Let's Go Eggcase Hunting


  • Check tide times
  • Tell someone where you’re going
  • If possible use a stick to rummage in seaweed to avoid any nasty surprises
  • Take care near the base of cliffs


  • Respect wildlife and habitats by following the Seashore Code and don’t take live animals home with you.

  • As you’re looking in the strandline anyway, why not do a spot of beach cleaning? It goes hand in hand with eggcase hunting!


  • You can usually find eggcases amongst the seaweed that makes up the strandline. They blend in really well which means they can be difficult to spot at first, so keep your eyes peeled.

  • When eggcases dry out they're very light and can get blown to the back of the beach. They also get trapped in grasses on sand dunes. So these are good locations to search.

  • Eggcases will wash up throughout the year. They may have freshly hatched, or been on the seabed for some time before being dislodged.

  • After stormy weather has passed is prime eggcase hunting time. Lots of seaweed and debris will have been washed up on the beach - this is great to search in.

  • Check to make sure it’s definitely an empty eggcase and nothing is inside.

  • If a live embryo is inside, pop the eggcase back in the sea and try to weigh it down so it doesn’t wash ashore again.

  • Empty eggcases have no secondary purpose as some shells do for hermit crabs. They also don't break down to form sand.


Here are a few methods you can use to conduct your hunt…

  • THE CHANCE FIND - you may be out walking your dog on your local beach, or on holiday with your family, when you discover an eggcase. What a stroke of luck! Take a photo and record your find.

  • SIMPLE SCIENCE - set out on a timed walk, e.g. walk along the strandline for 20 minutes and see how many eggcases you can find in that time.

  • BEACH SURVEY - walk the entire length of the beach, or between two landmarks if it’s a long beach! Look at the upper strandline when walking in one direction then return along the lower strandline, recording as you go.


Banner Image: Michaela Strachan & Diane Westwood_Autumnwatch2022_ photo credit Pat Mckeeman