Adur Marine Life Reports
Coastal & Intertidal           2011
Marine Life Reports from the sea, shore and coast, including Widewater Lagoon

Link to information about World of Widewater (Community Friends Group)Information

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)

World of Widewater
(Community Group)


11 June 2011

Environmental Festival & Adur World Oceans Day 2011
Understanding and celebrating our marine environment

The wind and rain held off for the eleventh Adur Environment Festival and Adur World Oceans Day went well in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham Footbridge at the High Street end on the second Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs.
World Oceans Day on Facebook

"The aim of the event is to introduce the young visitors to the world of the sea and seashore, an opportunity they may not get .It is an educational event with an opportunity for children to participate in the interactive
Quote by Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)

Adur World Oceans Day Blogspot 2011 et seq.

3 - 24 May 2011

Exhibition at the Marlipins Museum, High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea


Coastal Reports 2012

15, 17, 18, 21 to 24, 26 & 27 December 2011
A pair of Snow Buntings were seen near Widewater Lagoon on nine separate dates.

Reports on Sussex Ornithological Society News

10 December 2011
Three Snow Buntings flew along the beach at Widewater west towards Lancing (lost to sight) at 4:00 pm.

Report by Chris Corrigan on Sussex Ornithological Society News

8 December 2011
There were at least ten Cormorants resting on the island with one Great Black-backed Gull, and numerous Mallards on Widewater Lagoon around 2:15 pm. A Redshank probed in the shallows.

5 December 2011
I felt very privileged to be able to see the courting displays of the Red-breasted Mergansers in the morning at Widewater.

Report by David Potter on Sussex Ornithological Society News

Two Snow Buntings were seen in the same place near Widewater.

Report & Photograph by Russ Tofts on Sussex Ornithological Society News

4 December 2011
On Widewater Lagoon in the morning were four pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers cooing and billing so to speak and were marvellous to behold at such close quarters; they flew as one out to sea at about 10:00 am.

Report by Alan Kitson on Sussex Ornithological Society News

I went down to Widewater Lagoon around 2:00 pm and within a few minutes I had picked up the two very confiding, Snow Buntings on the shingle, west of Beach Hut 134 between the second set of groynes - about half way up the beach where the shingle slopes. They flew off east around 2:30 pm  but I don't think they flew too far.

Report by Leigh Prevost on Sussex Ornithological Society News

3 December 2011
I was able to find the two Snow Buntings still on east Lancing beach 50 metres west of the pink beach huts. However in the 2-3 minutes it took to get my camera from the car they vanished and despite searching several hundred yards east and west could not relocate them. Six Red-breasted Mergansers (4 males) were on Widewater Lagoon.

Report by Russ Tofts on Sussex Ornithological Society News
2 December 2011
I had great views of two Snow Buntings feeding at high tide mark on beach by Widewater Lagoon, Lancing about midday in front of beach huts.
Report by Jenny Holter on Sussex Ornithological Society News

27 November 2011
Two Snow Buntings, Plectrophenax nivalis, were spotted on the beach at Widewater in the morning. The strong wind made it difficult to keep my big lens steady but I managed to get a few images (photo). Snow Buntings are a very scarce winter visitor and passage migrant to the Shoreham area. There were Little Grebes on the lagoon along with a single Teal.

Report & Photograph by Ian Walker on Sussex Ornithological Society News

9 November 2011
A White-beaked Dolphin, Lagenorhyncus albirostris, was observed by surveyors bow-riding their vessel about 15 miles south of Worthing. We had a small group of White-beaked Dolphins sighted some miles off shore between Eastbourne and Dieppe back in April this year. This species often bow-rides so it is interesting that both local sightings of these dolphins were bowriding. This species is not normally recorded in the English Channel.

Report by Steve Savage
on Sussex Marine Life Jottings (by Steve Savage)
BMLSS Cetaceans
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas


9 November 2011
The water level of Widewater Lagoon on the gauge by the bridge was 160 cm. Higher levels were recorded of 166 cm in 2003.

3 & 25 October 2011
Two mature Mute Swans were seen separately on Widewater with two fully grown grey cygnets accompanying one of the adults on the flooded lagoon.


3 & 25 October 2011
Two mature Mute Swans were seen separately on Widewater with two fully grown grey cygnets accompanying one of the adults on the flooded lagoon.

12 September 2011

At least 15 Cormorants were resting on the island (east of the bridge) in Widewater Lagoon.

Widewater Online Newsletter for September 2011

9 September 2011

Whaeatear on the shingle and Orache, east Worthing

A Wheatear trotted over the Orache-covered high tide mark at east Worthing as a prelude to its southerly migration. On the sand flats opposite Brooklands, halfway to the low neap water (3 metres), the small 20+ flock of small birds were not the expected Sanderlings but Ringed Plovers, with a few Grey Plovers nearer the sea.

1 September 2011
Three Little Egrets were seen fishing in the shallows of Widewater and three more were seen amongst the Sea Purslane on the mud flats between the Footbridge and the Norfolk Bridge.

Black Swan (Photograph by John Dowse)30 August 2011
An Australian Black Swan on the Widewater was seen attacking the resident pair of Mute Swans and the ducks just to the west of the Causeway bridge. The Black Swan had its wings raised as it raced towards the resident birds.

Report and Photograph by John Dowse
(NB: I cycled past Widewater on 1 September 2011 and saw neither species of Swans.)

A Little Egret stalked the shallows on a low spring tide. But there were only small prawns and two juvenile Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, netted near Chart Datum on Kingston Beach. A few Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and a very small Common Starfish Asterias rubens, hid under boulders. A Tern dived into the calm sea and an Oystercatcher flew overhead before landing on the sand and then flew away squawking.

12 August 2011
In the weak afternoon sunshine seemed to have encouraged at least 13 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that basked in the sunshine before skittering rapidly back in their holes, mostly on the west wall of the Old Fort, but at least two on the south-facing carnot wall and two in the undergrowth away from the wall. No juveniles were seen, but these have been seen in gardens of Old Fort Road on  Shoreham Beach where the lizards are frequently seen. A Common Blue Butterfly fluttered amongst the Bird's Foot Trefoil, and I spotted the shadow of an unidentified dragonfly on the flint wall, hawking to and fro. Frequent Large White Butterflies were seen amongst the Sea Kale.

14 June 2011
With the sun out for a change and the wind had died down to a manageable breeze, on Silver Sands on the Shoreham Beach peninsular, there was over a hundred Childing Pink in flower, but all of them had just the single flower. Starry Clover was going to seed near the Old Fort, where no Wall Lizards were seen.

5 June 2011
A few Childing Pink with single flowers showed on their only location at Silver Sands.

Slender Thistle
White Bryony 
 Bristly Ox-tongue
Wall Pellitory
Silver Ragwort

The Friends of Shoreham Beach Wild Flower Walk took place at the east end of Shoreham Beach. Flowers seen for the first time this year included Starry Clover, Bristly Ox-tongue, Silver Ragwort, and Hedge Mustard.

2 June 2011
There was too much weed to make shrimping practical on Lancing Beach, with under ten Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, in just over half an hour push-netting. One very young Greater Pipefish Syngnathus acus, fry that came with the weed and quickly wriggled to escape through the mesh of my smaller metre-wide shrimp net. It was the first capture, followed by two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, in Netted Dogwhelk shells, one small Arch-fronted Swimming Crab Liocarcinus arcuatus, just one small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, and two small flatfish fry. Most of the Brown Shrimps were at the end of their life span and a few died in the bucket.
Shrimping Report

19 May 2011
A large plain green specimen of the Beadlet Anemone, Actinia equina, collected on Worthing Beach on 18 April 2011 suddenly diminished in a manner seen before in the Actinia sea anemones. The green specimen with a basal diameter of approximately 60 mm and a larger tentacle span shrivelled up into a smaller version that looked as though it might be dying, and the tentacles became thinner than those of the Snakelocks Anemones, Anemonia viridis, and the oral disc disappeared from view covered by the partially retracted tentacles. On 20 May 2011, I noted that sea anemone had returned to its normal appearance. On 21 May 2011 I noticed that its column was covered in spots which were pronounced enough to be nearer in appearance to the designated species Actinia fragacea. Its spots were distinct light green but the background colour of the column became brown rather than red. It was slightly smaller with a basal diameter of about 50 mm. Intermediate forms or Actinia equina with green lines and spots are known to occur occasionally. This anemone has green tentacles whereas the usual "strawberry type" has crimson or red tentacles.

Actinia fragacea has strawberry-like (usually green on a red column) spots all over the column of the anemone. The similar species Actinia equina can have green stripes and dotted lines, so there can be confusion between the species as the dividing line is not clearly demarked by appearance.
BMLSS Sea Anemones

17 May 2011
Conditions on the low spring tide at Kingston Beach were inimical to rockpooling because of the black silt near Chart Datum. I did catch a few large Edible Prawns, Palaemon serratus, a very small Common Starfish Asterias rubens, prised from under a rock, a small sea anemone Sagartia troglodytes on the underside of a boulder, a small Common Hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus in a Periwinkle shell; and I noted frequent large Dogwhelks Nucella lapillus, and their eggs and some of them were very large for the species and included a brown specimen.

13 May 2011
At the western side of the bridge over Widewater a pair of Mute Swans were actively feeding with eight cygnets with them.

10 May 2011
The Mute Swan cygnets were taken on to the Widewater. There are eight. The average clutch size is six so this pair have done well.
Cygnets get tired and cold at first when they take to the water so they often climb on to the swans back ( they are born with the instinct to climb ) and nestle into the warm feathers! They “imprint” on to the first large moving object that they see ( usually the swans!! ) and follow it.

Report by Jo Procter on World of Widewater Wildlife

9 May 2011
On a passage trip to Lancing I noted the white butterflies around the flowering Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach, not seeing them still so I did not recognise them to species although I thought that at least some of them must have been Small Whites because of their small size and lack of black seen in flight. The larger ones were Large Whites. Red Valerian was flowering profusely but not at the height of its blooms. Sea Thrift was impressive in large swathes east of the bridge on the grass levels by the Tamarisk and shallows. Two Pipits were chasing each other and I was struck by the much lighter colour than usual of their plumage, as they chased each other and disappeared over the ridge of shingle at the highest point up the beach. I think they are Meadow Pipits, Anthos pratensis, that had just moulted as the most probable identity. (Rock Pipits, Anthos petrosus, are much scarcer especially during their breeding season.)

8 May 2011
The first cygnets hatched in the Mute Swan's nest at the bottom of a garden on the west side of the bridge. The hen had laid 10 eggs and it was difficult to know how many had hatched.

Report by Jo Procter on World of Widewater

23 April 2011
There were almost ideal condition for shrimping of Lancing Beach (east Widewater) with a gentle almost imperceptible swell, almost negligible Light Breeze Force 5, (5 mph, NNE), pleasant weather with an air temperature of 18.9 °C on the 9.50 am low tide of 1.1 metres. Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, were common (200+ caught in 40 minutes), although some were too small for the pot. The water was clear and free of weed, but there was very little else around. I caught two young Plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, one of which escaped and a handful shot off at the approach of the smaller (one metre) semi-circular shrimp net, and the only other incidentals were three very small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, (i.e. not Diogenes) in Grey Topshells and Netted Dogwhelk shells. Advection fog set in over the sea as the tide turned and the visibility was diminished to under 50 metres.
Met Office: Shoreham

22 April 2011

Rock Goby

A small adult Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, was discovered on Kingston Beach.

18 April 2011
My first Wheatear of the year was hard to spot well camouflaged against the shingle on Lancing Beach (by Widewater) above the high tide mark. There were two Mute Swans on Widewater, one at each end of the lagoon.
Wall Lizard
Aeolidia papillosa

Two anemone-eating nudibranchs, the Grey Sea Slug, Aeolidia papillosa,  were discovered under rocks under Worthing Pier.
Worthing Pier Rockpooling Report

23 March 2011
A half a dozen adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered rapidly over the south-facing flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, in the weak sunshine. They were my first reptiles seen this year.

20 March 2011
In the early evening, I recorded by first wild fish of the year a 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela, on the kelp-covered shore by Brooklands (west Lancing, west of the pipeline) plus my first crab, a very small Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber. The shore was very poorly inhabited with frequent Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, occasional small Hairy Crabs, Pilumnus hirtellus, and tiny Long-clawed Porcelain Crabs, Pisidia longicornis, one very small Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, one large green Shore Crab Carcinus meanas. Two Snakelocks Anemones, Anemonia viridis, had not quite completed their division into two, and there were occasional small sea anemones Sagartia troglodytes. As it was getting too dark to see clearly, a tiny thread-like juvenile Butterfish, Pholis gunnellus, eluded my cold fingers. An Edible Prawn, Palaemon serratus, jumped backwards from under a weed-covered rock.

12 February 2011

On Widewater Lagoon, two female Scaups attracted the attention of a group of serious birdwatchers (with scopes).

Coastal Reports 2010

Friends of Shoreham BeachAdur Weather 2011

Adur World Oceans Day 2011

Old Fort Plants

Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pages
World of Widewater
(Community Group)

olor="#CC0000">Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pages
World of Widewater
(Community Group)