fifty Adonis Blue
Butterflies fluttered around in the late
afternoon sunshine on Mill Hill where I
spotted my first Cinnabar Moth
of the year in the long thick grass south of the Reservoir. A Peacock
Butterfly was spotted earlier over the
Path. The first Bee Orchid
of the year was seen on the verge in Mill Hill Road.
medium sized Grey Mullet
were seen on the canal side of the lock gates in Shoreham Harbour.
made a pleasant change to watch well in excess of fifty Adonis
Blues, collecting to roost on the upper
slopes of Mill Hill. Most of these are
still pristine, and as the last rays of evening sun played on their wings,
they shone like sapphires
amongst the tall grasses. Low numbers of Wall,
Blue and Small
Heath Butterflies were rather overshadowed
expedition to Lancing Beach (just to
the west of Lancing Sailing Club) on a low neap 1.9 metre tide
revealed the sandy shallows and a clear sea on a calm day and the haul
in 40 minutes or so using my small 60 cm push-net was about 100
Shrimps Crangon crangon,
small flatfish fry,
one small Plaice,
occasional small Solenettes (Slipper Soles)
one second year Sole,Solea solea,
a handful of South-clawed Hermit Crabs,
pugilator, a few very small
bernhardus in Grey
Topshells, one Vernal
vernalis, and a few of the swimming
crabs Portumnus latipes.
felt warm recording the highest air temperature of the year so far at 24.9
ºC at 2:12 pm.
exceptionally green and heavily gravid female Wall Lizard, Podarcis
muralis, skittered out from a clump of Sea Kale on the shingle
part of Shoreham Beach south of Shingle
Road. Apparently, they are often seen in this area and in the gardens of
the houses and the school grounds in the same road.
I have also received past reports from two separate reliable sources of
brought in by a cat and lots of unidentified lizards in a garden in nearby
Marlinspike (by a visitor not the owner) from the same area.
Reports and Comparisons
first few clumps of bright blue-violet Hairy
Violets, Viola hirta, were
recognised in flower on the steep (45°) slopes
of Mill Hill.
mating on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill where I recorded by first Common
Blue Butterfly if the year which was a
faded and slightly battered female visiting Horseshoe
Vetch, and my first definite Wall
Brown Butterfly left the path by the side
of the wild flower meadow north of the northern car park. Lots of new wild
plants were seen in flower for the first time.
Butterflies: First Dates
nine days of gales and showers, the sun made a feeble show. The flowers
of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis
comosa, were the poorest showing this
century, but this is not necessarily bad because the amount of green leaves
seemed to be increased from last year. The lower
slopes of Mill Hill had a 60% coverage
of Horseshoe Vetch
in the best acre of herbland. Both male and female Adonis
amongst the Horseshoe Vetch
and they made short flights when disturbed. The acre count was 39 with
about 36% (14) females which is a high proportion, especially as they were
not seen mating. The females were pristine and had probably just
virgo, was seen in a Shoreham garden
where there are only very small pools.
by Betty Bishop
was seen on the River Adur estuary at Old
Shoreham on the south side of the Toll
Bridge at 3:00 pm.
saw my first dragonflies of the year patrolling
along a stream north of Cuckoo's Corner.
Patience was rewarded with a view of a Hairy
Blue Butterflies were common in Shoreham
and they occur on the downs as well, where seven Adonis
Blue Butterflies were seen on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill, where their food
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
was increasing but still two weeks off its peak showing.
saw my first few House Martins
of the year flying over the banks of the River Adur
at low tide. There were also two probable Wall
Brown Butterflies on Lancing