Around mid day at 11:30am I carried out my first coastal survey of the Western Undercliff Ramsgate for the Thanet Coast Project. The tide was high so it was really a quick check of the strandline and making a few observations. The sea was calm there was a cold bite in the air , perfect conditions for a survey. Following on from my recent survey of the Ramsgate main sands and the East Pier I was really expecting to find masses of dead Velvet Swimmer crabs. In fact I did not come across any dead crabs of any species. Which in a way did come as a relief because it convinced me the recent deaths of over 1500 swimmer crabs in one area was a result of the tide picking up dead crabs from further along the coast off the chalk reef and aided with a Northerly backed wind, depositing the whole lot in one area by the East Pier.
On the strandline I counted 15 turnstones foraging amongst flotsam on the strandline, there was very little noticeable Winter kill apart from a few Oysters that had bedded on a insecure foundation and ended up swept away in the tide and deposited on the beach.
Amongst the weed I must have counted over 70+ dogfish eggs sacs and about a dozen Mermaid purses all empty. I did come across something that has been intriguing me since I first started surveying the area almost a year ago., and that is small plastic tubes with pink ends which I have taken a photograph of . Every time I survey the Western Undercliff I always find a few in different areas of the beach, maybe they are the same ones each time but I will find out for sure because on the next survey I am taking a permanent marker and I am going to write my name on them and see where they end up
Finally, my last observation was the coal dust that was in the waves of approaching tide. Last year there was a bank of sea coal in one area of the beach and I wondered where did it all come from. It lasted until the spring and then it disappeared, so I am assuming that between December and March there is a silting process of sea coal and then it disappears in the Spring only to return in the Winter. So I have taken a photograph for the records.