a warm sunny afternoon I
cycled the Downs Link Cyclepath from Old
Shoreham to Upper Beeding where I discovered three species of orchid
in flower on the verges. There were
frequent Common Spotted Orchids
by Erringham Gap, over
a hundred south
of the Cement Works accompanied by at least two spikes of the Common
Bee Orchid. On Anchor
Bottom I spotted scores of Common Fragrant
Orchids on the north-facing southern bank.
Returning by the Downs Link Cyclepath I spotted a budding Pyramidal
Orchid near the Flyover.
Mallow, Red Valerian. Sea
by Keith Alexander
almost unprecedented discovery of a strange sea spider on Worthing
Beach was an extraordinary surprise. It looks nothing like the native
This means it was probably an alien species and almost certainly Ammothia
hilgendorfi which was discovered once before in 1978 in Southampton
Water. This specimen contained eggs.
It originates in the tropical and temperate North Pacific littoral zone
of south-east Asia.
a hundred butterflies
fluttered over the yellow swathes of Horseshoe
Vetch on Mill
Hill, but 90% of them were the first brood Adonis
the eight species seen in the afternoon.
Hill was covered in glorious swathes of the yellow of Horseshoe
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
the slopes, mostly the steep slopes and lower slopes but also some quite
large patches on the upper part of the hill.
were common (over a hundred)
for the first time this year with male Adonis
the way with an estimated sixty plus and a few flighty females. About twenty
male Common Blues
were seen for the first time this year with frequent
Brimstone Butterflies, frequent
Heaths, just two Grizzled
Skippers, and one of each of Dingy
Wood, a first of the year Wall
and a Green-veined White.
made for eleven different species,
most this year in over an hour on Mill Hill,
and it was only sunny for some of the time and one
cloud let loose a few drops of rain. I also
spotted a Treble-bar Moth and
my first of the year pyralid
Rolf also spotted two Green Hairstreaks
and three Cinnabar Moths.
seemed to have put in its first appearance with the glorious blue of my
first male Adonis Blue Butterfly
of the year. It appeared on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill at 3:00 pm
with the sun still behind the fluffy cirrus
of the bright yellow flowers of the
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
the slopes. This vitally important butterfly food plant was virtually at
is peak flowering.
Skipper, Dingy Skipper
species of butterfly were seen on Mill
Hill, but I had to wait around for an hour before a spell of sunshine enticed
a veritable flurry of activity and the appearance of the skippers,
including my first of only a few (maybe just one or two seen several times)
Skippers of the year. Grizzled
Skippers were discovered mating
on a Bramble
shoot. A flash of bright crimson was my first Cinnabar
Moth of the year and a flash of orange
was a surprise Small Copper Butterfly
which was another first for two years. My first damselfly
of the year, a Large Red Damselfly,
flitted around the short vegetation.
& Sompting Wildlife facebook
Vetch, Andrena bee,
breezy for photography, too cool for butterflies,
and my days are numbered for scrambling about on steep hillsides. Nevertheless
the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis
in abundance on he lower slopes of Mill Hill
with most yet to burst out into full bloom. Three Swifts
darted to and fro over the upper plateau at great speed, possibly feeding
on small flies.
Half a dozen or more Jackdaws
were attracted to the steep slopes amongst the Horseshoe
Vetch, joined by a few Crows
(south of) Coombes
Trees (May 2017)
Moth Caterpillars in their silken
the upper part of Mill Hill, south of the
Beach Weather Station
Nature Notes 2013