washed ashore dead on Chesil
in Dorset, west of
by Doug Chalk
Beach, Dorset, attracted fossil hunters underneath the unstable cliff
for ammonites etc. on a pleasant December day, turning to rain with the
cliff battered by waves and Near Gale Force (Force
6 gusting to Gale
Force 8) winds.
of East Charmouth
November - December 2015
washed across the Atlantic Oceans housed pelagic
visitors rarely, if ever, recorded in British seas. The finds included
Rock Shells, Stramonita
floridana, found by Steve
Trewhella living on a Goose
Barnacle covered long line buoy found at Chapmans
Pool, Dorset; over fifty tiny Columbus
Planes minutus. amongst
the wrecks; miniature amphipods Caprella andreae;
and a very special find of the tubes of the tiny Thimble
by Steve Trewhella
on Chesil Beach,
and by David
Fenwick Snr in Cornwall on flotsam.
three 60 mm long native sipunculans Phascolosoma
(Phascolosoma) granulatum were
found inside a buoy with seven Columbus Crabs
washed ashore on Cornwall. In November
another vagrant washed in from America was the Pretty
Jewel Box, Chama
Williams found a Scotty
bait pot on a beach near Newquay,
Cornwall, which contained ten attractive shells of Cerithium
litteratum, a Caribbean gastropod
never seen before on British mainland shores.
snails would have entered the pot as larvae, living on algae growing on
the inside. David Fenwick Snr also
discovered the bivalve mollusc shells
of the Crested Oyster Ostrea
bicolor and Isognomon
radiatus all attached to the same
bucket washed ashore at Marazion,
of trans-Atlantic rafting species (Aphotomarine)
- December 2015
of clumps of Goose Barnacles,
anatifera, attached to floating objects
have been washed ashore all along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent.
Those strandings occur very year, but it seems
that more than the usual number were discovered this winter. Diligent beachcombers
have discovered the tiny Columbus Crabs,
minutus. amongst the wrecks, as well
as few of the other pelagic
Goose Barnacles like Lepas
Barnacles on Aphotomarine (by Dave Fenwick)
of By-the-wind Sailors,
velella, were washed ashore on various
beaches in the south and west.
Turtles were washed ashore dead on the
caretta, was rescued at Chapmans
Loggerhead Turtle Reports
ashore at Aberystwyth
was still alive and is now in rehabilitation.
endangered turtles breed on the coasts of Mexico
and are usually found in the Gulf
of Mexico and was thought to have blown across the Atlantic Ocean.
The turtle is likely to have suffered in the cold seas and would have succumbed
if they had not been rescued.
astonishing discovery of the remains of a significant
complex of Bronze Age buildings were revealed
on a kilometre stretch of beach at Tres
Ness on the island of Sanday
in the Orkney Islands.
The four thousand year old remains of 14 houses and stone tools, including
knives, were uncovered by wind and sea that moved the sand dunes which
had hidden them for over three millennia.
Jane Downes, the scale of the Sanday discoveries
is unparalleled in Orkney. ""This must be one of the biggest complexes
of Bronze Age settlement in the Scottish isles, rivalling the spreads of
hut circles in other parts of mainland Scotland." NB:
The stones have in part been uncovered before but not identified as anything
mydas, was found dead stranded
at Porthmadog in
Gwynedd, Wales. The approximately 25 cm long turtle was thought to have
possibly initially stranded alive, given its very fresh condition. The
body of the turtle was recovered from the beach by Gwynedd Maritime Services
and then taken to RSPCA Colwyn Bay for storage prior to pickup and transport
for post-mortem examination by the Cetacean
Strandings Investigation Programme UK (CSIP). This
is only the ninth record of this inhabitant of tropical seas (including
the Atlantic coast of Spain and the Mediterranean Sea) found in the sea
or on the shore around the British Isles.
caretta, was washed ashore alive but in a moribund condition on
the south-west Scotland shore in Ayrshire.
It was moved to Scottish Sea
Life Sanctuary (SSLS) in Oban, Argyll and Bute, for recovery and rehabilitation
at but died of hypothermia
on 9 December 2015.
problem is the seas around the British Isles are too cold for this tropical
Barnacles on Space Rocket
by Tresco Boatman
part of a space rocket floated across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida and
acquired a large colony of Goose Barnacles on its one year journey.
It eventually beached on Tresco,
of Scilly, with the assistance of local fishermen..
Juvenile Fin Whale
Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)
metres long juvenile Fin Whale,
physalus, was washed ashore dead at Cleethorpes
Beach, Lincolnshire. The over night tide washed the body of the huge
whale off the beach and back into the Humber estuary
long distant vagrant bird, a Pacific Diver,
pacifica, turned up again at Marazion,
Cornwall, where it had been seen in previous years. This
bird is a North American bird whereas the similar Black
throated Diver, Gavia
arctica, is the one found in eastern
Stingers at Perranporth
by David Fenwick Snr
thousands of very small (about 20 mm diameter) Mauve
noctiluca were washed ashore on Cornish
beaches, notably at Perranporth
and other locations on the exposed north coast of Cornwall. This
small jellyfish has a reputation a a stinger.
by Douglas Herdson
adult Comber, Serranus
cabrilla, of 440 g was caught by a
beam trawler south of Start Point, Devon. A
southern species, a small member of the grouper (Serranidae)
family, turns up from time to time in southern Britain.
by Peter Bardsley
small deep water sea anemone Anemonactis
mazeli was discovered and photographed
for the first time by Peter
Bardsley in shallow water (15 metres)
at two sites in Loch
Duich, south Skye, Scotland. It was only rarely recorded in the distant
past and as a burrowing anemone in mud it is hard to find.
two metre long
nasus, was the unfortunate victim of a net and was washed ashore
dead on Chesil Beach. The body of the shark was returned to sea, as commercial
fishermen in the EU are prohibited from landing Porbeagle
Explorers: Chesil Beach Project
huge 12 metres long whale washed ashore dead in a smelly condition at Botany
Bay, near Margate, Kent, was identified as a juvenile female
pods of Risso's Dolphins,
Grampus griseus, were
observed off the coast of Anglesey, north Wales, from the vantage points
Bay and from nearby Point
Lynas. A sea trip by Dr
Peter Evans discovered an unprecedented
fifty plus of these dolphins, generally swimming westwards. Their
main diet is squid
and these dolphins
are usually seen in small groups.
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas
Marine Life Study Society
Oil Disasters page