Sunday, 3 December 2017

Grey Seal Worthing

A (probable) grey seal was observed yesterday by Greg while walking his dog along Worthing seafront opposite Heene terrace in the evening.

The seal was on the beach a few feet above the tide line. Greg said “when it saw me, I retreated so as not to alarm!” “he seemed just as surprised to see me as I him!”

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Grey Seal Goring West Sussex

A grey seal was spotted just west of Goring Gap, by John and Shena doing a spot of birding. The large seal was swimming leisurely eastwards and parallel to the coast at 13:10. They estimated the seal was no more than 40 feet from shore. There was a high tide that had just begun to fall.

Monday, 30 October 2017

seal and dog interaction

A seal was observed by Svetlana at 7.10am between Elmer Sands and Climping beach. Svetlana had been running her dog, which she does frequently.

Afterwards she went for a swim with her dog (large German shepherd). Not long after entering the water she saw a big head about 100 meters from them. At first she was a bit wary. She continued to swim with the dog the head surfaced about 10 m in front of her

Svetlana said “My dog decided to swim to him and say ‘hello’ but I immediately turned around, strongly shouting to my dog and get out of water”.
This an interesting sighting. Over the years there have been a few encounters where seals have shown an interest in dogs, occasionally in the water main from shore from the beach and from the river bank.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Grey Seal Beachy Head

I have just received a report of a grey seal 17th September. This was a single  Grey Seal (probably male) observed from the sandy beach at Falling Sands, below Beachy Head, TV 592 954 at 7pm.

The seal's head was above water, looking round, some 50 yards from the water's edge, for about 30 minutes or more. It was low tide and the seal may have been waiting to come ashore.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Tide Pool and Microscope Cam Event

Rock pools and microscope demonstration was the second of our rock pooling events. 2 weeks ago we ran our annual family tide pool event at the beach inside the mouth at Shoreham Harbour, by the Shoreham Fort.

Today I helped run the second event for Friends of Shoreham Beach (LNR). Again families were invited to collect a few sea creatures to observe. This time, instead of placing them in special tanks at the top of the beach, the creatures were brought up to me, based in the Shoreham Fort Nissan Hut.  Each creature was then placed underneath a microscope cam and projected on a TV screen.

So the aim was to find some of the smaller tide pool animals to examine.
Some of the larger animals included prawns, shore crabs, sea anemones, a cockle and a rock goby. There were also smaller specimens of prawns, common goby, amphipods, marine worms, edible periwinkle.
Various small juvenile shore crabs were also collected each having its own unique camouflage pattern providing clues to the part of shore the crab lived.
Highlight of the session had to be the two juvenile pipefish  (above)collected by one of the children.

We have found juvenile pipefish on previous occasions but always a rare find on this beach.

A very enjoyable morning, lots of fascinated and excited visitors.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Year 10 explore the coastal geography of Shoreham Beach

Year 10 Class from St Andrews School visited Shoreham Beach over 4 days studying Coastal Geography.
The students used raging poles and clinometers to measure the profile of the beach, starting at the waters edge and measuring subsequent berms created by the waves.

The clinometers measures the difference of the angle between each pole, allowing the students to plot the changes in the incline as they make their way up the beach.

The students also selected 10 random pebbles from a quadrat placed on the beach in each section to calculate the average pebble size.
The students also marked the position of the strandline, sea weeds and also the shingle plant communities at the top of the beach.
This was followed by exploration of the shingle plant ecosystem. We also discussed the local and global threats to this beach and the shingle habitat including climate change, coastal erosion and sea level rise.

There are many threats to shingle habitat one of which is compaction of the shingle by beach visitors, which has led to a path at the top of the beach with no plants growing.  Recently a boardwalk has been constructed on a section of this path. 
The second task we set the students was to create a beach profile of this path looking at 'Sphere of Influence'.

One transect would look at the compacted path, the second transect would focus on the new boardwalk.
The task was to see if the boardwalk has encouraged regeneration of the shingle plants in the boardwalk section.
The students took measurements every 8 metres. At each point, from the centre, the students would measure north until they reached the nearest shingle plant.

They would repeat the same to the south.

We are looking forward to a summary of the students data as this will be very useful to our work on the reserve.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Herring gull chicks test flights

All around my home there is the sound of demanding herring gull chicks as their are several nests nearby. I also keep a close on the nest, on the roof tops behind our bungalow, between the stacks of the chimney.
They have reared three chicks, perfectly camouflaged on the roof tops.
Today they have started to practice flight in earnest, leaping from the ridge of the roof and landing further down the tiles, before marching back up to the top and having another go.

As soon as one of the chicks start to exercise its wings, the parents go into defence mode, shouting at anyone or anything that come close.
Or dives on any potential intruder