Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

August 2014

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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

2014  Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via geograph
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr

Click on the images above to find the location on a map via flickr or geograph 



31 August 2014
On the flood tide over the River Adur (between Old Shoreham & the Cement Works) well over a hundred House Martins flew to and fro over the calm water. There seems to have been an influx of Starlings (from eastern Europe) as over a hundred were seen on the rooftops in Dolphin Road, Shoreham.

28 August 2014

Photograph by Gary Levett on facebook

This magnificent bird of prey was spotted at Beeding Brooks.

I spotted my first adult Slow Worm of the year. Unfortunately it was found dead at the junction of John Street and Western Road on the other side of the high flint wall of the construction works on the Shoreham Centre land. There were still frequent butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but they were much less than a fortnight earlier. 

Carline Thistle was attractive to butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Adur Butterfly Report
23 August 2014
My first Common Darter (dragonfly) of the year was spotted over the drainage ditch/stream that runs along get eastern bank of Shoreham Airport and parallel to the River Adur

19 - 21 August 2014

 Common Blue
 Wild Carrot

15 August 2014

 Adonis Blue
Carline Thistle
 Common Blues
Bird's Foot Trefoil

Hundreds of fresh Common Blue Butterflies were everywhere in the flowery meadows of the middle slopes and upper meadows of Mill Hill. About three-quarters of these were males, but included plenty of small females and a few large pretty females.
Full Butterfly Report

11 August 2014
In a Gale Force 7, three Hummingbird Hawk-moths, Macroglossum stellatarum, were blown over Shoreham Beach at the eastern end with a female Common Blue Butterfly.
8 August 2014
A Silver-spotted Skipper was photographed on Mill Hill for the first time.
Report & Image by Claire Sell
7 August 2014
Hundreds of butterflies flew over Mill Hill, but they were thinly spread without any hotspots, Meadow Browns everywhere, mainly Common Blues on the top and middle slopes.  On the lower slopes 43 (39+4) Chalkhill Blues  were counted on the transect acre, with almost as many Common Blues, 25 male Adonis Blues, and 17 species of butterfly without trying. 
Full Butterfly Report

5 August 2014
In the morning I watched the maiden flight of several Adonis Blue males at Mill Hill. They perched on the abundant stems of Yellow Wort while drying their wings, occasionally discharging meconium fluid before heading off to patrol the slopes in search of virgin females, the first few of which are now out. Amongst the many other species present I was pleased to see a Silver-spotted Skipper, this being only the second specimen recorded on the hill. The previous evening my father found a full-grown Privet Hawkmoth caterpillar here.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies

Nymphon "Sea Spider" (=Pycnogonid)
Common Toad

Seventy five young rockpoolers descended on to the Shoreham Fort outer River Adur estuary beach for the annual Friends of Shoreham Beach Rockpooling Day and scooped up the usual prawns and crabs into temporary aquaria provided. Pride of place of discovery went to an adult Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, and a scarce miniature pycnogonid or sea spider to be identified. It was one of the slender Nymphonidae species that does not appear to have a body of any consequence. It might be one of several Nymphon species found in British seas. Other notable finds included one young Rock Goby and some adult but small Common Gobies, Pomatoschistus microps, with a sandy coloured body to match the mud and sand shallow pools from where they were captured as the tide receded. But even the Common Gobies looked huge in comparison to the sea spider.

A Common Toad was discovered near Shoreham Fort.
Adur Coastal Reports 2014

4 August 2014
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.

Report by Dave Potter on Sussex Butterflies

A shoal of over a hundred Rudd was impressive as they swam in the slightly murky water of the Teville Stream flowing into Brooklands Boating Lake. A submerged Little Grebe then scattered the shoal but the Rudd were too large for this small red-headed diver in summer plumage, and it emerged with a small silvery fish in its beak. In the shallows I spotted some minnow-like fish fry and then a much larger Carp-like fish cruised by. A Coot played with a reed and a Moorhen squawked in the streamside plants. 


3 August 2014
I almost collided with a Comma Butterfly as I cycled over the first lay-by on the Steyning Road, north of Old Shoreham. About a minute later I spotted a Small White Butterfly and these were both species not seen two days previously. Cloudy, breezy and humid and generally an unsatisfactory day for butterflies with only a Red Admiral and a Gatekeeper seen on a passage trip along the cyclepath from the Erringham Lay-by to Ropetackle. 

1 August 2014
An exceptional variety of 20 different species of butterflies in an hour on the lower slopes of Mill Hill made up for a rather dismal number of Chalkhill Blues for what should be their peak time. There were hundreds of the restless Chalkhill Blues but they were thinly spread and the transect acre total was only 47. It appeared that many more were in flight after my count. 

Chalkhill Blue
Adonis Blue

Hemp Agrimony (next to the southern steps) again proved attractive, and my first Painted Lady of the year was a persistent visitor with Red Admirals, Peacocks and a Small Tortoiseshell. Nearby, there were Speckled Woods and a Holly Blue

Dark Green Fritillary
Painted Lady

Other butterflies over the lower slopes, in the order of prevalence, were an estimated 120+ Meadow Browns, 35+ Gatekeepers, about 15+ Common Blues, about a dozen Small Heaths, about ten Green-Veined Whites, about eight Wall Browns all over the path and some in the long grass, about eight male Adonis Blues, a few Large Whites, a few Brimstones, one or two Marbled Whites, and one each of Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper and Dark Green Fritillary. Later, two pairs of Chalkhill Blues were seen in mating tussles, which were not completed whilst I was there. There were also a few 6-spotted Burnet Moths and a Treble-bar Moth
I curtailed my visit rather rapidly as the sun went behind a cloud and rain looked imminent. 
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2014

August 2013 Reports
Wild Flowers 2014
Shoreham Weather 2014

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2014
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society News
Lancing Village

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of Shoreham


    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
    Webmaster: Andy Horton

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