We are visiting Bognor Regis for few days to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary at the place where we got married. The following photos show what I found on a walk this morning from our holiday rental cottage to and along the beach. I was able to see that the beach is divided into several distinct habitats, from the hot dry barren uplands of the upper beach lorded over by the birds, to the fertile downlands around the sand pools, with a much wider variety of life evident.
Under the pier – the realm of the worms.
Although near the sea and damp, this area surprisingly turned out to be quite barren with only worm casts evident. There was minimal vegetation present which was near the pilons of the pier where they met the sand. The picture below shows the variety of forms of the worm casts.
The realm of the birds – the upper open beach:
The realm of the crustaceans – the sand pools in the fertile lower beach:
The realm of the crustaceans (rock pools – although here they are sand pools near the shoreline which are exposed for only short periods of time to the sun: I have always been a great fan of shoreline seawater pools – the excitement if turning overxacrock to find out what lives under it has never left me. Interestingly, today, I found that although the beech at Bognor Regis dies not have traditional rock pools, shadow sand pools with similar characteristics form in the sand near the sea/shore boundary at low tide around small rocks and these can survive the time between the tide coming back up again. Looking in these today and turning over a few rock’s I found two crabs, one if which had very soft shell, and numerous shrimp-like creatures, a centipede/millipede, molluscs, and a variety if seaweed forms, demonstrating the diversity of life in this area:
Evidence of the realm of the deep sea:
There was also evidence of another habitat in deep water. Lobster pots indicated deep sea creatures caught for food and calcium carbonate worm tubes on those casts the smaller creatures that also lived there.