Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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If you find one or more dead swans, ducks or geese, more than three dead birds of the same species - or more than five dead birds of different species, in the same place, you should contact the Defra helpline on 08459 33 55 77. 

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Autumn 2004 
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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

2007 Regional
Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature


A Nature Reserve is defined in Section 15 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, as land managed for the purpose:
(a) of providing, under suitable conditions and control, special opportunities for the study of, and research into, matters relating to the flora and fauna of Great Britain and the physical conditions in which they live, and for the study of geological and physiographical features of special interest in the area; or
(b) of preserving flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features of special interest in the area; or for both these purposes.




11-23 December 2007
A first winter male Glaucous Gull was regularly seen in Shoreham Harbour around the numerous fishing vessels and originally discovered by Paul James.

Southwick Wildlife (including Shoreham Harbour Canal)

> 7 December 2007
I was extremely disappointed to discover that the extreme southern end of the Downs Link Cyclepath had been trashed for its wildlife interest (the railway company had previous sold off the land at auction to a private owner). 
Brown Argus on Fleabane

Wild MarjoramThe area has featured frequently on Adur Nature Notes and it was noteworthy for Brown Argus and Common Blue Butterflies with Grass Snakes occasionally recorded in the vicinity. The Small Blue Butterfly was recorded here on at least one occasion, only one of two locations in Shoreham where it has been seen and at least one Large Skipper, Small Skippers, Holly Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Peacock Butterflies, Comma, Clouded Yellows, Large Whites, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites and Speckled Woods were regularly seen during their flight periods. It was only known area in Shoreham town where Wild Marjoram grew in profusion. Wild Marjoram is an important nectar plant for butterflies. Wild Thyme, Hemp Agrimony, Fleabane, Meadow Vetchling, Bird's Foot Trefoil and Kidney Vetch also grew there. 
The area also attracted most of the local damselflies and dragonflies during their flight season.
Google Search on Nature Notes for some Wildlife Entries for this area
Adur Levels 2007
Adur Butterfly List 2007

19 November 2007
A Grey Phalarope visited Kingston Beach in the morning, but was absent in the afternoon.

9 November 2007
A tidal surge threatened the east coast of England. Low pressure and strong winds caused the surge and put at least 60 cm on the forecasted high tide in the River Adur.

26 October 2007
A seal, probably a Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina, was spotted off Lancing Beach in the sea a 100 metres or so offshore at 8:00 am. Its whole body was seen and there could be no doubt about its identity. 

Report by Andrew Smith (Lancing)
An Earlier Report from 2002

4 September 2007
A young male Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, called "George" followed a boat into the River Adur and stayed for most of the day until coaxed back out to sea by Shoreham inshore lifeboat before it could stranded on the low neap tide
This particular Bottle-nosed Dolphin habitually enters English Channel harbours, but for all of last year was found around the French coast. 

Marine Life off Sussex
BMLSS Cetacea
Whales & Dolphins around the British Isles

1 September 2007

Actinothoe sphyrodeta (Photograph by Jason Koen)

An early morning visit to east Worthing beach produced the small white sea anemone Actinothoe sphyrodeta which is a species rarely found between the tides. There were a frequent collection of many of the usual shore fish and crabs.

Report by Jason Koen

Full Report from East Worthing Beach
BMLSS Sea Anemones

26 August 2007
Autumn Lady's TressesOn the conservation pasture at Anchor Bottom, the first half a dozen Autumn Lady's Tresses of 2007 were stumbled upon. These small easily overlooked orchids were in a small area of the southern slopes. I recorded twelve species of butterfly in the weak sunshine. 
Butterfly Report

25 August 2007

Adonis Blue on the Shoreham Bank (south)
48 second brood Adonis Blue Butterflies (including five females, four in mating pairs) were seen fluttering in the weak sunshine on the lower slopes of Mill Hill
Butterfly Report

24 August 2007
The highlight on an inclement day was an dark olive-green Grass Snake slithering down the lower slopes of Mill Hill

August 2007
This rare immigrant Death's Head Hawk-moth, Acherontia atropos, was discovered in my back garden which is adjacent to Shoreham Beach between the harbour arm and The Burrells,
Photograph and 
Report by Joy Daintree

This the largest moth to appear in Britain, sporting a wingspan of up to 12 or 13 cm.


5 August 2007

Male Chalkhill Blue
A 112 Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill and the immediate surrounding area, a figure that is about half total expected in an average year. Most were seen on the lower slopes. The brilliant blue of 11 fresh male Adonis Blues stood out from the paler blue of the Chalkhill Blues
Full Butterfly Report

8 July 2007
The first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill on a cloudy day.  It was one of twelve species seen in the first hour. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

2 June 2007
Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day, Shoreham-by-Sea, with exhibits hosted by local experts and enthusiasts of the undersea world. Live lobsters and crabs, a rock pool aquarium, the whale and dolphin exhibition, a touch table of strandline exhibits found on the shore and other interactive displays was on display under the marquee on on Coronation Green overlooking the River Adur by the Footbridge
Len Nevell with the Spiny Spider Crab

Adur World Oceans Day was run by a committee comprising representatives of the British Marine Life Study Society, West Sussex County Council, the Sea Watch Foundation, Friends of Shoreham Beach (Forum), Friends of Widewater Lagoon, Shoreham Greenpeace and other groups, with support from Adur District Council

16 May 2007
Female Adonis BlueAfter nine days of gales and showers, the sun made a feeble show. The flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, were the poorest showing this century, but this is not necessarily bad because the amount of green leaves was more. The lower slopes of Mill Hill had a 60% coverage of Horseshoe Vetch in the best acre of herbland. Both male and female Adonis Blues were amongst the Horseshoe Vetch and they made short flights when disturbed. The acre count was 39 with about 40% females which is a high proportion, especially as they were not seen mating. They were pristine and had probably just emerged.

3 May 2007
I saw my first dragonflies of the year patrollng along a stream north of Cuckoo's Corner. Patience was rewarded with a view of a probable Hairy Dragonfly, Brachytron pratense
Full Report

29 April 2007
I saw over 135 butterflies of an unprecedented sixteen species in a day in April.
My tally included the first Brown Argus Butterfly of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen, but the exceptional report was of 14 Burnet Companion Moths, a larger number than usual, amongst the familiar skippers
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)
Adur Moths
Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Photograph by Richard Poxon) Late April 2007
The Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Agrius convolvuli, hatched out into the adult female imago. The caterpillar was discovered by Paul Graysmark on 29 October 2006 and it had buried into the soft earth on 30 October 2006 to metamorphises into the pupae. It was kept in a controlled environment by Richard Poxon who recorded its emergence. 
Caterpillar Report

24 April 2007
Sensationally, I disturbed the largest Grass Snake, Natrix natrix, I had ever seen basking on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I got a good look at the coiled up reptile before it slithered off rapidly into the scrub on the western side. I would estimate its length at at well over one metre long and it circumference of its body in its thickest place at 6+ cm.
My earliest ever Adonis Blue Butterfly flew on the Shoreham Bank, with about 15 Grizzled Skippers and 40 Dingy Skippers in the acre transect area. Brimstone Butterflies were courting. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)

The South Downs Conservation Board have gone ahead of their plan to instal commercial breeds of cattle on Mill Hill, introducing ten large beef cattle to the top part of the hill. They started grazing the rough grassland and herbage south of Reservoir which cannot do any environmental harm in the long term, but the mess of their cow pats is a nuisance on a publicly owned amenity land and Nature Reserve. There is nothing to stop the cattle moving on to the wildlife meadows north of the reservoir or descending down to the lower slopes where the destruction would be like letting cattle into your garden, except the damage will be permanent because Horseshoe Vetch (the food plant of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly) cannot survive cattle grazing and never recovers from such deliberate vandalism. 

22 April 2007
A bright flash of yellow and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over the lower slopes of Mill Hill was the first I had seen this year and very first recorded on these Nature Notes for the month of April. This was one of nine species of butterfly I recorded on the downs in the hour before midday. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)

16 April 2007

Hairy Hermit Crab (by Karen)
A rockpooling trip in the calm sunshine to Worthing Pier was rewarded with abundant  sea anemones and crab-like crustaceans notably a half a dozen Hairy Hermit Crabs, Pagurus cuanensis, one of the infrequently encountered species seen at low tide. The Daisy Anemone, Cereus pedunculatus, was common, when in some years it it is infrequent or absent. An empty shell of the Common Wentletrap, Epitonium ciathrus, was discovered. Even empty shells of this gastropod are unusual on the shore. 
Full Report

15 April 2007
Twelve species of butterfly were seen in Shoreham and the outskirts during the day including the first Small Heath Butterfly and my first Dingy Skippers of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Butterfly Report

14 April 2007
A real scorcher for April recording the highest air temperature of the year so far at 24.2 ºC at 3:48 pm.

13 April 2007
The first Horseshoe Vetch and Milkwort appeared in flower on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with a handful of each seen.  A juvenile Slow Worm, the first I had seen in 2007, slithered slowly over the towpath next to Adur Business Park near the petrol pump storage area. 
Butterfly Report

12 April 2007
My first Swallow of 2007 flew low over Mill Hill in the early afternoon. Earlier, a pair of Grizzled Skippers courted over the lower slopes.
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

11 April 2007
My first immigrant Wheatear was spotted near Cuckoo's Corner
By the Ladywell Stream on the Coombes Road my first two male Orange Tip Butterflies of the year could be seen clearly fluttering in the distance, over a bed of Lesser Celandine and Dandelions, on the road verges 60 metres or so north of the Garlic Mustard flowering just north of Cuckoo's Corner.
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Wild Flowers

26 March 2007
The first local Holly Blue Butterfly and the first local Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year were both seen in a central Lancing garden with a tatty Peacock Butterfly. This is the first report of a Speckled Wood Butterfly in March on these Nature Notes pages. 

Adur Butterfly List 2007

27 March 2007
At the top of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, my first Common Lizards, Zootoca vivipara, of the year were seen on the lichen-covered chestnut fencing. 

11 March 2007
At least 21 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted on the flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, basking in the sunshine and displaying far more energy that I had ever seen before with one lizard skittering right up to the top of the wall. 
Adur Lizards
Wall Lizard Peacock Butterfly

A rather dark Peacock Butterfly fluttered in the sunshine over the Old Fort.
Adur Butterfly List 2007

3 March 2007
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse from Sussex
Photograph by James Gaplin

The reddish Full Moon in evening sky was as a result of a Lunar Eclipse. My viewing time was 11:15 pm and I missed the sequence. 
BBC News Report
Lunar Eclipse Images on flickr

1 March 2007
The little bird known as the Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus, was still hiding out in Norway Spruce (Christmas) tree in Phoenix Crescent, in a Southwick garden, and can be viewed from the road with great difficulty as it was well hidden amongst the branches and firs. After about five minutes I caught a glimpse of it enough to see its creamy-yellow eyestripe as it posed for about 30 seconds. Its breast was a pale grey. This small bird is a Scarce Vagrant in Sussex. 
Link to Image (by Ian Barnard)
SOS Reports
Birds of Sussex
Wikipedia (Yellow-browed Warbler)

14 February 2007
The first batch of Common Frog spawn appeared in the morning in my south Lancing garden pond. (TQ 186 044) 

12 February 2007    7:30 pm
Natural History of Mill Hill 
Slide Show and Talk by Andy Horton

Venue:   Garden Room, Southwick Community Centre (TQ 244 053)
Organised by the Southwick (Sussex) Society

24 January 2007
South-east England woke after an overnight flurry of snow and Shoreham was no exception with a layer in Shoreham town and even on the beach pebbles and in the countryside.
Snow on Shoreham Beach
Hawthorn on Mill Hill

As the air temperature was always above freezing and the dew point only just below zero Celsius, so by the early afternoon almost all the snow had melted in town with only a light covering visible on the downs.
Shoreham Weather Highlights 2007

15 January 2007
I took a walk across the fields to the west of Shoreham Airport (New Monks Farm) in the afternoon in the glorious winter sunshine and managed to get a reasonable photograph of a beautiful Short-eared Owl doing the rounds along the drainage ditches. I also caught sight of one of the Barn Owls hunting close to the airport.
Excellent Photograph

Report by Simon Spiers on Sussex Ornithological News

4 January 2007
At around midday at Lancing railway station a Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered around the sunlit south facing wall before coming to rest on a notice board which had the heading "Welcome to Lancing"!
Full Report and Photograph


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

Adur Valley Wildlife on Photobox

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages


Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index page


Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page


Link to more detailed wildlife reports for January to March 2003
Link to the spring wildlife reports for 2003
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002

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

Mill Hill, north of Shoreham


    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
    Webmaster: Andy Horton

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