Adur Marine Life Reports
Coastal & Intertidal     2017

 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


8 June
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 World Oceans Day

United Nations: World Oceans Day.


Coastal Reports 2018

17 November 2017

Red-breasted Merganser taking off from Widewater Lagoon
A fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant along the coast
Photograph by Ian Redman
(click on the image for large resolution & EXIF details)

Sussex Bird List

16 November 2017

Tamarisk at Widewater

Adur Trees

2 November 2017

Wall Lizards

All four Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, had lost their original tails by Shoreham Fort. Three adults and a young one with a stumpy tail  quickly skitted into holes. There was a solitary Sea Campion flower on a large mat of leaves just south of the Coastwatch station.,
Hare's Foot Clover was still showing (post actual flowering) on two plants on Silver Sands.
Adur Lizards

17 October 2017

Limpets, Mussels, Dogwhelks, Acorn Barnacles
Silver Ragwort, Thrift, Sea Mayweed
Rock Samphire, Sea Campion

Because of a mixture of health and other reasons, I had not been rockpooling or shrimping this year, but I went for a walk along Southwick Beach with the sea lapping over a small amount of sand in the late afternoon, but nothing was showing washed ashore. There were a few beach flowers on the promenade.

3 October 2017

Slow Worm                                                                               Wall Lizard

Even the breeze had died down so I was eager to go out. The original plan was to see what was washed up on the shore, but this was forgotten as I found two Slow Worms under some roofing felt near Silver Sands, where there were two fresh sprouts of Childing Pink amongst over a dozen plants still in flower with a few Hare's Foot Clover. On the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, I spotted four small Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, on the flint. They looked smaller than normal, were all brown in colour and they could have been born this year?   There were also fresh sprouts of Sea Campion near the Coastwatch Station.

                                                                                                                                                        Childing Pink                                                                         Sea Campion

20 September 2017

Sea Heath, Glasswort, Thrift,
Sea Campion, Glasswort
Widewater Flood Plain

A LIttle Egret waded in the Glasswort-lined shallows of Widewater Lagoon, its yellow feet carefully placed in the black mud. Something silvery (probably a small fish) flashed in its beak. Colours were muted under the dark rain clouds, the crimson Glasswort noticeable on the fringes, but Sea Heath had both dark red and green stubby leaves in patches and frequent miniature mauve flowers in the next dry zone on the shore. Thrift flowers were just about hanging on with a few Sea Campion and a patch of Sea Mayweed.

19 September 2017

Knotgrass at Soldier's Point
Knotgrass at West of Old Fort Beach

14 September 2017

Cormorant at Widewater Lagoon
Photograph by David Verrall
(click on the image for large resolution & EXIF details)

Grey Heron at Widewater Lagoon
Photograph by David Verrall
(click on the image for large resolution & EXIF details)

12 September 2017

White Melilot,  Wild Radish
Rock Samphire, Sea Campion, Aster

A short sunny interlude around half past one between the squalls; but the breezy conditions on the canal edge at Southwick blew the tall plants almost horizontal making photography tricky. These included Wild Radish and a few remaining wild flowers of White Melilot. Higher up the bank there was a large clump of one of the Asters as grasshoppers hopped about. A Peacock Butterfly rose in front of me and was blown away in the wind. The Rock Samphire and a few Sea Campion were spotted on Southwick Beach by Carat's Cafe.
Flower Images of the Day

8 August 2017

Childing Pink, Hare's Foot Clover, Thrift
Black Medick, Common Blue Butterfly, Bittersweet
Shoreham Beach East; Silver Sands and Shoreham Fort Beach

With a breeze (Force 4) blowing from the north and black clouds over the sea, conditions were unsuitable for photographing the fragile flowers like the miniature Childing Pink at Silver Sands that swayed too much in the wind. A small new plant was discovered on Silver Sands which seems to be Erigeron canadensis.  I was not even thinking about butterflies until I surprised a Painted Lady by the south-facing carnot walls of Shoreham Fort,  It fluttered rapidly away. A male Common Blue fluttered around the remaining flowers south of the Coastwatch Station.
Adur Butterfly List 2017

30 July 2017

Dunlin at Widewater
Photograph by Yvonne McKeown

14 July 2017

White Melilot, Wild Fennel, Yarrow
Radish, Small Skipper
Shoreham Harbour (northern canal bank at Southwick & Fishersgate)

White Melilot, Wild Fennel and Radish were seen in flower for the first time this year on the harbour canal bank at Fishersgate. They had been flowering for several weeks. It was cloudy but fine, but not warm enough for many butterflies to be active but I did spot a Small Skipper visiting a Spear Thistle and a Large White fluttering around a patch of Greater Willowherb.
Wild Flower Images of the Day

9 July 2017
On another warm sunny day, occasional butterflies could be seen over the vegetated shingle on Shoreham Fort Beach  Most of them were Large Whites around the Sea Kale, but I spotted at least two male Common Blues, a Meadow Brown and a Small Skipper.

30 June 2017
A handful of Silver Y Moths fluttered around the Sea Kale and the other shingle plants on Southwick Beach above the high tide mark east of Carat's Cafe. A grasshopper nymph was noted again despite there being no grass.

29 June 2017

Rock Sea Lavender
Spear-leaved Orache
Sea Mayweed

On a cloudy afternoon, the vegetated shingle patch outside Carat's Cafe, Southwick Beach, alongside the road on the north side was full up with a selection of wild plants notably Silver Ragwort, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Beet, Rock Samphire, Sea Campion, a prostrate Common Mallow, sapling Tree Mallows, Plantains, Sea Mayweed, a Spear Thistle, Dock, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Black Medick, Seaside Daisy, the dead flowers of Kidney Vetch, the leaves and globular seed pods of Sea Kale, a small Viper's Bugloss and lastly one only of my first ever Rock Sea Lavender, Limonium. It could be the Rottingdean Sea Lavender, Limonium hyblaeum.  It could be a garden escape of a cultivated Limonium platyphyllum or one of a handful of Rock Sea Lavender plants?
There was a prostrate Orache with what looked like "seed pods" on the shingle near the wind turbines. However these were leaves rolled up by the Orache Gall Aphid Hayhurstia atriplicis. A very small hopper nymph hopped around the Sea Kale.

Sea Campion
Yellow-Horned Poppy  Rock Samphire
Sea Beet

Southwick Beach

26 June 2017
A pleasant sunny day with a Gentle Breeze (Force 1-3) meant a visit to Shoreham Beach around the middle of the day. I was rewarded with my first handful of Small Skippers fluttering around the shingle plants without settling. These were my first of the year and in atypical habitat for this small widespread butterfly. Skippers are easily overlooked or mistaken for a moth. Large White Butterflies fluttered around the Sea Kale. Silver Ragwort was the most prevalent flower on Shoreham Beach by total mass.

Six-spotted Burnet Moth, Viper's Bugloss, Sea Heath
Hare's Foot Clover
Childing Pink

Silver Sands and Widewater margins

Widewater Flood Plain hosted my first Six-spotted Burnet Moths of the year, the first seen visited the fading Thrift, and then a newly budding Common Ragwort, but then seven were seen on a single Viper's Bugloss spike. The two parent  Mute Swans cruised by with four cygnets in tow. An adult Herring Gull descended into the shallow lagoon with a splash and emerged very quickly with a fully grown Shore Crab. Three new plants were spotted in flower for the first time this year: isolated Melilot on Shoreham Beach and the yellow Biting Stonecrop and Rock Samphire on Widewater Flood Plain.
Adur Ragworts

23 June 2017
With a Strong Breeze (Force 6 gusting to Gale Force 7) conditions for photographing flowers was difficult to near impossible.

Yellow-horned Poppy, Silver Ragwort, Mayweed
Viper's Bugloss, Tree Mallow, Mayweed
Shingle Beach, Shoreham and East Lancing

Viper's Bugloss was noted as being prevalent and very common on Shoreham Beach, with Silver Ragwort plentiful in flower and small amounts of Yellow-horned Poppy, Cat's Ear and Field Bindweed. The edge of the cyclepath by Widewater, Lancing, had notable amounts of a Mayweed (Sea or Scentless?) and the inevitable Smooth Sow Thistle. Occasional Tree Mallow swayed in the breeze west of Lancing Sailing Club. The Widewater Flood Plain was covered in flowering Sea Heath with small patches of Ivy-leaved Toadflax and English (?) Stonewort had just started flowering.
Adur Mallows

Sea Heath, English Stonecrop
Sea Heath, Ivy-leaved Toadflax, English (?) Stonecrop
Widewater Flood Plain

3 June 2017

Kidney Vetch, Tree Mallow, Broom
Viper's Bugloss
Shoreham Beach

Summer plants recently noted in flower on Shoreham Beach included the ground hugging Bird's Foot Trefoil, Seaside Daisy and Kidney Vetch, the more upright Common Mallow, Viper's Bugloss, Cat's Ear, Slender Thistle and one clump of Broom.

Red Valerian on Shoreham Beach (east)

Red Valerian

Abundant Red Valerian stretched for hundreds of metres on the shingle above the high tide mark with patches of Silver Ragwort (only one clump seen in flower), clumps of Tree Mallow, flowering Oxford Ragwort, widespread clumps of Thrift, ground hugging Sea Campion and the omnipresent Sea Kale. Two small green beetles Psilothrix viridicoerulea visited the yellow centres of the Seaside Daisy. Windsurfer weather (Strong Breeze Force 6) impaired close-up photography.
Adur Ragworts

26 May 2017

Tree Mallow, Red Valerian. Sea Kale (? this could be Hoary Cress?), Oxford Ragwort
Yellow-horned Poppy, Starry Clover
Shoreham Beach

7 May 2017
Beetles at Widewater
Psilothrix viridicoerulea 

28 April 2017
In the late afternoon in cloudy (poor light) and breezy conditions that were poor for photography:

Sea Campion x2, Red Valerian & Silver Ragwort, Hoary Cress
Sea Kale x2, Hoary Cress with Teasels
Coastal Shingle by Widewater

25 April 2017
On Shoreham Beach (by Weald Dyke) I was surpised that Red Valerian, Sea Kale and Sea Campion were already beginning to flower.

11 April 2017

Oxford Ragwort
Shoreham Beach

27 March 2017

Wall Lizards

With the sun shining under a blue sky and the highest air temperature this year recorded by the Met Office at 15.5 °C, spring put in its first appearance and on the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, I spotted at least twenty adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis,that were quite skittish but also had courting on their agenda. A dozen were spotted on the west-facing carnot wall, three on the normally favoured south-facing wall, and at least five on the east side, but not on the wall itself. I expect there many more unseen.

13 February 2017
Waxwing (Image by Trevor Guy) A spectacular five Waxwings, Bombycilla garrulus, were spotted in Harbour Way on Shoreham Beach (east). 

The Waxwing is a very scarce winter visitor from Scandinavia.


Full Report at Pagham Birder Blogspot

Sussex Ornithological Society News

Coastal Reports 2016

Adur Weather 2014

Adur World Oceans Day 2012

Shoreham Fort Plants

Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Adur Nature Notes 2016


Adur World Oceans Day 2012

Shoreham Fort Plants

Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Adur Nature Notes 2016