ADUR NATURE NOTES 2016
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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

2016  Regional


Adur Coastal & Marine
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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 



EVENTS

11 June 2016 
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the seventeenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of the seashore aquarium and the 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 Man and the Sea exhibition with a video microscope. Exhibitors were available to find the time to answer questions about marine life. World of Widewater exhibited a display and information about the brackish water lagoon and local nature reserve.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life.

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

2 November 2016
 

Common Blue
Clouded Yellow

A wind chill under the clear blue sky in the morning but by midday the sun shone on the steep embankment of Shoreham Harbour opposite Shoreham Power Station. With the sun came some late butterflies, at least three male Common Blues, at least two of them fresh and intact amongst the longer grass.  After five minutes a Clouded Yellow flew past and although I only saw one at a time, I thought there could be at least three of them. Last but not least, a Peacock Butterfly flew up the steep bank by the steps as I was about to leave. At least I thought it would be the last butterfly (possibly the last of the year?) until another Clouded Yellow fluttered by. 
Adur Butterfly List 2016

9 October 2016

On a varied cloudy day, the most spectacular Rainbow I had ever seen appeared over Shoreham for 18 minutes in the afternoon. It appeared as both as a double rainbow and even a treble rainbow for a very brief moment. 

12 September 2016
Swallows flew to and fro over the top of Mill Hill under a blue sky in a prelude to migration. In the complete opposite to my normal route, I walked over the top plateau toward the upper car park. The very short turf was covered in hundreds of budding Autumn Gentian plants with a few in flower. I stopped by some Small Scabious and chanced upon a single spike of the late orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses for the first time on Mill Hill for several years.

Adult Adder

Nine species of butterflies and at least four moths were dominated by Meadow Browns and worn but amorous Adonis Blues with a few Clouded Yellows. All paled compared to the unexpected highlight of the afternoon, as I discovered a 75 cm long adult Adder
Mill Hill Report

4 September 2016
An organised walk by Sussex Botanical Recording Society on Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve led to the discovery of plants that were not on the Friends of Shoreham Beach list or noted before on these Nature Notes pages. This most notable of these were the diminutive four-petalled flower and easily overlooked Sea Rocket, Cakile maritima, and even easier to miss very rare Ray's Knotgrass, Polygonum oxyspermum. Both straggling prostrate plants were discovered right down on the shingle beach only a metres above the strandline.

Ray's Knotgrass, Sea Mayweed
Sea Rocket

26 August 2016

Adonis Blues on Mill Hill 
with Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady

I made a morning visit to Mill Hill to avoid the humid warmth of the midday sun. When the sun warmed up the hill the butterflies came out in their hundreds. Thirteen species and over a hundred each of Adonis Blues and Meadow Browns, a handful of Clouded Yellows and the remnants of the Chalkhill Blues were most notable. Later in the day I added a Small Tortoiseshell to the list to make fourteen species
Mill Hill Report

8 August 2016

Chalkhill Blue on Carline Thistle

Sixteen species of butterfly were seen  on a promising but ultimately disappointing day, mainly a trip to Mill Hill.
Adur Butterfly Day List

6 August 2016

This rather plain looking moth was found indoors. It seems most likely that is the rarely recorded Plumed Fanfoot
Pechipogo plumigeralisThis is thought to be an immigrant or recently established resident. 
Adur Moths

5 August 2016

Mill Hill
Wall Brown,  Pyrausta purpuralis, Pyrausta despicata, Small Tortoiseshell
Peacock,Green-veined White, Chalkhill Blue, Dingy Footman

3 August 2016

Butterflies in a Gale
Silver-spotted Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Painted Lady
Wall Brown, Adonis  Blue, Chalkhill Blue

It was so windy on Mill Hill, I nearly turned for home immediately, if it wasn't for the bright orange of a Painted Lady Butterfly. Many of the butterflies were resting but I was very surprised to spot a second brood male Adonis Blue (11 days earlier than last year). Even allowing for a cool day, male Chalkhill Blues was disappointing on Mill Hill with only 28 in a half acre transect. Altogether, in about 90 minutes, I recorded an unexpected 13 species of butterfly including a first ever (see below). 

PS:  After examining the photographs at home, I discovered my first ever Silver-spotted Skipper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the corner of an image, not seen at the time.

Full Butterfly Report

1 August 2016

Slithering and sliding through the Tor Grass, the adult Black Adder seemed to sense me and reversed direction before my camera could focus. At first, it was coiled up looking like a discarded belt on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I spotted a Common Lizard by a yellow ants nest with at least a dozen Slow Worms on the southern top part of Mill Hill near the road.
Eight species of butterfly were seen in under an hour until my visit to Mill Hill was interrupted by light rain. 
Butterfly Report

21 & 26 July 2016

Mill Hill

21 July 2016

Chalkhill Blue

Cloudy and a bit of an afternoon breeze was welcome after the two day heat wave. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (36) were numerous and settled enough for a photograph.
 

19 July 2016
Lucky a breeze (Force 4) was blowing as it was very warm > 26.8° C during the day rising to 28.9° C in the evening and 25.9° C at midnight when the rain started with gusts to Gale Force 7
Adur Weather
Shoreham Beach Weather Station

18 July 2016
On the first warm day (>25.3° C) of the year, the male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (16) finally emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill when I visited in the middle of the day. They were all flighty and once in flight they rarely stopped. The rain earlier in the year had caused some vegetation to grow quicker than normal and the path at the bottom was covered in Brambles to such an extent I nearly trod on a large Black Adder coiled up on the path in front of me. 
Mill Hill Report

13 July 2016
The first Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year appeared on a rainy Mill Hill

6 July 2016
A large Buzzard was perched on the hedgerow at the bottom of Mill Hill. It made a leisurely take off and glided over the meadow below. The afternoon sunshine persuaded a few butterflies into flight: Marbled Whites led the way with 35 seen, mostly on Mill Hill, where Meadow Brown males were the second most common of ten species seen on the day. 
Butterfly Report
 

Grasshoppers on Mill Hill

Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus
and at least one Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.

The most interesting find was a white version of the common purple-blue Self-Heal plant illustrated on the right above. And the second most interesting discovery had to wait until I viewed the photographs and was my very first Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus, from Mill Hill or anywhere in Shoreham and Adur.
Adur Grasshoppers 2016

6 June 2016

Sepiola
Little Cuttle
Shallow seas off Widewater

25 May 2016

Shoreham Beach

22 May 2016

Mill Hill

17 May 2016

Butterflies from Mill Hill

Swathes of yellow of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, at its peak, covered the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Nine species of butterfly were seen on an intermittently sunny and breezy afternoon. These included by first Common Blues, Adonis Blues and Green Hairstreak of the year. The flash of crimson was the first of two Cinnabar Moths I disturbed. Hawthorn was now blossoming on Mill Hill and the flowers of this small tree could be seen in the hedgerows of the Adur Levels from the hill. 
Adur Butterfly List 2016

12 May 2016

Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense
Photograph by Ray Hamblett
South Lancing

Adur Dragonflies

10 May 2016

A colony of Slow Worms on the upper part of Mill Hill was my fourth species of reptile this year (Adur has five species) on a cloudy day with a hint of a breeze and mist in the valley. Too cool for butterflies although I did disturb a very fresh Speckled Wood near the upper copse on Mill Hill, and another one on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. 

12 April 2016
A Buzzard soared over the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the bright blue sky. On the ground, sliding through the undergrowth of Tor Grass and Brambles a young black Adder slithered into view. It was tricky to spot and half an hour or so later we were rewarded by the sighting of a silvery Adder with very attractive black triangular markings and shortly afterwards a different larger black Adder, but only for about five seconds before they were hidden. My first two Common Lizards of the year skitted over the area at the northern end of the the lower slopes that had been cleared of Privet bushes. These were my second and third species of reptile seen this year.
 

Five species of butterfly were seen on Mill Hill in the afternoon, frequent Peacocks, a handful of patrolling Brimstones, my first two Small Tortoiseshells of the year, a Small White, and last (at 2:15 pm) and certainly not least a handful of the first Grizzled Skippers of the year. All species visited the abundant Dog Violets.
Butterfly Report
Adur Violets

17 March 2016
Just after midday a Peacock Butterfly briefly landed in front of me on the larger pebbles by Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach. It was my first butterfly of the year. And it was the first rays of sun that prompted at least 25 Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, to peek out of their holes in the carnot wall of the old redoubt, and from their shelter in crannies of the earth and rubble embankment. All but one were adults with lizards in pairs and sometimes in three in choice holes. This number seen was approaching to the most numerous seen (38) in one day. One lizard skittered right up to the top of the wall.
Adur Butterfly List 2016

Hundreds of the egg cases of the Undulate Ray were scattered over the foreshore above the high tide on the shingle marked by washed up seaweeds and other strandline debris.


 
 

11 March 2016
In the fading light of the late afternoon, I spotted the silhouette of a small bird in a budding Elm tree on the footpath by Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, near where the footpath meets The Street. It turned out to be the first Goldcrest I have seen locally for several years.

4 February 2016
The Short-eared Owl finally made an appearance over the saltings near New Salts Farm, swopping low over the reed beds just before sunset. This time it outshone the male Kestrel perched on some telephone wires. The owl was mobbed at time by a Herring Gull, flushing it and making the view livelier. The flooded stream that runs through the now fenced in open land hosted at least two Coots and at least two Moorhen. The Moorhen squealed as the owl flew over.
 
25 January 2016
Two Turnstones were scavenging around the strandline near Shoreham Fort amongst poisonous mineral oil, scores of Undulate Ray egg cases, and where a small clump of Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, were my first identified arthropods of the year. 

BMLSS Beachcombing
BMLSS Barnacles

19 January 2016
On the small patch of open water by New Salts Farm (within the Shoreham boundary) a Little Grebe dived under accompanied by a Moorhen, a Coot and a pair of Mallards.

Short-eared Owl
Photograph by Paul Loader

Over the reed beds, a Kestrel hovered and descended in the hunt several times without success. At Civil Twilight his performance excelled that of a Short-eared Owl that spent half an hour perched in the reed bed with an occasional preen, before flying away and out of view as dusk (Nautical Twilight) set in and the temperature plummeted rapidly.

15 January 2016
A Short-eared Owl was seen and photographed near Shoreham Airport.


15 January 2016

Extensive flooding to the north in the low lying fields around Henfield could seen from the muddy footpath north of and downhill from Beeding Hill car park. 

Common Seal
Photograph by Paul Loader

I missed a Common Seal spotted and photographed in the River Adur.

11 January 2016
My first wild mammal of the year a was a Red Fox casually trotting along Middle Road, Shoreham, in darkness mid- evening. 

1 January 2016
As usual the first bird of the year was an adult Herring Gull gliding over Corbyn Crescent in the breeze.
 
 

Adur Wild Flowers 2016
Shoreham Weather 2016

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station
 

Adur Nature Notes 2013


Adur Butterfly List 2016
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society News
Lancing Village
 
 
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Adur Nature Notes 2015
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 the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink 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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