Adur Marine Life Reports
Coastal & Intertidal     2016

 Reports from the sea, shore and coast, including Widewater Lagoon


Coastal saline lagoons and the Water Framework Directive (NECR039)

A number of coastal saline lagoons in the UK have been identified as ‘water bodies’ under the Water Framework Directive. This means that there is a requirement to develop type-based classification tools to help assess their ecological status. This study was commissioned by Natural England to inform future work of the UK Technical Advisory Group and Marine Task Team in developing a national consistent approach to the assessment of lagoons under the Water Framework Directive.

Web Page (pdf)

Link to information about World of Widewater (Community Friends Group)
Friends of Shoreham Beach
World of Widewater
(Community Group)
Friends of Shoreham Beach
(Community Group)

Widewater Lagoon Page


11 June 2016
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the sixteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group.  Exhibitors are available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants will include Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Shoreham Sea Scouts.

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day.


Coastal Reports 2017

15 November 2016

Teals on Widewater

2 November 2016

Common Blue
Common Blue
Clouded Yellow

A wind chill under the clear blue sky in the morning but by midday the sun shone on the steep embankment of Shoreham Harbour opposite Shoreham Power Station. With the sun came some late butterflies, at least three male Common Blues, at least two of them fresh and intact amongst the longer grass.  After five minutes a Clouded Yellow flew past and although I only saw one at a time, I thought there could be at least three of them. Last but not least, a Peacock Butterfly flew up the steep bank by the steps as I was about to leave. At least I thought it would be the last butterfly (possibly the last of the year?) until another Clouded Yellow fluttered by.
Adur Butterfly List 2016

White Melilot
Shoreham Harbour (northern bank at Southwick & Fishersgate)
Purple Toadflax

Wild flowers noted included bushes of Gorse, Hawkweed Ox-tongue, Bristly Ox-tongue, Purple Toadflax, frequent White Melilot Melilotus albus, one spike of yellow Melilot, about three Hardheads (=Lesser Knapweed), two Red Clover, Oxford Ragwort, and small amounts of Yarrow and Red Deadnettle.
Clover Photo Guide

20 October 2016
On the shingle beach at Shoreham by Ferry Road, I noted the following weeds in flower: Oxford Ragwort, Dandelion, Smooth Sow Thistle, Hawkweed Ox-tongue, Cat's Ear and Orache.
Adur Ox-tongues

19 October 2016
On the northern bank (upper cliff grassy part east of the Schooner PH) of Shoreham Harbour canal in Southwick, the following plants were noted in flower: Gorse, Bristly Ox-tongue, Hawkweed Ox-tongue, Rough Hawkbit, Teasels, and Everlasting Pea.

2 October 2016

Wall Lizard predating on a Crane-fly
Photograph by Su Reed
Location: Shoreham Fort

29 September 2016

Southwick Beach
Babington's Orache, Silver Ragwort
Sea Mayweed
Hop Trefoil, Rock Samphire, Sea Beet

28 September 2016

Sea Heath, Frankenia laevis

Widewater Margins

27 September 2016

Orache, Sea Blite, Sea Heath
Sea Blite, Glasswort

21 September 2016
The plants nearest the shore (Shoreham Beach East) were prostrate forms of Orache, some of which had leaves turning crimson, although most of them were green and the outlying leaves were the first to change colour, Slightly further inland as near as ten metres from the Orache were prostrate species Ray's Knotgrass and low lying Sea Rocket. A few metres further inland hosted prostrate Bittersweet, Sea Beet, Rock Samphire and dwarf versions of Sow Thistle.

Shoreham Beach East
Orache, Sea Beet
Orache (unidentified), Ray's Knotgrass x 2

Shoreham Beach East
Sea Rocket

18 September 2016

On Widewater Lagoon, the pair of Mute Swans had five fully grown cygnets in the new family.  In the fading light a Common Darter (dragonfly) landed for a second on the bank.
The water level of Widewater Lagoon on the gauge by the bridge was 163 cm. (it reaches 168 cm.)
Adur Dragonfly Reports 2016

Fringes of Widewater

Sea Beet, Sea Purslane *, Sea Aster, Orache (unidentified)
Sea Spurrey, Sea Blite, Glasswort
(* River Adur)

Adur Glassworts

Orache (unidentified to species)
On the shingle beach near the Church of Good Shepherd

Adur Orache

15 September 2016

Silver Sands
Childing Pink, Hare's Foot Clover, Childing Pink
Kidney Vetch (late flowering)

It was still sunny for almost all day and the southerly breeze hardly blew the flowers about. Near Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach, occasional Childing Pink were still in flower with the seed heads of Hare's Foot Clover, and the last flowers of Kidney Vetch.

Oxford Ragwort

Between the cracks in the tarmac on a road verge nearby, I recorded the Oxford Ragwort, Senecio squalidus, for the first time; a more showy immigrant plant than the native Common Ragwort. A couple of juvenile Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered over the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort. Two grasshopper species were spotted by Silver Sands and Shoreham Fort: Common Field Grasshoppers, Chorthippus brunneus, and Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers, Chorthippus albomarginatus.
Adur Ragwort

11 September 2016
In the autumn sunshine there were frequent butterflies and they were almost all Whites. The white bobbing rear of a Wheatear flew over the shingle seaward of Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach, prior to emigration. I spotted a young Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, amongst the shingle vegetation by Shoreham Fort, but not on the carnot wall.

4 September 2016
An organised walk by Sussex Botanical Recording Society on Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve led to the discovery of plants that were not on the Friends of Shoreham Beach list or noted before on these Nature Notes pages. This most notable of these were the diminutive four-petalled flower and easily overlooked Sea Rocket, Cakile maritima, and even easier to miss Ray's Knotgrass, Polygonum oxyspermum. Both straggling prostrate plants were discovered right down on the shingle beach only a metres above the strandline, in an area where the prostrate form of Spear-leaved Orache, Atriplex hastata, was previously thought by me to be the only wild plant present in this zone.

Sea Rocket,
Ray's Knotgrass, Sea Mayweed
Cat's Ear, Curled Dock, Silver Ragwort

Botanists can identify plants by their leaves and non flowering characteristics. Sea Mayweed, Tripleurospermum maritimum, was confirmed. For the most part these web pages reports the flowering plants of which the familiar Bristly Ox-tongue, Hawkweed Ox-tongue and Cat's Ear were yellow flowers seen frequently. A young Slow Worm was discovered under a rock and a Wall Lizard Podarcis muralis, was seen in hole of the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort.

Ray's Knotgrass

Sticky Groundsel
Sea Rocket

17 August 2016
On Widewater Lagoon, the pair of Mute Swans had five nearly fully grown cygnets in attendance. I checked out for 3-spined Sticklebacks by the bridge and saw a few, but there were a dozen or more Common Gobies, Pomatoschistus microps.

12 August 2016

The annual Friend's of Shoreham Beach "rockpooling" event at the Old Fort Beach produced  scores of Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, and one large Flounder but very little of interest. A small caprellid (= Skeleton Shrimp) and small Brown Shrimps were collected in the youngster's nets amongst the usual tiny prawns and a few Common Gobies. The temporary aquaria housed a few Beadlet Anemones, Actinia equina.

Wall Lizard

I spotted three Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, amongst the shingle vegetation by Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the sunshine. They were very skittish. One of three was on the carnot wall.

6 June 2016

Little Cuttle
Shallow seas off Widewater

4 June 2016

On breezy humid afternoon, I spotted my first Painted Lady Butterfly on Shoreham Beach 20 metres west of the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort. This immigrant butterfly was very restless and settled for a second at most. Viper's Bugloss was spotted in flower for the first time this year on the shingle.

Painted Lady

3 June 2016

Southwick Beach
Tree Mallow, Silver Ragwort, Common Poppies, Sea Campion
Yellow-horned Poppy, Rock Samphire, Sea Campion, Sea Kale

Adur Campions

29 May 2016
A large unidentified dragonfly was seen flying rapidly over Shoreham Beach and the Shoreham Fort end (east). It was the first of the year and flew like a hawker. Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were not seen on the carnot walls of the Fort but they were occasionally seen (5) on the shingle and house garden walls backing on to the beach.

Large swathes of Red Valerian and Sea Kale were in flower with the silver leaves of the yet to flower Silver Ragwort.

Red Valerian

25 May 2016

Shoreham Beach
Kidney Vetch, Starry Clover, Silver Ragwort
Sea Kale, Childing Pink
Red Valerian, Sea Campion, Star of Bethlehem, Sea Campion
Childing Pink, Thrift, Tree Mallow, Starry Clover

25 April 2016

Shoreham Beach

Stonecrop, Oxford Ragwort, Sea Campion
Red Valerian, Dove's Foot Cranesbill, Corn Salad
Wavy Bittercress, Mouse-ear

Oxford Ragwort on Shoreham Beach
Senecio squalidus

17 March 2016
Just after midday a Peacock Butterfly briefly landed in front of me on the larger pebbles by Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach. It was my first butterfly of the year. And it was the first rays of sun that prompted at least 25 Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, to peek out of their holes in the carnot wall of the old redoubt, and from their shelter in crannies of the earth and rubble embankment. All but one were adults with lizards in pairs and sometimes in three in choice holes. This number seen was approaching to the most numerous seen (38) in one day. One lizard skittered right up to the top of the wall.

Hundreds of the egg cases of the Undulate Ray were scattered over the foreshore above the high tide on the shingle marked by washed up seaweeds and other strandline debris.

8 February 2016
Gales blew throughout the day and for a large part of the daylight hours it was Gale Force 9 even reaching a steady 65.6 mph (Violent Storm Force 11) gusting to 67.4 mph with some very alarming sudden gusts. The wind direction was WSW but sudden gusts could blew from other directions. These wind speeds were recorded by the more exposed Shoreham Beach Weather Station but even Shoreham Met Office recorded gusts to 61 mph (Force 10). The lowest was Gale Force 8 during the daylight.
Shoreham Weather Reports

Strong Gale Force 9
High waves; seas begins to roll; dense streaks of foam; spray may reduce visibility. Very Rough.

Storm Force 10
Very high waves with overhanging crests; sea takes white appearance as foam is blown in very dense streaks; rolling is heavy and visibility is reduced. 

Windfinder gave the maximum wave height at 5.6 metres. At the time of the photograph it was at 5.4 metres.

28 January 2016

Goosander on Widewater
Photograph by Keith Wilson

25 January 2016

Two Turnstones were scavenging around the strandline near Shoreham Fort one poking its beak into the poisonous mineral oil, with scores of Undulate Ray egg cases, and where a small clump of Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, were my first identified arthropods of the year. 

BMLSS Beachcombing
BMLSS Barnacles

20 January 2016
There were at least half a dozen Little Grebes on Widewater and one of them surfaced with s 3-spined Stickleback (my second fish of the year) in its beak.

19 January 2016

Little Egret
British Rock Pipit

Widewater was still as a mill pond, but hosted no birds of special interest under a clear blue sky. A Redshank waded in the shallows of the lagoon and probed in the mud. The family group of eight Mute Swans were all asleep in a small grassy back garden. A British Rock Pipit, Anthus petrosus petrosus, scrambled amongst the minimal beach vegetation in mid-afternoon above the high tide mark on the shingle. Similarly, there was very little activity on the mudflats at low tide by the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham. A hundred mixed gulls and a couple of Little Egrets making cursory attempts at fishing was the best on offer.

7 January 2016
A drake Goosander arrived on Lancing Widewater Lagoon in the morning and has been observed chasing the Red Breasted Mergansers already there.

Report by Jen Holter on Sussex Birders facebook

6 January 2016
Widewater was like a millpond, still and clear giving reflections despite the rapidly fading light under a cloudy sky in the later afternoon. There were ducks on the lagoon but the darkness set in so early that even through the binoculars I could not discern their markings. From the behaviour I surmised they were Teals, ducking their heads under and rumps upward.

4 January 2016
A tired Gannet was down the Widewater brought in by the storms.

Image Report by Matt Seagulls Sparkes on Wildlife of Lancing facebook
Little Gull3 January 2016
After the four adult little gulls off shore at Widewater in the morning I returned this afternoon and in better viewing conditions saw again four adult Little Gulls, now foraging in the rolling breakers among countless Black-headed Gulls.
Image Report by Alan Kitson
on Sussex Ornithological Society News

Great Skua
From behind a beach hut by Widewater I saw four adult Little Gulls including three together along the shoreline at 09:52 and a Great Skua all flying west.

Image Report by Alan Kitson
on Sussex Ornithological Society News
Sussex Ornithological Society News

Coastal Reports 2015

Adur Weather 2014

Adur World Oceans Day 2012

Shoreham Fort Plants

Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Adur Nature Notes 2016