Butterfly List 2018
I chanced upon a magnificent uninterrupted view of a large female
whilst cycling at 15 mph as the big brown bird of prey flew across my path
about five metres above the road junction, (so the view of the bird was
side on rather than from underneath), between The Avenue and Downside at
the entrance of the Dovecote Estate, north Shoreham.
I had seen one before whilst cycling in autumn in similar circumstances
but never managed such a clear view, if only for two seconds.
dozen Clouded Yellows
and a surprise Brown Hairstreak
were found at Southwick Basin with other butterflies.
Blue, Adonis Blue
up to Mill Hill about midday
for the annual count of Chalkhill
on the fixed one acre transect
on the lower slopes. The 30 minute count recorded 51 male Chalkhill
was a very low day count but not the worst recorded which was 30
They were even outnumbered on the parched downs by male Adonis
Blues which were counted at 58.
the turn of the month, the Chalkhill
expected to reach peak numbers on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, but for the fifteenth successive year the numbers have been terribly
disappointing. Under a cloudy
sky, a third
of an acre transect at the northern end of
the lower slopes recorded an estimated (part counted) 60 blue
males and two brown
females with not many more than a hundred
seen over the hill. Adonis Blues
were about 30, but of the twelve species of
butterflies seen the ubiquitous Meadow
the way with 400 seen and many more hidden.
Blues visited Marjoram
on the middle slopes of Mill Hill
the Cirrus clouds it was slightly cooler on
Hill, enough to send the butterflies
into hiding on the warm afternoon. Meadow
everywhere but there were a few Chalkhill
Blues amongst thirteen
a hint of rain the sun and extra humidity produced a haze
and the flowers were dry and the
old ones were wilting from lack of water.
of the larger butterflies may have
been suffering too
the signs of late summer; the meadows had been cut for hay and the young
birds were out of their nest and trying to survive on their own. Gatekeepers
fluttered around in the hedgerows.
of all, the a flash of sky blue and the first male Chalkhill
Blue Butterfly emerged on the lower slopes
of Mill Hill.
score or more Green-veined White Butterflies
were seen on the warmest
day of the year over the verges of the
Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and Old Shoreham.
pm it was
Office (Shoreham) recorded 30.5
°C and over 30°C
the first time at Shoreham this millennium.
Beetle flew well
over my head in Kingston Lane from Shoreham to Southwick by a row of Elm
slopes of Mill Hill
less than ideal conditions hundreds of Adonis
flew over the yellow carpet
of Horseshoe Vetch,
comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill. Over two hundred were seen in an hour in an unprecedented count.
the yellow carpet of Horseshoe Vetch,
comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, looking splendid a day or two off its peak, the butterflies
were out in force, in numbers, if not variety. In
the transect acre there were estimated to
be in excess of a hundred butterflies
fluttering around in the sunshine. At least sixty were the lively and amorous
male Adonis Blues,
and the rest were made up of female Adonis
Heaths, occasional Grizzled
Skippers, and a few Brimstone
Whites. I spotted at least one Cinnabar
Moth on the lower slopes, and one Carpet
Moth where the cattle
had disturbed the flora and spoilt the habitat by the water trough. The
only surprise of the early afternoon was a very quick male Broad-bodied
chasing after the skippers.
few Azure Damselflies
were seen around the Brambles.
in blossom all over Mill Hill and the Adur
Levels. Likewise the yellow swathes of
more than half in flower, attracting
the bees and butterflies.
species of butterfly were seen in and around
Mill Hill including my first Adonis Blues
of the year.
conica, mushrooms were the first I have ever seen anywhere amongst
some grass below the path on the middle area of the lower slopes of Mill
on the Chalk Pit, Lancing Clump
by Sarah Reeve
the overcast rather cool weather (10.5 °C)
spotted three Adders basking
in the Chalk Pit area of Lancing Clump Local Nature Reserve. Two
of the snakes slithered off quite quickly but the third posed for a photograph
sensing its surroundings with its forked
Lizards & Snakes
the weak sunshine I spotted my first butterfly
of the year; a Red Admiral
over Mill Hill Road at the southern end of the bridge over the A27.
glided over Erringham Hill, seen in the photograph from the top meadow
of Mill Hill Nature
Corbyn Crescent (at
midnight), Mill Hill
(and little used) Wellingtons passed the test and both heavy duty gloves
were needed, but I felt the wind chill through my anorak in the afternoon
when it was only just below freezing. There was a flurry of settled snow
just after midnight and it remained below
freezing throughout the second successive day.
of the year was a tiny Money Spider,
indoors. A Fox
lolloping down Adelaide Square, in Shoreham, in the evening, was my first
wild mammal of 2018.
at Widewater Lagoon South Lancing
& Comments by Robert North
to right female Red breasted Merganser
then a male. Above male Goosander followed
by a female.
a young Herring Gull
was my first bird of 2018
on a cloudy
morning by Shoreham-by-Sea
station. Nearby, a diminutive Oxford
Ragwort was my first wild
flower of the new year.
Wild Flowers 2018
Beach Weather Station
Nature Notes 2013