Storm Imogen has coincided with the new moon spring tides. The waves are being blown hard against the sand cliffs on Penrhos Beach, eating away the faces that had already become unstable from the incessant rains and winds.
Storm Imogen driving the waves onto Penrhos Beach
Sand slip – before the storm (now gone)
The sea has come right through one of the breaches NRW dug last winter and is now onto the Postman’s Path
Although the winds are set to ease and the waves get smaller, the tides over the next few days will be even higher, so there will probably be more changes to the shoreline before the week is out.
Amongst the flotsam washed ashore by the storm was one of the pink HP printer cartridges the BBC reported on at the start of the year. The cartridges went overboard from a shipment more than a year ago and have been washing up on shores around the UK and Europe ever since. This is the first one I’ve found.
HP cartridge – the first I’ve found
The stormy tide seems to have swept away much of the goose barnacle covered flotsam and jetsam that was accumulating on the beach. Each year there seem to be more and more of these barnacles washed ashore.
Goose barnacles on a glass bottle
Goose barnacles on a plastic bottle
There are more storms still to come, but the highest tides are behind us. Penrhos Beach (the one to the west of Llanddwyn Island) has been remodelled by the elements: all the sand cliffs have been cut back and there are sand-slides all the way along.
Sand-slides slumped all along the foot of the sand-cliffs at Traeth Penrhos Beach
A fresh sand-slide: the fresh face of the dunes is still very unstable.
The path that used to run along the crest of the dunes now leads straight off the edge:)
The little path along the crest of the dunes now leads straight over the edge. Byddwch yn ofalus! Take care!
Another day, another storm. As expected, the boardwalk at Newborough beach has collapsed and is sliding into the sea:(
Newborough viewing platform sliding into the sea
Overnight, the beach has eroded back by about three metres, completely undermining the front legs of the platform. The legs have dropped down by about one metre to the new beach level.
Under the boardwalk – the erosion
Here’s an updated picture from today (Saturday 4th Jan).
Broken: the viewing platform, Newborough
Sunset from the viewing platform, Newborough
It’s only a year since the viewing platform at the edge of Newborough beach was built, but its future is already looking a little precarious. The dunes it is built on have eroded back by about four metres, meaning the platform is now teetering on the very edge of them. And with the new moon and high tides of the new year coming together with the persistent storms, who knows what will happen. A good reason to make the most of it now:)
Happy New Year – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
Incongruous but beautiful, so late in the year the yuccas at the edge of the forest are flowering.
Unopened flower buds
Amidst the spiky leaves the stems of the yuccas lie broken and sprawling on the ground, but they’re still growing strong.
If the fancy takes you, you can eat yucca flowers: their texture is a little bit like iceberg lettuce and their flavour a little bit like freshly podded peas – quite nice really:)
The beach crows eke out their living by scavenging and foraging at the water’s edge and in the strandlines. They’re just regular carrion crows (Corvus corone) but have carved out a specialist niche for themselves at the beach.
Beach crows are quite happy with their feet in the water
Beach crows spend a fair bit of time picking sand hoppers and sand flies from sea weed that washes ashore.
Sometimes they find a piece of crab or a shellfish and they’ll fly up and drop it on the rocks to break into it – just like the seagulls do
Last night’s strong winds and stormy seas have left their mark on the new boardwalk at Newborough: it now ends abruptly on the edge of a mini cliff of sand.
The boardwalk section that has been undermined at Newborough beach
The sections of the boardwalk that are missing have been washed along the shore.
And some of the boards that have been washed along the shore.
A cardinal marker buoy has also broken free from its moorings and is now sitting high on the beach near the main car park. The black fins on the marker buoy indicate the direction to which mariners should pass – in this case, as the arrows are pointing downwards, boats should’ve sailed to the south side of the buoy (when it was in situ, obviously).
And the marker buoy that has broken free and washed ashore.