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* If the grid references are not given they could be found on the 
Adur Wildlife database on the Adur eForum
Adur Valley Nature Notes  January to March 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  April - June 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  July - September 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

25 December 2002
The Sparrowhawk returned to my Eastbrook Road, south Portslade, East Sussex, garden on Christmas morning. The large rose in the right hand corner at the back of the garden are a meeting point for sparrows entering ours and two other adjacent gardens. The sparrows rushed to the centre of the bushes and the Sparrowhawk swooped down and landed on the bird table. It then flew around the rose bush and forced its way through the branches taking a sparrow with it. It was then attacked by a cat but escaped with its prey. 
Full Report
Other Sparrowhawk Reports

December 2002
There have been repeated reports of a Grey Heron by the roundabout underneath the flyover north of Old Shoreham, and even on one occasion of the bird landing on the concrete slipways leading to the main A27 trunk road. 

Separate reports by Helen Swyer and Mike Burtt

14 December 2002
At 1:30 pm a farmer and his dog flushed four Snipe from the rushes on the west bank of the stream that runs from the New Salts Farm Road railway bridge to the dog kennels (TQ 205 048). The birds headed north over the airport. 

30 November 2002
The albino/leucistic (white-winged) Magpie is seen again. This time I saw it very clearly in the small trees bordering the Adur estuary between the Norfolk Bridge and the houseboats (TQ 210 047), opposite (east side of) Adur Recreation Ground.
Previous Report

25 November 2002
The Peregrine Falcon is perched  half way up the Shoreham Harbour Power station chimney (TQ 246 048) late this afternoon.
South Coast Power Ltd confirmed that a nesting box had been installed and that a pair of Peregrine Falcons had successfully reared chicks which eventually flew off earlier in the year. 
Nest Box Link
Peregrine on the West Pier (photograph)

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden

24 November 2002
Up the Coombes Road from Lancing College to Steyning this morning, I was shocked to see masses of thick hedgerows and trees being ripped out both along the roadside and around the adjacent fields. A stretch of at least 300 metres from Passies Pond to Botolphs Church are in the process of being bulldozed along with most of the willows around Passies Pond, what a sad sight..... and a right mess!

Report by Bob Kent (Lancing)

23 November 2002
A quick view of a Willow Tit, Parus montanus, fluttering above the bushes on the northern margins of New Monks Farm, east Lancing, near the weighbridge, (TQ 192 057), to the west of Withy Patch, was my first recorded sighting of this bird that I am unfamiliar with. The call was very clear (second voice on the file)  and different from the similar Marsh Tit.  However, the Shoreham & District Ornithological Society booklet describes this bird as the rarest of the titmice in the local area, but there is no longer any doubt about my identification of my fleeting observation as I cycled past. This bird is in rapid decline in most habitats since the 1970s. 
UK Wildlife Discussion
Willow Tit Register
Sussex Ornithological Society Titmice
BTO Status
Birdguides Information Page
Willow Tit (RSPB) including a audio file of its distinctive call

16 November 2002
Near the Information Kiosk by Widewater Lagoon, two  uncommon Sussex birds made a brief visit: a single Black Redstart and a couple of Stonechats. It is interesting how the Widewater provides a temporary haven for a large variety of the less familiar birds. The identity of these birds were confirmed by Sussex Ornithological Society observers. 

Report by Jan Hamblett
Previous Red Blackstart

5 November 2002
Late Butterfly
A fresh looking Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was disturbed from under a clump of Honeysuckle as I mowed the lawn of a garden close to the Saltings roundabout on the A259, south Lancing on the border with Shoreham-by-Sea. 

Lancing Beach

Collecting a few rocks for aquarium props in fading light, a moonless evening under torchlight, there were dozens of Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and at least one red-eyed Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber. I thought that I picked up two, but the following day, I noticed that the crab had pale blue eyes and this I now think may be a different crab altogether, Liocarcinus arcuatus, the Arch-fronted Swimming Crab which I have never discovered before, nor have I heard reported before from the shore. The identity of this crab has been confirmed by Dr. Reindert Nijland.

2 November 2002

Boarfish from Hove (Photograph by Peter Weight)

The capture on rod and line by Peter Weight of a Boar Fish, Capros aper, from Hove beach is the very first record of this fish caught from the shore off Sussex. The books say that this fish lives in depths of over 100 metres and there are no seas of this depth on the English side of the English Channel. This pretty little red and silver rhomboidal fish about 55 mm long, excluding its caudal fin, large eye and large protractile mouth, laterally compressed (very thin and narrow profile), with a spiky first dorsal and vibrating second dorsal and second anal fins (vibrating like the dorsal fin of a pipefish). Although this fish is rarely caught, it is abundant in deepish water (on the edge of the continental shelf in the western approaches of the English Channel) and it is just that normal fishing methods do not capture this small fish. All  records and especially all live records from the shore or on dives, and all Sussex records are newsworthy. 
This fish is thriving in the BMLSS private aquarium (Shoreham-by-Sea). This fish is rarely on display in British Public Aquaria and the only known display of this fish was for several years at Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium
Previous Sussex Record of a Boar Fish
Earlier Report from the Channel Islands
BMLSS Boar Fish

Little Cuttlefish (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)6 October 2002
With Indian Summer summer preceding some of the highest and lowest equinoctial spring tides for over 20 years was too good a rockpooling chance to miss as low tide receded to Chart Datum about 6:00 pm, just before an attractive red sunset.
The low tide on Lancing beach revealed shallow pools and rocks covered in weed, but it was the push-net in shallow water that provided the most interesting discoveries including an attractive Little Cuttlefish, Sepiola, that squirted five dollops of ink in the temporary aquarium, and my very first discovery of the South-claw Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, on the Sussex coast. 
Full Report

5 October 2002
Down the beach this morning to check the sea state for diving when I noticed I was being watched by a seal, bobbing in front of me. I first saw it in the surge five metres from the shore, in front of the new sea defence works, east of the Widewater Lagoon. A fisherman in a boat must have just passed the seal moments before I had arrived, maybe he gave the seal some titbits?
It was a Harbour (Common) Seal, Phoca vitulina, as I have photographed Grey Seals many times and this seal is different. On 7 October 2002 the seal was reported near the lifeboat station. In mid-September several bathers saw it in the sea off Beach Green, Shoreham Beach
Previous Seal Report 2002
Seas off Sussex
Grey Seal Report 1996

3 October 2002
A large jellyfish at least one metre in diameter was spotted in the River Adur underneath the footbridge at 10:00 am moving seawards with the ebbing neap tide. It had a milky white bell with a salmon-pink petticoat and frilly white tentacles. This is probably the Barrel Jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus.

Report by Hayley Packer
Adur Valley Wildlife Internet Resources

25 September 2002
At 7.15 am, a large owl fly slowly over head, over Eastbrook Road, south Portslade, East Sussex. The owl was being mobbed by a flock of starlings. It did not fly in a straight line, but followed an erratic flight path heading east.
The owl had broad wings, short tail and a short rounded bead. The wings and underside of the body appeared light and there was a dark marking on the underside of each wing, towards the wing tip. As I was only a couple of minutes from my house I was able to rush in and look through my reference books while it was still fresh in my mind. It seems to match with the Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus, both by artwork of underside in flight and descriptive text.
I have seen various birds of prey and this was different to anything I had seen before. The image that sprang to mind was a Eagle Owl that I saw at a display.

This diurnal owl feeds mainly  on small mammals.
NB: The  Short-eared Owl has been recorded before during the winter months over the local coast, downs and Adur valley: the peak month is October with 24 records in 15 year period and 10 records for September. (Shoreham & District Ornithological Reports). 

Slow Worm (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
16 September 2002
There were large adult Slow Worms in the grass and hiding under rocks and debris on the east side of the River Adur near the Adur Industrial Estate (TQ 209 056).

Click on the photograph by Ray Hamblett for a larger image

12 September 2002
The distinctive long-legged spider Tetragnatha extensa was discovered in the long grass near Widewater Lagoon on the sea side. 

Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)
Identification by Dr Gerald Legg (Booth Museum)

Small-headed Clingfish with a weedy Grey Topshell (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

11 September 2002
The tide receded beyond the pier on Worthing beach which was rather scantily inhabited by mobile fauna of interest to the rockpooler. However, of special interest was the discovery of a young Small-headed Clingfish, Apletodon dentatus, in a shallow weedy pool south of the pier. 

8 September 2002
Seven Wasp Spiders, Argiope bruennichi, were seen on my walk over Lancing Ring (TQ 180 065). Three specimens of the Autumn Lady's Tresses Orchid, Spiranthes spiralis, were also discovered

Earlier Mill Hill Report
Lancing Nature Newsletter (September 2002)

5 September 2002
The albino (white-winged) Magpie is back again. This time I was able to place it in an ivy adorned Sycamore Tree (TQ  2112 0532) right at the southern end of the old railway track running southwards from Old Shoreham to where it stops abruptly at the demolished bridge. I first heard the bird from underneath the tree in the approach to the partially empty factory buildings on the Adur Metal Works industrial estate. A normal black and white livery Magpie flew up leaving a seagull-like albino Magpie perched in the tree. Its white breast was spotted with black lines. By the time I had taken out my camera the bird had hidden deeper amongst the ivy, unless it had flown to another tree and I could not place where the call had come from. This particular Sycamore Tree is a veritable haven for wildlife, including a rich selection of insects and butterflies of many species.
The correct term is leucistic, unless the bird has also lost the pigment in its eyes. I have not altered the past entries because leucistic also refers to birds that have lost only part of their pigment. A few years ago a leucistic Redshank was a regular visitor to the lower Adur estuary, but this bird was not nearly so white. 
Previous 2001 Record

4 September 2002
After a dry spell, Widewater Lagoon had receded/dried out and the small separate lagoon west of the western causeway was reduced to a few puddles since 14 August 2002. A live Lagoon Cockle was found on the surface.
Widewater Salinity

29 August 2002
Alan Barrett is pretty sure that he spotted a Mink close to Woods Mill (Sussex Wildlife Trust HQ at Small Dole). 

28 August 2002
Less than a minute after opening my front (north facing) window of my flat in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 053) a good condition Peacock Butterfly flew in, the first I had seen since 1 May 2002. It was also the first ever butterfly that has entered my flat.

23 August 2002
A seal, probably a Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina, is spotted off Lancing beach between the breakwaters at high tide by the Golden Sands Caravan Park. It was mistaken for a dog at first which is often the case. Seals are a rare sight off the mid-Sussex coast, but a few have been seen off Shoreham before. The nearest rookery is a small group of seals in Chichester harbour which are occasionally seen around Selsey (Seal Island).
The seal was also seen by Francis Garard in the same area sharing the same swimming space with her in the morning, 8:40 am on 29 August 2002

Sussex Marine Life

21 August 2002
"It was a huge caterpillar. At the head end were two very realistic eye markings. The body was dark chocolate brown with lighter brown rings and circles. The length was around 6 cm (2½ inches) and the girth similar to the average thumb. When disturbed it either thrashed or made S shaped movements. The tail end had a short horn. I would suggest it would be a moth caterpillar. It was found on the ground close to a massive Virginia creeper vine but numerous other plants were growing nearby."
This caterpillar was discovered in a garden in West Way, south Lancing, (TQ 198 042) on alluvial soil near the coast. 
The Elephant Hawk-moths larvae display their eye spots when threatened. As it is only these large moths (two British species) that display large eye spots this is certainly what they are. 

Report by Steve Barker
Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor (UK Moths)

Wasp Spider (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)18 August 2002
A Wasp Spider, Argiope bruennichi, was spotted on Mill Hill. (TQ 211 076). This a distinctive  European continental species that has been spreading in the south-east. 

Ray Hamblett's Mill Hill web page 

16 August 2002
A walk on the bridleway from the north side of Slonk Hill to Southwick Hill (TQ 225 070 - TQ 225 078) revealed the first Clouded Yellow Butterflies (8+) since 2000. They were flying around rapidly and would not settle. Small Tortoiseshells (100+) were everywhere settling on Ragwort and the bridleway. Forty Wall Brown Butterflies was exceptional from the same area. 
I disturbed a female Sparrowhawk on a fence post, (near some bushes with many small brown birds), which glided magnificently at at a low level across the open field.
Clouded Yellow Butterfly (Photograph by Allen Pollard, Shermanbury)Full Report
South Downs Butterflies
Adur Butterflies

14 August 2002
Widewater Lagoon was very full of water for August which could be explained by the heavy rainfall of the last few days which caused flooding in some places. The high tide of 6.1 metres (WXTide Table) occurred at 4.27 pm BST and the air bubbles shooting up through the cracks in the alluvium floor of the lagoon began one hour before the high tide. They occurred as a steady stream of small bubbles and sometimes as large less frequent bubbles and these bubble points occurred more often in the shallow water but also could be seen at the surface in water that was two metres deep. The conjecture is that this is seawater being forced into the lagoon through the shingle bank and the bubbling only occurs on tides of over 6 metres in height.
Full Report

5 August 2002
A colourful Brown Hairstreak Butterfly was seen in the fields near Shermanbury Flats (was the Grange) between Shermanbury and Partridge Green.

Report by Allen Pollard
Allen Pollard's Then & Now web pages

29-30 July 2002
The Daisy Anemone, Cereus pedunculatus, has been discovered by Paul Parsons off the outfall pipe near Brooklands boating lake. I (Andy Horton) have discovered this sea anemone (that contains symbiotic algae) on Worthing beach on one memorable occasion, but at the moment this seems the most easterly discovery of this sea anemone on the northern English Channel coast and shallow seas.
BMLSS Sea Anemones

27 July 2002
Friends of Lancing Ring have arranged for expert Brianne Reeve of the Butterfly Conservation group to lead a walk over the reserve.

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

On a hot (25° C) and muggy (humidity 86%) day, the walk produced an exceptional variety of butterflies. In order of prevalence these were:

Meadow Brown Butterfly on Hardhead (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)Small Skipper
Meadow Brown
Marbled White
Holly Blue
Common Blue
Red Admiral
Large White
Small White
Wall Brown
Speckled Wood  #
Large Skipper
Small Copper
Chalkhill Blue  #

(# = hearsay reports)

The last two were rarities in the meadows. Both could have been overlooked by a single naturalist. Small red mites were present on some of the Meadow Browns. 
6-Spot Burnet Moths were also common in the meadows.
Butterfly Walk in August 2001
Butterflies of Lancing
Adur Butterflies
Shermanbury Butterflies
UK-LEPS Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)

9 July 2002
Live small cockles (new recruits of a breeding population) have now been discovered at depths of 20 cm in Widewater, which was about a metre deep near the bridge. This is the Lagoon Cockle, Cerastoderma glaucum, although when the cockles are small (12 mm width) they do not have the shape of the full grown ones, so they initially looked to me like Common Cockles, Cerastoderma edule. There were a few other worms and molluscs as well. 
A miniature sea anemones have also been discovered and identified as a dwarf specimens of the distinctive Haliplanella lineata with orange stripes which are not found on other British sea anemones. The anemone photographed was only 2 mm in height and 3 mm in diameter and this was typical of the dozen anemones discovered. 

Report by Dan Metcalfe (University of Brighton)
This alien anemone (accidentally introduced species) is a sea anemone that inhabits harbours and estuaries and occasionally lagoons where the salinity is below full strength seawater. Haliplanella lineata attains at least 20 mm high and 13 mm diameter in British specimens but in other parts of the world could be twice this size. Reproduction by longitudinal fission is habitual and frequent in this species. 
Full Report (Link)

8 July 2002
At least one live Lagoon Cockle, Cerastoderma glaucum, is discovered in the mud samples taken from deeper water yesterday. 

Report by Dan Metcalfe (University of Brighton)

Lagoon Cockle
7 July 2002
The trip in the unseasonal drizzle to Widewater Lagoon, ostensibly in the search for the sea anemone Edwardsia ivelli, but actually the collection of anaerobic mud and hundreds of dead shells of the Lagoon Cockle, Cerastoderma glaucum, with just the remotest long shot that something interesting would creep out. The black mud substrate was collected at two locations one west of and one east of the bridge on the shallow edge of the deepest bits of the lagoon. After the recent rain, the lagoon was still appreciably filled and showed no signs of drying out that can occur in hot summers. 
The failure to discover even one live cockle was disappointing.
The first green spiky shoots of Glasswort were clear in the boggy and almost dry margins. Floating on the surface the strands of the rooted plant with the scientific name of Ruppia maritima were pointed out. This is an unattractive choking style green flowering point that was present in large clumps.
Widewater Page
Widewater Lagoon page (by Ray Hamblett)

4 July 2002
Public Exhibition of the Lancing rocky Sea Defence Plan on the seaward side of Widewater Lagoon. The most controversial proposal seems to the the inclusion of a seawater pipeline. 
Information Page

26 June 2002
A Scarce Chaser Dragonfly was present on the River Adur at Shermanbury. According to Sussex Biodiversity it has been recorded on two occasions in June in 1995 and 1998 on the River Adur at Shermanbury. 

Report by Allen Pollard
The Scarce Chaser Dragonfly inhabits rivers whereas the Broad Chaser is more likely to be found in ditches, canals and ponds.

Scarce Chaser (Photograph by Allen Pollard)

Allen Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)

They are definitely Scarce Chasers: they are more common the Broad-bodied Chasers in the upper Adur area and another good place to see them is Bines Bridge. The White-legged Damselfly is a rare British species but is typical of the habitat in the upper Adur area.

Comment by Tony Wilson
About 20 blue damselflies hover around the stream at the Cokeham reed beds site. They were identified as Azure Blue Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, some in tandem with females. Another similar species, the Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum, may also have been present. Four individuals of the  Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula,  were also seen. Adur Damselflies & Dragonflies
European Dragonflies Picture Gallery

25 June 2002

White-legged Damselfly (Photograph by Allen Pollard)

White-legged Damselflies,  Platycnemis pennipes, were flying and settling over the freshwater reaches River Adur. The were loads of them. The location was west branch of the Adur east bank, about half mile up from the Bull pub and the lock bridge (near Shermanbury).

Report by Allen Pollard
Allen Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)
An Emperor Dragonfly was seen eating a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly at the Larkfield Paddocks, Lancing. In the same area a Red-veined Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum fonscolombi, was recorded for the first time. This species was not on my list of dragonflies present in Sussex.
Adur Damselflies & Dragonflies
Report by David Sadler via Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)
Freshwater Habitats of the Lower Adur Valley
I inadvertently flushed a Grey Partridge near New Erringham Farm, which flew strongly away in a straight low level flight above the field of grass and poppies.

Banded Demioselle (Photograph by Allen Pollard)23 June 2002
Banded Demioselles mating in appreciable numbers on the River Adur near Shermanbury
A Scarce Chaser Dragonfly (pic) was also identified and Mayflies. Several enthusiasts confirmed the not completely clear photograph as a Scarce Chaser Dragonfly. 
Allen Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)

Report by Allen Pollard
UK Dragonflies Yahoo Group
Adur Damselflies & Dragonflies

22 June 2002
The revisions to the proposed boundaries of the South Downs National Park have been announced.
In the Adur Valley the following proposals have been accepted:
12.  Inclusion of Steyning and Bramber
13.  Inclusion of bits of the Lower Adur valley near Steyning and Bramber, but excluding some of the water meadows
43.  Inclusion of the area west of Hoe Court Farm, Lancing,  including McIntyres Field
The following are amongst those rejected:
14:  Exclusion of Upper Beeding and Horton Hall.

Countryside Agency
National Park Designation Team

Nine-spined Stickleback (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)13 June 2002
The stream that ran through Sompting water meadows produced an interesting selection of freshwater animals including the Ten-spined Stickleback, Diving Beetles and a Water Spider
Full Report
Cokeham Reed Beds (Sompting)

19 June 2002
On a pleasant sunny day after a generally inclement spring, it was nearly the solstice before I made my first eventful trip to Mill Hill. Most noticeable was the field of Common Poppies grazed by a dozen or so cows between Mill Hill and Buckingham Barn, and also bright red fields to the north-east and on the ridges, highest points of the downs.
Butterfly Report

11 June 2002
The presence of Spiny Spider Crabs, Maja squinado, underneath the wooden groynes on Shoreham beach (TQ 216 047), south of Weald Dyke (road), is a notable and little known aspect of the wildlife fauna of Shoreham. Although it is the smaller crabs that are found at low tide, these are still the biggest animals found between the tides. 
Seashore (Shoreham Beach)
British Marine Life Study Society

8 June 2002
In a rainwater drainage ditch (TQ 185 049) close to our Lancing home we have discovered a habitat of the Horse Leech, Haemopsis sanguisuga (a hirudinean). (Pic.) 
These drain ditches are linked to a freshwater brook in Lancing, which meets the sea at a number of outlets including the River Adur at Shoreham. Normally at this time of the year this ditch has dried up but due to the high rainfall remains wet.
Further Information on the Horse Leech

5 June 2002
Dawn saw light and steady rain which continued heavier and without a break throughout the day and into the hours of darkness, not easing off until 9:00 pm, and attaining a total of at least 35.81 mm, which was the greatest daily rainfall total on record since the sodden October 2000.
Shoreham Beach Weather Records

5 - 14 June 2002
The Adur Valley Biodiversity Network 2002 Exhibition commences in the Adur Civic Centre foyer. 

2 June 2002
The new Adur Valley Biodiversity Network Smart Group commences, designed for biological recording in the Adur District and valley.
For technical recording and computer reasons, the full services will not be available until next month.

1 June 2002
A huge one metre in diameter jellyfish with a humped appearance was discovered washed up on Shoreham beach due of south of Coronation Green. This is the species known by several common names: Barrel Jellyfish, Football Jellyfish, Root-mouthed Jellyfish, and with the scientific name of Rhizostoma octopus. This is an unusual sighting off the Sussex coast, but this year tens of thousands have been seen off the coast of Cornwall, with many more washed up on the coast of Devon and Dorset.

Report by Martin Ward at Adur World Oceans Day
Adur Nature Notes (Spring 2002) for Shoreham Beach Nature Reports
Other Reports
BMLSS Jellyfish

1 June 2002
Adur WORLD OCEANS DAY Exhibition at Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Photograph by Ray HamblettAdur was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event took place on Saturday 1 June 2002 in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation Green (TQ 216050), adjacent to the footbridge over the River Adur, with the start of the Adur Festival.


Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio 2002 (by Ray Hamblett)
Adur World Oceans Day 2002   Programme of Events

Adur World Oceans Day 2001 Report
Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio
World Oceans Day Smart Group

A Roe Deer was seen trotting along the margins of Adur Recreation Ground only the span of the Norfolk Bridge away from Shoreham town centre.

Artificial Life-sized Bottle-nosed Dolphin at Adur World Oceans Day27 May 2002
A pod of dolphins, probably Bottle-nosed Dolphins, were seen off Lancing beach. They appeared dark in colour, described as black rather than the grey of the life-sized artificial dolphin on display at Adur World Oceans Day 2002.

Report by Russell at Adur World Oceans Day 2002
BMLSS Whales and Dolphins
Sea Watch Foundation

26 May 2002
A pair of Kingfishers are nesting near Cuckoo's Corner, by the Adur inlet south of Coombes.

Sting Winkle, Ocenebra erinacea, was discovered feeding on a mussel on Kingston beach, Shoreham-by-Sea. This is an unusual find on the shore, and I have never discovered a live specimen before on this particular beach in thousands of visits over 20 years. 
BMLSS Molluscs
BMLSS Rockpooling

15 May 2002
A Cuckoo was seen flying and heard calling in the early evening at Botolphs. Botolphs is two miles north of Cuckoo's Corner, a known area for Cuckoos.

Report by Martin Snow

25 April 2002
The distinctive white underside of at least four immigrant Wheatears were unmistakable on the seaweed side of Widewater, perching on Squid Eggs (Photograh by Ray Hamblett)the wooden posts (that comprise part of the sea defences running parallel with the sea) before the bird flew rapidly around, before embarking on their destination flights inland to the downs.
A clump of Squid eggs were washed ashore on Lancing beach.

24 April 2002
A Painted Lady Butterfly was spotted just north of the monastery off the A281 a mile north of Shermanbury. In my garden at Shermanbury several small damselflies make an early appearance. They were very dainty, only about 33 mm long with red abdomens and green heads, appearing like ghosts. The description does not seem to fit exactly, but I am tempted to think this is the Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
Dragonflies of Ireland

22 April 2002
Just after midday, traffic stopped on the main A27 Dual Carriageway at Lancing Manor to allow a Duck and six ducklings to cross four lanes of traffic.

Report by Ann White

11 April 2002
The Little Egret on Widewater Lagoon has been an almost permanent resident for at least six months and an regular visitor before that. Every time I cycle past, I expect to see this attractive white bird with a long black beak feeding in the shallows. On this occasion the egret was feeding avidly and I could see the flash of the the silver flanks of the 3-spined Sticklebacks as they were gulped down, at a rate of one very five seconds for several minutes. 

4 April 2002

Orange Tip (Photograph by Allen Pollard)Lots of butterflies on my walk from Shermanbury to Ashurst via the River Adur, including Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, and a Speckled Wood north of Ashurst church. However, the biggest surprise was the early Orange Tip Butterflies, not expected until June.

Adur Butterflies

2 April 2002
A single Speckled Wood Butterfly is spotted in a coniferous wooded garden near to Lancing Ring.

Adur Butterflies

30 March 2002
Lancing beach proved to be an exceptional discovery. The small patch of loose sponge-covered flint rocks with small bits of chalk proved unusually rich in small rockpool life at the very low tide (TQ 018 034). Katherine Hamblett spotted and Tacita French caught a Tompot Blenny, a small fish that is unusual between the tides. I made hundreds of visits to the shore before I ever caught one. Even more amazingly Ray Hamblett discovered a small Montagu's Sea Snail, Liparis montagui, (a small fish) underneath a rock. This is a small orange fish and although I had never ever discovered one on thousands of visits to the shore. I immediately recognised it as this fish is actually known to breed off Lancing. This was discovered by the late John Barker and the species confirmed by fish expert at the Natural History Museum Alwyne Wheeler
Original Report (Sussex Rare Fish)
The children discovered over a dozen rock pool fish of four species to much excitement, as well lots of different crabs. 

Dahlia Anemone, Urticina felina (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Furthermore, the beach was home to four species of sea anemones including large Dahlia Anemones and frequent Snakelocks Anemones, enough to identify this location as the most easterly regular location of this sea anemone on the northern English Channel. 
Full Report
Adur Estuary Survey by the late John Barker
Sanderlings (x 20 +) (a small wading bird) fed energetically alongside the sandy pools and a the margins of sand and sea. 
Adur Valley Wildlife Database

An exceptionally high 6.9 metre equinoctial spring tide occurred just after midnight at 12:06 am at Shoreham-by-Sea. Although this high tide was forecast there were no additional prevailing weather conditions that would cause floods and the water rose no higher than a normal spring tide.
BMLSS Tides Page

15 March 2002
Rock Pipit on Jersey (Photograph by Nicolas Jouault)A solitary Rock Pipit was seen amongst the Sea Purslane. The bird was identified as a brown bird with greyish-lined tail feathers visible as it flew away. This was the first one I have identified locally, although they may have been spotted as Meadow Pipits before. 
Kent Ornithological Society Rock Pipits Discussion

8 March 2002
A restless and very "loud" almost greeny yellow butterfly was seen near Shermanbury as we enjoyed the first fine sunny weather of the year. It was probably a Brimstone Butterfly.

2 March 2002
McIntyres Field (north of Lancing Manor) has been forage harvested during the winter by a contractor appointed by the South Downs Conservation Board. There was a delay for this job to be completed due to problems with sourcing a contractor with the necessary equipment and at a price within the board's budget for maintenance work. 
If  this work was not done, the field would soon revert to scrub with Dogwood, Brambles and tree seedlings crowding out the grass meadow plants.

Lancing Nature News (March 2002)

18 February 2002
Adur World Oceans Day 2002
The first meeting to discuss arrangements for this Adur Festival event.
Please express any interest to:
Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)
Tel:  01273 465433
Neil Mitchell (West Sussex County Council)
Tel:  01243 756856
Adur World Oceans Day 2001 web page
World Oceans Day

15 February 2002
Four Turnstones flew rapidly over the shingle shore opposite Beach Green, Shoreham Beach. More

12 February 2002
After the gales the strandline of Shoreham Beach was peppered with thousands of Whelk egg-cases, amongst the flotsam of shells, seaweed and man-made rubbish. 
A flock of 25 Turnstones wheeled in by the Adur Railway Viaduct just like a flock of Dunlins. These birds were much stockier than the solitary Redshank, which was elegantly feeding within a few metres of a solitary one of these waders. Some of them waded in the pools near the mussel beds with their legs submerged, but they were not adverse to feeding on the mud flats. 
These waders in their dull winter plumage were about the same size as a couple of Grey Plovers foraging along the water line at mid-tide.
"The identification of these waders is simply fraught with too many difficulties to be sure. The Redshank, usually long and spindly, can actually look quite squat at a long distance and at an angle the medium-long beak can actually look shorter. In the poor light, even the leg and beak colours can be difficult to discern."
A few Wrens arrowed between the scrub bushes by the disused railway route to the south-east of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. 
Adur Estuary Page

c. 7 February 2002
A Common Frog laid a small clump of spawn in a Shoreham garden (TQ  219 063) between the dates of 4 and 10 February.

3 February 2002
Professor Richard Ivell visited Widewater Lagoon, Lancing, West Sussex, to show a group of naturalists and local residents where he discovered the very rare sea anemone Edwardsii ivelli. He also explained how they were discovered which should enable us to try and and discover them again this summer when the water recedes. After the recent rain the the lagoon was in flood, covering the Glasswort, Salicornia sp, completely. The miniature sea anemones were originally discovered on a study of the Lagoon Cockle, Cerastoderma glaucum, which buries deeply (to 10 cm) in the soft sediment. They revealed themselves in the bucket of mud and cockles.
(NB: The 1997 survey took core samples.)
Friends of Widewater Lagoon

Lagoon in Flood 2002 (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

A flock of about 35 Pochards cheered us up in the rain. These ducks appear like a dark blob at first, their grey backs camouflaged quite well against the rippled water, repeatedly diving under the surface. In the shallows a Little Egret was repeatedly feeding right on the edge, probably not on the abundant 3-Spined Sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, although I am not quite sure what the Egret was stabbing at. 
JNCC Proposal to remove Edwardsia ivelli from Schedule 5 protection (Link)

26-27 January 2002
RSPB Annual Garden Bird Count
Survey Form (link)
Garden Birds of Adur

24 January 2002
A Public Meeting at Lancing Parish Hall to discuss with the Environment Agency the effect shingle movement is having on water levels in Widewater Lagoon. There are presentations by Rupert Chubb (Flood defence Manager, Environment Agency), Derek Neate (Friends of Widewater Lagoon) and Councillor Tony Nicklen.

Widewater Lagoon (Ray Hamblett)
Glasswort Page

22 January 2002
Gliding less than a metre above the road surface, south of Cuckoo's Corner, a male Sparrowhawk flew at least 20 metres along the road before veering suddenly in the hedgerow on the right. It was identified as a male by its slate-bluish colour, and as a Sparrowhawk by its behaviour including the fanning of its tail as it swerved adeptly between the bare hedgerow branches in a way that would not be common for the Kestrel. A Kestrel had spent some time gliding and hovering near Old Shoreham, so I was able to contrast the two falcons. 

14 January 2002
On the estuarine Adur mudflats, thousands (about 2500) of Lapwings exceeded any numbers I had noted before and they were on all the exposed mud on both sides of the river, with the greatest numbers near the Toll Bridge.  A few Grey Plovers searched for invertebrates on the mud. 

11 January 2002
Dogwhelk, NucelLapillusThe most notable discovery on Kingston Beach were large Dogwhelks averaging 50 mm in length (all a dirty white colour) and one group were laying their egg capsules. This was unknown on this shore since the TBT pollution wiped out the breeding population in the 1970s. A chemical component called tributyltin in anti-fouling paints caused female Dogwhelks to develop a condition called imposex which prevented them from breeding. Unusually, small Common Starfish were present under rocks and at least one Common Whelk was discovered amongst the oysters. 
Full Report
Dogwhelk page
Trouble with Dogwhelks

6 January 2002
52 Pochards were recorded by Colin Upton (Brighton RSPB) leading a group of birdwatchers at Widewater Lagoon. These ducks were also reported before Christmas at Widewater. 

4 January 2002
A solitary diving bird on the River Adur, just north of the railway viaduct, on a flood spring tide on a murky afternoon was not familiar to me.
This black bird with a white breast turned out to be my first choice of a Razorbill. The mystery is why this bird was on its own and not out at sea with the large flocks. The bird was probably injured.
Adur Estuary pages

Bullfinch (Photograph by Allen Pollard)2 January 2002
A Bullfinch made a visit to a Shermanbury garden. This very distinctive bird is unlikely to be missed, but I have never seen one around Shoreham. Over a thousand have been ringed over the years at the Shoreham sanctuary near the Waterworks on the Adur levels,. 

Report by Allen Pollard
Allen Pollard's Then & Now web pages
Adur Levels



Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

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