ADUR NATURE NOTES 2008
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages

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2008
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AVIAN FLU 
ADVICE

If you find one or more dead swans, ducks or geese, more than three dead birds of the same species - or more than five dead birds of different species, in the same place, you should contact the Defra helpline on 08459 33 55 77. 


 
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Autumn 2004 
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Bumblebees
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Adur Bees, Wasps & Sawflies
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MAY
JUNE
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AUGUST
 SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph


2008 Regional
Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Intertidal
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature
Southwick


LOCAL NATURE RESERVES

A Nature Reserve is defined in Section 15 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, as land managed for the purpose:
(a) of providing, under suitable conditions and control, special opportunities for the study of, and research into, matters relating to the flora and fauna of Great Britain and the physical conditions in which they live, and for the study of geological and physiographical features of special interest in the area; or
(b) of preserving flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features of special interest in the area; or for both these purposes.

 
MILL HILL
LANCING RING
SHOREHAM BEACH
WIDEWATER

EVENTS


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

Link to the Adur Wildlife Reports for 2009
 

12 November 2008
It came as a great surprise to me to see a large yellow Brimstone Butterfly fly over the top meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill. It flew strongly in the direction of New Erringham. This was the first Brimstone Butterfly recorded in the month of November on these Nature Notes pages. Five minutes later a Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttered amongst the long grass south of the Reservoir on Mill Hill. 
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterfly List 2008

25 September 2008
A Grass Snake slid under a Privet bush is a depression on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but despite looking through the Privet, I could not find out where it was hidden. 
Twelve species of butterfly were seen on a sunny day. 
Full Butterfly Report

10 August 2008
A second brood Dingy Skipper fluttering around in the herb undergrowth at the the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill was difficult to spot on a day on a day too breezy for the flowers to remain still enough to photograph. I had to virtually to tread on many of the blue butterflies to make them take flight so the numbers recorded were low: 26+ Chalkhill Blues including a few females, 48+ Adonis Blues (with no females discerned), and frequent Common Blues (estimated 20+) with almost as many females as males. Twelve species of butterfly were seen on an overcast day.
Another Volucella inanis and a noteworthy Volucella pellucens hoverfly were seen on the Pixie Path in the north-west corner amongst the Ivy. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Skippers

27 July 2008
On warm (21.5 °C) sunny day, an unprecedented 22 species of butterfly were seen (four more than the previous largest day tally in the last eight years of 18). Twenty were seen in two hours in the morning on Mill Hill and its approaches. There were very frequent Large Whites (50+), Gatekeepers (75+), Meadow Browns (50+) and Chalkhill Blues (70), frequent Common Blues (18), occasional Small Skippers (6) and Speckled Woods (8), with just a few of most of the others like Brown Argus (2), Wall Brown (3), Holly Blue (4), Red Admiral (3), Small Heath (3), Brimstone (3), Small White (3), Comma (2), Peacock (2), and just the one confirmed each of Green-veined White, Adonis Blue, Small Blue and a Ringlet
In the afternoon I visited Anchor Bottom and added one Marbled White and a faded Small Tortoiseshell.
The first spectacular Volucella zonaria hoverfly of 2008 was seen amongst the scrub on Mill Hill. 
Falco subuteoFull Butterfly Report

21 July 2008
I was surprised and pleased to see a Falcon* perched on a a fence past on the bridlepath from Slonk Hill Farm north to New Erringham. Originally, the bird was nearer Slonk Hill Farm, but after I disturbed it, it made a distinctive circular flight (which I have seen before) and in a succession of glides it ended up nearer New Erringham where Swallows and Goldfinches were frequently seen. 

*This is yet another one of those dreaded escaped large falcons, having what appears to be Peregrine and Lanner Falcon in its parentage (although I cannot completely rule out a North African Lanner). The patterning of its feathers suggest a juvenile.


15 July 2008
As so often happens when one butterfly species ceases (the Small Blues were not recorded) than fresh butterflies appear with a new brood. The new ones were the occasional Holly Blues in Shoreham town and the outskirts, one Wall Brown over the A27 dual carriageway north of the Dovecote Estate, and a Brimstone Butterfly on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The occasional Peacock Butterflies were fresh as well. 

Chalkhill Blue (male)
Chalkhill Blues were just beginning on Mill Hill with 24 strong flying males noted. The fifteen butterfly species recorded in an hour and a half was the most in a single day this year.
Full Butterfly Report

2 July 2008

Photograph by Doug Thompson

Sparrowhawk flew into out Conservatory in Steyning and landed on the table.

Images

June 2008
A rare female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, was captured in a trawl net by Worthing fisherman Brian Davey about eight miles off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex.The ray which was about 60 cm long and can deliver a 220 volt electric shock. It was kept alive found a home at Brighton Sea Life Centre

Shoreham Herald News Report
This is the rarer of the two electric rays recorded in British seas and is extremely rare off Sussex. This fish can grow up to 60 cm in length. It is not known to breed in British seas and fish are likely to have migrated up the English Channel in summer.
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
Sussex Rare Fishes
Sussex Marine Life Reports 2008
BMLSS News Reports Spring 2008

15 June 2008
A seal was spotted in the River Adur lower estuary, first of all on the Sussex Wharf side of the river in the early evening from 8:30 pm. It then swam over to the scrapyard side (east of Monteum, where the fishing boats moor up and unload fish) and was seen for 45 minutes chasing after the fish in the river. The most likely species is the Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina. The tide height at 8:30 pm was 4.4 metres.

Report by Lisa Weller
BMLSS Seals
 

14 June 2008

Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
Admission: FREE
 
 
Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, as part of the Adur Festival
Two unusual bumblebee-sized insects flew over Coronation Green in the afternoon. I think these may have been Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moths, Hemaris tityus
Adur Moths

11 June 2008
One White Admiral Butterfly was seen on the wing in Hoe Wood at Woods Mill, Small Dole. 

Report by Pen Green on Sussex Butterflies


This butterfly is not normally recorded on these Nature Notes pages as it is not to be found in the lower Adur Valley. This is the first record. 

9 June 2008
A very rare Spurge Hawk-moth, Hyles euphorbiae, was caught at Shoreham.

It is a sporadic migrant to southern England from south Europe, there are only a handful of recent records. 
Adur Moths

1 June 2008
When the yellow carpet of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was seen to be rapidly fading on the lower slopes of Mill Hill; on the thin strip of intermittent horse pasture to the east of Mill Hill, adjacent and parallel to the A27 dual carriageway on the northern side, was covered in swathes of Bird's Foot Trefoil.
 
Swathes of Bird's Foot Trefoil with the copse at Mill Hill in the background Common Blue Butterflies

Four Green-winged Orchids were seen on the Mill Hill Cutting southern bank for the first recorded in the Shoreham boundaries.

Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Full Wild Flower Report
Adur Orchids

10 May 2008
 
With considerable dismay I noted that the Bee Orchid colony in Mill Hill Road seems to have been deliberately destroyed. As the only other site known in Shoreham, a private pasture next to the Waterworks House, it is likely that this orchid is now extinct in Shoreham. The culprits are unknown. 
Adur Orchids
Bee Orchid

The first female Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly), Libellula depressa, of the year flew across in front of me at the top of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.  A male and female pair of Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, were also seen on the north-south section of the Pixie Path.
Adur Dragons & Damsels 2008

9 May 2008
I was two days late on parade to see my first Adonis Blue Butterflies of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. One of the three looked very much like a brown female with its wings closed (illustrated below) and without the distinctive blue as it flew off. I also saw five of my first Small Heath Butterflies of the year four on the lower slopes and one on the ridge return route. Thirteen species of butterfly were identified. 
 
Adonis Blue (probably a female)

The Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was visible from a distance but still a week off its best showing. 
Adur Butterfly List 2008

6 May 2008
My first Wall Brown Butterfly of 2008 and my first Red Damselfly were both seen near and in the copse of Mill Hill. Ten other butterfly species were also recorded, the most variety in a single day this year. I also spotted my first Swallow of the year on a low level flight so its pale orange belly underside could be clearly seen. On the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, the fleeting glimpse of a Wall Lizard skitting into the undergrowth next to the sun-baked south-facing flint surround wall was another first of the year. 
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Adur Dragons & Damsels 2008
Adur Wild Flowers 2008
Adur Lizards

Green-winged Orchid26 April 2008
Ten species of butterfly in the afternoon was the most in a single day this year and did not include a trip to Mill Hill. My first orchids of 2008 were frequent Green-winged Orchids pushing up from the southern side turf on Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding.
Adur Butterfly List 2008

25 April 2008
The first Dingy Skipper of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. One Grizzled Skipper was also spotted on a passage journey on a muggy day. 
Adur Skippers

24 April 2008
A Short-snouted Seahorse*, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered on the filtration plant at Shoreham Harbour. It was alive when found but died shortly afterwards. (*assumed to be this species)

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
BMLSS Seahorses

20 April 2008
Early Purple Orchids were in flower at Tottington Woods near Small Dole. These were the first orchids of 2008.


The first Large White Butterflies and the first male Orange-tip Butterflies of the year were seen in the Shoreham area and the first Green-veined White Butterfly and Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was seen in flower with the accompanying pollen beetles. The first Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moth of 2008 was also spotted. Grizzled Skipper10 April 2008
On a mild (>10.5 °C) sunny day there were frequent butterflies on Mill Hill and its approaches including my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year, the first two Grizzled Skippers on the lower slopes, ten Peacocks and two Comma Butterflies.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Adur Butterfly List 2008

6 April 2008

Snow on Mill Hill looking over the Adur Valley towards Lancing Clump in the distance
A surprise snowfall continued throughout the morning to a measured depth of 75 mm at midday on the pavement outside my home in residential Shoreham. As the temperature rose during the day most of snow in town melted leaving a patchy and thin layer on the downs. All the snow quickly fell from the trees, although on the downs there was a remnant of snow on north facing trunks in the afternoon. 
Full Report
Shoreham Weather Page 2008

5 April 2008
Mill Hill SMG Meeting 
Despite the awful forecast and plummetting temperature the first SMG evening field meeting of the year at Mill Hill near Shoreham was well attended. However, we only saw three moths - but no-one was complaining; two were of our target species:  Barred Tooth-striped Moth, Trichopteryx polycommata, and the other was the micro-moth, the Pale Flat-body, Agonopterix pallorella

Report and Photgraphs by Michael Blencowe on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

7 March 2008
I was surprised to find a dead Badger in Old Shoreham on the east side of the Steyning Road south of the entrance to the Waterworks Road, almost beneath the town sign of Shoreham-by-Sea. It was a surprise because I have never seen any live Badgers in the Shoreham area. 
The first Comma Butterfly of the year emerged from hibernation to flutter around the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

26 February 2008
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Lancing. This was the first report of a Small White Butterfly on these Nature Notes pages for the month of February, now making it six species seen locally in the second month of the year since the start of the new millennium. 


Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly List 2008

23 February 2008
Two batches of Common Frog, Rana temporaria, spawn appeared in the small pond in my back garden in south Lancing. This is the first report for 2008


10 February 2008
The first Peacock Butterfly of the year was seen in a sunny Lancing garden in the morning.


Around midday a Peacock Butterfly rose from the lower slopes of Mill Hill and fluttered further up the slope so I had to chase it to identify the good condition Peacock Butterfly when it basked briefly in the weak sunshine with its wings open.
These two are the first February records on these Nature Notes pages for the Peacock Butterfly, making four species seen in the second month of the year. 
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

3 February 2008
Bounding through the green arable field north of Cuckoo's Corner (on the Coombes road north of Shoreham Airport), a buck Roe Deer, Capreolus capreolus, was very frisky and I would have a good view if the road was not bordered by trees. I could see clearly enough to notice its antlers. 

21 January 2008
 

Timber from Greek-registered Ice Prince, which sank about 26 miles (42 km) off Dorset after a storm on 15 January 2008, began getting washed up on Lancing beach in the evening of 19 January 2008 and  tonnes of pine planks littered the local beaches from 20 January 2008. The usual debris was on the strandline including a Ray's, Raja sp., eggcase illustrated above. It measured 67 mm long so this was probably the eggcase of an Undulate Ray, Raja undulata.

BMLSS Marine Wildlife News (Winter 2008)
BMLSS Eggcases
Adur Coastal 2008


4 January 2008
Unfortunately the cattle are still trashing the top of Mill Hill in an asinine plan by the South Downs Conservation Board on an important Nature Reserve. The flat area being grazed (seen from the Adur Levels) is an area that contains a recovering low fertility wildlife meadow flora including Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and many other important caterpillar food plants and nectar plants. The cattle indiscriminately eat the flora, but more importantly the destruction occurs because of the ground disturbance they cause and their patterns of urination and cow pats which are making the paths impassable on shallow chalk soil in wet muddy conditions. Chalkhill herbs require low fertility undisturbed land and are wiped out (most of them permanently) if the conditions change.
List of Butterfly Articles
Adur Butterfly List 2008

1 January 2008
The first bird of 2008 seen was an adult Herring Gull flying over Corbyn Crescent just outside my front garden. The first wild mammal was a Rabbit on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The first wild flower was a Greater Periwinkle by the road to Mill Hill, but the habitat was more like a wild front garden. The first mushroom was a  Blewits, Lepista sordida, recorded from the ridge of Mill Hill. 
Adur Fungi Reports 2008
 


Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Wildlife on Photobox

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs


Urban Wildlife Webring


Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages


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Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index page


 JANUARY
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MAY
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AUGUST
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OCTOBER
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Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page

 JANUARY
 FEBRUARY
 MARCH
 APRIL
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUGUST
 SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
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 DECEMBER

 
Link to more detailed wildlife reports for January to March 2003
Link to the spring wildlife reports for 2003
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002

Adur Valley Nature Notes  January to March 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  April - June 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  July - September 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002
ADUR NATURE NOTES  2000

Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

     

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