Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

May 2017

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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

2017  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 May 2017

On 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
Butterfly Report
Wild Flower Images

26 May 2017

Tree Mallow, Red Valerian. Sea Kale, Oxford Ragwort
Yellow-horned Poppy, Starry Clover
Shoreham Beach

25 May 2017

Sea Spider
Ammothia hilgendorfi
Photographs by Keith Alexander

An almost unprecedented discovery of a strange sea spider on Worthing Beach was an extraordinary surprise. It looks nothing like the native pycnogonids! 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.

22 May 2017

Adonis Blues 

Over a hundred butterflies fluttered over the yellow swathes of Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill, but 90% of them were the first brood Adonis Blues of the eight species seen in the afternoon. 
Full Butterfly Report

16 May 2017
Mill Hill was covered in glorious swathes of the yellow of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowering the slopes, mostly the steep slopes and lower slopes but also some quite large patches on the upper part of the hill. 

Butterflies were common (over a hundred) for the first time this year with male Adonis Blues leading 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 Small Heaths, just two Grizzled Skippers, and one of each of Dingy Skipper, Peacock, Speckled Wood, a first of the year Wall Brown, Red Admiral, and a Green-veined White. That made for eleven different species, the 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 micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata. Graeme Rolf also spotted two Green Hairstreaks and three Cinnabar Moths
Full Butterfly Report

9 May 2017

Adonis Blue
Mill Hill

Summer 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 clouds

Swathes of the bright yellow flowers of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, covered the slopes. This vitally important butterfly food plant was virtually at is peak flowering. 

Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper
Adonis BlueLarge Red Damselfly
Mill Hill

Nine 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) Dingy 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. 
Full Butterfly Report

7 May 2017

Beetles at Widewater
  Psilothrix viridicoerulea 
by Yvonne McKeown
on Lancing & Sompting Wildlife facebook

4 May 2017

Horseshoe Vetch, Andrena bee, Milkwort, Mouse-eared Hawkweed
Carline Thistle, Hounds-tongue, Small Heath Butterfly
Mill Hill

Too breezy for photography, too cool for butterflies, and my days are numbered for scrambling about on steep hillsides. Nevertheless the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was flowering 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 and Magpies.

3 May 2017

Juglans regia
Near (south of) Coombes

Adur Trees (May 2017)

1 May 2017

Lackey Moth Caterpillars in their silken tent on Blackthorn on the upper part of Mill Hill, south of the Reservoir.
Adur Moths

May 2016 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2017

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Adur Nature Notes 2013

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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


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    Webmaster: Andy Horton

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