Adur rises four miles south of Horsham and runs south-east skirting
Coolham, Shipley and West Grinstead before meeting the eastern tributary
midway between Ashurst to the west and Henfield to the east. The eastern
tributary rises in two tributaries south of Haywards Heath, and south of
Burgess Hill that meet at Twineham. The 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
- July 2007
range where the River Adur, now at Kingston
Buci (part of Shoreham-by-Sea), meets the sea through the entrance to Shoreham
Harbour, is up to 7 metres above Chart Datum
on an equinoctial spring tide.
mud flats (TQ 208 056) including the RSPB Reserve has been notified from
1987 as a Site
of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under Section 28 of the Wildlife
& Countryside Act 1981.
Estuary Wildlife 2008
Grebe dived under the water and a Kingfisher
arrowed its flight under the Railway Viaduct.
A Little Egret
was seen actively just north of the A27 Flyover
bridge. It was seen to catch a swallow a small fish, almost certainly a
first year Bass.
were at least three Little Grebes diving
under the water, around the bend in the River Adur
by Cuckoo's Corner, on a low neap
were occasional Redshanks
on the bank of the river from Old Shoreham to the Cement Works, the Canada
Goose with two
Mute Swans and one
Grebe was seen diving at high tide.
hovered over the Sea Purslane
at low tide south of Old Shoreham Tollbridge
and then descended. The target prey was not determined. On the mud
there were over a hundred mixed gulls
and frequent Lapwings.
Rock Pipit seen perched on Sea
Purslane at low tide
on the east side of the Adur estuary south of Old
Shoreham Tollbridge and it remained
in view, but elusively out of reach for a
photograph, for at least two minutes and long
enough to be sure of my identification (and that it was not the very similar
up the river, I spotted two Little Grebes
on the surface and diving under between Cuckoo's
Corner and the Cement Works.
fed along the water's edge by the Adur Riverside industrial estate north
of Ropetackle at medium tide.
surge threatened the east coast of England.
Low pressure and strong winds caused the surge and put at least 60
cm on the forecasted high tide
in the River Adur.
the afternoon, on a low water neap tide, I spotted
two pairs of Little Grebes
on the surface and diving under between Cuckoo's
Corner and the Cement Works.
low tide (neap, 2
metre low) a score or more of Ringed
Plovers and at least two squabbling Grey
Plovers were noticeable south of the Toll
Bridge. There was a procession of at least
a dozen Redshanks
on the bank of the river evenly spaced in their territories at least as
far as the Cement Works, with three Little
in the river around the bend north of Cuckoo's
Corner. All these birds as well as the inevitable Little
Egret and scores of
gulls would be expected at this time of
the year. There were a few Lapwings,
the large flocks were not on the mudbanks.
fanned its attractive turquoise wings in a semi-circular flight at the
eastern end of the
a high flood tide (6.5
metres) a dozen Meadow
Pipits flew around the towpath on the
side of the Adur estuary. They were in fine plumage
and could easily be recognised by their white tail feathers. There were
a few other equally sized birds without the white tail feathers that perched
on one metre high plants and these may be Reed
Buntings? A few Pied
Wagtails rose from the wooden sides of
Toll Bridge and flew upwards
and away over the river. A single Little
Grebe was seen fishing nearer the eastern
side by the Adur Riverbank Industrial estate diving and rising nearer the
centre of the river after each dive.
spotted a flash of turquoise and brown on a dull day as a Kingfisher
in a semi-circular flight from a perch near the freshwater Annington Sewer
(directly north of Cuckoo's
Corner) and then flew along the tidal
river bank. Further north along the bank before the river winds past the
Cement Works, there were a dozen Pied Wagtails,
with their characteristic dipping flight, on the western bank. Amongst
of Hawthorn and
other trees on the western bank opposite the Cement Works, the green-yellow
belly of a Yellowhammer
was most noticeable amongst the rather dull broken trees.
foraged at the medium tideline amongst the
rubble and stones by Ropetackle, Shoreham. They used their beaks to turn
of the Landscape
Studies advanced education course by the University
of Sussex were surveying the riverbank around the high tide
mark (at low tide) for flora upriver
from Cuckoo's Corner. I was able
to identify Spear-leaved Orache
amongst the Sea Couch Grass.
I also saw my first Grey
the autumn south of the Toll Bridge.
have probably overlooked them before.
in the Adur estuary south of the
Bridge at medium low
flew westwards like an arrow parallel with the Railway
couple of Little Egret,
a Grey Heron
and a Cormorant
were all seen fishing in the River Adur north of
the Toll Bridge at medium low tide
and near Cuckoo's
Life off Sussex
young male Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus,
"George" followed a boat into the River Adur and
stayed for most of the day until coaxed back out to sea by Shoreham inshore
lifeboat before it could stranded on the low neap tide.
particular Bottle-nosed Dolphin habitually
enters English Channel harbours, but for all of last year was found around
the French coast.
& Dolphins around the British Isles
Goose followed a Mute
Swan at high tide
by Ropetackle in Shoreham town.
Heron fished in the river south of Cuckoo's
Corner and there were two Little Egrets
Egret was actively fishing by the Toll
Bridge at low tide and nearer Cuckoo's
Corner a Grey
Heron took off after being disturbed fishing.
tiny flowers of the Lesser Sea-spurrey,
marina, were seen on the edge of the
Purslane and the towpath north of Cuckoo's
last I was able to get out in the recent sunshine where I took the towpath
on the western side of the river north of Cuckoo's
Corner (a rare route in recent years), where I unexpectedly noticed
a pair of Oystercatchers
by the earth bank at high tide,
plus three Pied
Wagtails rising from the earth bank on
the waterside of the cattle pasture.
Grey Mullet, Chelon labrosus, were
swimming upstream in the Adur estuary at least as far as the Cement Works
where Mick the angler caught
one and released it back into the river immediately, at high tide.
I lost count of the
at 41 on the river by the Cement Works. One Little
Egret waded along the thin strip of mud
(at high tide) north of the South Downs Way Bridge.
Heron fished at low tide
as the River Adur flows west-east south of Cuckoo's
was seen on the River Adur estuary at Old Shoreham
on the south side of the Toll Bridge
at 3:00 pm.
first immigrant Wheatear
was spotted on the towpath approaches to the south of Cuckoo's Corner;
it landed on a pole but quickly flew off. Although unmistakably a Wheatear,
this bird seemed to have more black than usual noticed in the white tail
northerly (NNW) breeze (Force
4) blew across the flooded estuary at
high tide south of Old Shoreham Toll
Bridge, with a Cormorantfishing
and another one on a pole and five Oystercatchers
or a small patch of vegetation in the river.
swam on the flooded River Adur estuary, on an equinoctial
spring high tide, south of Old Shoreham Toll
Gull still in its first winter plumage
was seen in the morning between 8:40 and 9:30am
on the River Adur estuary between the Toll
Bridge and the Railway Viaduct. At
low tide the gull frequented the mud/sand bars
in the river and generally loafed with a large gathering of mixed gulls.
Grebes swam and dived on the River
Adur south of Cuckoo's Corner.
the estuary just north of the viaduct, a
Grebe dived under water at high tide.
the Adur mud flats outside the Waterside Inn at half tide
there a dozen Ringed Plovers
darting about on the mud with at least one Redshank
wading close to the shore and a Grey Plover
bathed in a pool left by the receding high spring tide.
Shoreham airfield there were at least 1,500 Lapwing
hunkered down in the wind and rain and around
the houseboats on the River Adur estuary
there was a flock of 65 Teal,
the most we have seen here for a few years.
close together on the edge of the mud and water between Old Shoreham Toll
Bridge and the Railway Viaduct about
a hundred Ringed Plovers
all faced west and had their grey backs to me viewing from the east bank
of the Adur estuary. This number is unrecorded before on these Nature
Notes pages and this could be because they have been missed previously.
A black Brent Goose swam
in mid-stream at low tide. There weres scores of Dunlins
and a Grey Plover
was noted. North of the Toll Bridge there were several hundred Common
Gulls on the mud flats and at one time
they all rose in flight as a hundred Lapwings
flew over as though they were about to descend. So the whole air space
was covered in birds in two bands of Common
Gulls topped by the higher flying Lapwings.
I noted Redshanks
and a diving Cormorant
and a few Crows.
There were two Oystercatchers
pecking around the shallow pools by Ropetackle and a Pied
Wagtail landed on the mud.
Estuary Wildlife 2006
PLANTS OF THE SUBMERGED ESTUARY
are Sea Purslane and
a lesser amount of Seablite
a small pocket of Cord Grass
Adur Estuary Wildlife 2004
Nature Notes 2006: Index Page