Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

January 2016

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RX (Rye) Wildlife

Fungi of Shoreham
Wild Flowers 2016
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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

2016  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 



28 January 2016

Goosander onWidewater
Photograph by Keith Wilson

25 January 2016
Two Turnstones were scavenging around the strandline near Shoreham Fort amongst poisonous mineral oil, scores of Undulate Ray egg cases, and where a small clump of Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, were my first identified arthropods of the year. 

BMLSS Beachcombing
BMLSS Barnacles

19 January 2016
Widewater was still as a mill pond, but hosted no birds of special interest under a clear blue sky. A Redshank waded in the shallows of the lagoon and probed in the mud. The family group of eight Mute Swans were all asleep in a small grassy back garden. A British Rock Pipit, Anthus petrosus petrosus, scrambled amongst the minimal beach vegetation in mid-afternoon above the high tide mark on the shingle. Similiarly, there was very little activity on the mudflats at low tide by the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham. A hundred mixed gulls and a couple of Little Egrets making cursory attempts at fishing was the best on offer. 

Little Egret
British Rock Pipit

On the small patch of open water by New Salts Farm (within the Shoreham boundary) a Little Grebe dived under accompanied by a Moorhen, a Coot and a pair of Mallards

Short-eared Owl
Photograph by Paul Loader

Over the reed beds, a Kestrel hovered and descended in the hunt several times without success. At Civil Twilight his performance excelled that of a Short-eared Owl that spent half an hour perched in a distant reed bed with an occasional preen, before flying away and out of view as dusk (Nautical Twilight) set in and the temperature plummeted rapidly. 

18 January 2016
I went searching up the River Adur for any signs of the Seal. The towpath was very muddy and it was hard going by pedal bike. And there were no signs of any wild mammals, except for a few Mole hills. I managed to spot my first fish in the wild this year with a Rudd in a fast flowing drainage ditch in a field off the closed cyclepath from Old Shoreham to the Cement Works. The fish saw me first and the flick of his tail fin drew my attention as it quickly swam out of sight. 


On a clear day, there was little movement on the river on a low neap tide, but I did spot a pair of Little Grebes swimming together on the water.  In Botolphs churchyard, Greater Periwinkles (from last year), Primroses, one Lesser Celandine and Snowdrops were flowering. Many Robins could be seen amongst the bare thorns and hedgerows, at about one a minute at times along the Coombes Road return journey.

Work for the new Rampion electricity project crossing the valley near Botolphs was a clear operation on the landscape, carving a track out of the downs on each side of the river for the cable laying.

15 January 2016
A Short-eared Owl was seen and photographed near Shoreham Airport.

I cycled up past Mill Hill into a north wind on my newly acquried bike, with a wind chill just below zero. On the highest part of the local downs east of the disused Cement Works over a hundred and fifty Rooks flocked on a bare field, whilst on the other side of the country road, the land was being excavated for cables as part of the Rampion Wind Farm scheme. 

Extensive flooding to the north in the low lying fields around Henfield could seen from the muddy footpath north of and downhill from Beeding Hill car park. 

There was little of interest, but I noted blatant evidence of damaging cattle poaching on the short turf top plateau of Mill Hill. The were large mounds of soil dug up by Moles by the upper car park.  In Lancing, Mayweed and White Deadnettle were still in flower on the road verge south of the Sussex Pad.

Common Seal
Photograph by Paul Loader

I missed a Common Seal spotted and photographed in the River Adur by Sean Stones and Paul Loader.

11 January 2016
My first wild mammal of the year a was a Red Fox casually trotting along Middle Road, Shoreham, in darkness mid- evening. 

8 January 2016

Altogether a much brighter afternoon than two days previously, the sea was still calm as it gently lapped against the glimpses of exposed sand and finer gravel at the mid-tide mark. Brown wracks strewn across the pebbles marked the limit of the high tide. On the distant downs the clouds were dark, but over Adur Recreation Gound the late sun filtered through a break in the clouds casting golden light on a naked White Poplar amongst the evergreen trees.

6 January 2016
Widewater was like a millpond, still and clear giving reflections despite the rapidly fading light under a cloudy sky in the later afternoon. There were ducks on the lagoon but the darkness set in so early that even through the binoculars I could not discern their markings. From the behaviour I surmised they were Teals, ducking their heads under and rumps upward.

4 January 2016
Daffodils were in flower in several clumps on the verge at the bottom (south) verges of Parkside (near Buckingham Park), north Shoreham. As these were likely to be semi-wild, a better claim to the first wild flowers of 2016 could be  the closed remnants of Nipplewort from the cracks in the tarmac in the twitten between Adelaide Square and Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, although these would have late flowers from 2015

Little Gull3 January 2016
After the four adult little gulls off shore at Widewater in the morning I returned this afternoon and in better viewing conditions saw again four adult Little Gulls, now foraging in the rolling breakers among countless Black-headed Gulls.

Great Skua
From behind a beach hut by Widewater I saw four adult Little Gulls including three together along the shoreline at 09:52 and a Great Skua all flying west.

1 January 2016
As usual the first bird of the year was an adult Herring Gull gliding over Corbyn Crescent in the breeze.

January 2015 Reports

Wild Flowers 2016
Shoreham Weather 2016

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2016
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

Adur Nature Notes 2015
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 the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink 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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