Monday, 1 March 2010

Something Completely Different

Having noticed that a very low tide was forecast for today, I decided to do something a bit different and go to Seatown, (not a town just a couple of cottages and a pub) just over the border in Dorset for a spot of fossil hunting. I got dressed up in all my waterproof, wind-proof  and thermal gear and consequently nearly died of heatstroke as the morning wore on. I should have looked at the weather forecast too! I absolutely love Seatown, without doubt one of my all-time favourite spots. Having said that, I don't recall having visited for a couple of years, too busy birding I suppose.

Looking west down Seatown beach. The Cliffs along here are some of the most unstable in the country with frequent rockfalls. In fact all the while I was there today pieces were continually falling. It's very dangerous to linger at the foot of them. Several years ago when my kids were still quite young, we were standing quite near to the base of the cliffs here when a large lump of mud and rock (about the size of a small car) fell onto the beach no more than 20 feet away from us, the ground shook and we were splattered with mud. We were also a little shaken to say the least!

Keeping well away from the foot of the cliff  I headed towards these rocks on the shoreline.

Others didn't. 
A 'serious' fossil hunter walking around on one of the larger landslips complete with garden spade!

A large section of ammonite shell on a piece of mudstone. 
Lots of the fossils are like this one, being only about 1mm thick and very fragile.
The fossils I was looking for today are much tougher, are golden and can be found anywhere on the shingle beach. Finding them isn't easy however, for they are very small and the beach very big!! But if you look between the fallen rocks as the tide recedes they tend to collect in pockets.

Easy see!
 A teeny weeny pyritized ammonite. 
 I collected a few and made my way back along the beach. The view looking east was breathtaking this afternoon, I mean, just look at it....

I'm speechless.

Back at the village I couldn't believe it was only the first day of March.
 The pub beer garden was almost full!

Token bird photo. 
I saw four of these, a Peregrine and a Stonechat

Some of today's finds. Four pyritized ammonites and a a nice little chunk of  iron pyrites.
If you think they're boring take a look at this beauty..

A piece of 190 million year old fossilized wood, does it get any better than that!?

A close up of one of the ammonites, those wavy lines you can see are called suture lines and on this specimen they are very intricate indeed. The patterning of them makes it a Phylloceras, but don't quote me on that for I studied Palaeontology over 20 years ago!!


Wilma said...

What a great day you had! I am quite envious.

Anonymous said...

Smart fossils Karen. The only ones i find up here & inland are decent chunks of Lepidodendrons, on the pit-stacks.