Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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September 2011


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
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Red Admiral
Small Copper
Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports



30 September 2011
An early morning visit caught the turn of the tide  which had receded past the Chart Datum Gauge on Kingston Beach. One notable discovery was a single specimen of the sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus, attached to a pebble under a boulder. One horizontally striped Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, was caught in the prawn net and a few Long-legged Spider Crabs Macropodia rostrata, crawled over the black netting. Too tiny to be caught in the net a Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis, swam/wriggled next to the Irish Moss hanging from the metal groyne. 
Kingston Beach Rockpooling Report

29 September 2011
Under a clear blue sky (>20.3 °C) an adult Slow Worm was seen on the path between Nicolson Drive and Rosslyn Avenue in Shoreham. This may be the first live one I have seen this year. 

28 September 2011
On a (>20.6 °C) sunny day, a Buzzard soared in the azure blue cloudless sky over the downs between New Erringham and Truleigh Hill
Mill Hill Report

27 September 2011
The day was not as sunny as forecasted and in the late afternoon a fret (sea mist) obscured the Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney when viewed from Dolphin Road in Shoreham. The air temperature was 16.0 °C at 5.00 pm when the fret occurred. Before the fret the air temperature at 3.00 pm was 17.9 °C. The south-east wind speed was 7 mph. A set fret occurs when when a parcel of warm air passes over the colder sea. 
BBC Sea Fret Page
Shoreham Weather

24 September 2011
A Swallow was spotted prior to migration.

16 September 2011
There were brief snatches of sunshine through the gaps in the clouds (>18.7 °C): enough for a Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, my first of the year, seen basking on some fallen Chestnut fencing at the top of the Pixie Path.  As expected in the middle of autumn, there were frequent Red Admirals and a few Comma Butterflies visiting Ivy. A visit to Mill Hill produced eleven species of butterfly in the early afternoon, mostly Meadow Browns, but also one of the dainty Small Coppers
Adur Lizards
Full Butterfly Report

11 September 2011
Three splendid blue South Hawkers (dragonfly) were the most impressive sight on a cloudy day with two around the hedgerows on the road to Old Erringham and another one over the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. Ivy attracted the bees and the butterflies(especially on the Ivy next to the Pixie Path near the north-west corner of Frampton's Field) notably Red Admirals and Comma Butterflies. Ten species of butterfly were seen on a day when the clouds kept the chill out. Sixty Meadow Browns and ten male Adonis Blues were noted on Mill Hill
Full Butterfly Report

9 September 2011

Whaeatear on the shingle and Orache, east Worthing

A Wheatear trotted over the Orache-covered high tide mark at east Worthing as a prelude to its southerly migration. On the sand flats opposite Brooklands, halfway to the low neap water (3 metres), the small 20+ flock of small birds were not the expected Sanderlings but Ringed Plovers, with a few Grey Plovers nearer the sea. Later in the afternoon 50+ Lapwings were seen on the mud flats north of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. 
The Sea Purslane, Halimione portulacoides, is a small greyish-green shrub abundantly found on the mud flats of the River Adur that are even covered twice daily by the neap tides, but also nearer the high tide margins. It is a halophyte, with leaves with a silvery sheen, filled with air (not sap) and the leaves are dead when the plant reaches maturity. 

Halimione = Daughter of the Sea (Greek)

6 September 2011
That gust was too dangerous to cycle in: Gale Force 7 gusting to Force 9 (52 mph), but only twice in my life have I seen anything like a gust lasting for just a second (and once I was blown off my bike whilst walking it). This could be a gust to Storm Force 10 as reported on the BBC South Weather News (where they included a gust of 86 mph, Force 12, at the Needles on the Isle of Wight).
Met Office: Shoreham
Shoreham Weather 2011

2 September 2011
On the high spring tide the flooded River Adur looked blue in the afternoon sunshine (19.0 °C). At least eighty House Martins flew low over the river, a few times their beaks appeared to touch the water surface as if taking a drink. It looked like it was a prelude to emigration south to Africa. 

1 September 2011
On a warm (>21.4 °C) day, three Little Egrets were seen fishing in the shallows of Widewater and three more were seen amongst the Sea Purslane on the Adur mud flats between the Footbridge and the Norfolk Bridge


September 2010

History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2011

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

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

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Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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