Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index page
 Adur Flood Plain
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 Intertidal (Seashore)
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 Widewater Lagoon

1) TQ 2351 0476
2) TQ 2345 048
3) TQ 235  048
4) TQ 2352 0485
5) TQ 2352 0490
Qx3 image by Andy Horton
Chthamalas montagui

This barnacle is found
on the mussels on the 
wooden groynes (5)



Adur Valley Wildlife


with Andy Horton

TQ 235 048 (OS Explorer)


Distance between 1 & 5 = approx. 400 metres (¼ mile)
Rockpooling area of about 2 acres but the areas of most interest are much smaller than this

1. Sand &/or rocks below Chart Datum

2. Concrete blocks with Fucus, winkles  and mussels

3. Flat expanse of gravel with Irish Moss, Chondrus, and shallow pools

4. Loose boulders and chalk bedrock with shallow pools

5. Wooden groynes with draping Fucus and pools underneath

    The purple numbers (in brackets) are the locations on the map above. 
    As the sea lapped against the mussel and winkle beds, the Little Egret waded in the shallow water where it was seen to gulp down a small fish, whereas the Oystercatcher probed around the mussels.
    The small wading birds foraging around on the gravel beneath the wharf  were too small to recognise at a distance. Confident in their own effective camouflage, the Turnstones came within camera range still probing for food. 

    Photographs by Andy Horton

    Link to Kingston Beach web pages 2006

    13 December 2005
    Winter is rarely rewarding for rockpooling because the mobile fish, crabs, prawns etc. move offshore into slightly deeper water to avoid the temperature vagaries of the intertidal zone, and because in Sussex low spring tides usually occur in darkness. Under an hour before sunset on a fresh (temperature recorded at 6.6 º C at 3:15 pm, tide at 1.1 metres above Chart Datum) December day, there were very few small prawns in the pools under the groyne (5) and shallow sea (1) but a handful of first year Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, and Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, were netted within five minutes and a handful Rock Gobies Gobius paganellus and one first year Blenny, Lipophrys pholis  were seen under rocks. One Small-headed Clingfish, Apletodon dentatus, was found accidentally amongst some Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus, seaweed. There were at least one small Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, and at least one Hairy Crab, Pilumnus hirtellus, with a half a dozen or so small Shore Crabs, Carcinus meanas noted. All this was in about 20 minutes as the water was both cold with a thin film of petrol on the surface of the water murky with sediment and unpleasantly cold as the darkness set in. 
    A Cormorant waded the sandy edge of the sea with over a hundred mixed gulls including a handful of Greater Black-backed Gulls

    17 October 2005
    Two just about adult Tompot Blennies, Parablennius gattorugine, were the highlight on a very low tide that receded past the Chart Datum marker. Other fish were a dozen or more Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, three first year Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, and a dozen juvenile Rock Gobies Gobius paganellus. Darkness set in before I fully explored the shore, but a miniature (15 mm diameter) Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, was noted as were at least a dozen Dogwhelks (a gastropod mollusc), Nucella lapillus, and two dozen Shore Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and half that number of Hairy Crabs, Pilumnus hirtellus, under rocks. Shore Crabs were not noted but all the other regulars were there including frequent Oysters attached to rocks and Long-clawed Porcelain Crabs crawling over the underside.
    BMLSS Blennies

    20 September 2005
    The tide went out well below Chart Datum but it was dark before the tide came in. Fauna was exiguous with nothing special. There was one Eel, Anguilla, and a few very small Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera.

    2 September 2005
    Little Egret

    A Little Egret, two Oystercatchers and a small group of about five Turnstones were feeding on the low neap tideline west of the Lifeboat Station (7). The photographs above into the sun did not pick out the details of the foraging activity of these camouflaged birds. The Egret was seen to lean forward and catch a small fish, probably a small first year Bass which were seen in shoals of a hundred or more. 

    22 August 2005
    Drizzle turned into steady rain with the early morning low tide, and the fauna was exiguous, a Little Egret patrolled the mud below Chart Datum and a Cormorant perched on a pole; additional aquatic species included five first year Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, and a few tiny Blennies, Lipophrys pholis and equally small Common Gobies, Pomatoschistus microps. . 
    Above the high tide mark (by the A259 road), Evening Primrose was in flower. 

    21 August 2005
    As the spring equinoctial tide receded in the early evening past the Chart Datum point on Kingston Buci beach, a very small first year Tompot Blenny, Parablennius gattorugine, was caught in the prawn net. This fish is just occasional catch between the tides, occurring about once every two years or one in every thirty rockpooling trips. Other fish included an Eel, Anguilla, under a boulder, a young 5-Bearded Rockling Ciliata mustela, a dozen  first year Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, a probable first year Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, and two Sand Gobies Pomatoschistus minutus. Under small rocks, there were the usual dozens of tiny first year Rock Gobies Gobius paganellus.
    One small Long-legged Spider Crab, Macropodia rostrata, was netted.

    25 July 2005
    There was too much swell after the rain had stopped for any access to the best prawning spots. There was an uncommon sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus recorded at mid-tide level (4) on Kingston Buci beach. The first photograph on the left below shows the very small shrimp Athanas nitescens. In the Observer's "Sea & Seashore" it is called the Hooded Shrimp but I do not think this name ever caught on.

    Athanas nitescens
    Evening Primrose

    My attention was drawn to the flowering plants above the high water mark photographed above. The plant on the second left is one of the Evening Primroses. The two images on  the right are the same plant and this is the Prickly Lettuce

    22 July 2005
    A fisherman had scooped up the dozen or so large prawns before I arrived on the low spring tide. There were young fish of all the common species in the pools. One Athanas nitescens (a tiny shrimp) turned from dark red to bright green whilst in the bucket. 

    29 May 2005
    A score or more of small Blennies, Lipophrys pholis, were caught in the net below Chart Datum (3) and some were retained for exhibition at Adur World Oceans Day 2005. There were a few of the transparent Sea Gooseberries (a cnidarian) in the net as well and just two tiny 7 mm long juvenile Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, Thirty clumps of the red seaweed Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus, were caught in the net, and all the broken clumps had sea mats of the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea growing on them. 
    In the pool underneath the second groyne (5) a Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia viridis, expanded its tentacles. I left it in-situ. 

    26 May 2005
    Although the tide went out to Chart Datum as the mist rolled in, there were no large prawns and apart from the usual young Blennies and Rock Gobies, there was nothing of note.

    23 May 2005
    The exceptionally poor rockpooling season continues. There were a few of the regulars, ovigerous Common Gobies, newly hatched (earlier this year) Blennies and Rock Gobies. I noted a large (large for the shore, nearly minimum size) Edible Crab near Chart Datum (3) and the unusual sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus at mid-tide level (4), the tiny red striped crustacean with the name Hooded Shrimp, Athanas nitescens, (4) and a bryozoan colony living on the underside of a small boulder (4). Dogwhelks were now frequently seen (at least 20 noticed). One was a dirty grey colour like a bleached Periwinkle. Later a small Daisy Anemone, Cereus pedunculatus, was discovered in the home aquarium, and it was probably introduced with a cockle. This is another sea anemone that is unusual and has not been recorded more than once or twice  (if at all) on Kingston Beach. It is southern species that occasionally occurs on Worthing beach.
    BMLSS Sea Anemones
    Unidentified bryozoan

    The brown patch on the image on the right is a bryozoan I have not yet identified, but it is probably Membranipora membranacea. The rocks on the photograph on the right are stained red, probably by an algae. The second photograph contains a Cockle, Periwinkle and a Common Limpet.

    26 April 2005
    So poor was a visit to the Half Brick shore at east Worthing yesterday, that I nearly did not visit Kingston Beach under the overcast sky.
    Common Starfish, Asterias rubens In British seas, and on the shore when the numbers can reach epidemic proportions, the Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, is the most prevalent conventional starfish of the N.E. Atlantic Ocean. 

    Its principal prey is mussels (consuming them in their shells), but it will eat fish eggs, carrion, and other molluscs.

    The sea still surrounded the Chart Datum tide height gauge (1). There was one surprise: Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, are popularly thought to be a common inhabitant of the shore, but in reality they are rather infrequent; a small specimen was on the mussel beds by the Thru-penny Bit. Two large prawns Palaemon serratus were the only notable capture in the net as the cloudy water pounded against the vertical metal barrier.(1).
    In the pool under the second groyne there was a juvenile (one year old) Short-spined Bullhead, Taurulus bubalis, and an adult Blenny, Lipophrys pholis. (5)
    On the estuarine shore to the west of the Lifeboat Station (7), a juvenile dark coloured  Butterfish Pholis gunnellus and an adult Rock Goby Gobius paganellus in black breeding livery were discovered with two juveniles. There was a large Mussel, Mytlius edulis, measured at 83 mm, which is exceptionally large for this beach, where mussels rarely exceed 70 mm. Oysters, Ostrea,and Netted Dogwhelks, Hinia,were noted, and a few white Dogwhelks, Nucella lapillus, and Slipper Limpets, Crepidula fornicata, as well. Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, were under half of the rocks. Two out of a hundred were in berry. 
    British Marine Life Study Society
    BMLSS Molluscs

    10 March 2005
    On Kingston Buci beach, the tide went out as far as I had ever seen. There was very little life in the pools. A Grey Topshell (a usually abundant small gastropod) on an Oyster was unusual for this beach. There was Dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus, feeding on a Mussel and an adult Blenny, Lipophrys pholis, under a boulder. 
    The silt was cloying and as bad as usual at and around Chart Datum (1)

    6 March 2005
    There were at least four Oystercatchers, Haematopus ostralegus, on Kingston beach, between the groynes (5) until disturbed by mussel collectors on a low neap tide. They then flew off to the east, two actually landing on the furthermost wooden groyne on the map above, before landing on the sand and trottng over it. 


    14 October 2004
    As 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) that produced the most life on a low spring 0.5 metre tide with a handful of Bullheads Taurulus bubalis, (in small number s of a common fish this summer) a single 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela, a first year Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, and two Shore Crabs, Carcinus meanas.
    Squat Lobster (Photograph by Andy Horton)
    Edible Crab

    Further down the shore (3) there were two Edible Crabs, Cancer pagurus, and a Hairy Crab, Pilumnus hirtellus, and a Shore Squat Lobster, Galathea squamifera, under rocks. There were a few small prawns, Palaemon elegans, in the pools.
    A Dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus, was seen on the mussel beds (2) and a few Oysters were noticed (3)
    A pair of Mute Swans flew overhead from west to east as dusk descended. 

    30 August 2004
    On 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.
    The rock pools below Chart Datum had the usual moble fauna including edible sized prawns Paleamon serratus, first year Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, small Long-legged Spider Crabs, Macropodia rostrata, a first year Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, two Bullheads Taurulus bubalis, and very little else. Two nearly adult Rock Gobies, Gobius paganellus, were netted underneath the groynes at mid-tide level. 

    5 August 2004
    There 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, Paleamon serratus,  to make a meal. Dozens of small first year and one second year Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus melops, were captured in the net, together with a first year green Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, a tiny Blenny Lipophrys pholis, and small Bullhead Taurulus bubalis, and one each of a Short-legged Spider Crab Eurynome aspera, and a small Long-legged Spider Crab, Macropodia rostrata,
    BMLSS Prawns and Shrimps

    5 January 2004
    As the Shoreham Harbour fog horn boomed, four Oystercatchers, Haematopus ostralegus, probed for worms amongst the mussel beds and sand. 


    21 October 2003
    The black and white wing was the first indication of an Oystercatcher, Haematopus 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.)
    The red legs of the Oystercatcher were matched by a well camouflaged Redshank between the launching ramp and the first groyne. 
    Oystercatchers on Lundy (Behaviour)

    Over the shallow pool near the Lifeboat Station the red breast of a Kingfisher stood out from the pipeline it was perched on (8). Ironically, a couple of Crows had managed to prise out a clump of mussels. 

    19 October 2003
    The 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). 
    BMLSS Tides

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Andy HortonShore CrabSquat LobsterHairy CrabBlennyHermit CrabBlennyCommon GobyRock GobyRocklingButterfishAndy Horton with his prawn netOystercatcher