Following on from yesterday's survey of the Western Undercliff, today at 13:40 hrs I surveyed the Ramsgate main sands. This was certainly a different kettle of fish as the bitterly cold North East force five wind was blowing hard off the sea and hitting the beach at an angle causing a great deal of surf which was sweeping the beach in a irregular wave pattern. There were no small sea birds like turnstones to be seen as they prefer the sheltered waters around the groynes of the Western Undercliff. However, the Herring gulls were hovering high above following the strandline keeping a careful eye on the activity below.
The landscape of the beach had changed from last week due to the wind and tide direction and everything seemed to be flat with brown flint littering the beach.The strandline was very patchy with very little weed, so I started from the East Pier end and walked the full length recording everything as I went along. The count was very low recording 6 mermaid purses and 9 (hatched) dog fish egg cases and 19 whelk egg cases. There were no sea shells or dead crabs to be seen.
I did find a dead sea bird which I am unable to identify which I have photographed. Like most fisherman from the past I only know the names of the sea birds by the names we give them and not their proper names. One thing for sure it was not a squeaker or should I say a Tern as I understand Tern's very well from the days we we used to spin for Bass off the offshore Margate Sandbanks. The technique was simply, we would anchor the boat in the bight off the Margate Sands and I would spot for Terns. The Terns would fly high up and would squeak to each other as they could see shoals of Bass chasing small shoals of fish ready to force them up to the surface. From the squeaking and the changing flight pattern it enabled us to work out what the Bass were doing. Eventually it became possible to work out were the shoal would break the surface . The Terns would then catch the small fish as the shoal broke the surface and we would catch the Bass on spinners.
Now I am a coast warden the chart of sea birds given to me by the Thanet Coast Project has made identification far more accurate.Following on from the survey once again I found small ball of lost netting and I am beginning to think that lost netting has a habit of following me around the coast. Being prepared as usual I had a dustbin bag in my pocket to put it in so it can be disposed of without causing anymore danger to the marine environment.
I came across one good find amongst the flints, and that was a piece of fossilized clam about 160mm long and about 50 mm across attached to a piece of flint. It is curved with the ridges 0f the clam visible and this will make a great edition to my new year 2010 collection of the coast.