Photograph by David Wood
A single large mushroom found on Shoreham Beach where the shingle was covered by soil was thought to be one of the Agaricus species. It had a stem length of approximately 120 mm and a cap diameter of about 40 mm.
On a pleasant (17.3 °C) beginning to October with a Light Breeze (Force 2) blowing form the NNW (N veering to NW), I spotted seven Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, at the Old Fort (at the far eastern end of Shoreham Beach) with only a cursory attempt to look for them. The afternoon visit discovered two adults on the walls followed by two juveniles. Later when examining a small clump of flowering Sea Thrift, three or more further juvenile lizards were spotted skitting amongst the rocks and vegetation. One of the adults was recognised as the one in the photograph below.
Widewater Lagoon was as still as a millpond on a sunny day where the houses bordering the lagoon were reflected as a mirror image, which was rather unfortunate for photography as in the space of one frame five perched Cormorants and three perched Little Egrets were posing. A Cormorant flew overhead. The Mute Swan count on the flooded lagoon (after the spring tides) was two adults and a fully grown cygnet in the separate lagoon at the far east of Widewater, a pair with four cygnets by a house to the west of the bridge and another pair at the far eastern end by the block of flats. A Wheatear (about to migrate) was seen on Shoreham Beach.
Swan Death Report
In contrast to the previous day, it was the Small White and Green-veined White Butterflies that were frequently seen along the cyclepath from Weald Dyke, Shoreham Beach, going eastwards towards Lancing Beach Green where a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered northwards across the mown grass. Large White Butterflies were only occasionally seen. A Little Egret perched in a Tamarisk Tree on the edge of Widewater Lagoon east of the small bridge, where another Little Egretwas seen with three perched Cormorants, two of them fanning their wings until I frightened them into taking flight.
Birds of Sussex
A visit to the sand and rocky shore at Lancing Beach Green west on a 0.7 metre low spring tide was unrewarding (my heart wasn't in it) and the only thing of note was empty shell of the Shore Urchin, Psammechinus miliaris, which was notable because I have not seen a live one on the local shores for several (over ten) years. There were a few undersized Edible Crabs, Cancer pagurus, a small Hairy Crab, Pilumnus hirtellus, at least one medium-sized Shore Crab, Carcinus maenas, one small newly moulted (soft) Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber, and one small Hermit Crab, Pagurus bernhardus, in the gastropod shell of a Netted Dogwhelk.
14 September 2009
A Clouded Yellow Butterfly was spotted on the shingle between the beach huts at the eastern end of Lancing Beach Green and a Red Admiral at the western end. A Wheatear flew around near the beach huts at the seaward side of Shoreham Beach Green, getting ready to embark on its emigration to Africa. On Widewater Lagoon, three Cormorants were stationed on poles and one Little Egret fished in the shallows.
Birds of Sussex
An early morning low tide visit to Kingston Beach, Shoreham with Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd, to film the Blenny sequence for a TV four programme series called The Seasons with Alan Titchmarsh, recorded the expected Blennies, Lipophrys pholis, a large Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, half a dozen large Edible Prawns, Palaemon serratus, and a notable young green Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta.
While running the rockpooling event for Friends of Shoreham Beach we discovered amongst other things a dead Compass Jellyfish. This was on the beach behind the Old Fort.
Three Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were noted on the Old Fort walls in the weak sunshine. Flocks of 100+ Starlings whirled over Shoreham Beach.
Two families of Mute Swans are resident on Widewater Lagoon every year. One morning an adult female Mute Swan was found dead. The cause is unknown but predation by a Fox is suspected. The cygnets will be able to fend for themselves with the male still in attendance.
24 July 2009
The high spring tide nearly reached the green band of Orache on the shingle south of Brooklands Boating Lake, east Worthing. Unnoticed at first, a flock of about 25 Turnstones took flight as I got close. The incoming waves churned over a brown mass of loose seaweed.
A Privet Hawkmoth was photographed on Shoreham Beach.
A metre long Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, jumped 30 cm clear of the sea in the vicinity of a fishing boat seven miles off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, in the early afternoon on a sunny day. It was speculated that this tunny (which is now rare in British seas) followed the large shoals of fish in, which in turn attracted the fishing vessel. "As it left the water I was able to catch sight of its gleaming multi-coloured sides of the the torpedo-shaped fish and the small pre-caudal triangular finlets appeared dark blue. Its weight was estimated to be about 12 kg."
the late afternoon, twoWall
muralis, were seen on the flint walls of the Old Fort, Shoreham
Beach. Both were green intact adults and the first one stayed around
long enough for a photograph.
the Old Fort, the expanse of Starry Clover,
stellatum, flowering was coming to
an end. Childing Pink, Petrorhagia
nanteuilii, was present in small numbers,
all with single flowers in their usual place in a small patch at Silver
Sands. At least three 6-spot
Burnet Moths were seen by the Old Fort
in the late afternoon.
Over the Riverbank towpath by the houseboats, I observed two Small White Butterflies and a Red Admiral. On the flowering Shoreham Beach south of Winterton Way, there were two more Small Whites and a Painted Lady, and at least three more Painted Ladies were seen flying over the beach.
Full Butterfly Report
Winterton Way Beach
Valerian, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea
Kale, Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Viper's
English Stonecrop, Tree Mallow, Common Mallow, Silver Ragwort, Ragwort and Bittersweet.
end of Shoreham Beach)
6 June 2009
Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
Adur World Oceans Day took place in the marquee on Coronation Green on 6th June 2009 on the opening Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The innovative aquarium displays of seashore life, strandline exhibits and photographs will again be in on show. Experts will be on hand to answer your queries about life in the oceans and on the seashore.
I think World Oceans Day this is best described by the Nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck when writing about Ed 'Doc' Ricketts of Cannery Row fame in which he wrote 'commercial fishermen harvest the sea to feed men's bodies and a marine biologist harvests the sea to feed men's minds'
Quote by Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)
The Friends of Shoreham Beach played an important part with their own displays and information about the Nature Reserve and plants of the shingle beach.
Adur World Oceans Day is run by a committee comprising representatives of the British Marine Life Study Society, West Sussex County Council, the Sea Watch Foundation, Friends of Shoreham Beach and other groups, with support from Adur District Council.
World Oceans Day was declared at the Earth Summit in 1992.
World Oceans Day UK Web Page
Sussex Marine Jottings Report and Images
3 June 2009
A Force 4 easterly Breeze prevented any serious shrimping on Southwick Beach as the waves rolled in. A quick ten minute push on the outgoing tide produced a medium-sized Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes with "fleur-de lis" markings, five Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, and two flatfish (probably Plaice) fry.
British Intertidal Crabs
the south side of the Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney, just above
the nest box, a female Peregrine Falcon
perched on one of the ledges. It could be identified to gender by its greater
size than the male of the species.
Silver Ragwort in flower on Southwick Beach (east of Carat's Cafe) was a new addition to the flora list in flower this year.
Shoreham Beach Flowers
Shrimping was possible after some poor weather. And the conditions were ideal off Lancing Beach (near the Church of the Good Shepherd) but the haul of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, amount to about thirty all after the tide turned and with the incoming tide. Luckily (because the expedition was to get exhibits for Adur World Oceans Day 2009) the haul with my smaller U-shaped net including two medium-sized Lesser Weevers, Echiichthys vipera, amongst the weed so I had to be careful of the venomous fins, two adult Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, one intact Vernal Crab Liocarcinus vernalis, half a dozen flatfish (probably Plaice) fry, one small Plaice, two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes, and a very young Greater Pipefish Syngnathus acus. A Painted Lady Butterfly fluttered around my head.
Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, were seen in Shoreham Harbour as is usual at this time of the year.
25 May 2009
A brief rockpooling foray in the early morning to Kingston Buci Beach, east Shoreham, was much more productive than the previous day. A more promising start was found with frequent (enough for a meal) large Prawns Palaeamon serratus, at the Chart Datum marker, and in the net came a capture of a Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops , an adult Blenny, Lipophrys pholis, and two smaller ones, with a medium-sized Bullhead, Taurulus bubalis, and one small Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita. Turning a few rocks uncovered a small Edible Crab Cancer pagurus, two juvenile Rock Gobies, Gobius paganellus, two more Blennies, and at least one of the tiny shrimp-like crustacean Athanas nitescens. Oysters and the usual molluscs were present. I noted the largest expanse of the eggs of the Dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus, since I began recording on this beach in 1979. This was clear evidence of recovery since TBT pollution. A few (at least two) large grey specimens of this gastropod were seen on the mussel beds. A few live Cockles were lying about the surface of the sand. A Little Egret was feeding on the tideline to the east.
The purple variety of Goat's Beard was just beginning to open in flower on Kingston Buci Beach.
A rockpooling trip to the rocky shore by the Half Brick, east Worthing on the low spring tide was a serious disappointment with hardly anything of interest. It took at least 30 minutes to find a Velvet Swimming Crab Necora puber, three Shore Crabs Carcinus maenas, a very small Common Squat Lobster Galathea squamifera, two Snakelocks Anemones Anemonia viridis, a large one-clawed Edible Crab Cancer pagurus, a Prawn Palaeamon serratus, one very small Common Hermit Crab, Pagurus bernhardus, a few Sagartia troglodytes sea anemones and two Daisy Anemones Cereus pedunculatus. It was ten minutes before I spotted a small Chiton (a mollusc in the class Polyplacophora) probably Lepidochitona cinerea. There were a few elusive (evaded capture) adult Common Gobies, Pomatoschistus microps, in breeding livery with fry is the shallow sandy pools. In a deeper pool, a solitary Sand Smelt, Atherina presbyter, cruised by.
Lancing Beach 2009
Shoreham Beach (especially over the border in Lancing to the west of the Church of Good Shepherd) was covered in swathes of flowering Red Valerian and Sea Kale and Viper's Bugloss was in flower (first time noted this year although flowering must have occurred for at least a week) plus the first Slender Thistle in flower this year.
On Widewater a pair of Mute Swans had a handful (I did not count them) of cygnets.
early evening shrimping expedition at Lancing
was exceptionally poor registering just half a dozen Brown
Shrimps, Crangon crangon,
with most of them too small and one large one escaped through the net meshing.
Incidental captures were exiguous: three very young Greater
Pipefish Syngnathus acus,
Sole, Pegusa lascaris,
two one-clawed Vernal Crabs Liocarcinus
vernalis, half a dozen flatfish
Plaice) fry, one South-clawed
and a Lesser Spotted Dogfish Scyliorhinus
with an embryo.
There was a much darker brown different pipefish that escaped the net.
This could have been either a juvenile Worm Pipefish Nerophis
lumbriciformis, or even a juvenile
Pipefish Entelurus aequoreus. A
clump of the black grape-like Cuttlefish
eggs were discovered washed up on
(*One was damaged and released and another one swam out of the net.)
My first reptile of 2009 was one of five Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, basking for a brief view on the south-facing flint surround wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, before skitting off into the grass growing up next to the wall. Two of the lizards were grey coloured small juveniles.
A male Pheasant strutted over the shingle beach immediately to the east of the beach huts on the south side of the road by the Church of the Good Shepherd on the Shoreham-Lancing border. It was a surprise location to disturb a Pheasant which then flew off over Widewater towards New Monks Farm.
An immigrant male Merlin landed on a pylon* near the Power Station Chimney in Shoreham Harbour (by Southwick Beach) and it was quickly pounced upon by one of the resident Peregrine Falcons. "I saw one of the Peregrines hurtling towards
the pylon with my naked eye. I looked straight back through the scope, expecting to see an almighty tussle, but incredibly the Peregrine was perched on the Merlin, the latter still struggling and flapping wings, and the Peregrine keeping balance with wings outspread. After one unsuccessful attempt at flying with its prey still putting up a fight, the Peregrine managed to subdue the Merlin and flew away further into Southwick somewhere (being lost behind the houses) still clutching the Merlin.
(*A frequent perch of one of the two resident Peregrines.)
2 February 2009
29 January 2009
An Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides, was seen at 8:50 am on Southwick Beach just west of the power station. It was a large individual with a pretty large bill. It was seen again by Carat's Cafe at 10:00 am.
& 20 January 2009
Two pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers dived underneath the surface of Widewater Lagoon.
10 January 2009
Swans showing the depth of the Ice on Widewater
Photographs by David Wood
Widewater Lagoon froze over, with the ice thick enough to support the weight of a Mute Swan.
Widewater Reports 2008
Coastal Reports 2008
Intertidal Reports 2008
Marine Life Reports 2008