is a landlocked brackish lagoon approximately 1066 metres long and 90 metres
at its widest point when the lagoon is in flood. It was created by Man
from the original Adur
estuary after been landlocked by longshore
drift and violent storms. The waters are replenished by the sea, which
up through the basin of the lagoon on very high tides, and also by
rain water. There is a dramatic rise in the level after heavy rainfall,
more than can be explained by the rain landing directly on the lagoon flood
plain. Man has built up banks on the perimeter of the lagoon to prevent
flooding to this nearby reclaimed land, now turned to residential use.
The quantity of water contained within the lagoon and
are liable to fluctuate wildly. The flood plain covers an area of 18.5
its maximum flooding with a measurement on the gauge by the bridge giving
a depth of 1.60 metres, the lagoon will cover an area of 4.6 hectares (=
11.4 acres) with a perimeter of 2282 metres.
to Widewater Reports 2008
Crabs, Carcinus maenas, entered
Widewater Lagoon through the sea water inlet and providing food for the
visiting birds with their remains scattered on the mud bank. Sand was also
coming through, most of it in suspension in the seawater and settling out
near the end of the pipe.
a late afternoon passage trip by Widewater
Lagoon I spotted a couple of
one male with the darker head and red breast by the bridge and a female
in the bushes near the Tamarisk island.
were at least two Red-breasted
Mergansers at the western end of a flooded
Mergansers paddled on the surface of a
flooded Widewater Lagoon, one pair and another male with five drakes. At
least one Little Grebe
dived under the water at the shallow part of the western end. An expected
Egret stood waiting my the inlet pipe
on a high spring tide.
half a dozen Oystercatchers
trotted over the rock defences on the seaward side of Widewater
the shingle beach, a Meadow Pipit fed
in the landward side of the beach huts. It showed a olive green hue which
is not all that clear in the photograph on the right.This bird was contrasted
to a taller and slenderer
seen on the Sea Purslane
on the edge of the River Adur on 22
birdwatchers reported spotting the Water
Rail feeding on the Tamarisk
island for a brief moment.
could be seen clearly against the backdrop of a flooded Widewater
Lagoon as the attractive small bird perched
on a dead stalk next to the promenade cyclepath.
drake Red-breasted Mergansers were
all seen together in a shallow part of Widewater Lagoon at the western
end. At least four groups of birdwatchers with their expensive equipment
all congregated around the Tamarisk
in the island area to the east of the bridge to find the elusive Water
Rail which they were able to spot for
a brief moment, but not whilst I passed.
at dusk showing the red Glasswort
at the edge of the lagoon. Because the lagoon is in flood there is much
less of this to be seen than in previous years.
high tide, the sea was bubbling up through the
bottom of Widewater in a spectacular manner, greater than I had seen before.
summer seems to be over even before it has started; three Wheatears
were seen on Lancing Beach by Widewater, feeding amongst the vegetation
before making their long flight south. Their white tail feathers were most
noticeable as they flew from one wooden post to another.
Coastal Flora & Fauna
pair of Mute Swans
swimming south of the bridge over Widewater
had six cygnets
the one Red-breasted
Merganser and three Little
Egrets actively fished in the flooded
lagoon. The resident Redshank
waded in the shallows.
the flood plain, Danish Scurvygrass
was noticed in flower, amongst the stems of Glasswort.
The appearance of the Glasswort out
of the water was a bit of a surprise as the water level of the lagoon was
Mergansers fished in the flooded lagoon
with at least four visiting Teal
and the two resident Little Egrets,
as well as the usual Mute Swans.
Widewater Lagoon, three Little Egrets
congregrated in the shallow pool (cut off from the main body of water)
at the western end. One of the birds elegantly paraded up and down the
water's edge and chased after a female. The single Ringed
off, but a Feral Pigeon
at maximum flood (1.64 metres),
in the clear water the shoals of 3-spined
Sticklebacks seemed even more numerous
under the bridge, certainly several hundred. The water was not completely
clear and the bottom was partly obscured by a few ripples. On sandy bits
dead and open cockle shells (assumed to be the Lagoon
Cockle) could be seen and it also appeared
that someone had thrown in a hundred or so Common Mussels which looked
alive with Acorn Barnacles
on their shells. Two Red-breasted Mergansers
Widewater Lagoon in heavy flood (1.64 metres),
large shoals of several hundred 3-spined
Sticklebacks could be seen clearly in
the calm water underneath the bridge. Two Little
Egrets and four Red-breasted
Mergansers were seen actively feeding.
A pair of Stonechats
were seen amongst the Bramble
thorns and a Redshank
in the shallows.
half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers
were counted on Widewater Lagoon, five on the water diving and one of these
piscivorous ducks was preening at the water's edge. None was seen with
a fish in its saw-bill. Nearby, a single Ringed
bright orange legs run around on the grass and pebbles, occasionally snatching
what I assume were small insects. At least one each of a Redshank
in and Little Egret
were seen in the shallows as expected. A Meadow
Pipit was seen amongst the bare twigs.
Wildlife Reports 2006
Map Link for Widewater Lagoon
to Widewater Reports 2005
Nature Notes 2007: Index Page