Sand eels are a very important food source in UK seas. They are a major part of the diet for seabirds like puffins, larger fish like mackerel, and even mammals like the harbour porpoise. Sand eels swim in large shoals between April and September, and spend the autumn and winter months buried under the sand, only coming out to spawn.
Due to changing ocean temperatures, scientists are concerned about how their numbers may decline. The timing in a year of the babies hatching is very specific to allow them to feed, and other species are so dependent on sand eels that if this is put out of sync there will be much wider consequences.
Is there anything that you’ve noticed starting to happen at a different time of the year than it used to, such as when you see butterflies, or when flowers bloom?