, followed by the common and bottled nose dolphin.

One of the most popular sights around the coasts of Britain.


Jellyfish

jellyfish photo


Although not as lethal as jellyfish from hotter climates, British jellyfish can still deliver a fearful sting. Best avoided.


Sea Thrift

British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline 3

Armeria maritima, commonly known as thrift, sea thrift or sea pink, is a species of flowering plant in the family Plumbaginaceae. It is a compact perennial which grows in low clumps and sends up long stems that support globes of bright pink flowers. In some cases purple, white or red flowers also occur. It is a popular garden flower and has been distributed worldwide as a garden and cut flower. It does well in gardens designed as xeriscapes or rock gardens.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armeria_maritima

Crab

shore crab photo
Photo by foxypar4 British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline 2

The most common British crab is the shore crab (pictured).

The Edible Crab – the one captured by fishermen for eating – is also a common sight.


Puffin

puffin photo


This extraordinary looking bird is one of the most distinctive on the cliffs of England.

Looking far too tropical to be in such a temperate climate as the British Isles the puffin is actually very common.


Mussels

mussel photo


The distinctive purple/blue shells protecting these shellfish are a common site clinging to the rocks around the UK coast.

And, of course, they are delicious when cooked.


Cod

cod photo


Badly over-fished (it’s the most common fish eaten in the UK) but is now making a comeback.

The cod is the most likely fish to be served as part of the traditional English dish ‘Fish and Chips’.


Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher photo


A common sight on the beach as the tide goes out revealing the Oystercatcher’s main crustacean food.


Sea Anemones

Sea Anemones photo


These are animals, related to the jellyfish, and not plants as you may think.


Starfish

starfish photo


A favourite of children and adults alike.


Blue Fleabane

British Coastal Wildlife: The Birds, Fish & Other Animals Of The British Coastline 5

Blue Fleabane is a member of the daisy family and is known for being a herb. It has lilac outer rays when fully flowered with purple colouring at the tips. It has hairy sepals and can grow up to 60cm.

Source: https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/blue-fleabane

Sandpiper

sandpiper photo


Like the Oystercatcher, above, the sandpiper lives on food brought in by the sea. It can often be seen dodging in and out of incoming waves – like schoolchildren not trying to get their feet wet.


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