Adur Levels & Estuary 2019

14 May 2019

Cows Parsley near Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding

I spotted my first Swallow of 2019 over Erringham Gap and a second on over the Downs Link Cyclepath at Upper Beeding by the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur. Columbine was flowering in a few plants on the verge of the Downs Link Cyclepath at the Old Shoreham end dominated by Crosswort and Germander Speedwell.
The hoverfly Helophilus pendulus visited the newly flowering Ox-eye Daisies near Annington Sewer.

1 May 2019

Green-veined White Butterfly

Alas, the auto-focus on my camera would not work on the whites of the Green-veined White Butterfly on the southern part of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, (which doubles up as a Footpath 3138 and was once public land in living memory, part of Mill Hill and the walking access route to the downs). The prime photograph was far from sharp as I would have liked and once disturbed the two white butterflies would not settle again. Instead, I was distracted by insect activity, a dozen Squash Bugs, Coreus, including two mating pairs, my first Large Red Damselfly of the year, a Red Admiral Butterfly, first of the year hoverfllies, the distinctive Rhingia campestris and the usually obliging Myathropa florea. Lastly, the orange vanessid butterfly that flew over the Waterworks Road was probably a Comma.

30 April 2019

Orange-tip Butterfly 

A female Orange-tip Butterfly near Coombes was ample reward for a cycle ride which originally going too be a brief afternoon jaunt to Cuckoo's Corner, but I cycled further up the Coombes Road. It was fortunate as I caught a glimpse of a white butterfly and I just wanted to see if it was a Small White or Green-veined White seen earlier visiting the opportunistic plants on the tidal defence new embankment (on the realigned Pill Box Way) next to the Airport. I did glimpse a small brown butterfly or moth on Adur Recreation Ground near the Railway Viaduct, but this was a too much of a fleeting look for identification. I also spotted the target butterfly, a strong-flying male Orange-tip, on the short incline from Cuckoo's Corner to the junction to Applesham Farm.
Adur Butterfly List 2019

Field Pansy, White Campion
Pill Box Way Bank

The first flowering colonisers on the exposed Pill Box Way Bank were the predictable Oil Seed Rape, hundreds of White Campion, scores of Hoary Cress,  a surprise (probably seeded?) group of the violetField Pansy, Viola arvensis, with plenty of leaf flora not yet in bloom. It will be interesting to see what flowers emerge? At the side of the exposed towpath from the Tollbridge to Cuckoo's Corner, there were plenty of Stinging Nettles, plus flowering Cow Parsley and White Deadnettle the most noticeable flora. On the shady verges of the Coombes Road there was the common Garlic Mustard. Red Campion and Bluebells were frequent and noted especially underneath the raucous Rook nest canopy.

19 April 2019

Mallard, Robin
 Cuckoo Flower, Mute Swan on its nest
Woods Mill

A motorised trip to Woods Mill produced my first ever sight of the huge eggs of the Mute Swan on its nest. There were a few restless butterflies in the sun including my first male Orange-tips of the year, a tatty Peacock and a very lively Brimstone Butterfly. One Orange-tip stopped on a Cuckoo Flower for just a second. A pair of Mallards had ducklings in tow on the main pond.

Tottington Wood filtered the sunlight through the tree tops making photographing the ground flora very tricky which was not helped by the woody debris. However, the main barrier to a capturing the Bluebell swathes was the extensive anti-Deer fencing. Wood Anemones, Lesser Celandine, Primroses and Dog Violets were common on the edge of the narrow paths through the wood. Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen as I walked through the wood.

15 April 2019
Blackthorn had lost its flowers and Hawthorn was budding at Cuckoo's Corner but further up the Coombes Road by Ladywells Stream and the scout's hut (Streamside) Blackthorn was still flowering. Garlic Mustard was beginning to flower on the Coombes Road verges as well as the first of the Spanish Bluebells. In the afternoon breeze there were no butterflies. I disturbed a pair of Mallards, which took flight from the stream opposite Ladywell's House. I spotted my first House Martin of the year over the River Adur north of the Tollbridge from the western towpath.

12 April 2019

Whimbrel
Adur Estuary
Photograph by Sylvia Lemoniates

8 April 2019

Blackthorn

Blackthorn dominated the white blossom plentiful in the hedgerows and amongst the scrub on the downs. Cherry Plum had virtually finished and so had the early Blackthorn, but Hawthorn was yet to flower in the wild. Alexanders attracted frequent small to medium hoverfly species: notably Syrphus, Eristalis, the small Sphaerophoria scripta, first of the year Myathropa florea, as well as few bees, bumblebees, Honey Bees and Common Wasps.
Cowslips were common on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between the Erringham Gap and the Cement Works. Two 7-spot Ladybird were seen on White Deadnettle underneath the Adur Flyover.
I spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.
Adur Butterflies 2019

29 March 2019
Blackthorn was in flower and Hawthorn was in leaf at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road. Rooks were nest occupying in the very tall trees near Cuckoo's Corner.
Adur Trees & Shrubs 2019

25 March 2019
A Common Bee-fly visited the first few Cowslips on the the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works. Two Peacock Butterflies sparred, or courted, over the same path, a half mile, or so, further south. Blackthorn was in flower near  the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

20 March 2019
A Brimstone Butterfly was seen by the River Adur.

Report by Tracy
Adur Butterflies 2019

14 March 2019

European Cormorant fishing

Four Cormorants were seen between the Tollbridge and the Norfolk Bridge at mid-tide on a dull day with a stiff breeze blowing from the north. At least two were seen actively fishing, with the one photographed, it looked as though it was having difficulty getting its prey down its narrow gullet.
The difference between our native Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo carbo, and the continental sub-species, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, is very subtle -  the best single character is the shape of the gular pouch (an orange area of flesh on the face used to hold food). Ref. The illustrated Cormorant may be the European sub-species?

A half dozen Greater Black-backed Gulls hunkered down on the small amount of exposed mud.

1 March 2019

Goldfinch, Grey Heron
Mallards, Grey Heron, Redshank

Old Shoreham to the Cement Works

A Grey Heron showed plus three pairs of Mallards on the River Adur on a low tide by the Cement Works. The young Redshank was one of two actively feeding by the Tollbridge at Old Shoreham, but there were only gulls and no Lapwings on the exposed mud banks. The Goldfinch was solitary and singing for a mate on the edge of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the Erringham Gap, north of the Flyover.

Jackdaw at Old Shoreham

Compared with other corvids, the Jackdaw spends more time exploring and turning over objects with its bill; it also has a straighter and less downturned bill and increased binocular vision which are advantageous for this foraging strategy.  Ref. I would say Crows and Magpies are more inquisitive (Andy).

27 February 2019

Main Pond, Woods Mill

19 February 2019

Lapwing

There were half a dozen Lapwings on the exposed mud north of the Tollbridge on the low spring tide in the afternoon

15 February 2019

Silver Birch
Downs Link Cyclepath near (north of) the Erringham Gap

There were hundreds of Common Gulls and other gulls on the River Adur mud banks, but the Lapwings were not seen at low tide


 Adur Levels and Estuary 2018


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Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath


Adur Nature Notes (Link)                     2018