Monday, 11 July 2016

Grey seal at Peacehaven

Interesting report from Phil of a grey seal observed from the lower esplanade at Peacehaven 9th July. Phil had three brief sightings of the seal at about 3.30 pm. The seal was swimming eastwards, 20-30 m from the shore at high tide. Phil described the longer muzzle and large body size of a grey seal.

Phil also reported a dead gannet he found washed up on the small beach beyond the western end of the Peacehaven esplanade on Wed 6th July

Sunday, 26 June 2016

National Insect Week Event Shoreham Beach

An Insect talk and walk led by myself took place on Sunday 26th June at the Harbour Club and on Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve as part of celebrations taking place nationwide for National Insect Week which runs from 20-26 June 2016.
This free event was part of the programme of educational events sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Grant Awards for All.
The PowerPoint presentation at the Harbour Club discussed the rare vegetated shingle habitat and its special adaptations before I spoke about some of the insects that can be found on the shingle plants and also the importance of pollinators to the shingle plants.
I explained how vegetated shingle is only a partial habitat for insects as the shingle plants die back and lay dormant for several months of the year.

I discussed how and why the gardens adjacent to the nature reserve are important to the invertebrates (especially outside the flowering period of the shingle plants and during bad weather) and also as nesting and hibernation sites for bees.
The gardens on Shoreham Beach are an important extension to the nature reserve habitats. The talk concluded with ways we can all help these valuable insects.
I also addressed invasive species and explained how invasive plants such as red valerian and silver ragwort can entice pollinators to this ‘easy’ nectar source causing them to ignore the smaller shingle plants that area much smaller source of nectar with a risk that they may die out on the beach.

Following the talk everyone meet by the Shoreham Fort for an exploration of the shingle plants for insects.
Several species of bee where on the wing including red tailed bumble bee, buff/white tailed bumble bee, common carder bee, honey bee and two solitary bee species.
Other insects included several garden tiger moth caterpillars, butterfly (small white) several small moths (we disturbed but did not settle in view) 7 spot lady birds, hoverflies,
iridescent thick knee flower beetles, juvenile grasshoppers, a small blue damselfly (probably from a garden pond) and a yellow field ant mound in the grass.
Not an insect, but another surprise find, was a tiny common frog (from this year’s hatching) and a small toad, probably last year’s hatching both of which also probably case from adjacent gardens.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Common seal Rustington

I received a seal sighting today from Jackie and her friend her were walking along beach front at Rustington on the 14th March.
They spotted the seal at 3.00pm and watched the seal for 30 minutes 'bobbing up and down' its head above water.
Jackie sent me a photograph from which it was possible to see it was a common seal. 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Common dolphin off the coast at Brighton

I received a sighting of a dolphin from Jess and her partner who spotted a dolphin swimming near Brighton's West Pier on Sunday 6th March.

I have since had a further report on 9th March and a photo from BDMLR  that shows it’s a common dolphin – this time breaching out of the water.

Common dolphins are seen occasionally near shore off Sussex but its not as common as its name suggests. BDMLR will be keeping an eye on the situation in case the dolphin needs assistance.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Grey Seal rescue

I received a report from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) about a small poorly seal at Selsey Bill.  BDMLR telephoned Trevor Weeks Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service (WRAS).

The seal turned out to be a young grey seal, which was transferred over to WRAS's ambulance and drive back to WRAS's Casualty Care Centre where WRAS's vet Mike met them and helped assess the seals condition.

The seal had a high temperature, and breathing difficulties and was treated by the vet with  antibiotics and fluids to help the seal rehydrate. The seal is stayed with WRAS over night was moved on to the RSPCA Malladams Centre where they have facilities for rescued seals.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Common seal river Adur, Shoreham.

Another common seal sighting in the River Adur, between the Airport footbridge and flyover
The sighting was reported by Joe Lines between 1:30 and 3:00pm

Joe said he was amazed to see the seal looking so content and even seemed to enjoy the attention from people on the river bank.

Seals are very curious animals, especially where they feel
All photos copyright Joe Lines 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Common Seal River Adur

Another sighting of the common seal in the River Adur.

This was forwarded by Sam (below is a picture taken by her husband) at 4.00 pm opposite the wooden heron on the sandbank opposite Ricardo' s

Sadly no natural spot pattern marking visible to identify it as an individual.