The Red Admiral Butterfly seen flying around the top of flint wall, by the Vicarage in Kingston Buci (east Shoreham) underneath an Evergreen Oak, could be the last seen of the year, as the sun came out between the clouds just before midday. The butterfly was in an average condition.
Adur Butterfly List 2006
A large bird of prey ("bigger than a cat") was seen devouring a Collared Dove in our garden (a large garden in Downside, near the Slonk Hill embankment, north of Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-Sea). My wife watched it plucking feathers for about ten minutes, before it flew off, taking its catch with it. A half a dozen similar observations in the area over the last five years indicate this is almost certainly a female Sparrowhawk. This was unlikely to be the same one as seen before though.
17 November 2006
After darkness, a large grey adult Fox rummaged around the black plastic rubbish bags in the western section (central area) of Corbyn Crescent in Shoreham town.
Scores of House Sparrows, probably numbering between fifty and one hundred, were making a considerable racket in the Brambles next to railway line (by McDonalds next to the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates in Shoreham) and in the Buddleia to the north of the closed Furnitureland warehouse-type store and flying both across the railway line to more Buddleia on the northern side and over the road to the afore mentioned Brambles to the east. The cacophony was joined in by a flock of a dozen mixed gulls and by Herring Gulls squawking on the top of the warehouses on the dockside.
A Kestrel hovered over the Middle Road Allotments.
The Pied Wagtails congregated again just before dusk in the small tree by the closed Furnitureland and on the roof of the warehouse. To complicate matters, a flock of House Sparrows were making a racket in the bushes of the Furnitureland car park near the Civic Centre.
One sign of the imminence of winter is the arrival of the Pied Wagtails to the streets of Shoreham. As dusk approached, a spectacular flock of over a hundred Pied Wagtails congregated on the roof of the closed Furnitureland warehouse and chattered in the small tree on the corner, on the other (northern) side of Ham Road to the Hamm, Shoreham. This may be a collection point rather than a roosting site, as in previous years the flock has been seen to fly off in a north-easterly direction.
Two Red Admiral Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town, one around the closed Furnitureland store immediately north of the Hamm and the other fluttering around a lamp post in the narrow West Street, both in the central area of Shoreham.
Paul Graysmark rescued a caterpillar of the Poplar Hawk-moth, Laothoe populi, from being squashed as it slowly crawled across Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. It hatched into the adult on moth in late April 2007.
I spotted what were half a dozen probable Lactarius pubescens (a type of Milk-Cap)* on the verges of Mill Hill Road where the Bee Orchids were discovered earlier this year. They were on grass and herbland about one metre from two Silver Birch trees.
20 October 2006
A young Hedgehog wondered over the wet grass of a back garden in Corbyn Crescent in the middle of the day (1:00 pm).
Two Shaggy Parasol, Macrolepiota rhacodes mushrooms were seen in the pile of leaves next to the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square, Shoreham, on the edge of the Middle Road allotments. These mushrooms are found here every year, at least for the last three years.
Adur Fungi 2006
After the gales and the rain, a probable orange-brown Vapourer Moth flew strongly over Dolphin Road, Shoreham, although it did not settle I saw it clearly enough to be sure it was not a Painted Lady or Small Copper being between these two in size.
Full Butterfly Report
Amazingly, the small orange butterfly fluttering in the wind in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was seen again (if it was the same one) and this time it settled on a grass verge and positively identified as a Painted Lady Butterfly which came as a bit of a surprise.
A aged Red Admiral Butterfly flew north over the railway crossing gates in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham. A white butterfly was also seen in the distance.
A small orange butterfly (or moth) fluttered in the wind in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, but I could not follow it to find out what it was. (Suggestions: day flying Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua or Small Copper Butterfly?)
12 September 2006
distinctive caterpillar of the Elephant
elpenor, was discovered in the middle
of Nicolson Drive in residential Shoreham (an area with large gardens).
As it was imminent danger of being squashed it was removed to a garden.
The caterpillar was not measured, but estimated to be about 70 mm in length.
I spotted a Jay in an Evergreen Oak in the grounds of Shoreham Grammar School on the boundary with Kingston Lane near the railway bridge. This is a familiar location for this corvid at cerrtain times of the year.
A grasshopper jumped rather than flew at the window of the Cancer Relief Charity Shop in East Street, Shoreham. I captured it and put it in my tool box and released it in my front garden later in the afternoon.
This is a male of Chorthippus brunneus. It has angled keels on the pronotum, brown knees of the hind legs, a red abdomen and typical wings with the (difficult to see) lobe on the underside. It is a very good flyer and you can find it regularly within cities and towns.
ID by Hendrik Devriese (Belgium)
Checklist of UK Recorded Acrididae
A female Stag Beetle was flying around in our lounge in Mill Hill Close (south of Mill Hill) after darkness. This is number five we have seen. They were surprisingly nimble in flight but very noisy.
There were a dozen and more Silver Y Moths in the back garden of the Duke of Wellington Public House, Shoreham, in a mainly paved area with a few tubbed garden plants and climbing vegetation, but next to a large Lime Tree.
At 1:22 pm, the highest ever temperature of 30.7 ºC was recorded at Shoreham.
This rose to 31.0 ºC at 1:36 pm. The wind direction was East.
The tall Lime Tree in the Adur Civic Centre grounds and adjacent to the Duke of Wellington Public House on the A259 coast road is losing some (not many) of its leaves which turn yellow when they fall. Could this be the hot weather? These trees could cause a subsidence problem (depending on the soil type)? Felling often causes a worse problem as the roots die, shrink and allow soil to sink. The tree was certainly planted much too near other buildings.
about to take-off from Connaught Avenue, Shoreham.
Photograph by Garry Finch
A Red Admiral Butterfly outside my front door in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was an auspicious start to a day of weak sunshine and this was followed by three Large White Butterflies in residential Shoreham, followed by a dirty brown-greyish one near Holmbush which was though most likely to be a a Meadow Brown, and an unidentified skipper, thought most likely to be a Large Skipper.
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered along the railway-side hedge of Dolphin Road, Shoreham, near the railway crossing gates.
A large Herring Gull chick got entangled in a necklace of brown brambles as it hopped around near McDonalds and the railway crossing gates at the western end of Dolphin Road, Shoreham.
It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.8 ºC at 4:16 pm. This was the warmest temperature that I have ever recalled.
It was too warm to venture out and the only two butterflies recorded were a Red Admiral in Dolphin Road near the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates and a Large White in Corbyn Crescent, both in urban Shoreham.
It was a surprise to see the first Hummingbird Hawk-moth of the year whirring around my uncut Garden Privet hedge before flying on. This was much earlier in the year than their normal first appearance.
A young healthy looking Fox was caught in the car headlights in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, just before midnight when the air temperature was an astonishing 24.1 ºC. During the day it was the warmest of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.2 ºC at 4:01 pm.
A "woolly bear" caterpillar of the Garden Tiger Moth crawled across Southdown Road, Shoreham, at the extreme southern end underneath the railway bridge.
A Stag Beetle was spotted slowly running around my garden in Mill Hill Close (south of Mill Hill) in the early evening.
A Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans was seen in my Shoreham garden.
There were three Gull chicks perched on the roof of the new apartment block at the junction of Dolphin Road and Eastern Avenue, near the railway crossing gates. The large grey bundles of fur could not be identified, but they were almost certainly the young of the Herring Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull.
looked like it was about to flower in the flint wall of St. Julian's Church,
With wild flowers bursting into flower everywhere, the highlight was about a hundred Bee Orchids in Mill Hill Drive.
A Welsh Poppy was growing in between cracks in the paving stones in a twitten off West Street, Shoreham town centre.
In my last visit to the garden at The Drive in north Shoreham, I discovered that there were two resident Painted Lady Butterflies, one intact and the other one worn with one chunk out of each its wings. Again it was the "Boules Mauve" Wallflower that attracted these butterflies but also a Red Admiral, Large White and a Small White Butterfly, A Holly Blue Butterfly flew around the garden but did not seem to settle. The Painted Ladies were later seen courting in mid-air.
Butterfly Report for the Day
caterpillar that crawled around in my south
Shoreham garden was probably a brown dull larva
of the Muslin Moth,
A magnificent teneral Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa, cruised over the Dovecote Bank (at the top of The Drive, Shoreham). I failed to see this dragonfly at all last year.
Adur Damsels & Dragons 2006
An attractive Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata, was discovered on a Daffodil in my garden in Mill Hill Gardens, which was at one time part of Mill Hill.
4 May 2006
In the warn sunshine, butterflies appeared almost immediately with a Speckled Wood and a Small White in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Middle Road, Shoreham.
The Dandelion in the photograph was growing in the flint wall bordering the twitten next to the railway garden in Shoreham town. Dandelions seem to be more prevalent than usual this year, especially in a plot on the Hamm Road Allotments. (These were rotivated and eliminated on 30 April 2006.)
A large yellow Brimstone Butterfly flew over Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, towards the Hamm Road Allotments as I waited at the traffic lights. Field Speedwell was common on the verges throughout.
Greater Periwinkle are in flower in Mill Hill Road and on verges elsewhere and have been in flower for some time. This may be more of a naturalised garden plant than wild.
A pair of colourful Goldfinches flew across Middle Road from Church green (near Kingston Buci). When do Goldfinches cease to fly in chirms and pair off for breeding? Less than a minute later two Swallows flew low across Middle Road, dodging the houses, they flew at at low level up Southview Close towards the downs in the distance.
The Common Newts are back in my garden pond in Mill Hill Drive, Shoreham (south-west of Mill Hill).
9 April 2006
In the trees next (east side) of the twitten at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, as it leads on to the path to the Waterworks Road next to Frampton's Fields, I spotted a single Long-tailed Tit as well a Song Thrush, the latter not seen very often this winter. A male Pheasant trotted across Frampton's Field.
The first Smooth Newt spawn was spotted early this year in my garden pond in Mill Hill Drive (south of Mill Hill), north Shoreham.
There was considerable mating activity of Common Frogs in the pond in a Shoreham garden near Buckingham Park.
The Rooks collected twigs from the Beech Tree in The Drive for their nests in their usual Pine Tree rookery near the top of The Drive, Shoreham.
The Snowdrops were budding in St Julian's Churchyard, Kingston Buci.
A male Black Redstart was seen on the Telephone Exchange in central Shoreham, from the Tarmount Lane car park (TQ 217 052) at 10:00 am.
the garden near Buckingham Park, Shoreham
a relatively few nine species of birds were recorded during February, in
order of prevalence: Starling 14,
4, Collared Dove
3, Chaffinch 2
and Wood Pigeon
Garden Bird Database 2006
A diminutive Groundsel with a small flower on the verge at the top of The Drive, Shoreham, is a genuine wild flower but probably a garden escape and even this ubiquitous weed does not really qualify as my first wild flower of spring. It flowers all through the year although mostly in spring and the flowers may not appear if it is very cold.
Big Garden Birdwatch 2006
different birds were recorded in the garden during the month of January,
in order of prevalence: Starling
47, Greenfinch 46, Jackdaw
Tit 25, Blackbird
10, Collared Dove
9, Wood Pigeon
9, Robin 4,
Gull 2, Great Tit 1 and Magpie
Garden Bird Database 2006
A splendid male Kestrel skimmed the roof tops in Dolphin Road Shoreham. This raptor species is often seen hovering over the adjacent railway line.
A flock of thirty plus Pied Wagtails in Buckingham Park were probably more than usual together with this familiar bird all over the roads of Shoreham town during the winter months.
My first wild plant in flower this year was a single Common Daisy, Bellis perennis, on the central grass reservation halfway up The Drive, Shoreham (near Buckingham Park). This was probably an escaped cultivated plant so I am still looking for the first wild plant of the year.
A first there were no birds to be seen, followed by a modicum of activity and then a tremendous flurry of feeding birds including at least one and probably two Goldcrests, the first seen in the garden since 16 February 2004. The Goldcrests may have been attracted to the tubs of standing water or the small pond. My first mammal of the year was a House Mouse amongst the rockery. Eleven species of bird seen actually landing in under an hour was the most of this year and the most since Christmas Day. A record 14 species were seen on 22 December 2005.
Garden Bird Database 2006