is rarely rewarding for rockpooling because
the mobile fish, crabs,
etc. move offshore into slightly deeper water to avoid the temperature
vagaries of the intertidal zone, and because in Sussex low spring tides
usually occur in darkness. Under an hour before sunset on a fresh (temperature
recorded at 6.6 º C at 3:15 pm,
tide at 1.1 metres above Chart
day, there were very few small prawns in the pools under the groyne (5)
and shallow sea (1)
but a handful of first year Bullheads,
bubalis, and Corkwing
melops, were netted within five minutes and a handful Rock
Gobies Gobius paganellus and one
first year Blenny,
pholis were seen under rocks.
One Small-headed Clingfish,
dentatus, was found accidentally amongst
some Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus,
seaweed. There were at least one small Edible
and at least one Hairy Crab,
hirtellus, with a half a dozen or so small Shore
meanas noted. All this was in about 20 minutes as the water was
both cold with a thin film of petrol on the surface of the water murky
with sediment and unpleasantly cold as the darkness set in.
waded the sandy edge of the sea with over a hundred mixed gulls including
a handful of Greater Black-backed Gulls.
just about adult Tompot Blennies, Parablennius
gattorugine, were the highlight on
a very low tide that receded past the Chart
Datum marker. Other fish were a dozen or more Bullheads,
bubalis, three first year Corkwing
melops, and a dozen juvenile Rock
Gobies Gobius paganellus. Darkness
set in before I fully explored the shore, but a miniature (15 mm diameter)
rubens, was noted as were at least
a dozen Dogwhelks (a
gastropod mollusc), Nucella
lapillus, and two dozen Shore Squat
squamifera, and half that number of Hairy
hirtellus, under rocks. Shore Crabs
were not noted but all the other regulars were there including frequent
attached to rocks and Long-clawed Porcelain
Crabs crawling over the underside.
tide went out well below Chart Datum but
it was dark before the tide came in. Fauna was exiguous with nothing special.
There was one Eel, Anguilla,
and a few very small Squat Lobsters,
Egret, two Oystercatchers
and a small group of about five Turnstones
were feeding on the low neap tideline west of the Lifeboat Station
(7). The photographs above into the sun did
not pick out the details of the foraging activity of these camouflaged
birds. The Egret
was seen to lean forward and catch a small fish, probably a small first
were seen in shoals of a hundred or more.
turned into steady rain with the early morning low tide,
and the fauna was exiguous, a Little Egret
patrolled the mud below Chart Datum and
perched on a pole; additional aquatic species included five first year
bubalis, and a few tiny Blennies,
pholis and equally small Common
Gobies, Pomatoschistus microps. .
the high tide mark (by the A259
road), Evening Primrose
was in flower.
the spring equinoctial tide receded in the early
evening past the Chart Datum point on Kingston
Buci beach, a very small first year Tompot
Blenny, Parablennius gattorugine, was
caught in the prawn net. This fish is just occasional catch between the
tides, occurring about once every two years or one in every thirty rockpooling
trips. Other fish included an Eel,
a boulder, a young 5-Bearded Rockling Ciliata
mustela, a dozen first year Corkwing
melops, a probable first year
Wrasse, Labrus bergylta,
and two Sand Gobies Pomatoschistus
minutus. Under small rocks, there
were the usual dozens of tiny first year Rock
Gobies Gobius paganellus.
small Long-legged Spider Crab,
rostrata, was netted.
was too much swell after the rain had stopped for any access to the best
prawning spots. There was an uncommon sea anemone Sagartiogeton
undatus recorded at mid-tide level
on Kingston Buci beach. The
first photograph on the left below shows the very small shrimp Athanas
nitescens. In the Observer's
"Sea & Seashore" it is called the Hooded
Shrimp but I do not think this name ever
attention was drawn to the flowering plants above the high water mark photographed
above. The plant on the second left is one of the Evening
Primroses. The two images on the
right are the same plant and this is the Great
Lettuce, Mycelis muralis.
fisherman had scooped up the dozen or so large prawns before I arrived
on the low spring tide. There were young fish of all the common species
in the pools. One Athanas nitescens
(a tiny shrimp) turned
from dark red to bright green whilst in the bucket.
score or more of small Blennies, Lipophrys
pholis, were caught in the
net below Chart Datum (3)
and some were retained for exhibition at Adur
World Oceans Day 2005. There were
a few of the transparent Sea Gooseberries
(a cnidarian) in
the net as well and just two tiny 7 mm long juvenile Bullheads,
bubalis, Thirty clumps of the red
seaweed Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus,
were caught in the net, and all the broken clumps had sea mats of the bryozoan
membranacea growing on them.
the pool underneath the second groyne (5)
a Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia
viridis, expanded its tentacles. I
left it in-situ.
the tide went out to Chart Datum as the
mist rolled in, there were no large prawns and apart from the usual young
and Rock Gobies,
there was nothing of note.
exceptionally poor rockpooling season continues.
There were a few of the regulars, ovigerous Common
Gobies, newly hatched (earlier this
and Rock Gobies.
I noted a large (large for the shore, nearly minimum size) Edible
Crab near Chart
and the unusual sea anemone Sagartiogeton
undatus at mid-tide level (4),
the tiny red striped crustacean with the name Hooded
Shrimp, Athanas nitescens, (4)
a bryozoan colony
living on the underside of a small boulder (4).
were now frequently seen (at least 20 noticed). One was a dirty grey colour
like a bleached Periwinkle.
Later a small Daisy Anemone,
pedunculatus, was discovered in the
aquarium, and it was probably introduced with a cockle. This is another
sea anemone that is unusual and has not been recorded more than once or
twice (if at all) on Kingston Beach. It is southern species that
occasionally occurs on Worthing beach.
brown patch on the image on the right is a bryozoan
I have not yet identified, but it is probably Membranipora
membranacea. The rocks on the photograph
on the right are stained red, probably by an algae. The second photograph
contains a Cockle,
and a Common Limpet.
poor was a visit to the Half Brick shore
at east Worthing yesterday, that I nearly did not visit Kingston Beach
under the overcast sky.
||In British seas, and on
the shore when the numbers can reach epidemic proportions, the Common
rubens, is the most prevalent
conventional starfish of the N.E. Atlantic Ocean.
principal prey is mussels
(consuming them in their shells), but it will eat fish eggs, carrion, and
sea still surrounded the Chart Datum tide
height gauge (1).
There was one surprise: Common Starfish,
rubens, are popularly thought to be
a common inhabitant of the shore, but in reality they are rather infrequent;
a small specimen was on the mussel beds by the Thru-penny Bit. Two large
prawns Palaemon serratus
were the only notable capture in the net as the cloudy water pounded against
the vertical metal barrier.(1).
the pool under the second groyne there was a juvenile (one year old) Short-spined
Bullhead, Taurulus bubalis,
and an adult Blenny, Lipophrys
the estuarine shore to the west of the Lifeboat Station
(7), a juvenile dark coloured Butterfish
gunnellus and an adult Rock
Goby Gobius paganellus in
black breeding livery were discovered with two juveniles. There was a large
edulis, measured at 83 mm, which is exceptionally large for this
beach, where mussels rarely exceed 70 mm.
noted, and a few white
lapillus, and Slipper
Limpets, Crepidula fornicata,
as well. Shore
maenas, were under half of the rocks.
Two out of a hundred were in berry.
Marine Life Study Society
Kingston Buci beach, the tide went out as far as I had ever seen. There
was very little life in the pools. A Grey
Topshell (a usually abundant small gastropod)
on an Oyster
was unusual for this beach. There was Dogwhelk,
lapillus, feeding on a Mussel
and an adult Blenny,
pholis, under a boulder.
silt was cloying and as bad as usual at and around Chart Datum (1).
were at least four Oystercatchers,
ostralegus, on Kingston beach, between
the groynes (5)
until disturbed by mussel collectors on a low
neap tide. They then flew off to the east, two actually landing on the
furthermost wooden groyne on the map above, before landing on the sand
and trottng over it.
REPORT PAGES 2004
an ominous black cloud rolled in from the west and made the darkness set
in early, it was the pools underneath the groyne
to the east of the Launching Ramp (5)
produced the most life on a low spring 0.5 metre tide with a handful of
bubalis, (in small number s of a common fish this summer) a
single 5-Bearded Rockling,
mustela, a first year Corkwing
melops, and two Shore Crabs,
down the shore (3)
there were two Edible Crabs,
pagurus, and a Hairy Crab,
hirtellus, and a Shore Squat Lobster,
squamifera, under rocks. There were a few small
Palaemon elegans, in the
lapillus, was seen on the mussel
beds (2) and
a few Oysters
were noticed (3).
pair of Mute Swans
flew overhead from west to east as dusk descended.
a low spring tide, a Little Egret
was feeding on very small prawns or Common Gobies
in the shallows and an Oystercatcher
was on the mud flats.
pools below Chart Datum had the usual moble fauna including edible
sized prawns Paleamon
serratus, first year Corkwing
melops, small Long-legged Spider
rostrata, a first year
Wrasse, Labrus bergylta,
and very little else. Two
nearly adult Rock Gobies, Gobius
paganellus, were netted underneath
the groynes at mid-tide level.
was still too much silt from the flood tide dredging and despite forgetting
the handle to my prawn net, there were enough (40+) edible sized prawns,
serratus, to make a meal. Dozens
of small first year and one second year Corkwing
melops, were captured in the net, together with a first year green
Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, a
pholis, and small Bullhead
and one each of a Short-legged
aspera, and a small Long-legged
Prawns and Shrimps
the Shoreham Harbour fog horn boomed, four Oystercatchers,
ostralegus, probed for worms amongst
the mussel beds and sand.
black and white wing was the first indication of an Oystercatcher,
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 meant as 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.)
red legs of the Oystercatcher were
matched by a well camouflaged Redshank
between the launching ramp and the first groyne.
on Lundy (Behaviour)
the shallow pool near the Lifeboat Station the red breast of a Kingfisher
out from the pipeline it was perched on (8).
Ironically, a couple of Crows
had managed to prise out a clump of mussels.
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).