Friday, 9 November 2007

Forecasts ....and actuals

9am : The predicted tidal surge is heading south, and the critical aspect appears to be where the surge meets high tide.
The graph below shows the predicted (i.e. normal) tide heights at Deal yesterday and today, compared with the actual (the red line). Overnight high tide was about a metre higher than expected, and low tide at 5am was 1½m higher.

The problems are not helped by the increasing wave heights, as shown below:

With high tide due at 11am, it will be interesting to see what happens. A better way of seeing what happens might, of course, be standing on Deal seafront or Sandwich Quay!

5pm addendum -
the graph shows that the expected high tide level at 11am was exceeded by nearly two metres, and that by 5pm had returned to the expected 'normal' level.

I saw the sun rise over Palm Bay, Margate, this morning before work, in the hope of seeing some displaced birds - apart from a handful of Kittiwakes among the gulls flying into the wind, there was nothing to report. A few Pomeranian Skuas and Little Auks have been reported elsewhere (including Herne Bay) so we'll see how things develop.

Black-headed Gull

The wind had whipped up the spume (if that's the right phrase) at Botany Bay, and some of it was blown up and over the cliffs. At both of the high tide roosts (Fayreness and Foreness) there were virtually no birds apart from a very few turnstones and sanderlings. Both roosting areas were much smaller than usual, due to the high level of the sea (it should be noted that this was just 1½ hours after low tide!)

Below Fayreness

Below Foreness

The question arises, if the customary roosts have been abandoned, where have all the waders gone? Other areas like Pegwell Bay will also be inundated, so roosting and feeding points will be at a premium.

1pm - the question above is partly answered, as a few waders were spotted in the marram grass of the dunes that remained above water at high tide.

Purple Sandpiper & Black-headed Gull

Turnstone & Grey Plover

The beach at Botany Bay at high tide - usually the strand is at least 20 yards wide, giving ample roosting space at high tide. The undercliff walk at Palm Bay (below) is usually dry too.

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