Diary: Tuesday 5th March 2002
Conditions at New Brighton
SUNRISE: 7:12 am.
TIDE: Low 4:21 am. (0.3m)
MOON: Set 1:53 pm, Rise 11:38 pm. Last Quarter tomorrow 6th-March-2002
Up at 5:30 and walked to beach at 6 am. Walked to (sand) spit (the Heathcote and Avon River/Estuary, a few kilometres south) and on way noticed Sand Scarab prints leading either from sea to dunes or reverse. Also other types of tracks. Thought for a while that Waimak crabs in high tide debris had arrived again and were heading back to sea but no northerly sea drift lately.
Had a geek at some more and saw they were (definitely) Sand Scarab Beetle Larvae tracks, as not as large as crab tracks were. Followed several to the shore to find they had dug in – (within the hour before?) – about 5 metres (15 feet) from the water’s edge.
The tide was full out or close to it and the distance to the high tide mark was 35 strides. Dug up a small SS (Sand Scarab) Beetle Larva only 50 mm (2 inches) down in the sand then put it back and sand on top.
Further (along) came across a large set of tracks and dug this one out; it was 75 mm (3 inches) deep. Put back and covered with sand.
All were curled up down there. Mystery to me. The tide (by this time) was about to return up the beach so in 1 hour they would be submerged.
That would mean they would be salt water covered for approx. 10 hours soon. (until such time as the tide returned to its former location)
Tomorrow may see them return up the beach? Do they need saturation periodically? Should mark the spot and check the following am. How?!’
So, ……..now it was all on. Observations found were about to snowball into heaven knows where.
I should hasten to mention here, that the salt water saturated sand where these SS Larvae are residing in (for who knows how long) is the actual level of the sea. If a hole is dug, and a few minutes left to pass, seawater fills to the surface.