a cloudy and cool afternoon inimical for butterflies,
a brief casual visit to Mill
in my first Wall Brown Butterfly
of the year immediately as I stepped on the southern steps to the lower
slopes, where I spotted my first female Chalkhill
Blue Butterfly of 2016.
Blues were frequently seen. I also noted Carline
Thistle budding for the first time this
year a well as my first Round-headed Rampion
in flower. At the top I
was buffeted around by the breeze to distraction and soon headed home.
did spot a male Chalkhill Blue
on the top though and more Round-headed Rampions.
The ten species of butterfly without trying
at all was the equal the most species in day so far this year.
Butterflies were the most noticeable butterflies
on Mill Hill because they were big and
fresh and visited Hemp Agrimony, Marjoram
and a bit of an afternoon breeze was welcome after the two day heat wave.
the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the male
Blue Butterflies (36) were numerous and
settled enough for a photograph. They were joined by Marbled
Admirals and Meadow
Whites, unidentified whites,
and Silver Y,
Shell and 6-spotted
a breeze (Force
4) was blowing as it was very
warm > 26.8° C during
the day rising to 28.9° C in
the evening and
25.9° C at midnight
the rain started with gusts to Gale
Beach Weather Station
the first warm day (>25.3°
C) of the year, the
Blue Butterflies (16) finally emerged
on the lower slopes of Mill Hill when I
visited in the middle of the day. They were all flighty and once in flight
they rarely stopped. The rain earlier in the year had caused some vegetation
to grow quicker than normal and the path at the bottom was covered in Brambles
to such an extent I nearly trod on a large Black
Adder coiled up on the path in front of
first Gatekeeper Butterfly
of the year appeared on a rainy Mill
commotion over the River
Adur north of the Tollbridge
attracted my attention, as the gulls
nosily mobbed a Grey Heron.
On a breezy cloudy day, it was inimical for even photographing wild flowers
as they were constantly blown about in the late morning.
of small grasshoppers were easily disturbed
in the verges of the Steyning Line Cyclepath
(from Old Shoreham to just north of the Erringham Gap). A score or more
of Green-veined White Butterflies were
disturbed and were fluttering about but the other butterflies
were reluctant to take flight. A variety were seen and they were one Small
Skipper, occasional Meadow
Browns, a few Ringlets,
at least two Red Admirals
and a Marbled White.
Two of the first 6-spotted Burnet Moths
of the year were spotted, the first settled on a Pyramidal
Orchid. More plants appeared in flower,
notably a species of Mullein,
Bartsia and the first budding Wild
Basil. Later in Shoreham a Small
Tortoiseshell Butterfly landed briefly
in front of me.
Butterfly List 2016
was perched on the hedgerow at the bottom of Mill
Hill. It made a leisurely take off and glided over the meadow below.
The afternoon sunshine persuaded a few butterflies
into flight: Marbled Whites
led the way with 35 seen, mostly on Mill Hill, where Meadow
Brown males were the second most common
of ten species
seen on the day.
on Mill Hill
at least one Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.
most interesting find was my first white version of the common purple-blue
illustrated on the right above. And the second most interesting discovery
had to wait until I viewed the photographs and was my very first Green
viridulus, from Mill Hill or anywhere in Shoreham and Adur. I also
found a tiny web spinning Candy-striped
sp. on the underside of a Field
Scabious on the middle slopes.
least a day without rain and even in the very late afternoon there was
as brief spell of sunshine and the breeze had died down. The
meadow-like verges of the Steyning Line Cyclepath
had grown higher than normal. The late sunshine
cast long shadows but brought seven
species of butterflies
out: one fresh Comma*,
four Red Admirals,
and few Large Whites,
my first handful of Small Skippers
of the year, at least two Marbled Whites,
occasional Meadow Browns, about
ten Ringlets and
occasional Silver Y Moths.
cloudy and overcast and too breezy for the
open downs, I made a detour to Buckingham
Cutting (south) where the Giant Hogweed had grown much higher
than a person towering at least three metres above the path. The
and other plants in flower did not seem
to have changed all that much in a week. Restharrow
was now flowering. Self-heal
grew tall in the tall vegetation. A few small Perforate
St. John's Wort were budding.
long enough for a few butterflies to be disturbed.
The first a lively Meadow Brown
of several males only, followed by a languid flight of the first of a handful
of Ringlets of
both genders, followed by the lively flight of about the same number Marbled
Whites and lastly two Small
Butterfly List 2016
Beach Weather Station
Nature Notes 2013