Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

May 2021

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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

2021  Regional
Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
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Click on the image                              to find the location on a map via flickr
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Click on the                              image to find the location on a map via                              geograph
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31 May 2021
Butterflies fluttered over the sun drenched (21°C) lower slopes of Mill Hill: 30+ male Common Blues, 4+ male Adonis Blues, frequent Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers, my first Brown Argus and Cinnabar Moth of the year, frequent Brimstones, a few Small Heath Butterflies and a probable Wall Brown. By the flowering Hawthorn-lined road there was a Holly Blue
Adur Thorn

28 May 2021
A trip to the Knepp Estate introduced me to a habitat that was largely unfamiliar to me and I would describe as a lowland woodland pasture over clay, dominated by Oak trees. This is mostly different to the quickly draining windswept chalk downs above Shoreham. The Knepp Rewilding Project attempts to recreate a habitat to give an idea of what the natural landscape was in prehistoric times. 

Knepp Estate

We chose the anti-clockwise circular two and a half mile "white" route using public footpaths through pasture and woodland on a pleasant slightly overcast early afternoon. After enjoying the first views of the Stork and chicks on the first nest we followed the map for two and a half hours through the Wealden countryside. I was constantly surprised at every turn on the level trail which was muddy in places. The Storks were the highlight as one parent guarded the two visible chicks which occasionally be seen, through binoculars, poking their heads above the twiggy nest. The first nest in an Oak tree was a few minutes walk from the refreshment stall and allocated parking. 
Full Report

Stork at Knepp

27 May 2021

The sun shined in the afternoon for the first time in over a week, I was able to confirm my first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year with frequent Brimstones but not many other butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Ten species were seen in the afternoon. I recorded Round-leaved Cranesbill for the first time by the southern entrance  to Mill Hill.
Adur Skippers

19 May 2021

Mill Hill

Swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, covered the lower slopes of Mill Hill on a cloudy afternoon inimical for watching butterflies. In an hour I spotted to my first of the year Small Heath Butterfly and a few first of the year Dingy Skippers, at least three male Common Blues, a Brimstone Butterfly, a few Large Whites and Red Admirals. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive, the flutter of blue was a Holly Blue. A Buzzard soared overhead  mobbed by the frequent Crows. And a rather scruffy Jay put in two appearances.

17 May 2021
Despite a cloudy day with spots of rain, I spotted my first of the year Holly Blue Butterfly and first male Orange-tip Butterfly in Old Shoreham.


12 May 2021
Five o'clock in the afternoon is a bit late in the day for seeing active butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill as most of them will have gone to roost. I did manage to spot my first male Adonis Blue (not confirmed -subsequently thought to be a Common Blue), and my first of the year Small Copper visiting the abundant Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. A flock of up to a dozen corvids, mostly Jackdaws. were persistently feeding on something amongst the short vegetation on the steeper slopes. A Peacock Butterfly flew down and I disturbed a handful of Grizzled Skippers.

Stanmer Park

7 May 2021

Mill Hill

Scrabbling about on the downs is nearly beyond me, my eyesight has deteriorated to such an extent, I  can't spot the butterflies. I can't cycle up to Mill Hill and I get tired very quickly. 

I only managed to spot eleven species of butterfly, the last seven on the lower slopes of Mill Hill: Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Wall Brown, Peacock, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Common Blue. I also noted a few pyralid  Pyrausta nigrata. Blackthorn had ceased to flower

6 May 2021

Blossom in Middle Road

Adur Trees 2021

Reports have been omitted and truncated because of a serious illness
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Coastal and Marine Reports 2020
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May 2020 Reports

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Adur Nature Notes 2013

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Adur Nature Notes 2015
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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.
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