Spring Makeover at Weymouth Beach

Fresh clean sand newly distributed over Weymouth Beach

Playing with sand on an industrial scale at Weymouth Beach in Dorset this week, earth moving machinery has been restoring the shore to pristine condition by redistributing imported sand – ensuring plenty for sun-bathing and sand castle-making before the better weather and the influx of visitors arrive in this new season.

Piles of imported sand on Weymouth Beach

Piles of imported sand on Weymouth Beach

Piles of imported sand on Weymouth Beach

Piles of imported sand on Weymouth Beach

Mechanical digger moving fresh sand on Weymouth Beach

Mechanical digger moving fresh sand on Weymouth Beach

Mechanical digger moving fresh sand on Weymouth Beach

Mechanical digger moving fresh sand on Weymouth Beach

Sand Ripples on Weymouth Beach

Seashore sand ripple patterns

These pictures were taken yesterday on the beach at Weymouth in Dorset, UK.   Very different from the sand patterns on Rhossili Beach shown previously. Some natural sand ripple designs that I’ve never seen/noticed before!

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

Seashore sand ripple patterns

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Pierside reflections

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Reflections of metal supports and white-painted railings from a seaside pier upon the surface of the surrounding sea – with glimpses of eel grass beds seen through the clear shallow water.

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Weymouth seaside swingboats

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (1)

Oh, I do like to be by the seaside,

Oh, I do like to be beside the sea…………..

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK.

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (2)

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (3)

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (4)

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (5)

Brightly painted swingboats on the golden sands at Weymouth, Dorset, UK (6)

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Turban Top seashells from Weymouth

An assortment of Turban Top Shells washed out by winter waves from rotted seaweed lying buried under sand at Weymouth, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1)

I love the colours, patterns and sculpted look of Turban Top Shells – Gibbula magus (Linnaeus). I found loads of them on Weymouth Beach recently. I was surprised to find them there because usually I find only Slipper Limpets. The Turban Tops were all sorts of sizes and conditions. Some were intact with beautiful red zig zag stripey patterns. Others were worn, broken and faded. Many were covered in a strange organic-looking textured reddish-brown coating. 

At the top of the sandy shore there were low-lying mounds concealing an old strandline of accumulated detritus that included large quantities of well-rotted seaweed. Winter waves had been eroding these deposits away and releasing the buried Turban Tops. The whole process was being speeded up by numerous pairs of large black crows that were systematically searching the beach for food. The bird pairs had divided up the territory and were leaving no piece of debris unturned in their patch.

There are earlier posts about these shells and the animals that occupy them. Click here for more information about Turban Top Shells in Jessica’s Nature Blog.

Side view of a Turban Top Shell with red pattern from an old buried strandline at Weymouth, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2) 

The underside and aperture of a red patterned Turban Top Shell from a buried strandline on Weymouth Beach, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (3) 

An assortment of Turban Top Shells, mostly showing the underside, from a buried strandline beneath the sand at Weymouth, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (4) 

An assortment of Turban Top Shells, mostly showing the apices and spiral whorls, from a buried strandline beneath the sand at Weymouth, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (5) 

Paired black birds picking over the organic debris on the strandline on a particularly dismal winter day at Weymouth , Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (6) 

Revision of a post first published 6 February 2010

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A spikey cockle at Weymouth

A living cockle with spines on the shell from Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (1)

I found this spikey-shelled cockle on the beach at Weymouth. The tide was out and had left a series of shallow sandy ripples. Bait diggers had created some deep holes and I think that was how the cockle came to be lying on the surface in a ripple valley. It was sucking in water and periodically squirting it out.

I am not sure of its identity. It looks a lot like the Spiny Cockles (Acanthocardia aculeata) I find on Gower beaches but its overall appearance, size, and the sharpness of the spines make me think it is either a Prickly (Acanthocardia echinata) or a Rough Cockle (Acanthocardia tuberculata). Because it was alive and I returned it to the sediments, I could not examine the teeth in the hinge area or the inside of the shell, which would have provided vital clues. I’ll have to look out for empty Acanthocardia shells on the beach when I next visit Weymouth.

Click here for more pictures and information about Spiny Cockles in Jessica’s Nature Blog.

Another view of a living cockle with spines on the shell from Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (2)

A different view of a living cockle with spines on the shell from Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (3)

Another aspect of a living cockle with spines on the shell from Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (4)

Detail of the ribs and spines on an undetermined species of cockle shell found at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (5)

Detail of the ornamentation on an undetermined species of cockle shell found at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (6)

Detail of the umbones and external hinge area of an undetermined species of cockle shell found at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (7)

Detail of an undetermined species of cockle shell found at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (8)

Detail of the crenellated valve margins of an undetermined species of cockle shell found at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (9)

A living cockle with spiny shell lying on wet sand ripples at Weymouth Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (10)

View of Weymouth Beach at low tide showing wet sand ripples where the spikey-shelled cockle was found alive, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (11) 

Revision of a post first published 1 February 2010

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