Adur Marine Life Reports
Coastal & Intertidal     2015

 Reports from the sea, shore and coast, including Widewater Lagoon


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)

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

Widewater Lagoon Page


7 August 2015
Rockpooling at Shoreham Fort Beach

9:30 am start prompt to view the beach as the tide falls to low tide at 11:00 am. Join our resident marine biologist, Steve Savage to collect and explore the myriad flora and fauna of the pools that form as the tide goes out. Children will be fascinated by the tiny fish and plants. Please wear wellies or beach shoes and bring along plastic containers for your finds.

Members are free otherwise £2 per child.
Beach Art Competition follows

13 June 2015
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the sixteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group.  Exhibitors are available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants will include Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Shoreham Sea Scouts.

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day.



Reports 2016

18 December 2015

Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, have been washed ashore in Dorset in the last few months and now the first strandings of the year were found on Shoreham Beach, Sussex, left by the recent high spring tides, washed ashore attacked to floating objects, a small boat fender and on two bottles. The Goose Barnacles were probably alive when left on the strandline with the usual wracks, mollusc shells, Mermaid's Purses, cuttlebones, etc., but died, or were dying (after ten minutes waiting for one or two the filamentous cirri or feeding tentacles to be seen moving), after being left high and dry out of the water.

Goose Barnacles are a widespread large pelagicbarnacle found attached to objects by their long stalk or peduncle in warmer seas than around Britain and most likely have been blown on floating objects across the Atlantic Ocean from the seas around the south-eastern United States of America.

BMLSS Beachcombing
BMLSS Barnacles

13 December 2015
On a grey afternoon, there were nine Mute Swans, 14 Teals, a Little Egret and two dozen or so mixed gulls on Widewater Lagoon.

8 December 2015
A Greenshank was spotted on the western part of Widewater Lagoon.

Image Report by Tricia Ryder on Sussex Birders facebook

1 December 2015

Red-breasted Merganser

There was a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers far out on the surface of Widewater Lagoon and frequently diving under, two Cormorants, one swallowing more than a dozen small fish (probably 3-spined Sticklebacks), and nine Mute Swans. Black-headed Gulls were very interested in the fishing by the Cormorant.

23 November 2015
Two Sun Dogs* (=parhelia) were seen through the Cirrus clouds and over the sea in the afternoon as the Sun fell lower in the sky. Gentle waves rolled across the submerged sand on a low neap tide in the middle of the afternoon. The wind had dropped and Widewater Lagoon was mill calm with reflections in the weak sunshine. I also discovered a flint pebble with just a few markings of a fossil sea urchin.
*Sun Dogs are a member of a large family of halos, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere. Sun dogs typically appear as two subtly colored patches of light to the left and right of the Sun, approximately 22° distant and at the same elevation above the horizon as the Sun. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright. Sun Dogs are best seen and are most conspicuous when the Sun is close to the horizon.
Shoreham Weather 2015

Eight Mute Swans, including at least four fully grown cygnets graced Widewater, with a handful of Little Grebes, at least eight Teals, a few Mallards, a Little Egret a Redshank, and frequent omnipresent gulls.

20 - 23 November 2015

Great Northern Diver
Photograph by Jan Charteris

A Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer, was seen by multiple birdwatchers in Shoreham Harbour between Aldrington and Fishersgate. It flew around and was spotted settled on the canal feeding on Greater Pipefish.

Reports from Sussex Birders facebook
Sussex Ornithological Society Great Northern Diver News Reports
BMLSS Pipefish

20 November 2015

The weedy strandline contained very little of interest at Ferry Road, Shoreham Beach. The white spirals on Bladder Wrack, Fucus vesiculosus, are the empty shells of the worm Spirorbis borealis and the empty egg case is that of the Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula A few cuttlebones Sepia officinaliswashed up.

10 November 2015

On a grey day three Cormorants fished in Widewater with two Little Egrets, a pair of Teals, four Mute Swans, three Mallards and frequent gulls.

1 November 2015

A 45 cm diameter Barrel Jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus was washed ashore on Southwick Beach and discovered in the morning.

Report & Photograph by Mandy Stephenson on
Shoreham-by-Sea & Southwick  facebook

29 September 2015
A first year juvenile Mediterranean Gull made a visit to Widewater Lagoon.

Report by Alan Kitson on
Shoreham Ornithological Society News
26 September 2015
A Small Copper Butterfly was seen visiting Ragwort near Shoreham Fort on Shoreham Beach.
Report and Images by Skyjas 5

21 September 2015
The white rump of a Wheatear was clearly seen in the light rain on the shingle between Widewater Lagoon and the sea. A Red Admiral Butterfly flew over the cyclepath just east of Lancing Sailing Club.

20 September 2015
A Kingfisher rounded the arm of the west breakwater of Shoreham Harbour from the sea, at 11.35 am, and briefly rested on the lower section before taking off to take umbrage with another Kingfisher (unseen at this point) on the eastern arm. A brief altercation ensued with both birds flying about between the eastern and inner breakwaters. Peace broke out as one headed up the river whilst the other went towards the locks. I have seen Kingfishers up and down the lower river recently and suspected more than one is about happily confirms this. A female Wheatear perchedon the fence by the Coastwatch lookout, a mix of Terns were feeding offshore and a steady trickle of eastwards Swallows made for a pleasant morning in the autumn sunshine.

Report by Dick Jackson on
Shoreham Ornithological Society News

Black Sea-Bream
 Spondyliosoma cantharus
Photograph by Julian Smith

I would think a fish this size would not get caught in a pool by the receding tide in the River Adur!

Comments by Julian Smith

A dozen or more Wall Lizards,  Podarcis muralis, were very skittish over the carnot wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the sunshine that cast heavy shadows in the late afternoon. Two were small juveniles and both adults and young lizards clambered high up on the west-facing flint wall, right to the top on at least four occasions. The first lizard seen was very green on its back, but the green tinge was not remarkable on the others.

3 September 2015

Shoreham Beach

There were very few flowers on Shoreham Beach for a wandering bumblebee which returned again and again to the same Yellow-horned Poppy.

30 August 2015

Wall Lizard

Four large adult Wall Lizards,Podarcis muralis, skittered over the carnot wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the muggy sunshine. All had seemed to have lost and were regrowing their tails. There could have five or even six lizards as others were seen in the undergrowth and on rocks, but they have been repeat sightings. They were very lively and rarely settled in a still position.

31 July 2015

Three Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted around Shoreham Fort but I was more pleased to discover a Lesser Marsh Grasshopper, Chorthippus albomarginatus. A Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, flew straight into the carnot wall on the south side.

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper

30 July 2015

Barrel Jellyfish
Shoreham Beach Residents Association

There was at least two reports of Barrel Jellyfish washed ashore on Shoreham Beach.

10 July 2015

Weald Dyke Beach

6 July 2015
A pod of eight Dolphins were seen out to sea from Shoreham Beach.

Report by Steve Savage

2 July 2015

Ferry Road Beach

26 June 2015
An adult Ringed Plover was still present with the fledged juvenile which can now fly on the Shoreham Harbour dock road beach.

Report by Chris Corrigan on Sussex Ornithological Society Reports

25 June 2015
In the sandy tide pools on Shoreham Fort Beach, shoals of fish fry were trapped in the shallow water at low tide. The shoals of over a hundred the fry were too small to determine identity by distant observation from the concrete boulders covered in mussels. I strongly suspect that they were Sand Smelt, Atherina presbyter. One elongate fish was identified as a baby Garfish. I was able to identify the young of Shore Crabs, Common Goby, Rock Goby, Brown Shrimps and Shore Prawn Palaemon elegans.

Sandy Pool
Yellow-horned Poppy
Sea Kale & Biting Stonecrop

On dry land under the noon sun, only two Wall Lizards were seen, one quickly skitting in amongst the undergrowth and the second one clambering all over the carnot wall, before disappearing into a hole very near the top. The one lizard seen clearly for a few minutes showed remarkable agility on the vertical flint walls (which were brick at the top). The beach was still looking attractive especially in the area of the boardwalk with Yellow-horned Poppy, Silver Ragwort, Viper's Buglossand Biting Stonecrop looking splendid in flower.
Adur Lizards

23 June 2015

Shoreham Beach East

22 June 2015

Shoreham Beach East
Viper's Bugloss, Great Mullein. Common Poppy
Childing Pink, Hare's Foot Clover

18 June 2015

Tub Gurnard

Small Bass, Tub Gurnard, Flounders and an adult Black Bream and a Blenny were caught of Southwick Harbour Arm on the high tide. Two Red Admiral Butterflies flew in off the sea.

Southwick Beach
Biting Stonecrop, Thrift, Sea Mayweed, Sea Beet
Bird's Foot Trefoil, Thrift, Hop Trefoil

10 June 2015

Southwick Beach
Sea Beet, Thrift, Silver Ragwort
Yellow-horned Poppy, Kidney Vetch
Silver Ragwort, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Sea Mayweed, Sea Beet

6 June 2015
My first Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, of the year flew straight into the carnot wall on the south side of Shoreham Fort. This was the same location that this moth was seen last year and the moth flew rapidly along the high flint wall, not seeming to be able to get past it. On a sunny day in a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gale Force 7 the vegetation at the foot of the wall was long and I did not manage to spot any Wall Lizards that are often there. There were a couple of Small White Butterflies and three male Common Blues blown around the beach flowers.

On the rough sea a Greater Back-backed Gull has found something large and interesting to try and eat on the surface but seemed to be beaten by the waves. 

3 June 2015
To great birdwatching excitement, a rare (less than one a year in Sussex) Red-necked Phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus, made a fleeting evening visit to Widewater Lagoon, but after appearing to settle down to roost, it was gone before dawn to the disappointment of the early risers.

Sussex Ornithological Society Reports
Birdguide Reports

31 May 2015

Friends of Shoreham Beach Wild Flower Walk

Italian Catchfly
Italian Catchfly
Dove's Foot Cranesbill
Dove's Foot Cranesbill

The Friends of Shoreham Beach Wild Flower Walk started off in a blustery way, blown about by a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gale Force 8, low flying clouds, poor light and a few spots of rain that developed into a drizzle later in the afternoon. This made photography difficult to impossible. Highlights of the walk included the local rarity known as the Starry Clover that had finished flowering and at the calyx stage and had been mown flat, the peak flowering of the Sea Kale, the vast expanses of Red Valerian, the first Yellow-horned Poppy, the very frequent Slender Thistle, the previously unmentioned (or overlooked or mistaken identity) diminutive Dove's Foot  Cranesbill Geranium pyrenaicum or Geranium molle, the local patch of the campion-like Italian Catchfly Silene italica, the newly flowering Kidney Vetch and Viper's Bugloss, the sturdy Tree Mallow, a patch of Mouse-eared Hawkweed, and the wind battered Sea Campion.

Friends of Shoreham Beach

Tree Mallow

16 May 2015

The pair of Mute Swans on Widewater Lagoon still had seven cygnets.

6 May 2015

Gales battered the shore throughout the day, a steady Fresh Gale Force 8 gusting to Storm Force 10 was recorded by Shoreham Beach Weather Station.
Shoreham Weather Page

1 May 2015
A pair of Mute Swans were seen by others with seven cygnets on Widewater Lagoon.

18 March 2015
The tide receded to end of Worthing Pier and a small flock of Turnstones probed amongst the rocks.

The intertidal fauna was unexceptional with nothing of note.

17 March 2015

I cycled past Widewater Lagoon on a passage trip from Worthing in the fading light, and spotted mostly upturned Teals in a raft of over a dozen, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a feeding Little Egret and a Redshank.  A Black-headed Gull was in summer plumage.

16 March 2015
There were over a hundred egg cases of the Undulate Ray, Raja undulata, were washed in a small area of strandline and blown against the carnot walls of Shoreham Fort.

2 March 2015
A dolphin was discovered washed up dead on Shoreham Beach near the Burrells. It was is a decrepit condition and most likely to be a Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis.

Friends of Shoreham Beach Report (with image)  facebook
BMLSS Whales & Dolphins (by Steve Savage)

27 February 2015

Common Whelk shells
Hornwrack & Slipper Limpet

The slightest thing of interest was an elevated number of empty Common Whelk shells on the strandline. About one every two seconds could be found scattered amongst the seaweeds and Lignite on the shingle beach next to Widewater.

4 February 2015

Crow's Anvil, Kingston Buci Beach

22 January 2015

Barrel Jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus
Photograph by Margaret Burton

Two large Barrel Jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus, were discovered washed up on the shore at Lancing.

Report by Margaret Burton

20 January 2015
Three Little Grebes dived under Widewater and one surfaced with a Stickleback in its beak.

A Black-headed Gull also managed to catch a Stickleback.
18 January 2015
Eventually, I arrived at Widewater when there were four pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers far out on the surface of the lagoon and frequently diving under in the fading light of the late afternoon. The sawbills did not seem to catch any fish and when it surfaced half the birds had weed in their beaks. Redshanks are now regular seen in the shallows of the lagoon, and there were at least two and a Shelduck, with a score or so mostly Black-headed Gulls with a smattering of immature Herring Gulls

On the narrow strandline there was the usual collection of seaweeds and other organic debris and lignite.

14 January 2015
With the wind gusting to Force 7 with a wind chill, it was hard to keep the camera still. There was very little to photograph and even the strandline was devoid of anything much washed up. Hornwrack, Flustra foliacea, and the eggcases of the Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, produced the only shot of interest.
4 January 2015
Dogwhelks Nucella lapillus, Mussels Mytilis edulis, and Beadlet Anemones Actinia equina on the rock (Syenite) sea defences of Southwick Beach. 
2 January 2015
A group of Little Grebes were seen diving under the surface of Widewater Lagoon

A Coot swam on the surface. On the strandline, the amount of seaweed was less than stormy years, but included at least one clump of Mermaid's Purses, the eggcases of the Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula

Kingston Buci Beach (Shoreham)
Lancing Beach
Sussex Ornithological Society News

Coastal Reports 2014

Adur Weather 2014

Adur World Oceans Day 2012

Shoreham Fort Plants

Marine Life Reports 2010

Widewater Page

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pages

World of Widewater