Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003
Shore Crabs hide underneath the wooden groynes

 Coastal Fringe
 Chalk Downs
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 River Adur Flood Plain
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon
 Lancing Beach



Adur Valley Wildlife

 Shoreham-by-Sea:  Seashore

Shoreham Beach looking east (Photograph by Andy Horton)
In the entrance to Shoreham Harbour, there are artificial rocky* shores at Kingston Beach near the Lighthouse, and at the Old Fort beach on the other side of the River Adur(* Larvikite, a type of syenite). These new rock groynes have now been extended the full length of Shoreham Beach and as far as Lancing Beach Green (May 2003).
Prawn, Palaemon serratus (Photograph by Andy Horton)

Edible Prawn



    Link to "Seashore" Wildlife Reports 2004

    11 October 2003 
    Shoreham Fish Festival (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)The SHOREHAM FISH FESTIVAL on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, was attended by 4,000 people if the sunshine as the high six metre spring tide filled the river  just before 1:00 pm. The British Marine Life Study Society held an aquarium display and despite technical problems with a very high plankton content in the water (which meant the large wrasse could not be displayed) the exhibits were well received by the younger age group. 
    Picture Gallery

    5 August 2003
    It was the hottest day of the new millennium when the temperature reached 30.6° C at 5:54 pm with a gentle breeze. Humidity fell to 39% so it was quite pleasant outside.

    Not surprising with the warm weather, many people who are not at work and children on holiday made their way to the beach where the estimated sea temperature was 19° C, possibly rising to 21° C inshore over sand. Weever Fish are around and there were several reports of people being stung by this fish that lives in the sand with its venomous black dorsal fin sticking above the surface on which the bather may have the misfortune to step on.

    After being sting by large Weevers the pain is described as excruciating for the first two hours after which it subsides and rarely causes permanent injury. The pain can be relieved by immersing the foot in hot water at 40° C. This fish is common on sandy coasts all around Britain. 

    Report by Jamie Hailstone (Shoreham Herald) with commentary by Andy Horton.
    Beware of the Weever Fish

    11 June 2003
    Herring Gulls, adults and immature birds were paddling at the water's edge at low tide whilst the Great Black-backed Gulls remained stationery. There seems more of these large Great Black-backed Gulls staying around for the summer this year. 

    4 June 2003
    Small Weever fish were discovered in the shrimp net (push-net) haul in the sea off Widewater beach. Weever fish are silvery with a black venomous fin and spines. The can impart a nasty sting on the unwary and bare foot paddler over the sandy shallows.

    Report by Russell
    Beware of the Weever page

    3 June 2003
    The famous Boar Fish, Capros aper, died after its aquarium sprung a leak in the middle of the night. (It was caught in November 2002).

    31 May 2003
    Shoreham bathed in a heat wave up to 24° C for the opening of the Adur Festival and Adur World Oceans Day 2003 on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. About 3000 people attended the event that was steady and busy throughout. 
    Exhibits included live fish and lobster in aquaria, colouring and badge-making, whales and dolphins, birds, shrimps, fish-tasting, touch-table, Shoreham shingle beach flora and undersea colour photographs and videos. 

    Len Nevell was in charge of the Living Animals display including live Lobsters

    A special thanks to all the participants, especially Len Nevell (British Marine Life Study Society) and Steve Trewhella (Marine Conservation Society). The inflated dolphin was  provided by Steve Savage (Sea Watch Foundation). 

    Several groups had special exhibitions including the:

    British Marine Life Study Society including Shorewatch (four exhibits)
    West Sussex County Council Countryside Unit
    Sea Watch Foundation (for Whales & Dolphins)
    Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee
    Sea Search (Undersea Biological Recording)
    Shoreham & District Ornithological Society
    Sussex Ornithological Society

    Peter Talbot-Elsden with the Shrimping Table was a new event for this year

    Adur World Oceans Day 2003
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Popular Information File on Adur World Oceans Day 2003
    Acrobat Information File on Adur World Oceans Day 2003

    5 November 2002
    Collecting a few rocks for aquarium props in fading light, a moonless evening under torchlight, there were dozens of Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and at least one red-eyed Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber. I thought that I picked up two, but the following day, I noticed that the crab had pale blue eyes and this I now think may be a different crab altogether,  Liocarcinus arcuatus, the Arch-fronted Swimming Crab which I have never discovered before, nor have I heard reported before from the shore. The identity of this crab has been confirmed by Dr. Reindert Nijland.

    This small specimen of this crab (carapace width 25 mm) had a heavy carpus on both chelae, a rough carapace in chocolate brown, swimming legs that were pointed, slower moving than Necora, with also are pronounced creamy white underside, and at dusk that was only its fractionally different movement that made it stand out from the Shore Crab. There were no "teeth" between the eyes, and the carapace was in a straight line between the eyes, with red antennae and antennules.
    BMLSS Intertidal Crabs
    Lancing Beach

    2 November 2002
    The capture on rod and line by Peter Weight (Lancing) of a Boar Fish, Capros aper, from Hove beach is the very first record of this fish caught from the shore off Sussex. The books say that this fish lives in depths of over 100 metres and there are no seas of this depth on the English side of the English Channel

    Boar Fish (Photograph by Andy Horton)This pretty little red and silver rhomboidal fish about 55 mm long, excluding its caudal fin, large eye and large protractile mouth, with a spiky first dorsal and vibrating second dorsal and second anal fins (vibrating like the dorsal fin of a pipefish). Although this fish is rarely caught, it is abundant in deepish water (on the edge of the continental shelf in the western approaches of the English Channel) and it is just that normal fishing methods do not capture this small fish. All  records and especially all live records from the shore or on dives, and all Sussex records are newsworthy. 
    This fish is thriving in the BMLSS private aquarium (Shoreham-by-Sea). This fish is rarely on display in British Public Aquaria and the only known display of this fish was for several years at Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium
    Previous Sussex Record of a Boar Fish
    Previous Report from the Channel Islands
    BMLSS Boar Fish

    Spider Crab on Shoreham beach (Photograph by Andy Horton)11 June 2002
    The presence of Spiny Spider Crabs, Maja squinado, underneath the wooden groynes on Shoreham beach (TQ 216 047), south of Weald Dyke (road), is a notable aspect of the wildlife fauna of Shoreham and little known. Although it is the smaller crabs that are found at low tide, these are still the biggest animals found between the tides. 
    In captivity, a female Spiny Spider Crab moulted twice before 30 June 2002

    British Marine Life Study Society
    BMLSS Rockpooling
    Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology)

    1 June 2002
    A huge one metre in diameter jellyfish with a humped appearance was discovered washed up on Shoreham beach due of south of Coronation Green. This is the species known by several common names: Barrel Jellyfish, Football Jellyfish, Root-mouthed Jellyfish, and with the scientific name of Rhizostoma octopus. This is an unusual sighting off the Sussex coast, but this year tens of thousands have been seen off the coast of Cornwall, with many more washed up on the coast of Devon and Dorset. 

    Report by Martin Ward at Adur World Oceans Day
    Adur Nature Notes (Spring 2002) for Shoreham Beach Nature Reports
    Other Reports
    BMLSS Jellyfish

    1 June 2002
    Adur WORLD OCEANS DAY Exhibition at Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea.

    Photograph by Ray HamblettAdur was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event took place on Saturday 1 June 2002 in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation Green (TQ 216050), adjacent to the footbridge over the River Adur, with the start of the Adur Festival.


    Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio 2002 (by Ray Hamblett)
    Adur World Oceans Day 2002   Programme of Events

    Adur World Oceans Day 2001 Report
    Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio
    World Oceans Day Smart Group

    25 September 2001
    Hundreds of Dogwhelks, Nucela lapillus, have colonised the newish boulder sea defences on Southwick Beach. One dirty white specimen was either attacking a Limpet or the Acorn Barnacles that completed covered the limpet shell. 

    20 August 2001
    The long spring tide went out below Chart Datum on Kingston beach and there was a meal of large prawns Paleamon serratus. The presence of a dozen very small Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, was unusual for this particular shore. There was an interesting mixture of typical fish and invertebrate intertidal life, with hundreds of very small (30 - 55 mm) first year Bullheads.
    Full Report

    15 April 2001
    I received a report via the RSPCA of three young sharks washed up on the beach at either Lancing or Worthing. A size was not mentioned. I assume these are Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, which are so commonly washed ashore dead in all months of the year that they scarcely warrant a special mention. The specimen above was discovered intact near the Old Fort a couple of months ago, before it had been spotted by the gulls that scavenge along the strandline.

    8 February 2001

    Empty egg cases of the Thornback Ray (left) and Dogfish (right) are found washed up on the strandline by Andy Horton and Ray Hamblett.
    Mermaid's Purse (BMLSS Information)

    1 August 2000
    Snakelocks Anemone (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)A most unusual appearance on Kingston Beach was a solitary  Snakelocks Anemone, which reach their most easterly point of distribution up the English Channel (northern coast) at Worthing, with an occasional stragglers on the shore at Shoreham, and 
    almost entirely absent (one record only in 100+ visits) from Brighton

    1 August 2000
    The Marine Wildlife Forum of the NE Atlantic commences.

    Dogfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)

    Moon Jellyfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)May 1999 
    Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, swarming in thousands in Shoreham Harbour, Sussex. This jellyfish is common and widespread throughout the oceans of the world and is common all around the coast of Britain. It would not deserve a special comment if they had been recorded regularly at this location before - they had been for about 4 years, but not in so many numbers. The largest specimens reached 25 cm in diameter. In some specimens the four rounded pinkish masses, which are the gonads could be seen. An occasional specimen had 6 rings.

    Rockpooling Page
    Zonation on the Shore

    Longshore Drift

    Longshore drift occurs as a result of wave action. Propelled by the dominant south-west winds1 the wave (the swash) hits the shingle beach and moves the pebbles obliquely up the shore and the backwash returns the pebble at right-angles, the following waves repeating the process so that the pebbles gradually move along the shore. The larger pebbles are to be found higher up the beach as the swash is more powerful than the backwash. On Shoreham Beach the Environmental Agency interfere with the natural process by moving large amounts of shingle back to where they were washed away from, to protect the housing developments on the foreshore. 

    1The prevailing winds over Britain are from the south-west. These propel the waves on to the shore on both sides of the English Channel. However, on other coasts the prevailing winds blow out to the sea and the dominant waves that crash on to the shore come from other directions, e.g. from the north-east on the North Sea coasts, causing longshore drift from north to south.

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