Duckling in samphire

Duckling in samphire sounds like a dish you might get in a posh restaurant. But it is also something you might see near Battery Point.

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At this time of year both ducklings and samphire are in abundance here. Many ducklings keep to the relative safety of the man-made lake the other side of the sea wall. However the more adventurous downy bundles head off across the mud to get their first taste of the sea.

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These three were out wave riding with their mallard Mum.

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Marsh Samphire (Salicornia europaea), the asparagus of the sea, grows in the thick mud at the marsh edge. This is a precarious spot as twice a day the incoming tide buffets these bright green, succulent shoots.

Another name for marsh samphire is Common Glasswort. This gives a clue to its industrial past. When burnt glasswort produces soda rich ash which was once used to make both glass and soap.

 

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