Slonk Hill Cutting:  A27 Embankment

(from May 2005, the Dovecote Bank and some of the top of The Drive entries will be on their web page only)
It includes Buckingham Cutting and Buckingham Barn.
Pyrausta despicata
Slonk Hill

The footpath runs parallel with the main road through the spinney (linear wood) on the southern side, immediately north of Slonk Hill Farm Road.

There are several access points, notably at the top of The Drive (in the west) and by the bridge over the road to Slonk Hill Farm (in the east). 

Common Spotted Orchid North Bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting: 30 April 2007

There are no practical access points to the steep northern bank. 


Slonk Hill Cutting Reports 2008

25 September 2007
A Speckled Wood was seen in the spinney part of the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting. On a blackberrying visit to the hedgerow part, a Comma Butterfly and a Silver Y Moth fluttered amongst the Brambles.
Full Butterfly List

29 July 2007
A full sized Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, was seen on a peice of foam next to the south side of the main A27 road. Canadian Goldenrod was in flower on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting where the linear path opens out into a meadow-like habitat.

Gatekeeper Butterfly on Teasel
26 July 2007
On the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting when the linear wood path opens up into some meadow-like vegetation, a few Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, one Small Blue Butterfly, one Small/Essex Skipper and a Large White Butterfly were recorded.

24 July 2007
Along the top of Slonk Hill Cutting south, I recorded one Essex Skipper, 21 Meadow Browns, 7 Gatekeepers, 1 Large White and one Common Darter (dragonfly). Along the bottom right next to the road, I recorded 11 "Sussex" Skippers (three of them identified as 2 Essex Skipper, 1 Small Skipper), 10 Meadow Browns, 2 Peacocks, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Common Blues, 2 Small Blues, 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood 1 (end in cover); plus 1 Silver Y Moth; and one 6-spot Burnet Moth and two Common Darters.

Report by Dr David Blakesley
Full Butterfly Report
Ringlet Butterfly 19 July 2007
At least two faded Ringlet Butterflies were quickly seen on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, with a few Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Skippers and Holly Blues.

Ringlets mating11 July 2007
Late in the day I made a trek along the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting where a Speckled Wood settled on the path and one pair of Ringlet Butterflies where seen mating in the Common Spotted Orchid meadow with a few Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepersand one Small Skipper. On Buckingham Cutting south I spied a clear Small White and a couple of amorous Red Admirals.

3 July 2007
The southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting produced about six Ringlet Butterflies and about a dozen Meadow Browns. A Cinnabar Moth fluttered over the vegetation.In the area where the path forms a small clearing, I encountered half a dozen Marbled White Butterflies and one Comma. Occasional Large White Butterflies were seen along the trail. Yellow Foxglove has spread on to the bank from the nearby gardens.
Full Butterfly Report

27 June 2007
On the orchid-covered southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting I spotted the languid flight of my first Ringlet Butterflies of 2007. It is was difficult to be sure at first as I followed the butterfly around for over three minutes before it settled at a distance for a mere  second. Then I disturbed a few Meadow Browns of both sexes so I was no longer sure of my identification. Luckily, after two minutes a few more Ringlets appeared and I was able to get a closer look and poor photograph. There were about half a dozen of each species and there may have been many hiding on an overcast breezy day where four Large White Butterflies also took flight.
There were hundreds of Rough Hawkbits as well as the Common Spotted Orchids.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List

10 June 2007
My first butterfly of the day was a Large Skipper in a clearing next to the path that runs through a spinney and hedgerows/scrub on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. This was my first this year. The positive sighting was confirmed by an out of focus photograph.
Full Butterfly Report
Yellow Rattle Bellflower
Yellow Wort

On the southern road bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, a clump of Peach-leaved? Bellflowers, Campanula persicifolia,  showed bright blue and they were very distinctive. They were right next to the main road.

8 June 2007
There were no butterflies on the southern bank, although Small Blue Butterflies were seen on the Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham.
In the absence of any movement, I ascertained that the common yellow single-stemmed plants were Hawkbits and Mouse-eared Hawkweeds in equal proportions. Both hosted a small green beetle and one Hawkbit was seen to host a handful of tiny black pollen beetles, probably Meligethes sp.
There were no signs to indicate what animal had made this underground tunnel

5 June 2007
Trailing BellflowerA flash of orange and now there were two female Broad-bodied Chasers (dragonflies), Libellula depressa, seen on the southern part of the Slonk Hill bank over the vegetation bordering the path. The flew energetically to and fro and settled in dense vegetation out of camera range. A Burnet Companion Moth made a brief appearance on the northern bank, but there were no Small Blue Butterflies to be seen and only two Kidney Vetch were seen in flower.
Trailing Bellflower, Campanula porscharskayana, was noted as an alien garden escape in the linear wood between the gardens and the road embankment on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting.
Adur Dragonflies 2007

Pyrausta despicata 3 June 2007
There was a pyralid moth Pyrausta despicata on the northern bank of Slonk Hill.
Yellow Wort was flowering in the morning. 

Adur Pyralids

At first it looked like a gigantic wasp, but it was just too big and recognised as a female Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly), Libellula depressa, seen on the southern part of the Slonk Hill bank over the vegetation bordering the path. This was my first of the year.
Adur Dragonflies 2007

Common Spotted Orchid20 May 2007
The first Common Spotted Orchids (one seen in full flower and others budding) and Salsify were seen on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting. The first Grass Vetchling, Eyebright and Yellow Wort were seen in flower on the norther bank with millions of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowers. Mouse-eared Hawkweeds were in flower on both banks.
On the northern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, I recorded just a single male Adonis Blue Butterfly amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, one Burnet Companion Moth and the yellow fluttering was a Yellow Shell Moth and not a Clouded Yellow Butterfly. No Small Blue Butterflies were spotted. On the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cuttting, there were a handful of Holly Blue Butterflies.
Cuckoo's Spit was seen on Salad Burnet and the Thick-legged Flower Beetle, Oedemera nobilis, was frequently seen on many flowers and there was almost certainly hundreds and probably thousands of this abundant green beetle. Smaller shiny green beetles were also seen on the hawkweeds. I think these smaller ones may be Cryptocephalus.
Butterfly Report
Adur Beetles 2006-7

30 April 2007
Horseshoe Vetch was in flower on the steep northern bank in large amounts. Alas, it did not seem to attract any butterflies.

25 April 2007
A quick passage along the path on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting disturbed a pair of Jays. They flew off separately, both of them following the path between two hedges until out of view. Common Vetch was seen in flower.

16 April 2007
Cowslips are flowering in the central reservation of the A27 through the Slonk Hill Cutting. There are hundreds of clumps.
13 April 2007
A common species of small crab spider known as the Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus was seen on the green roadside box on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. I did not know at the time that it had caught its supper.
Click on the image for a bigger picture.
2 April 2007
This small spider was on Alexanders on the Slonk Hill Cutting path south.

Adur Spiders

13 March 2007
There was even less of interest than in February with just Sweet Violets, Daffodils, Red Deadnettle and Oil Seed Rape bordering the path.
Adur Violets

28 February 2007
On the muddy trail (not too muddy it is not well used) of Slonk Hill Bank, running parallel with the A27 on the south side, there was precious little colour: just the berries of Cotoneaster, one Dandelion and two Greater Periwinkle. A Great Tit flew over the open part of the path and perched briefly in the bare branches of a tree.

Slonk Hill Cutting Reports 2006

Link to the Slonk Hill Cutting 2006 Reports

Shoreham Town & Gardens
Dovecote Bank including the Mill Hill Cutting

Link to Slonk Hill Reports for 2004

Slonk Hill South features on the Town & Gardens pages 2003 (Link)

Adur Nature Notes 2006