Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages

Adur World Oceans Day 2007
 Adur Flood Plain
 Chalk Downs
 Coastal Fringe
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 Lancing Nature Blogspot
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon
 Garden Bird List 2006
 World of Widewater (Community Friends Group)



 Coastal Zone
Brackish Water Lagoon


Widewater 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 filters 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 salinity are liable to fluctuate wildly. The flood plain covers an area of 18.5 acres.

Mute Swans with cygnets at the beginning of July 2005

At 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. 


Wildlife Reports

Link to Widewater Reports 2008

24 December 2007
Shore 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.

On a late afternoon passage trip by Widewater Lagoon I spotted a couple of Stonechats, one male with the darker head and red breast by the bridge and a female in the bushes near the Tamarisk island. 

19 December 2007
There were at least two Red-breasted Mergansers at the western end of a flooded Widewater Lagoon.

11 December 2007
Seven Red-breasted 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 Little Egret stood waiting my the inlet pipe on a high spring tide.

24 November 2007
A half a dozen Oystercatchers trotted over the rock defences on the seaward side of Widewater Lagoon
On 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 Rock Pipit seen on the Sea Purslane on the edge of the River Adur on 22 November 2007.
Adur Coastal 2007

The birdwatchers reported spotting the Water Rail feeding on the Tamarisk island for a brief moment.

23 November 2007
A Stonechat 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. 

21 November 2007
Four 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. 
26 September 2007
Widewater 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. 

3 September 2007
At high tide, the sea was bubbling up through the bottom of Widewater in a spectacular manner, greater than I had seen before. 
The 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. 
Adur Coastal Flora & Fauna

24 May 2007
The pair of Mute Swans swimming south of the bridge over Widewater had six cygnets with them. 

26 March 2007
Just the one Red-breasted Merganser and three Little Egrets actively fished in the flooded lagoon. The resident Redshank waded in the shallows.

On 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 high. 

18 March 2007
Three Red-breasted 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

12 March 2007
Little Egret One of the birds elegantly paraded up and down the water's edge.

On 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 Plover flew off, but a Feral Pigeon stayed put. 

26 February 2007
Red-breasted MerganserAgain 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 and a Redshank were noted. 

19 February 2007
With 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 waded in the shallows. 
Widewater Depth Gauge

16 February 2007
A 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 Plover with 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. 

Widewater Wildlife Reports 2006

Magic Map Link for Widewater Lagoon

World of Widewater
(Community Group)

Secretary Jo Procter Tel: 
01903 752505
190a Brighton Road
BN15 8LL

Link to Widewater Reports 2005

Adur Nature Notes 2007:   Index Page

Adur Valley
Adur Nature Notes 2007

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