Map Link for the Green-winged Orchids
Wild Flora and Fauna on Chalk flickr
Anchor Bottom (by Dawn & Jim) flickr
11 June 2020
Photograph by Jeff Curnick
A vagrant Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, was spotted on Beeding Hill.
A Buzzard flapped its wings and then glided in the turquoise blue sky over Anchor Bottom. A minute later a second Buzzard followed the same path in the sky. On a breezy hazy day there was little to see with relatively few flowers on the rough cattle pasture: Bulbous Buttercups on the bottom exceeding the Horseshoe Vetch on the slopes, with a few clumps of Hounds-tongue, and a dozen or so Green-winged Orchids. A single male Adonis Blue Butterfly fluttered over central south-facing bank area and a Small Heath Butterfly was seen amongst the hundreds of cow pats. Hawthorn was blossoming in scattered bushes.
An immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen flying over Anchor Bottom in the afternoon. Adonis Blues were common over the large expanse of the conservation pastures of Anchor Bottom: I counted 37 (30 males +7 females) in a timed 45 minutes, almost all of them in the central south-facing bank area in the space of 16 minutes. There were many more in the areas I did not visit and Lindsay Morris recorded over one hundred (182) in four hours.
Scabious, Autumn Lady's Tresses, Adonis
Devil's Bit Scabious
With a different flora to Mill Hill, the Adonis Blues were nectaring on the abundant Rough Hawkbit., noted visiting the diminutive Squinancywort hidden amongst the grasses, attracted to the occasional tall Carline Thistles, once seen on the few Round-headed Rampions, often on the common Small Scabious, seen on occasional Hardheads, one spotted on a Dwarf Thistle, but not seen on the few Devil's Bit Scabious, or the spikes of the orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses. One female Adonis Blue was seen crawling amongst the leaves of Mouse-eared Hawkweed looking for somewhere to drops its eggs (which should on or near Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves).
(?) Ink Cap, Small Heath
Syrphus hoverfly on Rough Hawkbit., Agaricus mushroom (one of a handful of large mushrooms)
species of butterfly
seen on the day with frequent Small
Heaths seen all over the Anchor Bottom
pastures with occasional Meadow
Browns. I spotted a female Common
Blue on Everlasting
Pea near the Cement Works as well as a
White, Large Whites and a Red
Admiral near Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding.
Adur Butterfly List 2018
22 May 2018
cycled up to Beeding Hill and the top part of Anchor Bottom. But this was
covered in more grasses and Bulbous Buttercups
and despite looking, I could not find anything worth a photograph.
At the top of Anchor Bottom (Beeding Hill gate) I walked south-west until it got too steep and there were occasional Adonis Blues including an amorous pair, as well as the inevitable Meadow Browns.
On a cloudy day, I cycled the Downs Link Path from Erringham Gap north to the bottom of Anchor Bottom (Dacre Gardens entrance). The south north-facing bank was full of ant's mounds, wet and dry cow pats, scattered thinly spaced flowers (mostly Rough Hawkbit, Dwarf Thistle, Small Scabious, diminutive Lesser Knapweed, Red and White Clovers). I was pleased to spot just two Harebells for the first time of the year, this fragile flowers blown about in the breeze. I trekked towards the now dead Elderflower trees in the centre of the bottom. Nearby on the south facing northern butterfly bank I stumbled over my first spikes of Autumn Lady's Tresses (a small upright orchid) of 2017 with a few diminutive (smaller than usual with a single flower) Autumn Gentian and occasional dainty (for an umbellifer) Upright Hedge Parsley.
Blue on Carline
Puff-ball, Golden Wax Cap
were common but spread thinly like the flowers. Meadow
were everywhere and I estimated well over a hundred in the 80 minutes I
spent on the "conservation" lightly grazed rough pasture. I lost count
of male Adonis Blues
at fifty, and spotted a worn Chalkhill
Blue on a Carline
Thistle. A few Common
squabbled with the Adonis.
Heath Butterflies were sparse but there
were handful over the two acres. Two Clouded
Yellows fluttered over the butterfly
bank. And a Small White
was seen by the dead Elderflower.
At the Dacre Garden entrance a very tatty Comma
Butterfly flew around where a Common
landed on the concrete path.
Adur Butterfly List 2017
The white flash of the rear of a Wheatear was a highlight of my visit in the early afternoon.
I spotted three mushrooms: a damaged Golden Wax Cap, Hygrocybe chlorophana, a small Puff-ball and a Common Inkcap. A female larvaform Drilus flavescens beetle was also discovered on the concrete path by the swing gate so altogether it was a very varied hour and half..
Star Thistle (a
Gentian, Autumn Lady's Tresses
Harebell, Golden Wax Cap, larvaform Drilus flavescens beetle
Over the north slope of Anchor Bottom, a Buzzard flapped one wing and steadied itself mid-flight, before going into a prolonged high speed glide, which may be a predatory attack, but the bird of prey disappeared from sight behind a bush.
There were frequent butterflies on a cloudy day with rain in the air, with Meadow Browns and Common Blues both frequently spotted on a trek over the south north facing slope to the central now dead Elder trees, and adjacent south-facing slope. One male Chalkhill Blue was seen.
Wild Thyme, Chalkhill Blue, Greater
Knapweed, Small Scabious
Dwarf Thistle, Red Star Thistle, Pineapple Weed
were most notable with Common Ragwort,
Thistle very commonly blown about on the
breeze, with well over a few hundred plants each, and very frequent Wild
Thyme especially on the numerous ant's
nest mounds, and even a few remnants of
Vetch. Near the gate at the bottom there
were slightly anomalous presence of a clump each of Red
Star Thistle (a Knapweed)
and the first ever wild record on these web pages of the Pineapple
On the north-facing southern bank of Anchor Bottom (entered via the Dacre Gardens entrance) there was a Yellow Shell Moth and two male Common Blues. On the south-facing northern bank I stumbled across 13 Adonis Blues of which five were females. An unidentified vanessid flew rapidly overhead.
The bottom of the open access land was covered in Bulbous Buttercups. I spotted scores of Common Fragrant Orchids on the north-facing southern bank. Other flowers of note included small patches of Horseshoe Vetch, a few patches of Bird's Foot Trefoil and a little Wild Thyme.
A Green-winged Orchid was flowering on Anchor Bottom. There was only one seen after searching.
I made an inpromptu visit to Anchor Bottom (from the Dacre Gardens entrance) in the late morning and noted abundant Small Scabious and Dwarf Thistle in flower on the lesser fertile slopes. I trekked to the best butterfly slopes but only recorded occasional Meadow Browns and one tattered Green-Veined White.
8 May 2016
Orchids were in flower
on the south-western (north-facing) bank of the Anchor Bottom pasture.
7 September 2015
Adonis Blue on Small Scabious, Ragwort, Autumn Gentian
Dwarf Thistle, Red Bartsia, Devil's Bit Scabious
a cloudy day generally the butterflies
had to be disturbed. On Anchor Bottom, I added nine Meadow
six (4+2) Adonis Blues,
and two Small Heath Butterflies.
One Autumn Gentian
was spotted in flower and scores of
Scabious. On the south-facing "Butterfly
Bank" there were a handful of Devil's Bit
Adur Butterfly List 2015
most interesting occurrence of the whole day was three Kestrels
hovering over and one landing on the northern south-facing slopes of Anchor
Bottom. I assume that some if not all of these were juveniles hatched this
year. The Ragwort
of my last visit had nearly all been removed on the bottom of the conservation
cattle pasture. Butterflies were few and
far between. A few Meadow Browns
and a worn Painted Lady,
a few Common Blues
and three sightings of Clouded Yellows
and although it could have been the same one I think it was three different
butterflies. Last (35 minutes after arriving) but not least a female Chalkhill
turned up as I was leaving by the gate at the bottom, chased by four males.
Adur Butterfly List
I made a detour to Dacre Gardens where there was a Red Admiral, Comma, Large Whites, a Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns by the path to Anchor Bottom. On Anchor Bottom I spent half an hour walking through the cow pats and Ragwort to the slope by the Elderflower trees. I saw just two butterflies, a strong flying Painted Lady and an unidentified vanessid.
On a breezy overcast day I cycled from the Fly-over Boot Sale to Anchor Bottom and back along the Steyning Line Cyclepath. The only butterflies seen were two Meadow Browns and two Small Heaths at Anchor Bottom.
Of most interest were scores of Fragrant Orchids amounting to over a hundred on the southern bank where the Horseshoe Vetch (mostly disappeared) had at least three plants in flower. Some of the Fragrant Orchids were fading and others were budding, but I think generally they were past their best. One or two Kidney Vetch were seen in flower.
A detour was made to Anchor Bottom for the scattered hundreds of Green-winged Orchids but there was nothing else of interest.
a brief fifteen visit to the south-western north-facing slopes of Anchor
Bottom. Small Scabious
was very frequently seen over the conservation pasture and proved the main
attraction for the eight male Adonis Blues,
the first one seen almost immediately. Quickly afterwards about a dozen
favoured Small Scabious but
the less prevalent Bird's Foot Trefoil,
and Dwarf Thistle
were also visited for nectar. After ten minutes, I managed to spot two
As I left through the kissing
gates, two Small Heaths
Adur Butterfly Report
I counted six Silver-spotted Skippers on the south facing slope of Anchor Bottom, east of the rabbit warren at TQ 205094. Not a huge number, but most encouraging was the female depositing eggs, hopefully sustaining the colony for the next year.
22 July 2014
Bottom hosted hundreds of Meadow
Gatekeepers, Large White Butterflies,
and occasional each of Chalkhill Blues,
Common Blues, Marbled Whites and
bottom had been harvested and the north-facing south slope had more flowers
than Mill Hill, notably hundreds of Small
Scabious, frequent Dwarf
Thistle (with pronounced stems), a few
stands of Ragwort,
closed flowers of Yellow Wort,
Thyme in large clumps, in a thin meadow-like
fraternity rather than an intermittent pasture, although there were still
dried out cow pats.
Full Butterfly Report
Scores of pretty Green-winged Orchids were strewn amongst the cow pats on the southern north-facing bank of Anchor Bottom (chalk downs at Upper Beeding). All of them were purple in colour. These were the first orchids seen this year.
On the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom cattle pasture, there were scores of Small Scabious but I only discovered one spike of the orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses. After the recent rain, hundreds of mushrooms appeared on the slopes and around the numerous cow pats. There were small ones which I think were dung mushrooms Stropharia as well as a clump of Ink Caps. The others were larger and were Agaricus, but it did not look edible. A Buzzard flew overhead. A Yellow Wort was seen in flower just before midday. At least one Harebell and frequent Dwarf Thistles were noted on passage. One Meadow Brown Butterfly was disturbed under an overcast sky.
A Buzzard soared over the southern scarp of the Anchor Bottom cattle pasture mobbed by a Crow between the electricity pylons. I climbed the southern bank and then trekked to the butterfly south-facing slope to the east past the two Elderflower trees on the floor of the bottom. I noted the frequent flowers of Small Scabious, a few Dwarf Thistle, a few Autumn Gentian, a few Yellow Wort, a small clump of Harebells, frequent Devil's Bit Scabious and even a few single Ox-eye Daisies amongst the cow pats. Under a cloudy sky I disturbed a half a dozen each of Meadow Browns and Adonis Blues with a few Common Blues.
Full Butterfly Report
At Anchor Bottom I discovered that all the Ragwort and Creeping Thistle on the bottom part had been mown, so I only stayed a few minutes, enough to see a few male Common Blues and a handful of Meadow Browns and after a few minutes a few Chalkhill Blues on the north-facing southern slopes. I disturbed a Small Tortoiseshell before I left.
As the cyclepath was too busy, I decided to visit the bottom part of Anchor Bottom. It looked very much like a rough cattle pasture with cow pats and swathes of Creeping Thistle and Ragwort with the occasional Spear Thistle. This proved popular with the butterflies and bees especially at the Dacre Garden end where the frequent Small Tortoiseshells (12+) settled on the Creeping Thistles, and Meadow Browns (10+) which tended to be hidden. The bright red was a Cinnabar Moth and its caterpillars were seen on the Ragwort. I thought I saw a Dark Green Fritillary at first but it was not until five minutes had elapsed before at least two, possible four, were confirmed. It was restless, often inspecting Small Tortoiseshells for a mate and it could be seen that is wing span was appreciably larger. They were so restless that a photograph was impossible, but I chanced upon a Painted Lady and a Marbled White as I tried. One Small Heath was seen by the entrance gate. Large Whites were conspicuous everywhere but only a few were seen on Anchor Bottom.
Full Butterfly Report
Another warm day (24.9 °C) and the butterflies were both frequent and restless in the sunshine.
of the day was my first ever confirmed Dark
Green Fritillary at the foot of Anchor
Bottom (near Dacre Gardens). It was one of
two or three of this large and very strong-flying butterfly. Further east
along Anchor Bottom, there was at least one, probably two, very faded Painted
Ladies by the pair of Elderflower
trees. A Marbled White rose
from the shade of the largest tree. A Large
White Butterfly was seen near the gate
over the prevalent Creeping Thistle
and Ragwort (which
also proved attractive to the Small Tortoiseshells
and Meadow Browns
on Anchor Bottom).
Small Heath Butterfly
settled on the western side of the gate and a male Common
Blue over the main road outside Dacre
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Green-winged Orchids were in flower on the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom.
My first Small Heath of the year was seen on my Anchor Bottom transect and this was the first reported in Sussex. Also about eight Burnet Companion Moths, and a good supporting cast.
The vast grass downland expanses of Anchor Bottom were almost devoid of butterflies although a Red Admiral flew high overhead further up the slope, and a Large White was seen in the distance. The south facing Horseshoe Vetch field is the most promising area, but it was a few minutes before a Meadow Brown Butterfly fluttered in a lopping lackadaisical manner before briefly (a second or two) landing on a Devil's Bit Scabious (which was my first report of this plant on this site) and then Sow Thistle. As I followed it, a the bright yellow of a Clouded Yellow Butterfly distracted my attention. Above, the sound of the wings of a Rook flapping may be look up into the blue sky decorated with fluffy fair weather cumulus clouds.
Something made me look up towards the cloudy sky over the northern slope of Anchor Bottom: a large dark bird glided through the sky and by its broad wing shape I recognised a Buzzard. Less than a minute afterwards it was mobbed by a Crow, but it glided westwards unperturbed and then out of sight. A flock of thirty or more Rooks were seen in the same area, followed by flock of 300+ Starlings that flew up in unison as the Buzzard glided past. The first Autumn Lady's Tresses (a small orchid) and Harebell of 2009 were spotted on the Horseshoe Vetch slope at Anchor Bottom. A Snowy Ink Cap (mushroom) was also noticed in the pasture.
|I explored Anchor Bottom from Dacre Gardens where Meadow Browns 35+ were frequently disturbed on my trek to the main Horseshoe Vetch slopes and back. An estimated twenty Common Blues (including one female) were mainly amongst the floristically poor longer grass on the southern slope and were only seen when disturbed so the actual numbers were much larger. Two Small Heath Butterflies were seen at the foot of the Horseshoe Vetch as usual, where after about ten minutes when I had given up all hope of any blue butterflies, a bright blue Adonis Blue was spotted amongst a few flowers near the Stinging Nettle patch followed by a male Chalkhill Blue and another one of each. On the return trip across the foot of the southern slopes of Anchor Bottom I spotted a Wall Brown, a Small (or Essex) Skipper and another Small Heath.|
My first of the year Six-spotted Burnet Moth was one of two on Creeping Thistle at the back of Dacre Gardens next to Anchor Bottom. Wild Mignonette hosted a dozen Small Blue Butterflies and one male Common Blue in the same area. There were more Small Blues on Anchor Bottom itself, at least another six with two of them on a medium-dry cow pat, and occasional Meadow Browns and one tattered Cinnabar Moth. On the bottom of the fading Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, patch amongst the long grass there were two tattered male Adonis Blues and about eight Small Heath Butterflies courting and looking very lively.
patch of over fifty Fragrant Orchids
on the southern (south-west, north facing) bank of Anchor Bottom was unprecedented
in these records. Yellow Rattle
was noted in flower amongst the long grasses and a few Yellow
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Orchid Images 2009
New Wild Flowers
Anchor Bottom produced occasional (at least five) Small Heaths, about five Common Blues on the western bottom area, and by the beds of Stinging Nettles there were a couple of Cinnabar Moths.
The south-facing patch of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa and Sainfoin hosted occasional (at least ten) male Adonis Blues. A few (not many) Green-veined Orchids were in flower.
On a brief visit to Anchor Bottom, I found the Green-veined Orchids in full show. On the south facing slopes Common Blue Butterflies, Dingy Skippers and a day-flying Burnet Moth were spotted..
21 April 2009
I visited Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding, but I could not find any Green-winged Orchids in flower. There was not a single butterfly and only a few Cowslips.
I visited Anchor Bottom where there were just the occasional Meadow Browns and a Peacock Butterfly and no Chalkhill Blues on the south-facing hill.
The first confirmed Six-spotted Burnet Moths were spotted on Greater Knapweed on the south-facing Horseshoe Vetch slope of Anchor Bottom.
Dacre Gardens and the Ragwort-covered basin* of Anchor Bottom hosted frequent (20+) Meadow Browns, occasional (7 -10) Peacock Butterflies, a few Comma Butterflies, one Red Admiral and a few Small Tortoiseshells. (*The majority of the Ragwort was on the flat basin rather than the slopes.)
Adur Burnet Moths
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Native wild flowers recorded for the first time this year consisted of frequent Fragrant Orchids, which were nearly finished and a solitary Small Scabious, both species seen on Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding. Restharrow was frequently seen.
least 18 Meadow Brown
Butterflies were seen amongst the long
grass. Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies
seen by a large patch of Stinging Nettles in the middle of Anchor Bottom
(3) and at the back of the houses by Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding (2).
Full Butterfly Report
Contrary to my previous observations I have now discovered an extensive area of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the north (south-facing) bank of Anchor Bottom. I originally mistook this area for one of Bulbous Buttercups because the intensity of the flowers and leaves is much less than the lower slopes of Mill Hill and comparable to the upper plateau on the latter down. (The density of leaves may be insufficient to support Chalkhill Blue Butterflies?)
In a stay of over 40 minutes I spotted 5 - 7 male Adonis Blue Butterflies, one large creamy-white female Brimstone Butterfly, and my first Brown Argus of the year in pristine condition. Just two of the Adonis Blues were seen on the Horseshoe Vetch patch as the others were seen on the dry valley bottom. On a north bank clump of long grass, five Yellow Shell Moths were spotted together. On the north bank the other flowers of note were Sainfoin (first of the year), Bulbous Buttercups, small amounts of Bird's Foot Trefoil, small patches of Milkworts, and an occasional Mouse-eared Hawkweed. They were visited by buzzing bumblebees and both Red-tailed Bumblebees, Bombus lapidarius, and Common Carder Bees, Bombus pascuorum, were foraging.
the south (north-facing) bank at the western Dacre Gardens end, a few small
patches of Horseshoe Vetch,
the fading remnants of Green-winged Orchids
the even more exiguous remnants of
were noted. No butterflies
were spotted in this area.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Adur Wild Flowers
The first orchids of 2008 were frequent Green-winged Orchids pushing up from the southern side turf on Anchor Bottom. There was just one Small White Butterfly at Anchor Bottom flying up from the Dacre Gardens.
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Anchor Bottom (at the western Dacre Garden end) was devoid of all butterflies.
Very few wild flowers showed on south slopes of Anchor Bottom (Dacre Garden entrance), there was a Hardhead (=Lesser Knapweed) and a few Yarrow, Hawkweeds, Ragworts and Common Centaury. Two small white mushrooms were seen amongst the grasses and sedges. I think these may be young versions of the Pale Wax Cap, Hygrocybe pratensis var pallida.
On an acre trek over Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding, I recorded 42 Meadow Browns on the southern slopes, but no other butterflies were seen.
A half an hour trek on the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom (Dacre Garden entrance), Upper Beeding, produced 52 Meadow Brown Butterflies, two male Adonis Blues, one male Common Blue and a Small Heath Butterfly at the top on the southern boundary. Amongst the long grass and herbs still dominated by Small Scabious, I stumbled over the first Autumn Lady's Tresses of 2007, and there were half a dozen of these small easily overlooked orchids in a small area and were probably only a small proportion of a much larger number in the same general area the other orchids were found. Occasional Harebells were noticed amongst the long grass.
Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding (Dacre Garden entrance) a mating pair of Chalkhill
were seen immediately and there were at least a dozen more Meadow
about the same number of 6-spot Burnet
Moths were seen in about 30 minutes. There
were probably a few Small Heath Butterflies
but only one was definitely recorded. A Painted
Lady Butterfly flew eastwards and eventually
up the slope.
The southern (north-facing) slopes were covered in abundant Small Scabious, and very common Stemless Thistle, Rough Hawkbit, Hardheads and Burnet Saxifrage (umbellifer to be double-checked), with the occasional clump of Bird's Foot Trefoil, and I noted Autumn Gentian, Restharrow and Common Centaury. The northern (south-facing) slopes were not visited, but it looked as though these were dominated by Ragwort.
On Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding (Dacre Garden entrance) there were at least a dozen more Meadow Brown Butterflies and over twenty 6-spot Burnet Moths. A Dor Beetle crawled amongst the long grass.
Adur Burnet Moths
I made a brief herb list amongst the long grasses, and in order of prominence it was as follows: Small Scabious, Ragwort, Stemless Thistle, Ox-eye Daisies, Lady's Bedstraw, Rough Hawkbits, Thyme, Red Clover, White Clover, Self-heal, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Yellow Wort, Common Centaury, Black Medick, Yarrow, Kidney Vetch, Wild Carrot and others overlooked. There were small numbers of Pyramidal Orchids, Hoary Plantains and Restharrow.
A Wheatear was seen in the distance, up by the fence on the southern boundary.
In the breezy (Force 5) warm (>21.9 ºC) sunshine, butterflies were blown about considerably. A detour to Anchor Bottom recorded a surprise Small Blue Butterfly, two Small Heath Butterflies and about ten Meadow Browns.
In an area (measured at 3 acres) on the south (north-facing) bank 48 Fragrant Orchids were seen in approximately the same area that the Green-winged Orchids are found earlier in the year. This area contains evidence of cattle use.
A look at the flora did not show anything remarkable, although the grass was thicker and longer than the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I did find small patches of Thyme and Kidney Vetch and my diligence was eventually rewarded with the discovery of a small area of Horseshoe Vetch with 40 or so flowers.
Anchor Bottom was rather bare of movement, but after about 15 minutes in the afternoon, I spotted a Large White Butterfly flying strongly, immediately followed by at least two Small Heath Butterflies and later by two Meadow Browns.
Overall, the yellow in the pasture was mostly Meadow Buttercups, but also very frequent Hawkbits and I spotted a few Mouse-eared Hawkweed flowers.
Two Fragrant Orchids were seen in flower for the first time this year on Anchor Bottom. This species is infrequent locally and the large expanse of Anchor Bottom and nearby fields are it only known location covering well over a hundred acres. They are recorded only occasionally and finding two in the shelter of a large Hawthorn was exceptional.
I was surprised to spot one clump* of the tiny Fairy Flax, occasional Milkworts, a few Hoary Plantain, Plantago media, one Small Scabious in flower, Yellow Wort (no sign of the flower) stalks, Common and Ox-eye Daisies a few flowering grasses and nothing else of note. I did not even notice the common Wild Thyme that I usually see (I must have overlooked this) but there was absolutely no sign of Bird's Foot Trefoil or Horseshoe Vetch.
(* cf. the lower slopes of Mill Hill would have hundreds of these plants.)
We saw about six Adonis Blues in the afternoon in Anchor Bottom between Shoreham and Upper Beeding.
29 April 2007
There must have been at least a hundred Green-winged Orchids in the acre on the southern side at the Dacre Gardens western entrance. I saw one pale almost white flower. But there was nothing else: not a single butterfly to be seen and no trace of Horseshoe Vetch. A few Cowslips were in flower.
Milkwort was recorded from Anchor Bottom for the first time. It was probably overlooked before. At least some of the Green-winged Orchids were now large enough to photograph successfully. Violets were also seen in flower. There was one darkish butterfly seen. This was probably a Peacock Butterfly, but could have been a Red Admiral.
of a Green-winged Orchid (by Ray Hamblett) on Wild
Flora and Fauna on Chalk flickr
20 April 2007
On an almost barren hillside, apart from the rough grasses, wet and dry cow pats, very frequent Dandelions, occasional Field Speedwells, the first Green-winged Orchids of the year were pushing up from the southern side turf on Anchor Bottom.
A twelve minutes or so wander around the Dacre Gardens end of Anchor Bottom added 14 Adonis Blues, half attracted to the cow pats and four were females (one of the females was faded and could have been a Chalkhill Blue). There were two Common Blues and just one Meadow Brown and one Small Heath seen amongst the wiry grasses and cowpats of Anchor Bottom.
Anchor Bottom (Dacre Gardens entrance) was a surprise; David Sadler had said there were Adonis Blue Butterflies but I was sceptical. 24 fresh male Adonis Blue Butterflies were counted in a twenty minute circular walk, five of them on one moist cow pat near the swing gate and another five around some other pats. There were about eight Common Blue Butterflies and two Small Heath Butterflies as well. Separating the blues was difficult, but most were Adonis. There were a few Meadow Brown Butterflies on the rough parched grassland with Scabious and Stemless Thistle.
A brief eight minute visit to the pastures at the foot of Anchor Bottom up the south side of hill by the Dacre Gardens entrance, saw me avoiding the cow pats and wading through hundreds of Scabious and Stemless Thistle, even more than a week before.
Under the cloudy sky, I disturbed scores of Common Blue Butterflies of both sexes, an unconfirmed Brown Argus, one aggressive Chalkhill Blue, frequent Meadow Browns and occasional Small Whites with a handful of Red Admirals and a Painted Lady. The overcast conditions meant that all the blue butterflies were resting. Silver Y Moths were frequently seen.
I made a 15 minute detour over these undergrazed pastures at the foot of Anchor Bottom up the south side of hill by the Dacre Gardens entrance. It is interesting to note that the management of this pasture creates a different flora and fauna to all the other downs (e.g. Mill Hill, Lancing Ring meadows and Southwick Hill). I noted that both the amount of Scabious and Wild Thyme exceeded all the other areas, Ragwort was abundant (like the grazed Erringham Hill this year), Stemless Thistle was comparable to Mill Hill, Hardheads (=Lesser Knapweed) was greater than Mill Hill but less than Lancing Ring meadows, Kidney Vetch was greater than the Slonk Hill Cutting and the range of plants was not quite as great as Mill Hill or Lancing Ring meadows (e.g. Greater Knapweed was one of many plants not seen). Yarrow, Yellow Wort, Salad Burnet and Bird's Foot Trefoil were noted.
Y Moths were everywhere, at least four
a minute giving a total seen of about sixty, and Meadow
edged out Common Blues
(30+) in prevalency with two Chalkhill
Blues and a Gatekeeper
near the gate.
Over a hundred Green-winged Orchids were scattered in isolation over the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom (north of the Cement Works). It was difficult to ascertain their numbers because the extent of their spread was not ascertained. There seemed to be several hundred. All were purple and no white ones were discovered.
Green-winged Orchid with Cow Pat
Cattle Grazing has occurred on Anchor Bottom since 1971 and has resulted in a change of flora and fauna.
Green-winged Orchids in-situ
were the only plants of interest, although there were a handful of
small hoverfly was recorded on
Hundreds of Green-winged Orchids are flowering at Anchor Bottom, near Upper Beeding, on the eastern bank. There were not as many as in previous years. When the orchids are over there is not a trace of them to see, no stalk or leaves.
24 April 2005
During a brief spell of weak sunshine, a Brimstone Butterfly, one Peacock and one Holly Blue were seen at the back of Dacre Gardens at the foot of Anchor Bottom, and a probable Small White and probable Large White Butterfly at the top on the north side. There were cow pats on the steep 45° slopes on the northern face. The pasture was mostly grass and lacked flora or fungi of interest.
Adur Butterfly List 2005
Anchor Bottom, (Dacre Gardens entrance) looked different with shorter grass, but there were fresh cow pats and after a ten minute climb, nothing of interest was seen and only two butterflies, one Small Heath by the gate and a Meadow Brown further up the hill amongst the Hawthorn bushes dotted all over the slope.
In the photograph on the right the Hawthorn bushes can be seen growing all over the slope. This problem occurred on Mill Hill and caused a serious deterioration of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly habitat.
I visited Anchor Bottom, (Dacre Gardens entrance), near Upper Beeding, for a comparative look at the lower part of this downland, which in historical times, before the "improvement" and cattle gazing, had a reputation for butterflies. Dodging the cow pats in the long coarse grasses, I observed just a dozen butterflies of four species, including one smaller than usual Chalkhill Blue. There was one Common Blue Butterfly, one Small Heath Butterfly and a handful of Meadow Browns. There was also a faded 6-spot Burnet Moth, which disconcertingly had the sixth spot so faded that it could only just be discerned. I walked all the way to the top on the southern side.
Cows (attended by a farmer in a motor vehicle) were grazing on the upper slopes of the field that includes Anchor Bottom and there seemed to be wet cow pats near the Dacre Gardens entrance at Upper Beeding, where two Marbled White Butterflies were seen. Scabious was commonly growing on the slopes. I am not clear about identifying the Field Scabious and Small Scabious, but these ones had rudimentary leaves like the few on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Dwarf (=Stemless) Thistle was also showing, but much of the grass was long and coarse.
Access to Anchor Bottom is possible from the north end of Dacre Gardens at Upper Beeding. This is the famous area for the Green-winged Orchids, but they were no longer in flower. This orchid is still present in thousands (by reports).
is an undergrazed cow pasture with long grasses, clovers,
but also Pyramidal Orchids,
and other calicoles.
Heath Butterflies are found here and there
were at least 15, slightly more than the number of Meadow
Browns, with a few Small
Tortoiseshells and at least one Common
Adur Butterfly List 2004