Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

August 2010

Old Erringham
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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

Chalkhill Blue
Common Blue (female)
Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports


30 August 2010
I saw a female Brown Hairstreak on an Eryngium in my garden (close to Mill Hill).

Report by Ellie Blows on Sussex Butterfly Reports

29 August 2010
Swallows and House Martins swooped over Mill Hill prior to migration south. Butterflies were still in flight and the count of Adonis Blues on the 1.2 acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was 122. Other species seen during the morning were frequent Holly Blues and Speckled Woods in the hedgerows, frequent Common Blues and Small Heath Butterflies plus one Brown Argus on Mill Hill, occasional Chalkhill Blues on the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) and frequent Large Whites everywhere. 
Full Butterfly Report

28 August 2010
Six Buzzards soared over Lancing Ring.

Report by Sarah Reeves (Facebook)

24 August 2010
Buffeted about in a Force 6 Strong Breeze gusting to Gale Force 8, the conditions were far from ideal for butterflies after the recent rain. Adonis Blues (80) and Meadow Browns (est 75) were very frequently seen on Mill Hill, but Holly Blues (est 35+) were also frequent on the outskirts of north Shoreham. On the Mill Hill Cutting there were at least eight pristine male Chalkhill Blues and seven worn females. Twelve butterfly species were seen in two hours.

Migrant Hawker
Migrant Hawker
Adonis Blues  & Meadow Browns

A first of the year teneral male Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta, was one of two dragonflies on the the Buckingham Cutting area south. The other one was definitely a Southern Hawker.

Full Butterfly Report
Adur Dragonflies 2010

19 August 2010
Hoverflies were common from the Slonk Hill Cutting to Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham, with five Volucella zonaria seen in five different locations, and one Volucella inanis
Full Report

18 August 2010
Out on a hedgerow foraging trip for blackberries, elderberries, plums and apples on the Shoreham outskirts, I still kept my eye open for the butterflies and I wondered if the Gatekeepers were still around. No, not in the Brambles scrub of the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham, the suspect turned out to be my first confirmed Brown Hairstreak in Shoreham, (TQ 219 065), which has made me more confident about my two previous sightings on Mill Hill. It was a male in an area where Blackthorn bushes were not known but it is so overgrown that they may occur. 

Brown Hairstreak
Speckled Woods

Other butterflies on the outskirts of Shoreham were frequent Holly Blues, male Common Blues and Large Whites, 21 Chalkhill Blues (12 males and 8 females on Mill Hill Cutting SW) occasional Speckled Woods, Small Whites and Meadow Browns and one female Common Blue. A couple of Speckled Woods were seen attempting to mate and I think this may also be a first time I have seen this. The large hoverfly Volucella zonaria landed on some Goldenrod. Only my second Common Lizard of the year skittered up the Pixie Path where there was a Chalkhill Blue and Common Blues
Butterfly & Moth List 2010
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

15 August 2010
Despite the cloudy autumnal weather conditions, the blue butterflies were out and about with over fifty Holly Blues on the outskirts of Shoreham and over a hundred each of Chalkhill Blues, Adonis Blues and Common Blues on Mill Hill. Both Chalkhill Blues and Adonis Blues were spotted mating. Three Hornet Robber Flies were spotted.
Full Butterfly Report

14 August 2010
All change for a damp autumn with where the immigrant flocks of Starlings dived into the berried Elderberry bushes and the Sloes were already in berry and the early berries (haws) of Hawthorn had turned from green to red. 

12 August 2010
Over the shingle near the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, the white rear of a Wheatear was easily spotted as it flew around prior to emigration south. 

Adonis Blue
Common Blue Butterfly 

The first Garden Orb Spider, Araneus diadematus, seen spinning its web amongst the berried Brambles on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath, Old Shoreham. The Common Blue Butterfly seen on Shoreham Beach (near the Old Fort) and shown in the photograph above may be the variety/abberration Polyommatus icarus ab. arcuata.

9 August 2010
Sometimes a cloudy overcast day is good for photographing butterflies as they may remain still for just that fraction longer. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, 68 male Chalkhill Blues and 53 male Adonis Blues were recorded in the 1.2 acre transect in 25 minutes. There were twelve Wall Browns seen on Mill Hill, over 200 Common Blues and frequent Brown Argus. A Hornet Robber Fly landed on Mill Hill.

Hornet Robber Fly
Chalkhill Blue & Adonis Blue

Twelve butterfly species were seen in the middle of the day. 
Full Butterfly Report

8 August 2010
A small group enjoyed a most enjoyable and informative walk around the Lancing Ring meadows led by Brianne Reeves. After a rather grey start to the day, (when we began to wonder just how many butterflies we would see), the clouds parted and we were blessed with blue skies, bright sunshine and the warmth that finally encouraged numerous butterflies to emerge from their hiding places. At least fifteen butterfly species were seen including plenty of Common Blues, with Chalkhill Blues, Wall Browns and an unexpected Silver-washed Fritillary.

Report from Adrienne Stevenson on the Friends of Lancing Ring Blogspot
This was the first time that the Silver-washed Fritillary has been recorded from Lancing Ring Nature Reserve on these Nature Notes pages. 
I was unable to make this walk because somebody stole my bicycle 

2 August 2010
What a difference a day makes: the half acre top meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill was still alive with butterflies, but the half acre now hosted only about a 120 Common Blues, but they may have dispersed as surrounding meadow areas were now more densely populated so the total on the hill does not seem to have diminished in numbers. Brown Argus Butterflies were plentiful as I ever seen them with at least 30 positively recorded and many more did a successful imitation of a Common Blue female
Brown Argus and female Common Blues ID Images

Chalkhill Blue
Wall Brown

With the sun finding a gap in the clouds there were reasonably good conditions for butterfly watching on the parched downs. I was not in the mood for recording the numbers, but I noted that the Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were slightly less than the previous day, but only 64 were recorded in the 20 minutes walk on the 1.2 acre transect, which included just the five definite females. In the weak sunshine, I spotted fourteen Wall Browns seen on Mill Hill and my first Small Copper on Mill Hill this year.
Mill Hill Report
Butterfly & Moth List 2010

1 August 2010
Another cloudy day and not a day for butterflies to be out, and at first there were very few to be seen and many hoverflies were harassing the ones that had tried to settle in the cool conditions. Two large Hornet Robber Flies, Asilus crabroniformis, my first of the year settled on the Pixie Path (next to Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham). 

Hoverflies on Fleabane

Brown Argus

Even when the sun found a gap in the clouds not many more than a hundred Chalkhill Blues were disturbed on the one acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. As there was not even spread over the steeper slopes this extrapolated to mere 350 on Mill Hill. This is a very low figure for the peak period. 

Common Blue (female)

In excess of 700 Common Blue Butterflies fluttered around and mated in the one half acre meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill. This extrapolated to over 1500 on Mill Hill, possibly many more. Other noteworthy observations were eight Wall Browns on Mill Hill and the mating of many Brown Argus Butterflies. Fourteen species of butterfly were noted. 
Full Butterfly Report


August 2009

History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2010

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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