Monday, 22 September 2014

Exploring the Foreshore at Rimac

A walk led by John Loft. 21st September 2014

It was a blustery afternoon with a threat of showers when 27 members and their cars crowded into the car park at Rimac. The apparel ranged from fully kitted lifeboat man to a light anorak and trainers. I was delighted to see so many new faces from the LAG catchment area, many of whom were already LWT members, together with a couple from the Boston Area Group.

John gave us a quick briefing about the structure of the sand dunes and salt marsh at Rimac. It is a classic example of an 'accretion coast' whereby colonising plants form a series of sand dunes and salt marshes. We straggled along behind John across the salt marsh looking at the seed heads of Sea lavender and Sea aster with Scurvy grass, Sea purslane and Perennial glasswort underfoot. However, it took a little time to identify the Cord grass seed heads. There were a few waders on the large lagoon in the middle of the marsh; we heard the Snipe and Curlew before we saw them.

We crested the large sand dune and gazed in awe at a magnificent beach with Grey seals cavorting in the creek which was the outflow from the River Eau. They seemed to be as interested in us as we were in them. There were Cormorants drying their wings on the bank and a large group of gulls and Shelduck on the edge of a marsh. The body of a gannet with a 6 foot wing span was resting on the sand. It must have been a recent death as the striking blue pigment of the bill and feet was still very bright.

We could see clumps of the Common glasswort (edible samphire/samfer) growing on the sand with muddy sediment forming around the stems. In some cases Cord grass had grown to form little islands and as one moved back to the established dunes Marram grass and its deep roots strengthened the dune against wave action. The red stemmed Sea sandwort and the delicately flowered Sea rocket were still in flower at the edge of the dunes and some scrubby Sea buckthorn was beginning to spread.

The tide was coming in fast. It was time to go. As John guided us back to the car park some us of had a close look at a Grey plover in its winter plumage. Thanks John for a great outing. RW
Bird list: Cormorant, Little egret, Teal, Oystercatcher, Grey plover, Little stint(?), Snipe, Black-tailed godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Herring gull, Greater black-backed gull, Skylark, Swallow, Carrion crow, Starling, Linnet. Dead Gannet & Heron.
Ray Woodcock

John mentioned the Sea Aster Mining Bee. Here's something I wrote about it last year. It's really a rather curious creature.
Biff Vernon