Low water this morning was exceptional, in fact the tide went out so far the outfall pipe off the Western Undercliff, Ramsgate was visible.
Adopting a different search pattern I started surveying the base rocks of the Western breakwater.
It was surprising how many oysters had attached themselves to the rocks and how the quantities were denser the further I went out to the low water mark. At the low water mark itself most of the rocks were completely covered in oysters to a point where the rocks were barely visible. I took a few photographs and the one I have posted highlights this point.
Further inshore the wind backed spring tide had pushed everything into one corner of the beach. This had also brought in quantities of plastic mostly bottles and pieces of buoys. Amongst the fine weed I counted 39 dog fish egg cases and 11 mermaid purses. This now brings my total for this quarter to 324 dogfish egg cases and 143 mermaid purses from seven surveys since February 2010.
There were not many seabirds around, probably because the wind was blowing head on into the areas where I normally see them foraging. I counted only 21 Turnstones and for the first time I counted 7 Sanderlings all in the more sheltered areas of the groynes and out of the wind.
As it was such a low tide I paced out the width of the rocks from the bases of the promenade. From the base of the promenade it works out that the width of the Western Undercliff rocks is around 100 paces where it meets the sand. It was also noticeable that ten paces before reaching the sand there are many oysters loosely attached to the chalk , this is visable the full length of the rocks in both directions, which just happens to be the favourite haunt of the seabirds. From where the sand meets the rocks it takes a further 20 paces before the mud/clay is above the ankles. It was at that point as luck would have it I found a scallop shell about 50 mm across for my collection.