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
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.
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
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.
Stork at Knepp
sun shined in the afternoon for the first time in over a week, I was able
to confirm my first male Adonis Blue Butterfly
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.
of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis
comosa, covered the lower slopes of
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
managed to spot eleven species of butterfly, the last seven on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill: Red Admiral,
Large White, Green-veined White,
Blue. I also noted a few pyralid
Pyrausta nigrata. Blackthorn had ceased
in Middle Road
have been omitted and truncated because of a serious illness
new reports go to
Valley & Downs facebook
& Conservation of Lancing, Sompting & Surrounds facebook
Ornithological Society Sightings
Nature Notes 2013