Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

March 2012

Black-headed Gull
Shoreham-by-Sea Homepage
Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pages

Downs north of Shoreham and the Adur Valley (map)
Link to web pages: Lancing Nature Gallery
Met Office
Shoreham Weather
Beaufort Scale
 Adur Coastal & Marine
 Adur Estuary & Levels
 Mill Hill
 Slonk Hill Cutting
 Urban Reports
 Lancing Nature Blogspot
 Lancing Ring
Friends of Lancing Ring
 World Oceans Day 2012
 Multi-Map (Bird's Eye View) 
 of Mill Hill
Friends of Shoreham Beach
Link to the Mill Hill web page for 2011

Local Speakers


British Dragonfly Society Link
Link to the Shoreham-by-Sea Community page

Adur Wildlife
Main Links
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British Marine Life Study Society
Hulkesmouth Publishing Company
 Sussex Ornithological
 Society News and Reports
 Strandline Quiz
 Seashore Quiz


Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies web page
 Seaquest SW (Cornwall
 Wildlife Trust web pages)
Ecological Database of the British Isles 
 World Oceans Day
Link to Lancing Nature Notes Blogspot
Lancing Blogspot
 Sussex Wildlife Web Sites
Link to the Adur Festival web pages
Shoreham-by-Sea Homepage
Link to the Sussex Bat Group web pages
Andy Horton
RX (Rye) Wildlife
Fungi of Lancing
Fungi of Shoreham
Adur Fruiting Bodies Database
Lancing Fungi Gallery (by Ray Hamblett)
Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
Lancing Clump Supplementary
Autumn 2004 
Fungi of Mill Hill
Fungi Images on the Web (Index)
Adur Butterfly Blog
Adur Wild Flower Blog
Adur Insect Links:

Solitary Bees
Adur Bees, Wasps & Sawflies
Grasshoppers & Crickets
Damselflies & Dragonflies




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

Sweet Violet
Lower Slopes of Mill Hill
Sweet Violet

2012  Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports

20 March 2012 : Vernal Equinox


30 March 2012
Finally I gave in to temptation and went to Mill Hill where I saw five Grizzled Skippers in various places. One in particular was immaculate and quite beautiful, so presumably newly emerged. In addition to all the pyralids on the wing I noticed several tiny, but delightful Violet Cosmet Moths, Pancalia leuwenhoekella, (approx. 3-4 mm long).

Report by Richard Roebuck on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Grizzled Skippers and Adders on Mill Hill (by Colin Knight)
Adur Skippers

My first Hedgehog of the year scrambled in the road gutter at the junction of St Julian's Lane, Kingston Buci, near Church Green, Shoreham, and much too near the main traffic for its own safety. It was seen twenty minutes before midnight.

29 March 2012
Encouraged by the reports of others, I visited Mill Hill and quickly spotted my first Grizzled Skipper of the year flying around on the northern part of the lower slopes. Other butterflies on the approaches, via the Pixie Path, were one male Orange-tip, two Brimstones, three Peacocks, one Comma and two Speckled Woods. There were at least a couple more of restless Brimstones and a few more Peacocks on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the middle of the day sunshine. 
Adur Butterfly List 2012

Orange-tip (male) on Sweet Violet28 March 2012
Seven species of butterfly were seen on the outskirts of Shoreham in the early afternoon including my first of the year male Orange-tip and a Green-veined White. These two are new Adur Nature Notes records for March. My first Small Tortoiseshell of the year was present as well as a Peacock, a Comma and a Small White. Blackthorn was now flowering profusely and its blossom on Mill Hill could be seen from the other side of the River Adur.
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Violets

27 March 2012
I recorded ten different butterfly species in a day, which I cannot recall ever doing before during the month of March. In just a couple of hours at Mill Hill (Shoreham) I counted four Grizzled Skipper (first of the year), one Orange Tip (first of the year), one Speckled Wood, one Holly Blue ((first of the year), one Brimstone, one Small White, 14 Peacock, one Red Admiral, two Small Tortoiseshell and two Comma. The day-flying moths Pyrausta pupuralis and Pyrausta despicata  were both present in good numbers, along with the odd Pyrausta nigrata

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterfly Reports

I was surprised to find a freshly emerged Grizzled Skipper on Mill Hill. There were also half a dozen Peacocks and a Small Tortoiseshell. Reptiles were also out enjoying the sunshine, one black Adder, two Common Lizards and a Slow Worm

Report by Tim Newman on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterfly List 2012

26 March 2012
In the sunshine under an azure blue sky, I was surprised by an early Small White Butterfly, my first of the year, over the twitten by the Hamm Road allotments in Shoreham. I also spotted by first Brimstone Butterfly and my first Speckled Wood south of the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill

Sweet Violet (left) and Dog Violet

Amongst the thousand of Sweet Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, (attracting a few Peacock Butterflies), I also noted the first Dog Violets in flower. Small pyralid moths were frequently seen flitting amongst the violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta pupuralis and Pyrausta despicata seen very clearly. The micro-moth Violet Cosmet, Pancalia leuwenhoekella, was spotted on a Sweet Violet flower. A Common Bee-Fly, Bombylius major, (first of the year) was spotted over the path amongst the Hawthorn scrub on Mill Hill. 
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

In the early evening night sky (from 8:00 pm BST) the waxing crescent Moon interspersed the bright appearance of Venus shining immediately above Jupiter. Mars could be seen in the east. 
Conjunction of Venus & Jupiter 2012

23 March 2012
Small Tortoiseshell (first of the year), Peacock and Comma Butterflies were seen in the sunshine on the Lancing Ring hillside. There seemed to be a Peacock around every corner and Comma’s were almost as frequent. The two Small Tortoishell’s I saw were in among the nettle beds near the cemetery.

The sunshine came out in the afternoon when I decided to visit Lancing Ring where the Blackthorn was only just about budding and not yet in flower. The highlights of the sunny afternoon were two Nuthatches visiting the shallow dewpond and a pair of Comma Butterflies courting over flowering Gorse in a clearing in the clump (two of the three seen). To the north-east of the clump, the first Skylark of the year was heard singing from up high. I searched for the small bird against the background of a blue sky. 

Sweet Violet (white flower)
Comma Butterfly

By the red sunset (6:19 pm), the fog began to roll in at the entrance to Shoreham Harbour where the end of the harbour piers were obscured from a viewpoint by the Lifeboat Station on Kingston Buci Beach. The spring tide (forecasted 0.7 metres) had receded to the Chart Datum mark. In the night sky (7:00 pm) in the west, Venus shone brightly immediately above Jupiter, in the east Mars shined, and Sirius twinkled to the south.

Blackthorn22 March 2012
Stalking in the shallows of Widewater Lagoon, a Little Egret caught a fish much larger than its usual diet of sticklebacks. It had reposition the fish in its beak before swallowing its prey with a distinctive bulge in its long neck as it went down. The Teals were still present and the flock had separated off into two pairs. In north Lancing, Andy Brook noted the first Comma Butterfly of the year in a hedge outside of the Old Forge on the corner of Mill Road and Manor Road. Blackthorn was in flower in Old Shoreham. Spring had started to bloom
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

19 March 2012
A Red Admiral Butterfly flew over the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill), only my second species of butterfly seen this year. Long-tailed Tits flew to and from between the hedges and scrub and the Lesser Celandines were in the open gardens that adjoined the grass bank. Two Kestrels soared high over Mill Hill. On the lower slopes many of the thousands of Sweet Violets were looking battered by the rain.
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Report on the Mill Hill Blog
18 March 2012
I thought the two courting Herring Gulls were squabbling over food at first, but the courtship rituals in Adelaide Square, residential Shoreham, occurred for thirty minutes or more watched by more squawking Herring Gulls on the roof tops by the chimneys. 
Peacock Butterfly12 March 2012
Under a blue sky and weak sunshine (14.6 °C) the Sweet Violets were flowering on Mill Hill, where I saw two Peacock Butterflies (my first two butterflies of the year), one flying across the road at the top of the hill and another one fluttering over the lower slopes. 
Report on the Adur Butterfly Blog
Adur Wild Flower Blog
Adur Violets
Adur Butterfly List 2012
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

10 March 2012
I visited Mill Hill to check out the butterfly transect territory I will be visiting weekly from the beginning of April. I was hoping the Adders would be showing and was rewarded with four basking snakes. I had seen two and was returning by the path and spotted a black one. While photographing this I noticed a grey one slithering away nearby. 

Black-headed Gull

9 March 2012
My first bumblebee of the year, a Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris,  flew just above the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. Otherwise, there was very little to note on a grey day. The first Daffodils in the wild were noted and many of the Black-headed Gulls sported a fine brown crown (=head) as they waded on the mud on a mid equinoctial Spring tide on the River Adur

2 - 11 March 2012
The Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus, was present in Worthing. 

Images on Blog
First Record

March 2011

Adur Nature Notes 2011

Links to the Birdguides home page

Butterfly List 2012
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Shoreham Weather 2012

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring


Link 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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