It is well over a month since the mass winter death of Velvet Swimmer crabs around the Thanet Coast. Where at Ramsgate on the main sands I estimated that more than 1,500 crabs died.
A few days ago I revisted the area where I found the dead crabs and to my surprise a bank of shingle had built up on the same spot where I first came across the dead crabs.
Nothing ceases to amaze me when it comes to Ramsgate main sands as it is clearly the the most volatile stretch of the sand on the Thanet Coast in rough weather . The beach can change its shape as quick as the wind changes in direction, and when the wind has a touch of North or East in it there is always something to new to discover.
After a few weeks of varied weather conditions the remains of the dead Velvet Swimmer crabs are nothing more than legs and broken shell. The strandline has also changed and the most noticable thing is the amount of whelk egg sacs that have turned up, they are larger and are heavier than normal plus they have this freshness about them. I took a photograph but unfortunately forgot to add something to give some idea of scale. I counted 75 large ones for my Thanet Coast Project survey sheet plus I recorded dog fish egg sacs and mermaid purses which all add up to a fair bit of breeding on the off shore sandbanks.
I should also add to readers outside Thanet , that Ramsgate main sands is a sandy beach with a fair amount of flint below the strandline. During the winter months the tide will leave piles of flint in certain parts of the beach then after a short period of time will disperse them.