Lee-On-The-Solent 22nd September 2019

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The 22nd September will go down in history…. ok that’s an exaggeration but it will certainly be remembered by those who attended as the wettest UKAFH hunt of recent times.

Lee had some choice weather to test our resolve. I arrived early hoping to grab a cuppa and a bacon sandwich from The Shack but the owner had clearly seen the forecast and stayed home! Nicky arrived shortly after and having given her the bad news about no bacon sandwich, we donned our waterproofs and waited for people to arrive.

Once we had all assembled I gave a truncated talk in the pouring rain about the “Eocene optimal climate period” and Nicky and I showed examples of what we could expect to find. Then we headed off to the fossils, pleasingly close to the car park at this location.

The first hour hunting was spent in heavy rain and was a bit lean with the finds, although within a minute of getting to the shingle Nicky found a shark tooth that gave everyone encouragement.

We got lucky for about half an hour around low tide when the rain lifted and finds increased.

Quite a few Ray plates and shark teeth were found as well as the some nice bivalves and gastropods. Aside that there were a few different finds; Lesley found a wonderful Micraster echinoid, easily the best example I’ve seen from here.

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Nickynoid (oops did I reveal her nickname 😀) loves echinoids was very excited to see that.

Daniel Free was lucky to find a piece of turtle carapace from Emys with a rib attachment showing.

One young man had an exceptional days hunting. Peter Bines found by far the largest shark tooth of the day at over 4cm, the smallest tooth of the day and a chunk of bone I tentatively identified as alligator rib. (Corrections welcome) and a lovely shark tooth on the way back to the car park.

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It was lovely to encourage our young guests. They ran over with various pebbles for me to identify, occasionally hanging around in case there was something to find. Sometimes there was and they “found” a plate or a tooth. I loved drawing the square in the shingle and having not only Aaron but also his Dad searching. Aaron’s cool reaction when he finally found it was funny!

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The rain returned in earnest at about 12 and by then many had got wet enough. I don’t blame them at all. A few people stayed till the end and Peter was rewarded with the last nice tooth of the hunt.

Despite the weather it was a great hunt with some good finds from some enthusiastic people! Not going to lie, hope when we next go back we get luckier with the weather!

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