ADUR NATURE NOTES 2013
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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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

2013  Regional
Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via geograph
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr

Click on the images above to find the location on a map via flickr or geograph 


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.

PROJECT RIVER ADUR
Education Resource for Schools

Click on the button for the web page to download the presentation

The River Adur Project: a documentary for schools was published.
Click on the button above to go to the web page to download the Powerpoint presentation



EVENTS
 


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

27 November 2013
A most unexpected discovery was a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly asleep on my bedroom wall. Without my spectacles on I thought it must have been a spider and I gave it a nudge. Sleepily, I cupped it in my hand as I did not recognise it as a butterfly at first. It was after I recognised what it was, I took the butterfly to my small empty plastic aquarium tank in my bathroom. Then the butterfly came to life and flew around the light bulb. I caught it again and by midday the butterfly is resting with its wings closed in the small aquarium. It looked worn but it did not appear to have any obvious damage. 

28 October 2013

Storm at Dawn
Western Harbour Arm, Shoreham
Photograph by Mark Bond


12 October 2013
A splendid study of an immigrant male Long-tailed Blue Butterfly is captured on the north bank of Southwick Canal (Shoreham Harbour) opposite the power station. Butterfly List 2013

 

6 October 2013
A fresh male Long-tailed Blue Butterfly visited the large clump of Ivy outside Shoreham Cement Works, Upper Beeding  (TQ 199 086) between 11.35 am and 11.45 am. It then flew east, back over the fence into the Everlasting Peas within the Cement Works. This was the first record of this immigrant butterfly on these Nature Notes pages. 

Report by Vince Massimo on Sussex Butterflies


26 September 2013
The poisonous Brown Roll Rim, Paxillus involutus, mushroom was discovered in Shoreham by me for the first time.
Adur Fungi

22 September 2013
 

A pod of 25 Dolphins were spotted eight miles off Shoreham.


 

13 September 2013
I managed to see the head of the Common Seal in the Shoreham Harbour entrance as it surfaced briefly three times too far away for a photograph. It spent most of its time underwater and it was frustrating to find out where it would surface. 

2 September 2013
juvenile Seal was seen in the filled lock gates at the entrance to the canal section of Shoreham Harbour.

Video Report by Suzi Bishop on facebook


It was subsequently seen resting on a pontoon in the middle of the canal.
Video by Ashley Paul Richards (Link)

23 August 2013
At the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, it was possible to fight my way through the Brambles on the route of the old footpath to Mill Hill on to an area which I have names Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where in an area of about twenty square metres of bare chalk bank covered with clumps of Horseshoe Vetch, Cotoneaster and the leaves of Mouse-eared Hawkweed, there was a fabulous showing of too many Chalkhill Blues to count accurately as I lost count at thirty, but estimated to be forty including ten females (I gave up counting these at seven) plus occasional Common Blues of both genders to confuse the count.
 

 

Chalkhill Blues

 This count extrapolates to 800 Chalkhill Blues per acre which is the maximum density expected in a good year (but not seen on Mill Hill since 2003). Most of the Chalkhill Blues were rather worn and tattered with a few with just minor damage. The pairs were courting and the females were laying eggs. There were also frequent Silver Y Moths
Full Butterfly Report

21 August 2013
Hundreds of butterflies of eighteen species were out in the sunshine on Mill Hill. They were everywhere but the numbers were less than a week earlier. Adonis Blues (74 per acre) now exceeded the Chalkhill Blues (58) and Common Blues (E 55) on the lower slopes. 
 

Small Tortoiseshell
Adonis Blue 

Two Clouded Yellows flew continuously over the lower slopes and I never saw either of them settle, not even once. There were frequent female Common Blues, but I could not find a Brown Argus
Full Butterfly Report
 
17 August 2013 
Garden Tiger Moth seen in a Lancing garden 
  Adur Moths

Tiger Moths Recording & Information

16 August 2013 
Mute Swan was discovered seriously ill on Brooklands Boating Lake and struggling to stay afloat. It was rescued by Wadars and put in the Animal Ambulance. The Environmental Agency have confirmed the existence of blue-green alga (cyanobacteria) which produces toxins capable of causing the illness. 


8 August 2013
Hundreds of butterflies fluttered around the parched lower slopes of Mill Hill. Seventeen species were seen on a sunny day, all but two on the downs. Chalkhill Blues were out in force with over two hundred seen. Both Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were everywhere with estimated numbers at about a hundred an acre for each. However, the highlight of the day was a Dark Green Fritillary restlessly patrolling over the lower slopes by the bottom wayward hedge. It was joined by a bright Clouded Yellow. The first of a handful of male second brood Adonis Blues were also spotted.
 

 Chalkhill Blueson Carline Thistle
Brimstone on Basil

Butterflies were courting and three species were seen in mating sequences: Common Blues, Meadow Browns and Chalkhill Blues. About ten Marbled Whites were still in flight. Bright colour was also provided by fresh specimens of a Painted Lady, a Peacock Butterfly and a Red Admiral
Full Butterfly Report
Mill Hill Report (with images)

1 August 2013
Butterflies were far too many to count on the outskirts of town and Mill Hill  in the humid warm sunshine. I did attempt to count the Chalkhill Blues on the one acre transect on Mill Hill and it came to eighty of the blue males and no females noted. There was a big surprise with my first ever definite Dark Green Fritillary in Shoreham, flying very strongly over the southern part of Mill Hill, over the Ragwort without settling. Altogether, I managed to spot twenty different species of butterfly with sixteen of these on Mill Hill. This was my second highest species tally ever in about an hour and half of butterfly watching. Gatekeepers were probably the most numerous and common amongst the scrub and hedgerows. However, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Marbled Whites, Large Whites, were all frequently seen and there were at least dozen each of the brilliant Peacocks and male Common Blues
In the shade of the trees at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham, I noted my first two of impressive hoverfly Volucella zonaria this year. 
Full Butterfly Report
Butterfly List for the Day
Mill Hill Report

Chalkhill Blue (male)27 July 2013
Hundreds of butterflies fluttered over the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. In some places, I thought I would tread on the butterflies with an estimated 350+ Chalkhill Blues on the parched down. There was as many Meadow Browns and frequent Gatekeeper and Marbled Whites. (The actual acre transect count of Chalkhill Blues was 78, M76 F2, but I arrived too early and lots more appeared from the short dense vegetation as the sun came out.) Eleven butterfly species were seen in just over an hour.
Full Butterfly Report
 
 

24 July 2013

The clouds looked very strange at dusk (8:52 pm) over Lancing and a similar view was seen from Hollingbury, Brighton.

Report and Images by Ray Hamblett


I think these must be unusual high altitude clouds of the cirrus type ?
Cloud Types
List of Cloud Types (Wikipedia)
Shoreham Weather Page
 
In the early evening one Bluefire Jellyfish, Cyanea lamarkii, was discovered washed up on the shore on Lancing Beach. Other specimens of this stinging jellyfish were seen in the shallow water. This jellyfish has not been recorded on the shore locally in my records and the species is usually associated off the western coasts of Britain although there have been North Sea reports.
Report & Photograph by Carol Thomson


 BMLSS Jellyfish
Adur Coastal 2013

Bluefire (Photograph by Carol Thomson)

On the warm day, (but cooler than all the last week) I took the opportunity to make a leisurely visit to Mill Hill. 28 male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were counted on the transect acre in the intermittent sunshine on the parched down. Butterflies were common with over one hundred of sixteen species seen in an hour. The most spectacular were the bright orange Comma Butterflies and bright fresh red Peacock Butterflies. Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were everywhere on the outskirts and downs.
Over fifty Six-spotted Burnet Moths visited the purple flowers of the Knapweeds. Last and certainly least, I spotted an immigrant Painted Lady on the abundant Ragwort on the southern part of Mill Hill. 
Full Butterfly Report (graphical)

12 July 2013
The Mill Hill transect produced my first Chalkhill Blue (1) and Gatekeeper (11) of the season, plus 2 very worn Adonis Blue, 2 Large Skipper, 13 Marbled White, 27 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 16 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Whites.

Chalkhill Blue Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Butterflies
Full Butterfly Report

9 July 2013
Highlight of the day was my first ever confirmed Dark Green Fritillary at the foot of Anchor Bottom (near Dacre Gardens). It was one of two or three of this large and very strong-flying butterfly. Further east along Anchor Bottom, there was at least one, probably two, very faded Painted Ladies by the pair of Elderflower trees. A Marbled White rose from the shade of the largest tree. Thirteen species of butterfly were seen in two hours (mostly cycling) from the middle of the day. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

7 July 2013
On the warmest day of the year (26.4 °C), my first Meadow Brown Butterflies of the year, with the first day-flying  Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth and probably the first Ringlet Butterfly were seen over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath 100 metres south of the Cement Works. There was also a bright orange butterfly that was not recognised to species. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Burnet Moths

A Common Seal was reported from Lancing Beach by Widewater. 

Seal Report by Nick Clarke & others on facebook


5 July 2013
On a humid day, eight species of butterfly were seen in an hour including my first Marbled White of the year and still occasional fresh Adonis Blues and courting Small Tortoiseshells on Mill Hill
Full Butterfly Report
Mill Hill Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

3 July 2013

Peregrine Falcon
Photograph by Paul Fletcher

We were treated to a display of aerial combat by three resident Peregrine Falcons, a mother and her two fledglings, at Shoreham Harbour Power Station. That was pretty amazing. However the best part was when one of the fledglings landed on a low corrugated iron roof to recuperate, within a few feet of us. I managed to get a few shots on my 200 mm lens before returning to the job in hand. A very special moment indeed.

    
27 June 2013
On a rather dull day, I spotted my first immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly for several years on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  It flew away rapidly. 
MIll Hill Report
 
24 June 2013 - 1 July 2013

The River Adur Project: documentary for schools was published.
 

RIVER ADUR PROJECT 
Education Resource Package for Schools

Click on the button above to go to the web page to download the Powerpoint presentation.

8 June 2013
Adur World Oceans Day

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the fourteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition with the life sized replica of a Bottle-nosed Dolphin. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group. David and Marion Wood produced a presentation about Widewater Lagoon (brackish lagoon) LNR. Exhibitors were able to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Colin Knight and Mark Colvin with a butterfly presentation on the behalf of the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society.
World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

3 June 2013
 

Adonis Blue 
Adonis Blue 

Although not as luxuriant as the best years, the expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was flowering at its peak on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, (north of Old Shoreham). The yellow patches could be seen from a distance across the the other side of the wide valley. In the intermittent sunshine under the fluffy Cumulus clouds, butterflies fluttered amongst the yellow flowers, notably the male Adonis Blues in their first of two broods. In the UK. this medium-sized butterfly is only found on the chalk hills in the south-east of England. I counted 79 in the 1.2 acre transect on Mill Hill in half an hour, all the bright blue males apart from three of the chocolate brown females. One mating pair was spotted in less than ideal weather. Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve is nationally renowned for its blue butterflies which comes alive with the flutterings in the warmer months with at least 24 different species to be seen during the year. On this early June day, the Dingy Skippers were frequently seen in the short chalkhill vegetation on the infertile Rabbit cropped steeper slopes. There were also the Large Whites, the large bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly and the inconspicuous Grizzled Skipper. The tiny flash of orange was the Small Heath Butterfly
There were many more butterflies outside of the transect area including the female Adonis Blue (photographed above).

For more information about the local butterflies the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society will host a stall at Adur World Oceans Day on 8 June 2013, with photographer Colin Knight and environmental consultant Mark Colvin. 
Full Butterfly Report

22 May 2013
I visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill . Although the weather was overcast with a cold wind, there were occasional sunny intervals .I saw the first Adonis Blue of the season, but only one around. Others seen were Grizzled Skipper (1), Dingy Skipper (3), Small Heath (5), Green-veined White (3). 

Report by Simon Quin on Sussex Butterflies
Butterfly List 2013
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

2 April 2013
For just a few minutes I felt he brief and weak warmth of the sun from between the white clouds, as I was battered by a chill north-east breeze (Force 5 gusting to Force 6). 
A few spring flowers were noted for the first time. And I spotted only my second butterfly of the year, a slightly tatty Small Tortoiseshell on Stinging Nettles on the path to the west of Middle Road Allotments, Shoreham.
Butterfly List 2013
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

16 March 2013
Two Water Rails were discovered for the first time on the very damp fields between Worthing and Sompting.


12 March 2013
In the afternoon one Snipe flew over the road by the Norfolk Bridge and another was feeding on a verge beside Shoreham Airport.


An Avocet was seen roosting with the more usual waders on Adur Saltings but flew off before high tide in the morning.


18 February 2013
I was surprised to see my first butterfly of the year. A fine Peacock Butterfly rose from the path amongst the scrub on Mill Hill and away over the Old Man's Beard.
Butterfly List 2013

23 January 2013
Very large Atlantic Cod, Gadus morhua, have been caught off the Sussex coast. A notable specimen fish landed by Dominic Camilleri of the South Coast Angling Club, based at Shoreham Harbour, weighed in at 18.5 kg (40 lb 12 oz). The English Channel is not usually noted for its Cod
Image

BMLSS Report

January 2013
 

Dunlins on the Adur estuary
Brent Geese on Widewater

18 January 2013
Snow blew vertically in from the east (Force 4) during daylight. Around midday the snow was an inch (25 mm) deep on the cold ground in Shoreham with the air temperature only just below freezing. On the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham the depth of snow was measured at 60 mm. By late afternoon the snow eased off, turned to sleet and in town the snow turned to slush, but in the residential streets there was still snow on the pavements at dusk
Shoreham Weather 2013
Adur Trees 2013
 
 

Shoreham Weather 2013

Adur Nature Notes 2012

 

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

Shoreham Weather 2013
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
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