Things are looking up now the water temperature has increased to 11 degrees after the warm Bank Holiday. Bradley has moved into my old crevice home and has a good raft of eggs. The crevice he moved out of has no tompot occupant for the first time in 10 years of observing the reef. A cheeky Connemara clingfish has moved in there! Bertram who is further round the reef is doing well and so is Byron, they both have eggs to look after. Paul is able to recognise us tompot blenny males individually from our face markings and that’s why we have names; this article in the Guardian is a photo story all about us – please take a look at this link.
Oops, I’ve had a bit of a blogging blip, my human assistant Teresa has been ill and unable to help me put my thought bubbles into the blog. She’s up and running again now so my blog is too. And I’ve so much to tell you!
What did you think of that very cold snowy spell, ‘the Beast from the East’ I think you called it? Well that and the second freezing blast that followed was bad news for us tompot blennies and lots of other coastal marine animals. The inshore seawater temperature dropped to 7 degrees C (in normal winters it only drops to 9 degrees C) so, even though the daylight changes were telling us that it was time to breed, it was too chilly to swing into action. You can see in the photo that a female laid a few eggs with Bradley, one of the other male tompot blennies on the reef, at the end of February. Teresa thinks it was the unusually cold conditions that meant they were slow to develop and didn’t survive. We’re way behind where we were last year.