AREA MAP


 Adur Flood Plain
 Chalk Downs
 Coastal Fringe
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 River Adur Flood Plain
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon

 

MAP GRID REFS
1) TQ 2351 0476
2) TQ 2345 048
3) TQ 235  048
4) TQ 2352 0485
5) TQ 2352 0490

 
Qx3 image by Andy Horton
Chthamalas montagui

This barnacle is found
on the mussels on the 
wooden groynes (5)
 


 

 

Adur Valley Wildlife

Rockpooling

AT KINGSTON BEACH, SHOREHAM-BY-SEA
with Andy Horton

TQ 235 048 (OS Explorer) 



SEE MAP GRID REFS IN THE LEFT COLUMN

Distance between 1 & 5 = approx. 400 metres (¼ mile)


 
1. Sand &/or rocks below Chart Datum

2. Concrete blocks with Fucus, winkles  and mussels

3. Flat expanse of gravel with Irish Moss, Chondrus, and shallow pools

4. Loose boulders and chalk bedrock with shallow pools

5. Wooden groynes with draping Fucus and pools underneath

    The purple numbers (in brackets) are the locations on the map above. 

Kingston Beach at low tide
Photograph by Andy Horton

      Link to the WILDLIFE REPORTS 2004 ET SEQ

    WILDLIFE REPORTS
     

    21 October 2003
    The black and white wing was the first indication of an Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus, that descended to land on the loose rock shore of Kingston Beach on a low neap tide. A careful watch for a few minutes through my binoculars and the Oystercatcher was attempting the repeated stabbing with its medium-length black beak, which is a behavioural characteristic of this bird. It was one of several techniques to stab at mussels to get at the rich flesh inside. It was not successful and the tide would not go out any further to reveal the mussel beds (on a 1.9 metre low neap tide) and there would not be more than an occasional mussel exposed *, and it may have been stabbing at the hinges of exposed cockles?  (* Mussels need be submerged for every tide.)
    The red legs of the Oystercatcher were matched by a well camouflaged Redshank between the launching ramp and the first groyne. 
    Oystercatchers on Lundy (Behaviour)

    The Groyne to the east of the Launching Ramp (5)
    Tide level: 1.94 metres, neap low water

    Over the shallow pool near the Lifeboat Station the red breast of a Kingfisher stood out from the pipeline it was perched on (8). Ironically, a couple of Crows had managed to prise out a clump of mussels. 

    19 October 2003
    The neap tide variation between 2.36 metres (low at 12.04 pm) and the high tide of 4.4 metres (6:14 pm in darkness) is one of the smallest possible. (The equinoctial spring tide variation could be up to 7 metres). 
    BMLSS Tides

    9 October 2003
    There were two Little Egrets at low tide, one stationed in the small pool where the prawns and small fish collect the tide recedes. (1) 

    15 September 2003
    The Little Egret again patrolled the water's edge with the incoming spring tide. (This may now be a regular occurrence as the reports are limited to my visits.)

    Small Shore Crab on Kingston Beach parasitised by the barnacle Sacculina carcini. (Photograph by Andy Horton)8 September 2003
    At least three (probably many more) small Shore Crabs on Kingston Beach were parasitised by the barnacle Sacculina carcini. The parasite looks like a yellow blob in the place under the abdominal flap where the eggs would be carried. The prawns in the pools under the groyne (5) were mostly a blue-tinged small prawn Palaemon elegans

    2 September 2003
    The incessant chattering of five young Terns was interrupted by the vertical dive and a plop as the young sea birds hit the water after young fish, and on more than one occasion they were seen to be successful with a small fish in their mouths. As the sea lapped against the sandy shore on a low springs the Little Egret was seen to be successful stabbing at prawns. There were a few large prawns and thousands of smaller ones, the usual small fish and crabs by the Thru'penny Bit (although young Bullheads and Blennies were not caught) and one emerald green first year Ballan Wrasse was netted. (1)

    29 August 2003
    A Little Egret stalked the sandy tideline on the low springs for small prawns. There were some larger edible prawns Paleamon serratus, at least a couple of adult Rock Gobies under a large rock, and small juvenile Corkwing Wrasse, and a dozen Long-legged Spider Crabs (1) clinging to the net. A colourful rainbow lit up the black cloudy sky in the east before a brief minute-long deluge. 

    24 August 2003
    A half a dozen pure white Doves (probably from Kingston Buci Vicarage) was an incongruous sight on the rocks and sand between the two breakwaters at the neap low tide. (5) Further out into the harbour entrance, flocks of fifty plus Black-headed Gulls were feeding on small fish near the surface.

    13 August 2003
    It looked like the Port Authority had been dredging again as there was excessive silt in the sea and on the shore. The tide only receded to about half a metre (WXTide = 0.8 m) above Chart Datum. Very small fry were numerous by the Thru'penny Bit, a dozen or so of Black Goby, Corkwing Wrasse and Bullhead first year fish, and a handful of first year Common Goby and Blenny. Hundreds of very small prawns and a couple of  Long-legged Spider Crabs were netted as well (1)

    14 July 2003
    Although they are six metre plus high tides, the water does not recede very far, only down to 0.8 metres above Chart Datum, so the rockpooling was only to collect a few prawns for the wrasse in my home aquaria

    The appearance of four large Long-legged Spider Crabs (1) was unexpected, although they have been caught in July before. The largest specimen measured 18 mm from the rear of the carapace to the eyes but the spread of legs and claws was 100 mm. A few Moon Jellyfish will seen just beneath the surface. 

    18 April 2003
    The tide went out right to the Thru'-penny bit and the soft mud was even more dangerous than last month and the silt covered everything, making rockpooling extremely poor and not worth a trip. This is worst I have seen it. The excessive silt is probably caused by dredging the harbour entrance.
    (What explains the increase in silt?  It could be more dredging, or possibly dredging on the flood tide?)

    18 March 2003
    The tide went out right to the Thru'-penny bit and the soft mud was dangerous and covered all the rocks. A couple of small Butterfish resided under the rocks above the tide marker (1)

    1 March 2003
    Small Butterfish could be found under the rocks in the piddock chalk area (4) at mid-tide level on Kingston beach. I stepped on a chalk rock which broke into two and a Piddock was revealed. 

    Report by Steve Savage


    12 January 2003
    An Oystercatcher perched on the second wooden groyne (5) on Kingston beach. It was at neap low tide so the mussel beds and sandy and weed shore below the shingle would not be uncovered today.


     

    19 November 2002
    It was completely dark at low tide and this reminded me that the Limpets were on the move on the groynes and rocks, despite being out of the water. They were not clamped down and could be easily removed from the rocks (it was usually almost impossible without damaging them). There were two small Corkwing Wrasse in the pools under the second groyne, and a small Bullhead. (5)

    9 November 2002
    A Grey Heron was perched on the second groyne (5) as the tide came in this morning. 

    3 November 2002
    Ostensibly a small prawns and mussel collecting trip, but there were a couple of small Butterfish under rocks (5) and a first year Corkwing Wrasse in an upper tide pool (8)

    13 October 2002
    A large Shore Squat Lobster, Galathea squamifera, was an unusual on the estuarine part of the Adur (TQ 2335 0485 ) (7). This is an an abundant prawn-sized crustacean of the shallow seas, but uncommon on Kingston beach and in the estuary. 

    11 October 2002
    On the wrack and shingle estuarine shore to the west of the Lifeboat Station (TQ 2335 0485) (7), the yellow variant of the Flat Winkle stood out at low tide on the exclusively Bladder Wrack, Fucus vesiculosus, and this colour scheme is thought to be protection from predation from below, the yellow effecting camouflage against the sky. Under the larger rocks there were a couple of young Butterfish

    9 October 2002
    There was a Mallard-sized duck on Kingston beach at midday, two hours before the high 6.7 metre spring tide (at 5 metres high water covering most of the wooden slipway). I did not have my binoculars and the duck was silhouetted. I had it penned as an Eider or a Scoter. It was just resting on the flat sea between the end of the groynes and the low tide mark, drifting very slowly eastwards (about 150 metres away, calculated by OS map). (TG 0350 0484) (3).

    However, on 7 October 2002  a female Velvet Scoter was seen on her own five metres offshore near Shoreham Power Station at 1:06 pm.


    4 October 2002
    Although reported before, today was the first time time I had seen a Little Egret (3) on Kingston beach, wading about in a shallow pool on the low neaps, before flying eastwards to sandy part of the shore. The Little Egret was preening and it was not seen to attempt to feed. Under the rocks (4) there were numerous (50+) young Rock Gobies, about 65 mm long, which would provide a tasty snack for the long beak of the Egret, as well as a few Blennies of the same size, thousands of very small prawns in the shallow pools. 
    On the waterline an Oystercatcher (4) probed, and the bright orange legs of a junior Redshank (4) contrasted with the dark red legs of the Black-headed Gulls. (3)  A Cormorant (3) fanned its wings and there were at least a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls (3), but I would be surprised if they weren't present. 

    25 September 2002
    A small dark bird skimmed over the sea at Kingston beach, a flash of turquoise revealing it to be a Kingfisher (1). An Oystercatcher probed at low water (4).
    It was a low spring at one metre and the water was clear. However, there was very little around except for a couple of small first year Corkwing Wrasse (1) (5) and a small Long-legged Spider Crab (1), as well as thousands of small prawns (5). A Common Chiton, Leptochiton asellus was recorded on a mussel shell (2).

    Photograph by Peter Talbot-Elsden
    Tide about 1 metre above Chart Datum, Kingston Beach

    10 September 2002
    An early morning low spring tide at Kingston beach produced a young Black Goby, a small fish that looks like the commoner Rock Goby, so alike that the first fish may be overlooked in tidal pools. A Hermit Crab shared a periwinkle shell with the commensal ragworm Neanthes fucata (=Nereis). (1)
    A Heron stood ready to catch any fish by the edge of the water as the tide rolled in. (3)
    BMLSS Rockpooling

    12 August 2002
    A low spring tide forecasted at 0.2 on WXTides receded past the tide marker for at least 20 minutes and the sand covered almost all the rocks.  It was a very ordinary rockpooling trip with moderate numbers of most of the common species but nothing special. It would be good for the kids as over 50 fish, mostly small ones were seen or netted. 
    Adult fish:  Eel (4+), Rock Goby (one), Sand Goby (one).
    Young fish:  2-spot Goby (1), Bullhead, (10+) Rock Goby (12+), Blenny (3+)
    Fry: Corkwing (3), Blenny (25+), Rock Goby (100+), Common Goby (100+). 
    Small Hermit Crabs occupied the shells of winkles and Netted Dogwhelks. All the prawns were tiny.
    Another Sting Winkle was recorded and one orange coloured Common Chiton, Lepidochitona cinerea. The chiton was fixed to the underside of rock at mid-tide level, amongst the loose rocks between the end of the groynes and the water line. This is the usual place where these small (16 mm) oval rock-hugging molluscs can be discovered, but they are not prevalent, usually absent and/or can be easily overlooked. 

    Hooded Shrimp, Athanas nitescens (Photograph by Andy Horton)One of the venerids (bivalve mollusc), probably Venerupis senegalensis (=pullastra) was still alive on the surface under a rock. 

    A large (20 mm) specimen of the distinctive small shrimp-like crustacean Athanas nitescens was blue with a white stripe down its back, looking formidable like a microscopic lobster, if it was not so tiny. 

    17 July 2002
    Sand has now covered virtually all the rocks around the Thru'penny Bit just below Chart Datum. The usual selection of fry, Blennies and Bullheads most noticeable with adult Blennies and green coloured Eels. Underneath the second groyne at mid-tide level, the only postlarvae of note was the brown pea-sized fry of the Lumpsucker, Cyclopterus lumpus. The half a dozen Hermit Crabs occupied shells up to dogwhelk size. 
    A Grey Heron fished in the shallows as the low tide turned.
    Rockpool Fish List

    23 June 2002
    At least 20 Blennies and a 6 cm long 5-Bearded Rockling under rocks above but near Chart Datum, which is unusual with more small Blennies in the sea below low tide level. The water was silty and there were no large prawns. AnotherSting Winkle, Ocenebra erinacea, was discovered.

    6 June 2002
    It was a neap tide with a low of just 2 metres after a previous day of very heavy rain, so it came as a surprise to discover a 7 cm long 5-Bearded Rockling in the pool underneath the second groyne from the west.  This fish looked in less than perfect condition, starving or having recently released its eggs.

    26 May 2002
    Sting Winkle, Ocenebra erinacea, was discovered feeding on a mussel on Kingston beach, Shoreham-by-Sea. This is an unusual find on the shore, and I have never discovered a live specimen before on this particular beach in thousands of visits over 20 years. This specimen was introduced to by marine aquarium where it began to feed on a small oyster. 
    Other fish included an adult Corkwing Wrasse, adult Blennies, and small Bullheads
    BMLSS Molluscs
    BMLSS Rockpooling

    11 April 2002
    A very low tide (0.1 metres) but it was silty and the fauna was extremely poor, with an adult Rock Goby, a common species, but the only fish noticeable. The larger Oysters has been mostly chiselled off the rocks.

    11 April 2002
    It was their calls that first attracted by attention, but in the distance, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls nuzzled each other on Kingston beach, which looked to me like a mating ritual, although they are not known to breed in this part of Sussex. 

    27 March 2002
    As the tide receded past Chart Datum there was a lot of silt and very little around. 
    Small fish included scores of tiny Rock Gobies some very small 65 mm  Butterfish. A single Common Hermit Crab occupied a Periwinkle shell. A single small Common Starfish, a large brown Dogwhelk and scores of Oysters were noted. 

    4 March 2002
    The 0.6 metre low tide revealed a single specimen of the sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus, but as the area below the Tide Level Marker was still under water, there could be other sea anemones, as this is the best known location for this sea anemone that I know. A single specimen of the nudibranch (sea slug) Onchidoris bilamellata was also discovered under a barnacle encrusted rock. This species is common in spring when it comes into breed on the exposed shores at Ovingdean and Worthing but on this sheltered shore it is rare. Some Oysters were large enough for eating and one Whelk was buried at cockle-depth in the sand.
    Small fish included scores of tiny Rock Gobies and the thread-like tiny Butterfish. A single Common Hermit Crab occupied a Netted Dogwhelk shell. 
    On the mud flats the most noticeable birds were three Oystercatchers which have been less seen than normal this winter. Some other birds were making a tremendous amount of noise, including one unseen Redshank that sent all the birds bar the gulls into flight. Their warning call was supplemented by a chippy call, more persistent and harsher, but it could be mistaken for the call of a Turnstone

    11 January 2002
    The low spring tide at Kingston Beach only receded to 1.2 metres above Chart Datum so the lowest most interesting part of this beach was still under water. However, despite this and January is usually the least interesting of all the months of the year, there were still small Blennies under rocks, a tiny 6 mm Butterfish and a few prawns, Palaemon elegans, in the pools underneath the groynes.
    Dogwhelk, NucelLapillusThe most notable discovery were large Dogwhelks averaging 50 mm in length (all a dirty white colour) and one group were laying their egg capsules. This was unknown on this shore since the TBT pollution wiped out the breeding population in the 1970s. A chemical component called tributyltin in anti-fouling paints caused female Dogwhelks to develop a condition called imposex which prevented them from breeding. Unusually, small Common Starfish were present under rocks and at least one Common Whelk was discovered amongst the oysters, cockles, mussels, limpets and winkles. The small crustacean Athanas nitescens was present under rocks to the east if the central groyne. 
    Nearly a hundred Black-headed Gulls and an occasional Crow inhabited the mud flats below the area of loose flint rocks. A wedge of three Cormorants followed by a solitary one flew overhead from out to sea and over Kingston Buci in the direction of the Adur Valley by the most direct route.
    BMLSS Mollusc page
    Dogwhelk page
    Trouble with Dogwhelks 

    13 November 2001
    A due north (boreal) wind brought a chill to the air. On the Kingston beach the low spring is recorded at 0.7 metres but it receded almost to Chart Datum. On the Sussex coast, the mobile shore fauna almost completely disappears in after the first spring tides in October with hardly a straggler prawn or Shore Crab left behind.
    Under rocks there were some very small (to 12 mm) juvenile Rock Gobies, and a couple of Netted Dogwhelk shells appearing empty but discovered to be occupied by tiny Common Hermit Crabs. The small crustacean Athanas nitescens was common (50+) under one small boulder. 
    Full Report

    17 October 2001
    On a low spring tide, Kingston beach was still heavily silted near low water mark. All the pools were almost devoid of mobile life except for a large adult Corkwing Wrasse near the tide marker at Chart Datum.

    Young Ballan Wrasse (Photograph by Ben Sampson)18 September 2001
    There is a considerable amount of silt on Kingston Beach. The tide went out a very long way, the foot of the Thru'penny Bit  (Harbour Control) was exposed, and  the thick mud was nearly dangerous, in most parts the boots would sink below ankle depth in black smelly mud. The conditions were unsuitable fro prawning. Over winter this mud gets scoured away - it usually arrives as a result of harbour dredging. In the upper-mid shore pools underneath the groynes, there was a solitary juvenile Ballan Wrasse and small prawns. 

     

    Common Starfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)

    20 August 2001
    The long spring tide went out below Chart Datum on Kingston beach and there was a meal of large prawns Paleamon serratus. The presence of a dozen very small Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, was unusual for this particular shore. There was an interesting mixture of typical fish and invertebrate intertidal life, with hundreds of very small (30 - 55 mm) first year Bullheads. Medium-sized Butterfish, Five-bearded Rocklings, Sand Gobies, with a few of each (up to five recorded) and at least one Eel, Anguilla, under a boulder were the rock pool fish of note. Common Hermit Crabs,Netted DogwhelkLong-legged Spider Crabs, Long-clawed Porcelain Crabs, Hairy Crabs, represented the crab fauna, with the Shore Crab, common, of course. One or two Shore Crabs were dead and  being consumed by hundreds of Netted Dogwhelks. 
    Molluscs (BMLSS)

    19 August 2001 
    Juvenile Five-bearded Rocklings, young (first year) Corkwing Wrasse, small Bullheads and very small Squat Lobsters Galathea squamifera, on the middle shore on the low springs that did not go out far in a blustery breeze (Force 4).
    Zonation on the Shore

    18 June 2001
    A small shoal of juvenile first year Pollack, Pollachius pollachius, came as a great surprise to me on a mussel collecting expedition. In well over a thousand observations I have never seen shoals of these fry before. The mid-water shoals are usually Sand Smelt Atherina presbyter; Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax; or Grey Mullet, Chelon labrosus. Pollack shoals are are a characteristic of Cornish and Devon estuaries. At first the back of the tiny fish up to 40 mm long looked a coppery colour so I suspected a Pouting, Trisopterus luscus, but even in the postlarvae the more streamlined nature of the Pollack was clear, but if any doubt was needed the marked gaps between the three dorsal fins was decisive. Out of sunlight the back looks more greenish-brown. The shoal numbered about 200, maybe more, as my view was obscured. Thousands of Sea Gooseberries shared the same sea as the juvenile Pollack. 

    Dogwhelks, Nucella lapillus, have just returned to this shore after an absence from 1982. They are all old specimens and even 20 years I do not recall any eggs. With a covering of mud, one Dogwhelk could be mistaken for a Common Whelk, Buccinum undatum, especially as its size at 52 mm is bigger than average. Dogwhelks usually average about 20 mm to 30 mm, and specimens can reach 60 mm. On Kingston beach, they still need looking for, and are rarely below 35 mm in length. 
     
     

    Palaemon elegansPalaemon serratusDiadumene cinctaActinothoe

    5 June 2001
    This is rather an ordinary observation but the two species of prawns found on Kingston Beach are showing remarkable differences. The smaller Palaemon elegans in the higher pools have dark blue, almost black, markings and egg masses, whilst the larger Paleamon serratus at the low tide mark are remarkably reddish with orange egg masses. This colour guide cannot be relied upon as the larger prawns can be blue and both species almost transparent with hardly any clear lines.

    21 May 2001
    The ctenophore (comb-jelly) Sea Gooseberry, Pleuribrachia pileus, is both ubiquitous and superabundant pelagically in the NE Atlantic Ocean, but on the low springs (0.4 metre) at Kingston beach in the early evening was only the second tide sequence that I have actually discovered this animal that appears as transparent globules in the prawn net. In a miniature aquarium, the tentacles and the swimming combs of this tiny ovoid predator appear to shimmer. At night it is phosphorescent as is the River Adur in autumn if you splash an oar in the surface tidal stream. 

    23 April 2001
    The elongate small fish known as the Butterfish, because of its slippery nature, or Gunnel (misspelling of Gunwhale), Pholis gunnellus, were present on Kingston beach on the low spring tide. 

    Butterfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)

    9 November 2000
    One Crow amongst a flock of at least 25 birds on Kingston Beach,  between the second and third groyne from the west, was repeatedly dropping a mollusc of some sort on to the shingle beach. I doubt if it has had much success. The usual dropping area (but this may be gulls) is on the concrete near the Life Boat Station, which is sometimes covered with mussel, cockle and winkle shells. 
    The storm water overflow near Kingston Lane was discharging water at full capacity.

    20 October 2000
    A low neap tide after a period of heavy rain in late autumn is usually very poor for mobile intertidal life on the Sussex coast. However, in the pool under the groyne, there was an adult Blenny, and juvenile Corkwing Wrasse (one) and juvenile Bullheads (4+). The sea still covered most of the shore. 
    A small Bullhead with a rust-like tinge over its body was collected from Kingston beach, Shoreham, on this visit, for its photograph. However, within one week this rust-like tinge had disappeared. AH.

    2 October 2000
    I went down the beach to collect a few mussels (Mytilus), cockles (Cerastoderma) and very small prawns (Palaemon elegans), to feed the aquarium fish and invertebrates, and in a pool amongst the weed was an adult Butterfish, Pholis gunnellus. Adults are not common intertidally, only occasionally found, it is the young ones that are common (100+). It was interesting because all of the previous 5,000 I have discovered between the tides have been found under flint and chalk rocks, or in piddock warrens in the soft chalk. I have given up counting the ocellated spots.
    At least one Shore Crab was infected with the parasitic barnacle Sacculina carcini.
    A Hairy Crab was also noted. 
    At least 30 Crows foraged on the shingle as the tide came in. A mixture of gulls, including at least one mature Herring Gull stood and foraged on the small portions of remaining sand. 

    29 September 2000
    The sea had churned up the sand at Kingston Beach, where the fauna was exiguous, but notably an absence of large prawns. Adult Corkwing Wrasse (one), large first year Corkwing (only one caught in an upper pool underneath a groyne) but more would be present, largish 5-Bearded Rockling (one was 16 cm long and found in an upper pool), Bullheads  (in the upper pool to 95 mm) and small Rock Gobies were very frequently discovered under rocks.

    30/31 August 2000
    On some of the lowest tides of the year, Kingston Beach was full of marine life, although nothing exceptional. Long-legged Spider Crabs were common and the intertidal fish included Rock Gobies, Common Gobies, Bullheads, Blennies, Corkwing Wrasse (juv.), Butterfish, Ballan Wrasse (juv.), 5-Bearded Rockling and an Eel (in order of prevalence).
    Full Species List

    6 August 2000
    Large Bass, up to 2 kg, cruised into the entrance of Shoreham Harbour, (TQ 235 048) scattering the shoals of Sand Smelt, Atherina presbyter. The anglers were catching the attractively patterned Sand Smelt at a length of 16 cm (excluding the caudal fin). 

    1 August 2000
    On a low spring tide, the same fish as on 20 July 2000 were present including another adult Corkwing, except no Ballan Wrasse were caught in the dip/prawn net. Furthermore, Blennies were not so common, but instead Rock Gobies, in breeding livery, but not full adult size were common.  In addition, Sand Gobies were also very common over both the sand and where the mussel beds on the concrete slaps adjoined the sand and rock areas. They were caught in the same net as the baby Corkwing and Bullheads

    A solitary Eel, Anguilla, was found under a rock. It was about 25 cm long., and also a medium-sized Butterfish. Netted Dogwhelks, Hinia reticulata,  were noticeable, as is quite often at this time of the year, with small Hermit Crabs crawling over the sand and amongst the rocks. A most unusual appearance was a solitary Snakelocks Anemone, which reach their most easterly point of distribution up the English Channel (northern coast) at Worthing, with an occasional stragglers on the shore at Shoreham, and almost entirely absent from Brighton

    Squat Lobster (photograph by Ray Hamblett)Tiny (small fingernail-sized) Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, were occasionally found on the underside of rocks, with the Long-clawed Porcelain Crab, Pisidia longicornis.

    Andy Horton with his prawn net
    20 July 2000
    There were just about enough prawns Paleamon serratus at the low tide mark to make a meal, with very small Ballan and Corkwing Wrasse (plus one full grown adult fish), Bullheads, Blennies, a few small Rock Gobies. A couple of the Long-legged Spider Crabs, Macropodia, got caught in the net. 

    28 June 2000
    It was a neap tide at a low of 1.3 metres (no sand was visible) and the rock pools underneath the second groyne from the west contained a Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, and a 5-Bearded Rockling. In the shallow pools, the male Common Gobies were in breeding colours. A few juvenile Brown Shrimps, Crangon, shuffled in the sandy pools. 

    2 June 2000
    The sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus was discovered. This uncommon sea anemone is present locally but rarely discovered.
    Butterfish were discovered under rocks just above low water mark, and a couple of Bullheads were caught near low water mark. Blennies were common (see below). Large edible sized prawns were absent, although present at other location off Shoreham. 

    30 May 2000
    Kingston Beach fails to comply with the mandatory levels of minimum sewage pollution, exceeding the coliform count. This is not the EA figures but samples taken by Adur District Council
    EU Legal Requirements (link)
     

Blenny (Photograph by Andy Horton)
     
    16 May 2000
    Two consecutive days start off misty with the new Power Station chimney completely obscured from Shoreham and the fog horn sounding. Approaching the low springs, (high at 5.6 m, low at 1.2 m), Blennies (a small green fish) were exceptionally common at Kingston Beach, below low water mark, commoner than for any time for 20 years. They varied in length from 60-75 mm long. Apart from a few Common Gobies, they were the only fish in the pools.
    Shore Crabs were plentiful as is usual in May, but what was surprising was that almost 100% of them were coloured green.
    Tides page

    April 2000
    Butterfish were discovered under rocks just above low water mark, and a solitary Bullhead was caught in the upper shore pool under the second groyne from the east.
    Mussels attain a maximum size of about 70 mm on this shore. They are regularly occupied by Pea Crabs.

    21 November 1999
    Regular all-season rockpoolers will realise that on the Sussex coast the mobile inhabitants of the shore, small fish, crabs, prawns etc. move offshore into deeper water. Usually, the is movement is very sudden, on the last low spring in September there will still be abundant shore life, but by the first low spring tide of October, all the life will have disappeared and there will be nothing at all of notes under rocks. The sudden onset of cold weather is probably the reason.
    So it was after some bitter chill winds, that I trudged down to Kingston beach, to collect a few mussels, and apart from the 30 plus Black-headed Gulls and four Oystercatchers scavenging on the edge of the calm sea, I had not expected anything of note. However, beneath the rocks strewn amongst the mussel beds, first year Blennies, only 15 - 20 mm, and similarly sized Rock Gobies sheltered beneath the flint cobble-sized rocks. Not in itself particularly unusual for this beach, but together with small Hermit Crabs in Netted Dogwhelk shells and small Hairy Crabs, and the first Dogwhelk I had seen since 1982, the cumulative effect was a bit of surprise of the frequency of life on the beach. Oysters, cockles, carpet shells, Grey Topshells accompanied the abundant mussels and winkles. Limpets were very common. Some of the chalk had broken up and a few empty shells of the Piddock, Barnea candida, lay scattered around.

    31 August 1999
    Another humid heat wave, but it was cool enough to be pleasant at 8.30 am at the lowest point of the spring tide. At Kingston Beach the tide had gone out so that there was sand below the tide marker at Chart Datum. The sea was as still as a mill pond. Underwater visibility was good. The seagulls, mainly the Black-headed Gull (with red legs, the heads are mostly white), Larus ridibundus, were resting on the sea and flying around and squawking. The numbers and the abundance was unusual so there had to be a reason. Terns dived into the sea, so there must be shoals of fry numbering millions of small fish. 

    An hour later when there was enough water to see the shoals from the mussel-strewn concrete blocks at Kingston; most of them were Bass, about 40 mm long, but varying from 20 mm to 60 mm in the hundreds of shoals of up to a thousand plus fish in each. The Adur is a nursery river for Bass, but I had never seen so many before (regular observation since 1979). 

    There were scores of juvenile Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, skirting the weed and ledges as they swam in with the tide.

    6 July 1999
    Shorewatch  Report Card

    1997

    The storms had scoured away much of the silt deposited in the summer and many rocks were revealed which is promising for the next few months. A few small Blennies and prawns occupy the Sussex pools, but by mid February there has been nothing of special note between the tides. The beach fishermen have a variety of freshly caught fish on sale including Cod, Lemon Sole, Dover Sole (pic), Mackerel and Dogfish, with the occasional Thornback Ray.
     

    The first few months of 1998 were rather sparse as far as the life on the Sussex shores were concerned. The low spring tides occur at dawn and dusk and in the low light even the bright red beaks of the Oystercatchers as they probe in the sand are not very clear. At Kingston beach, Shoreham-by-Sea by the Lighthouse, these birds have a choice to probe amongst the mussels, or even stab these stationery bivalves to get at the rich orange flesh, or to unearth the cockles beneath the surface, or to feed on small crabs or winkles. However, it is rather disappointing that the visiting birds always seem to occupy the sand and mud flats where they feed on worms. They are more likely to be seen on inland playing fields than amongst the mussel beds.

    Sussex Seaweed Project
    Sussex Seaweed Project database


    Shoreham Lifeboat Station  is located at Kingston Beach

    Shoreham Rowing Club meet at Kingston Beach


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Andy HortonShore CrabSquat LobsterHairy CrabBlennyHermit CrabBlennyCommon GobyRock GobyRocklingButterfishAndy Horton with his prawn netOystercatcher