The West Coast of Ceredigion took on a flavour of the Caribbean this weekend after a rare flying fish was found washed up on a beach in New Quay.

The fish, which is most frequently found in tropical or temperate waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, was discovered by the Taberner family as they were enjoying an evening walk along the beach.

“My son, Giles, spotted it and so we got our torches out and basically stood there in the dark wondering what on earth it could be," said dad, Richard Taberner.

“And then we saw that it was a fish with wings. It really was quite remarkable.”

Later that same evening, as the family made their way back along the beach, Richard’s daughter, Arabella, 7, discovered a live octopus which they returned to the sea.

“It really was quite an eventful evening stroll on the beach, and we still can’t quite get over the discovery,” added Richard.

It’s likely that the flying fish found its way to the Cardigan Bay coast as a result of the recent storms and high winds, as well as the warm ocean waters.

While flying fish are unable to fly in the same way as birds, they can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of the water as their long, wing-like fins help them to glide for considerable distances above the water’s surface.

This is probably to help them escape from underwater predators such as swordfish, mackerel, tuna and marlin.

Flying fish are found mainly in the Caribbean where they are seen near the surface of the water. Some also live on the outskirts of coral reefs or in the Mediterranean sea. They can measure up to around 12 inches (30 cm) in length.

Their Latin name, Exocoetidae, is what the Exocet missile has been named after.

This weekend’s sighting is now being recorded by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre enabling them to build a more comprehensive picture of wildlife across the Ceredigion coast.