REPORT PAGES 2005
an ominous black cloud rolled in from the west and made the darkness set
in early, it was the pools underneath the groyne
to the east of the Launching Ramp (5)
produced the most life on a low spring 0.5 metre tide with a handful of
bubalis, (in small number s of a common fish this summer) a
single 5-Bearded Rockling,
mustela, a first year Corkwing
melops, and two Shore Crabs,
down the shore (3)
there were two Edible Crabs,
pagurus, and a Hairy Crab,
hirtellus, and a Shore Squat Lobster,
squamifera, under rocks. There were a few small
Palaemon elegans, in the
lapillus, was seen on the mussel
beds (2) and
a few Oysters
were noticed (3).
pair of Mute Swans
flew overhead from west to east as dusk descended.
a low spring tide, a Little Egret
was feeding on very small prawns or Common Gobies
in the shallows and an Oystercatcher
was on the mud flats.
pools below Chart Datum had the usual moble fauna including edible
sized prawns Paleamon
serratus, first year Corkwing
melops, small Long-legged Spider
rostrata, a first year
Wrasse, Labrus bergylta,
and very little else. Two
nearly adult Rock Gobies, Gobius
paganellus, were netted underneath
the groynes at mid-tide level.
was still too much silt from the flood tide dredging and despite forgetting
the handle to my prawn net, there were enough (40+) edible sized prawns,
serratus, to make a meal. Dozens
of small first year and one second year Corkwing
melops, were captured in the net, together with a first year green
Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, a
pholis, and small Bullhead
and one each of a Short-legged
aspera, and a small Long-legged
Prawns and Shrimps
the pool of water left by the receding tide underneath the middle groyne
on Kingston Beach, a Snakelocks Anemone,
viridis, expanded its stinging tentacles. This anemone is unusual
on this shore and reaches its easterly point of distribution on the northern
coast of the English Channel at Shoreham. The pools also contained at least
half a dozen small first year Corkwing
melops, which are a month earlier than usual between the tides.
was an Australian Black Swan
in the mouth of the River Adur estuary.
the low spring tide, there was a small first year Corkwing
Wrasse, Symphodus melops,
in the pools under the damaged groynes (5)
at mid-tide level, which was uncommon.
ostralegus, did not even fly off straightaway
when approached and on the low spring tide they waddled from the mussel
beds (1) to the
single Butterfish, Pholis
gunnellus, hid under a rock. A single
dirty grey Dogwhelk, Nucella
lapillus, (a predatory gastropod, snail-like, mollusc) was
in the middle of laying egg capsules
under another rock at mid-tide level
mussel beds. This was surprising
as the first recorded observation of the egg capsules on Kingston Beach.
The Dogwhelks were not seen from 1971 to 2001 and the absence may be because
of TBT pollution, which prevented the Dogwhelks from breeding. The other
possibility is the Dogwhelks returned after spreading from the new syenite
rock sea defences on Southwick beach which
are inimical to Dogwhelks and to the mussels and Acorn
Barnacles on which they feed.
ostralegus, and a Redshank
amongst the mussels on a low spring tide
that nearly reached the Tide Marker (1)
at its maximum ebb.
ostralegus, and a Redshank
amongst the mussels on a low neap tide
that revealed the end of the groynes at its maximum ebb. A single Mute
Swan was resting on the swell in the entrance
to Shoreham Harbour.
the Shoreham Harbour fog horn boomed, four Oystercatchers,
ostralegus, probed for worms amongst
the mussel beds and sand.
black and white wing was the first indication of an Oystercatcher,
ostralegus, that descended
to land on the loose rock shore of Kingston Beach on a low neap tide.
A careful watch for a few minutes through my binoculars and the Oystercatcher
was attempting the repeated stabbing with its medium-length black beak,
which is a behavioural characteristic of this bird. It was meant as one
of several techniques to stab at mussels to get
at the rich flesh inside. It was not successful and the tide would not
go out any further to reveal the mussel beds (on a 1.9 metre low neap tide)
and there would not be more than an occasional mussel exposed *, and it
may have been stabbing at the hinges of exposed cockles?
(* Mussels need be submerged for every tide.)
red legs of the Oystercatcher were
matched by a well camouflaged Redshank
between the launching ramp and the first groyne.
on Lundy (Behaviour)
Groyne to the east of the Launching Ramp (5)
level: 1.94 metres, neap low water
the shallow pool near the Lifeboat Station the red breast of a Kingfisher
out from the pipeline it was perched on (8).
Ironically, a couple of Crows
had managed to prise out a clump of mussels.
neap tide variation between 2.36 metres (low at 12.04
pm) and the high tide of 4.4 metres (6:14
pm in darkness) is one of the smallest possible.
(The equinoctial spring tide variation could be up to 7 metres).