the lower Adur Flood Plain
Levels SE of Old Erringham
viewed from the southern end of Mill Hill Nature
River Adur reaches the sea at Shoreham-by-Sea
where the mouth has been deflected two miles to the east by the longshore
drift. Going upstream with the incoming tide through the centre of
New Shoreham under seven bridges
before the tide reaches the village of Bramber after 6.4 km (4 miles).
The river then passes about one mile east of the town of Steyning. The
is tidal for 17.9 km (11.1 miles) from the mouth to Bines Bridge on the
B.2135. The flood plain or levels refer to
the stretch south of Bramber, where the tidal rivers meanders towards the
sea, with low lying fields on each side. Public access is by the towpath
each side of the river, and on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath following the disused railway line.
Dyke next to the Miller's Stream 2006
Link Cyclepath 2006
Road and Butterfly Copse 2006
to the Reports for 2007
handful of Wood Blewit, Lepista
protruded from the leaf litter (to which they were attached as decomposers)
in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning
Road and the Waterworks Road.
small Candle Snuff Fungus, Xylaria
also present in small amounts on wooden tree stumps.
flew rapidly over the Steyning Road (south of the Fly-over)
towards Old Shoreham.
first young and small Wood Blewit (mushroom),
nuda, of the year appeared under Field
Maple attached to the leaf litter in in
the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks
discovered in the afternoon were a dozen white-capped species growing on
horse droppings piled up on the edge of the field by the Steyning Road,
Old Shoreham. The white stems of this species were hollow. Four species
of mushrooms included the Snowy Ink Cap,
niveus. The gills turn black.
confirmed by Malcolm Storey (BioImages)
on the Fungi
of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
extraordinary white variety of the Clouded
Yellow Butterfly was seen by the Ricardo
Engineering Works settled on the edge of the towpath at the west end of
Shoreham. This was an all-white butterfly
with one pale yellow and one white underwing and black wing edges to its
upperside wings. There is a variety called
which is much paler, although it is not usually shown as all white. I think
it was most likely to have been Colias
croceus f. helice.
afternoon count was of about 25 Red Admirals
in Shoreham town, but mostly on the wasteland
on the Adur Levels. The best location was the Coastal
Link Cyclepath south of the Toll
Bridge. A Peacock Butterfly
fluttered around the Buddleia
and Ivy near the buffer stop. The path and bushes north of Adur Riverbank
Industrial Estate hosted a worn Large White
Butterfly and a large Painted
Lady. Three Clouded
Yellow Butterflies were seen, the first
one over the Hamme near Adur Civic Centre and the other two just north
of Old Shoreham. A
single worn male Common Blue Butterfly
appeared after about five minutes in a field west of the Steyning Road,
Butterfly & Moth List 2006
the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C,
a surprise bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly
fluttered over the hedgerow by the A27
Flyover on the Waterworks
Road, Old Shoreham.
an overcast day, a chirm of at least five Goldfinches
were seen amongst the Oak Trees on the side of the country road just north
of Coombes and a handful of Nuthatches
dived amongst the trees over the stream near Cuckoo's
discovered an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar,
elpenor, on the footpath on the bank
of the River Adur up near the South Downs way footbridge.
It was damp with loads of big slugs out, but one of them wasn't a slug
but this magnificent large caterpillar.
the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham, had blood all over its face and ears and
it looked as though it was fatally ill with Myxomatosis.
Link Cyclepath south of the buffer stop at the extreme southern end
in worth a look late in the year with the Marjoram,
still in flower. Common Blue Butterflies
fluttered around despite the lack of sunshine.
first Hummingbird Hawk-moth since
July 2006 and only my second of the year
flew around the Buddleia
on the Coastal Link Cyclepath just south of the Toll
Bridge, Old Shoreham.
Another one was seen around the Buddleia
in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks
Road, where a Comma Butterfly
and a Red Admiral
were settled on the fence with their wings closed because the sun was behind
the clouds. A handful of Holly Blues
and Speckled Woods
and a brief ray of sunshine caused the butterflies
to open their wings for under a minute. A Painted
Lady fluttered amongst the Buddleia.
white butterflies came in two sizes but I was only able to recognise Large
the rain did not seem to be imminent
so I decided to cycle north up the Coastal Link Cyclepath towards Upper
Beeding where Common
Blue Butterflies and Meadow
frequent, a couple of Comma Butterflies,
another two Painted Ladies
and occasional Red Admirals
left the path on were spotted again on the Buddleia.
There were two possibles on the cyclepath as well: a Small
White and a Brown
not be confirmed because they would not open their wings under the clouds.
over the water in the stream by the River Adur. A
Beard was noticed in flower (to
double check the ID). A Southern
on patrol as the cyclepath winds its way through the Buddleia
by the Cement Works. At the Saltings Field stream (just north-east of Botolphs)
the Water Dropwort
had been cleared from the stream and several hundred small Whirligig
Beetles gyrated on the surface of the
stream by the Oak Tree.
unprecedented 23 Painted Lady Butterflies
were seen on and around of the Buddleia
on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south
of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham.
They were seen in about five minutes and not counted twice, 22 were counted
as I cycled south south to the demolished bridge and 21 separate butterflies
(the same ones) seen as I retraced my steps back and two more seen
nearer the Toll Bridge. A Clouded Yellow
Butterfly fluttered over the gravel path
by the seat, There were at least four Red
Admirals, at least two Meadow
Browns, three Holly
Blues and frequent Small
Whites and Common
Blues and occasional Silver
Butterfly & Moth List 2006
Blue Butterflies were common (over a hundred
when all added up) on the ungrazed fields, Coastal
Link Cyclepath, and wasteland on the levels. Fleabane
was a butterfly attractant, especially to a damaged Painted
seen in the field near the River Adur and showed
a silvery underwing when it flew and was confirmed close-up as well. The
levels added just a couple of Comma Butterflies
(from the Butterfly Copse
by the Waterworks Road) to the day species
list of 15.
other species of butterfly seen on the Adur
Levels were frequent Red Admirals
and Meadow Browns,
occasional Gatekeepers and
Whites, a few
Speckled Woods and
Blues, and at least one Brimstone
large female Southern Hawker
buzzed me by the stream at the northern edge of the Saltings Field near
This was the first of these spectacular insects I had seen for over a year.
Two Ruddy Darters
and a handful of Blue-tailed
Damselflies were also seen.
a field just north of Old
Shoreham, I also
spotted my first Small
Copper Butterfly seen
this year and the first ever seen in August.
There were more of them, but I am not sure how many, perhaps eight,
mostly on the Saltings Field near Botolphs which was rather uniformly covered
in Clovers, Hop Trefoils etc. The other species of butterfly seen on the
Adur Levels were Small Whites (100+),
Admirals (75+), Common Blues (60+), Meadow
(30+), Painted Lady (15+), Comma (8+), Speckled
Wood (7+), Gatekeeper (6+),
Yellow 3, Holly Blues (6+), Peacock
(2), Large White (1+), Small/Essex
Skipper (1) and Wall
Brown (1 ?). The Small
Whites were attracted to the Field
Bindweed in one small area near the River
& Dragons Report
Damsels and Dragonflies
the Saltings Field, near Botolphs, I noticed that at least two trees had
been specially planted. The job had not been finished at the time, but
four days later the tree had been protected by a wooden surround and barbed
wire against deer.
Adur Levels provide a different mixture of butterflies
from the downs, although many of the same
species are recorded. A Clouded Yellow
Butterfly was seen near the South
Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur. The
other species of butterfly seen on the Adur Levels were Common
Blues (20+), Gatekeeper (20+),
(12+), Small/Essex Skipper (20+), Marbled
White (2), Large
White (20+), Red
Admiral (20+), Painted Lady (3), Peacock
(1), Comma (3),
White (3+) and Speckled
was seen on Spring Dyke (next to Miller's Stream) but the field was too
overgrown to enter with Hogweed
up to two metres high.
ºC and 60
% humidity it was far too warm to go to the
to see butterflies, but I was surprised to
see a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south
of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham;
2500 metres in a direct flight line from their breeding area on Mill
Hill. There were
Large White Butterflies,
and Meadow Browns
seen along the verges of the cyclepath as I passed by and these four species
were frequently seen in half an hour. The Waterworks
Road produced occasional Speckled Woods,
and the first Holly Blue.
The Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and its vicinity added
two Red Admirals
and a fresh Peacock Butterfly
with more of the omnipresent Gatekeepers
and Meadow Browns.
thought I would like to see some dragonflies
myself, but blown along by a Fresh Breeze
(Force 5) in 22.7
ºC sunshine, the best I could manage
was a Broad-bodied Chaser
east of Botolphs (on the Cyclepath north of
the South Downs Way Bridge over the Adur) and a dozen Blue-tailed
Damselflies on the same drainage ditch
100 metres further north. The observation of the damselflies rather inferred
that the larger predatory dragonflies were not on patrol.
of the eleven common butterflies were about
on the Adur Levels:
very frequent Meadow
Browns and Gatekeepers,
frequent Large Whites,
Skippers, occasional Comma
Butterflies, at least two Painted
Woods and Marbled
Whites (5+) plus one worn Common
Blue, and an unconfirmed Small
Tortoiseshell, north of the South Downs
Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis,
and both male and female Ruddy
were captured on camera. They were discovered on the Adur
Levels about a half mile north of the A27
Flyover. The dragonflies were seen in the narrow
area of the drainage ditches and pastures between the cyclepath and the
(TQ 202 075). (This is very close
to where I visited the day before.) The
Migrant Hawker is a rare immigrant dragonfly
and the last one was discovered in Kent in 1952.
by David Appleton
leisurely ride from Old Shoreham, a quick look in the Waterworks Road and
Butterfly Copse, and then a cycle by the Steyning Road to the first layby
and then another 200 metres north on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath, then south along the path
to Ropetackle, Shoreham, without an inkling to take photographs or count
but nevertheless Small/Essex
Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow
Whites and Red
Admirals were all frequent, plus four
Butterfly List 2006
Everlasting-pea was recorded from the
verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
most of the day a Strong Breeze (Force
6) gusting to Gales was blowing so any
were a bonus: five Red Admirals
(two on the Coastal Link Cyclepath,
south of the Toll Bridge, three in
the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks
Road), three of my first confirmed Small
Skippers of the year (on the Coastal Link
Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge) where one Gatekeeper
of two in 15 minutes on the day were also seen, 4+ Meadow
and a probable Comma with
a fleeting glimpse in the Butterfly
Copse as I was distracted by a definite teneral Broad-bodied
Butterfly First Flight Times
day with at least three predatory Southern
actively patrolling the Waterworks Road,
it was scarcely surprising that the only butterflies
seen were a Meadow Brown
and two Red Admirals
which could have been the same one.
splendid sight of a Sparrowhawk
gliding over the path just south of the Toll
Bridge was exceptional and unexpected. This area is usually the haunt
of a male Kestrel
and this female hawk
was a much bigger bird.
was a Peacock Butterfly
that settled near the Toll Bridge,
and on the path south of the bridge,
I passed a Holly Blue Butterfly
and a Small White Butterfly.
Report (all sites)
Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, seen
for the first time this year, were frequently seen on the Spring
Dyke and they appear to have just emerged from the adjacent Miller's
unusually patterned Clouded Yellow Butterflies
framed on the upperside wings by a broad brown border fluttered amongst
the shortish grass and herbs on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath, adjacent to the southern part of the Cement Works.
They were discovered to be the first Clouded
Yellow Butterflies of the year. They were
also the first ever recorded in the month of May.
They behaved more like natives, not so restless as immigrants. Orange
Tip Butterflies were out in force with
a dozen (six males) seen on the Waterworks
Report and List
Butterfly Flight Times
Butterfly First Flight Times
pairs of Large Red-tailed Damselflies were
mating on the surface vegetation
the stream by the Oak
tree, north of Botolphs.
Damsels & Dragonflies 2006
College Farm Pond
is running late. However, a few extra flowers are showing, notably a few
(are they really wild ones?) on the approaches to Lancing College where
Willow (=Osier) catkins were attracting
the bumblebees, one solitary
bee (probably Andrena sp.)
and a handful of small hoverflies including
Speedwell was noted in the A27 central
reservation by Withy Gap, Lancing, and a few Cowslips,
Dead-nettle and plentiful Lesser
Celandine in Lancing (been around all
month), but no butterflies
seen during an hour on an overcast breezy day. Forget-me-Not
was seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
evening is usually relatively poor for butterflies.
At least three of the well patterned Peacock
Butterflies were seen amongst the Nettles
over the Waterworks Road. Two were flirting which made obtaining a photograph
a little difficult. Ground
Ivy was beginning to flower near the Field
Red Kite Reports
Kite seen near Upper Beeding at 5.40
pm flew towards Steyning. This
bird of prey is classified as rare
in Sussex. Rare is less than one seen annually. This classificationmay
have to be revised and this raptor is being seen more often.
the Coastal Link Cyclepath 750 metres
north of the A27
Flyover, the usual small patch of just
over a dozen yellow Coltsfoot
plants were seen in flower.
these birds are notable records in the Adur area.
Owl was observed from about 6:00
pm with two Barn
Owls at New Salts Farm (north of the Saltings
roundabout on the private road to Shoreham Airport).
The Barn Owls
were also using the field on the west of the road as well.
were also two Snipe
flying around and at least three Water
Deer were grazing in the middle of the
arable field immediately to the north of Cuckoo's
Corner on the Coombes Road on the west side of the River Adur. Four
are the most I have seen together. They looked like adults and all lacked
antlers. After the deer,
I also saw my first Grey Squirrel
of the year at the base of a tree by Cuckoo's Corner.
Man's Beard, Clematis
vitalba straggled (or adorned) the
bushes next to the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
This climbing plant has alternative colloquial names. I like to think that
it is known as Traveller's Joy
when it is in flower, but at this time of the year the long white hairs
are what are seen. Clematis
is very common over scrub on wasteland and the downs including Mill
Hill, but it is absent or less frequent in some areas.
Adur Estuary Wildlife 2006
Nature Notes 2006: Index Page