Saturday, 16 May 2009


This beautiful silver fish is a Ray's Bream (Brama brama). The picture was taken on the beach at Whitby near the old North Beach Cafe on January 28th this year.

Having seen a perfect specimen the evening before, but not having a camera on me, I decided to make sure I had one the next afternoon.

I could see two crows eagerly pecking away at something on the tideline. They hadn't done too much damage to the body, but they obviously like eyeballs for tea.

This winter Ray's Bream were washed up all along the North East coast right up as far as Scotland. They're normally found off the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Spain and North West Africa, although occasionally they appear in Southern British waters.

It's unlikely to be due to climate change, as every so often this species has an eruption year. 1967 to 1968 was an example. They sweep up around the west of Ireland and into the North Sea. No one seems to know why these fish, normally found in mid water, become stranded as often as they do.

Just to show you how big they are, here's a picture of a man with a moustache holding one. By the expression on his face, its obviously just said something disparaging about his wife.

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