Today I carried out my second survey of the Western Undercliff Ramsgate this morning at 8:50 am. It was low water when I arrived and the tide had started to come in. My first impression was how clean everything seemed to be and this reflected from my survey of the strandline. Gone was the litter and the pieces of plastic as everything on the strandline was natural from the marine environment. Being a short stretch around 100 metres it was easy to record things in detail. I counted 40 mermaid purses and around 30 lesser spotted dogfish egg sacs which is down on previous surveys, also there were no crab deaths to report which is strange as the East Pier side of the Harbour is a graveyard of crab shells following the recent cold spell. The only winter kill were the razor fish shells and oysters I came across as I walked the full length of the base of the promenade. Even the amount of razor shells and dead oysters were normal for this time of the year. Looking towards the low water mark I counted 23 Turnstones and 17 Oyster catchers foraging amongst the rocks on the low water mark, surprisingly there were 4 Rooks on the higher rocks getting in on the act. Walk back along the base of the promenade wall I picked up as much debris as I could of a man made origin and left the area in its natural state. The haul included disposable batteries, fishing tackle, beer cans and pieces of metal all to be recycled.
As mentioned in a previous posting there was sea coal present on the beach and this was a small patch about a few metres across in diameter. Its main consistency were the small pieces of coal of the type imported into Ramsgate many years ago for the Gas works. The rest was coal dust mixed with other black mineral which is something completely different from the coating that appeared on Broadstairs main sands a few weeks back. Like all surveys I always come away with a trophy for my collection and this time it was another small piece of Baltic Amber, and this time about the size of a small walnut which is large for this area of the Thanet Coast.
Finally, I rejoined the Marine Conservation Society and everything is now nicely set up for surveys in 2011.