ADUR NATURE NOTES 2020
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

2020  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 


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 
 

Reports have been omitted and truncated because of a serious illness
for new reports go to 
Adur Valley & Downs facebook
Shoreham Birding  facebook
Wildlife & Conservation of Lancing, Sompting & Surrounds facebook




20 September 2020

Clouded Yellow on Mill Hill
Photograph by Glynis Pierson

9 August 2020

The Met Office (Shoreham) shade air temperature attained an unpleasantly hot 33.0 °C at 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, the highest temperature this century.
Shoreham Weather 2020

7 August 2020
The first winter Lapwing was seen back on the River Adur mud. 


 
30 July 2020
A very unusual Silver-washed Fritillary was spotted on Buddleia by the River Adur near Botolphs.
 
 

It was unusual because this is a woodland butterfly.

20 July 2020
Muntjac Deer was spotted running loose in Underdown Road, Southwick. It was captured by Sompting Wildlife Rescue.

Video Report  facebook


17 July 2020

Comet Neowise from Truleigh Hill at about 11:00 pm
Photograph by Malcolm Bull facebook

13 July 2020
At last, the first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year was spotted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was one of a few males seen in the late afternoon, accompanied by frequent male Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, male Adonis Blues and male Common Blues, occasional Marbled Whites, a few Small Whites, one lively Peacock Butterfly, one Wall Brown and a few Six-spotted Burnet Moths.
Full Report

10 July 2020
All three Stork chicks had left the nest at Knepp this morning, and were foraging close to the nest tree. They all looked in very good condition and appeared very tolerant of us humans. At one point we also saw seven adult Storks using the thermals to gain height, spiralling out of sight.


9 July 2020
One of the Stork chicks at the Knepp Estate left the nest. This is the first Stork to have fledged in the wild in Britain in 600 years.

Nesting Report
White Stork Project

6 July 2020
Summer had just about arrived on a cloudy late afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with my first of the year Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria, and a Six-spotted Burnet Moth, and my first of the year Marbled Whites (3) and Gatekeeper (1) butterflies. Then to my intense surprise a fluttering bright blue butterfly settled and it was confirmed as a good condition male Adonis Blue. This must be a second brood and it is three weeks earlier than in 2019.

I also spotted my first of the year Small Skipper
Mill Hill Report

11 June 2020

Red-footed Falcon
Photograph by Jeff Curnick

A vagrant Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, was spotted on Beeding Hill.


28 May 2020

Australian Black Swan
from Shoreham Beach
Photograph by Sylvia Lemoniates  facebook

14 May 2020
My first two Swallows of the summer flew low over the middle slopes of Mill HiIl

12 May 2020

Mill Hill from the western towpath of the River Adur
The silver blossom is the Hawthorn

6 May 2020

White Stork
Photograph by Sue Gale

For the first time in over five centuries a pair of White Storks, Ciconia ciconia, living wild on the Knepp Estate, in the Adur valley, have seen the first egg of five hatch in their large new nest at the top of an old Oak Tree. This rewilding project was started with the introduction of a pair of adult Storks from Poland in 2016. However, the introduced female appears to have mated with a vagrant male bird. 


5 May 2020

Adonis Blue

Draughty and cloudy, conditions not ideal for butterflies but better for photography, I nevertheless enjoyed my afternoon visit to the Horseshoe Vetch covered lower slopes of Mill HiIl. Dingy Skippers were frequent and widespread and on the two-thirds transect I estimated at least 35, including a mating pair. However, I did not actually disturb a single Grizzled Skipper. Other butterflies disturbed from rest were occasional Peacocks, five male Adonis Blues, my first pristine Brown Argus of the year, one Small Heath, and one Brimstone. A Treble-bar Moth showed and a small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata was spotted. In Shoreham there was a Holly Blue and a probable Small White.
Mill Hill Report

2 May 2020
A Short-nosed Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was a surprising discovery in a shallow rockpool in the River Adur estuary by the Scout Hut, Adur Recreation Ground.

Short-nosed Seahorse
Photograph & Video Report by Sue Gale

Two species of Seahorse are found in the seas around the British Isles: the Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, is rare in the English Channel, recorded off Dorset and the western approaches mostly. The Short-nosed Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, is occasionally found in deep water around the Channel Islands, unusual but widespread elsewhere. It was also recorded off the coast of Holland in 1998. This species is found in deep water off the Sussex coast, notably off Southwick, near Shoreham-by-Sea.

BMLSS Seahorses (for the younger reader)
BMLSS Seahorses & Pipefishes
 
29 April 2020

Sea Urchin Fossil, Echinocorys sp., from Brooklands beach, east Worthing.

Photograph by June Bratton

Shoreham-by-Sea: Geology
 

A Common Seal was spotted swimming in the River Adur, between Henfield and Partridge Green, by Henfield jogger Sue and her dog Bailey on their morning run.

Report on BN5 Henfield facebook


27 April 2020
A Buzzard soared over the lower slopes of Mill HiIl, the accompanying Kestrel looking tiny in comparison. A Common Lizard skittered into shelter after basking on some young Brambles. 
Mill Hill Report

26 April 2020

Mute Swan Cygnet
Photograph by Sylvia Lemoniates  facebook

The last of the dozen Mute Swan cygnets at Lady Bee Marina, Southwick, before they were all predated upon by Magpies and Herring Gulls.

25 March 2020

Fossil from Shoreham Beach

Alert children's eyes spotted this very small flint fossil amongst the billions of other pebbles on Shoreham Beach (by Beach Green). It is a bivalve mollusc from the Cretaceous period and the Natural History Museum suggested it could be the bivalve Limatula with representatives still extant today.


 PS: A very nice flint cast of a bivalve called Neithia from the Cretaceous chalk circa 85 million years ago.


16 March 2020
After five months isolation from Mill Hill because of inclement weather, the sun finally came out on the muddy southern top part of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. And with the sun came my first butterflies of the year: at least two strong-flying Brimstone Butterflies skirting the still bare scrub, and secondly a Peacock Butterfly first spotted on a drain cover south of the Reservoir. I was most pleased to spot two Small Tortoiseshells fluttering over the thoroughly mown meadow (a good job) north of the upper car park. 

Reptiles on Mill Hill

Two large Slow Worms, a small slim Adder and a Common LIzard were all firsts of the year reptiles amongst some old logs deliberately placed on the southern part of Mill Hill. Small birds sang to each other from deep inside the bushes but they were mostly too well hidden for me to identify, although I recognised a pair of Blue Tits. A male Pheasant was not so easy to spot into the low light of the early afternoon. Clumps of Daffodils flowered on the southern part of Mill Hill. Green Alkanet was also seen in flower south of the Reservoir. In the top copse, the first flowers and leaves were seen amongst the budding Blackthorn

19 January 2020
The barometer read 31 inches at 11:00 pm, an exceptionally high reading on the Fair/Very Dry scale. A professional reading at Shoreham Airport attained a high pressure of  1049.1 mbs. The all-time English record, set in 1902, is 1053 millibars. (hPa is the same as millibars, mbs.) 

Shoreham Weather 2020
How to Read a Barometer
Weather Conversion Calculator

12 January 2020
A Peacock Butterfly was spotted in a Shoreham garden. It must have been disturbed from hibernation on a cloudy day. It was the first butterfly of the year and the first local Peacock Butterfly seen in January on record.

Adur Butterfly List 2020
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

1 January 2020
The first flowers of the decade, just after midnight, were Herb Robert by the wheelie bins. It was fine (air temperature 9° C) at the turn of the year with a slight easterly chill to little to no wind (Force 2). There was no bird activity to be seen or heard in the early hours in the dark hazy moonless (after midnight) sky

In the misty daylight, I opened the front door and immediately spotted a big black Crow fly into the bare branches of a Sycamore.
 
 
 


LINKS
 
 
Coastal and Marine Reports 2020
Adur Levels Reports 2020
Mill Hill Reports 2020
Urban Reports 2020


Adur 2019 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2020

EasyTide (Shoreham)
 
 
 

Adur Nature Notes 2013


Adur Butterfly List 2020
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Trees 2020
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society News
Lancing Village


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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    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
    Webmaster: Andy Horton

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