Report by Chris Cole
West Beach, Selsey, 27th April, 13th June and Bracklesham 16th June 2010.
This is my first report posting since 2nd March 2010. I was out of the country for most of April and collecting at the above 2 locations has been poor. I have done a year on year comparison based on my own experience and have concluded that this has been the worse start to a year since 2004. This is not to say that good specimens have not been found, but the volumes and quality have not been so good.
Having said that, I can confirm that I found my first fossilised lobster (in over 30 years of collecting at this site) at West Beach on 27th April 2010. The find was located in a barren patch in S7i. It still needs some preservation work but I have included a photo of it alongside a real Selsey Lobster for comparison. Initial thoughts are that this is Homarus sp. but would welcome comments any crustacean experts may be able to offer. I have failed to locate any other records of such a find at Selsey.
Selsey Lobster (Homarus sp.)??
Poor tides really restricts access to any serious fossil collecting from West Beach although there are some small exposures at the eastern end of S7i. My visit to West Beach on 13th June 2010 yielded just 3 teeth which can be seen at the top of the photo below. Although the low tide was estimated to be 0.8m, the top of the old flag post was barely visible at 1730hrs.
I visited Bracklesham for the 0835 low tide of 0.5m on 16th June 2010. The North Easterly wind took the tide a long way out. There was a considerable amount of "shell debris" in front of the car park. This area proved to be the most productive. I found about 20 sharks teeth. To the east, the E3 section was covered but there was quite a bit of the Turritella Bed (E4) and a small area of the Palate Bed (E5) exposed. I confess that I did pick up a gastropod (Gastro Globularia??) in E4 but did not find any sharks teeth, ray fragments or vertebrae in these exposures. A sample of my Bracklesham finds can be seen in the lower part of the photo below.