Adur Marine Life Reports
Coastal & Intertidal     2019
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.


Adur Coastal & Intertidal 2020

23 October 2019
The Snow Bunting was not to be seen.

22 October 2019
A small Arctic bird called a Snow Bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis, made a surprise visit to the far eastern end of Shoreham Beach where it stayed in one place on the pebbles and grass, continually feeding on seeds with its yellow beak. It seemed unperturbed by the frequent passing lorries. Photographers could not get close because of the temporary metal fencing. Snow Buntings are a very scarce winter visitor and passage migrant to the Shoreham area.
Previous 2912 report

Wall Lizards, Snow Bunting
Shoreham Fort
Unidentified fungi
Silver Sands

Seventeen Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were easily seen on and around the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort in the calm sunshine. All but three were large adult lizards and I expect there were many more in hiding.
There were about forty familiar but unidentified mushrooms on Silver Sands above the high tide limit. I think these mushrooms are Marasmius oreades?

18 October 2019

Dune Waxcap, Hygrocybe conicoides, on the Widewater Nature Reserve
Photograph by Anthony Gammon on World of Widewater (WOW)  facebook

This is one of a small group of Dune Waxcaps on the Widewater flood plain.
Adur Waxcaps

24 September 2019
A Dolphin stranded alive at Soldier's Point near Shoreham Harbour entrance on the high equinoctial spring tide at 1:00 pm was helped back into the water by volunteers.

Adur & Worthing Council Report  facebook
2 September 2019

Sea Heath with Lagoon Cockle
Widewater Lagoon

8 August 2019
There were over a hundred Childing Pink in flower and even more dead heads at Silver Sands, with frequent Hare's Foot Clover. Wall Lizards were lively on the the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort, In the sun the only observation remotely newsworthy was a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth flying along the south-facing wall of Shoreham Fort. Even this had been seen more than once in previous years.

16 July 2019
Two pods of dolphins were seen off Widewater beach, Lancing just before sunset (8.30 pm). The first pod of four to six dolphins were seen feeding three or four miles out from the western end of Widewater and travelling westwards. Simultaneously, another pod of four to six were seen to the south-east (east of the last wind turbine) breaching and swimming eastwards amongst the net marker buoys at the same distance from the shore. The sunset was followed by a Partial Lunar Eclipse that started about an hour later.

Report by Mikey Unsted

26 June 2019

Viper's Bugloss

Viper's Bugloss had taken over as the dominant plant on the shingle above the high tide ridge on Shoreham Beach West, its blue spikes exceeding all the other vegetation by mass. On a humid breezy afternoon, on the Widewater flood plain, one spike was visited by my first definite Painted Lady Butterfly of the year.

Viper's Bugloss, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Campion
Ivy-leaved Toadflax, English Stonecrop, Silver Ragwort, Sea Heath
Shoreham Beach West and Widewater Flood Plain

25 June 2019

Kidney Vetch, Biting Stonecrop, Hare's Foot Clover, Childing Pink
Melilot, Black Horehound
Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach

There were well over a hundred Childing Pink flowers amongst the Hare's Foot Clover on Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach. Great Lettuce and Fennel was growing nearby, but had not yet flowered.

7 June 2019

Buck's-horn Plantain, Silver Ragwort, Kidney Vetch
Silver Ragwort, Rock Samphire, Sea Campion
Southwick Beach

Southwick Beach is submerged on a high spring tide and the sea pounds against the concrete of the Shoreham Harbour private road. Terrestrial flora is mostly settled in cracks in the tarmac and small patches of shingle landward of the harbour wall. On a breezy rainy afternoon, the dominant species was the newly flowering Silver Ragwort in excess in bulk of all other vegetation but with notable amounts of Yellow-horned Poppy, new growths of Tree Mallow, leaves of Rock Samphire and Sea Kale, straggly Sea Beet, the last flowers of Sea Campion, patches of past their best Kidney Vetch, clumps of Buck's-horn Plantain, swathes of Thrift on the shallow soil in front of the beach huts, and a few other common waste ground plants.

6 June 2019

Sea Kale, Tree Mallow, Silver Ragwort
Yellow-horned Poppy, Red Valerian, Vipers Bugloss
Shoreham Beach West

The sea pushes the pebbles up to a ridge at west Shoreham Beach, with a gradual reverse slope down to the road and houses. This reverse slope is stable (not battered by the waves) and supports a flora of large colourful shrubby plants: Sea Kale, Tree Mallow, Silver Ragwort, Yellow-horned Poppy, Red Valerian, Vipers Bugloss and Hoary Cress in flower, as well as Slender Thistle and Common Poppies.

Shoreham Beach West

Vipers Bugloss was particularly attractive to frequent bumblebees. A handful of small long-tailed Ichneumon-like Wasps Gasteruption sp, all skulked over the flowers of the ground-hugging Creeping Cinquefoil.
A Silver Ragwort hosted a colony of Black Ants.
Ragwort Aphids
Adur Ragworts
Adur Bees & Wasps

22 April 2019

Fauna on the Widewater flood plain

A colourful moth amongst the Red Deadnettle and other dense vegetation on the Widewater flood plain was identified as my first ever Ruby Tiger Moth, Phragmatobia fuliginosa. It was strongly inclined to hide and I could not get a photograph. I underestimated the Brown-tailed Moth nests before and I counted at least twenty on the Blackthorn. I also spotted a Hairy Shield Bug, Dolycoris baccarum.
Adur Moths
Adur Bugs

18 April 2019

Brown-tailed Moth nests with Caterpillars

By the Widewater car park, the Blackthorn showed no trace of flowers or leaves and the adjacent Hawthorn was in leaf and budding. It was on the Blackthorn mostly that the Brown-tailed Moths had built about a dozen nests housing scores of caterpillars which will feed on the interlocking Hawthorn.

Little Egret

3-spined Sticklebacks could be seen darting to in the surface water of the lagoon on a sunny afternoon. And the Little Egret spotted one as well.

10 April 2019

As the sun cast strong shadows, the local young Common Seal hauled on the slipway on Kingston Beach and just lazed around at high tide for at least a couple of hours in the afternoon. In the chilly north-east breeze, the seal attracted about a dozen visitors at any one time including children at half term.

8 April 2019

Common Seal on Kingston Beach
Photograph by Sean Stones

At Kingston Beach I enjoyed great views and opportunities for photographs of the local Common Seal.

Seal Picture Report by Sean Stones

23 March 2019
A Common Seal was spotted on the shingle beach at Southwick.

Video Report

14 March 2019

Spurge, Euphorbia

Spurge, Euphorbia, has escaped from the gardens and has begun successfully colonising the beach near Ferry Road, Shoreham. It looks reasonably attractive but it could become dominant.

25 February 2019


Wall Lizard at Shoreham Fort
Photograph by David Verrall

25 January 2019

House Sparrows

A crew of well over fifty (counted) House Sparrows congregated to feed on a vegetated part of Shoreham Beach to the east of the Church of the Good Shepherd on a misty murky day.

21 January 2019

Black Redstart 

Making short flights on and around the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort, the male Black Redstart rarely kept still for more than a few seconds and it was very small in the viewfinder through the 500 mm telephoto lens.

Black Redstart originally inhabited stony ground in mountains, particularly cliffs, but since about 1900 has expanded to include similar urban habitats including bombed areas during and after World War II, and large industrial complexes that have the bare areas and cliff-like buildings it favours; in Great Britain, most of the small breeding population nests in such industrial areas. It will catch passing insects in flight, and migrants often hunt in coastal tide-wrack for flies or tiny crustaceans. Its quick ducks of head and body are robin-like, and its tail is often flicked.
Black Redstart (wiki)

The Black Redstart typically flicks from one perch to another and, as it does so, will momentarily reveal the glorious red plumage at the base of its tail. Black Redstarts are insectivorous and will be found in places where there is most insect activity. This is why rocky beaches are good places to look for them
Black Redstart (more info.)

A Meadow Pipit kept out of camera range
Meadow or Rock Pipit

4 - 20 January 2019
A male Black Redstart has made a prolonged visit to Shoreham Fort. Sussex Ornithological Society record it as a rare resident, scarce passage migrant and very scarce winter visitor.
2001 Report

8 January 2019

Gannet off Shoreham
Photograph by Edward J Chitty

There were many Gannets just after nine in the morning between Widewater western causeway and Lancing Sailing Club, only 20-30 metres off the beach. I could hear them hitting the water!

Gannet Report by Mikey Unsted

In the afternoon, I located a shoal of fish by a patrol of over twenty Cormorants actively diving under the surface 100 metres off Widewater. They were accompanied by even more gulls.

Mute Swan on Widewater

Two adult Mute Swans remained on Widewater, yet to chase away the three cygnets (looking like adults), offspring from last year.

7 January 2019
A company of over fifty Gannets have been seen diving into the sea after fish off Shoreham Beach where shoals of Herring have been reported.

Various Reports including Friends of Shoreham Beach
4 January 2019

near Widewater Lagoon
Photographs by Mikey Unsted
Report by Dawn Ayres
on World of Widewater  facebook

This solitary Parakeet visited gardens near Widewater. I am not sure if it is a visiting Ring-necked Parakeet or an escaped captive bird?

Coastal Reports 2018

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