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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

2010 Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports


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.


Link to the Adur Wildlife Reports for 2011

3 December 2010
At 7:00 pm the air temperature had fallen further to minus 9.7 °C, the lowest temperature recorded since February 1983. The wind had receded to negligible from the north. 
Shoreham Weather 2010
Met Office: Shoreham
Previous Lowest Temperature this Millennium

2 December 2010
Snow fell over night in a Gentle Breeze (Force 3) that blew in from the NNE at 8 mph. 

Lower slopes of Mill Hill from the north
On the west-facing slopes of Mill Hill the snow depth was measured at 190 mm and in areas exposed to the north-easterlies the average depth could reach 230 mm.The pavement depth of snow was measured at 155 mm at 10.00 am. The air temperature at 8:00 am was minus 3.8 °C.

3 November 2010
Three medium-sized Yellow-footed Solitary Bees, Lasioglossum xanthopum, visited the flowers of the Musk Thistles on a cleared patch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill above the path. 
Adur Solitary Bees
Adur Thistles

30 September 2010
At lunchtime an Osprey flew over the River Adur by Shoreham Airport. I watched it for about ten minutes before it was mobbed by some Crows. It dived into the river twice but didn't appear to catch anything.

19 September 2010
Five Kestrels soared over Mill Hill around 1:00 pm. At least three of them and possibly all of them were thought to be juvenile birds although they were adult sized. 

18 September 2010

Photograph by Rob Lord

This small bird of prey was photographed in a favourite haunt of mine at Southwick Hill (north side), down to Whitelot Bottom, up again towards Thundersbarrow (north of east Shoreham). This was a Kestrel (although I first thought it was a Merlin). 

Report and Photograph by Robert Lord

12 September 2010
Clouded Yellow and
Meadow Brown
Clouded Yellow and
Musk Thistle

Mill Hill is proving to be a draw for butterfly enthusiasts wanting to photograph the two Clouded Yellows that appeared in the afternoon. I managed some superb photographs as the cloud cover encouraged the butterflies to remain still. 

9 September 2010
The 6.9 metre equinoctial spring tide at 12:35 pm lapped against the riverbank at Old Shoreham which had the result of compelling the three species of grasshoppers that normally occupy the high tide strandline and Orache zone into a thin line of vegetation between the River Adur and the cyclepath and hundreds of them could easily be disturbed. Two Buzzards glided from east to west over Mill Hill and rose on the thermals and circled over the hill for five minutes (about 2:15 pm) before becoming smaller and smaller as they rose higher and higher and then they flew off. Two immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterflies flew rapidly from one end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill to the other and back again. 
Full Butterfly Report

Mill Hill was alive with butterfly activity. There are still some good Adonis Blues but I concentrated on two male Clouded Yellows that were patrolling the slopes. They met and fought many times, twirling up over the hill. Close ups required a lot of running around the hill in pursuit and hoping the landing lasted more than a few seconds. They seemed to nectar on most of the flowering plants on the hill. A Hedge Rustic Moth, Tholera cespitis, was spotted in the undergrowth.

Adur Moths

8 September 2010
At the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I surprised a fat Adder which quickly slithered off into the undergrowth. Later, it returned to the same spot and was photographed coiled up under the sun that shined intermittently through the clouds. This is the first report of an Adder on Mill Hill on these Nature Notes pages. Previously they had only be reported from Lancing Ring.
Dark Sword-grass

I spotted a distinctive flash of orangey-yellow and I watched a Clouded Yellow Butterfly patrolling his territory. I was never able to get near enough to spot exactly where he landed, but I had a great view of him flying methodically around his territory looking for a female.

4 September 2010
Over the Old Erringham pasture I had a very clear view of the underside of a Buzzard gliding down from over Erringham Hill, the first time I had such a good view of this raptor ever.

28 August 2010
Six Buzzards soared over Lancing Ring.

Report by Sarah Reeves (Facebook)

18 August 2010
Out on a hedgerow foraging trip I spotted my first confirmed Brown Hairstreak on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham, which has made me more confident about my two previous sightings on Mill Hill. It was a male in an area where Blackthorn bushes were not known but it is so overgrown that they may occur. 

Brown Hairstreak
Speckled Woods

A couple of Speckled Woods were seen attempting to mate on the bush next to the Brown Hairstreak and I think this may also be a first time I have seen this. On the garden sized area of the south-western part of Mill Hill Cutting there were 21 Chalkhill Blues including eight females.
Butterfly & Moth List 2010

12 August 2010
Over the shingle near the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, the white rear of a Wheatear was easily spotted as it flew around prior to emigration south. 

Adonis Blue
Common Blue Butterfly 

9 August 2010
Sometimes a cloudy overcast day is good for photographing butterflies as they may remain still for just that fraction longer. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, 68 male Chalkhill Blues and 53 male Adonis Blues were recorded in the 1.2 acre transect in 25 minutes. There were twelve Wall Browns seen on Mill Hill, over 200 Common Blues and frequent Brown Argus. A Hornet Robber Fly landed on Mill Hill.

Hornet Robber Fly
Chalkhill Blue & Adonis Blue

Twelve butterfly species were seen in the middle of the day. 
Full Butterfly Report

2 August 2010
What a difference a day makes: the half acre top meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill was still alive with butterflies, but the half acre now hosted only about a 120 Common Blues, but they may have dispersed as surrounding meadow areas were now more densely populated so the total on the hill does not seem to have diminished in numbers. Brown Argus were plentiful as I ever seen them with at least 30 positively recorded and many more did a successful imitation of a Common Blue female.

Chalkhill Blue
Wall Brown

With the sun finding a gap in the clouds there were reasonably good conditions for butterfly watching on the parched downs. I was not in the mood for recording the numbers, but I noted that the Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were slightly less than the previous day, but only 64 were recorded in the 20 minutes walk on the 1.2 acre transect, which included just the five definite females. In the weak sunshine, I spotted fourteen Wall Browns seen on Mill Hill and my first Small Copper on Mill Hill this year.
Mill Hill Report
Butterfly & Moth List 2010

1 August 2010
Even when the sun found a gap in the clouds not many more than a hundred Chalkhill Blues were disturbed on the one acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. As there was not even spread over the steeper slopes this extrapolated to mere 350 on Mill Hill. This is a very low figure for the peak period.

Common Blue (female)

In excess of 700 Common Blue Butterflies fluttered around and mated in the one half acre meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill. This extrapolated to over 1500 on Mill Hill, possibly many more. Other noteworthy observations were eight Wall Browns on Mill Hill and the mating of many Brown Argus Butterflies. Fourteen species of butterfly were noted. 
Full Butterfly Report

29 July 2010
On an overcast a very mixed bag of a day, the highlight was the sudden rise of a large light blue Emperor Dragonfly from the top part of McIntyres Field, the part of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve now included in the South Downs National Park. This dragonfly is scarce locally and not seen every year.

28 July 2010
With three days before the peak emergence of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies on Mill Hill would be expected, the numbers are extremely poor with just 49 males recorded on the lower slopes transect on a cloudy day. The first second brood male Adonis Blue was noted on the lower slopes, with five Wall Browns amongst 17 species of butterfly seen on Mill Hill and its approaches. Male Common Blue Butterflies were almost as frequent as the Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and on the middle and upper slopes their numbers exceeded 200. Females of these three blue species were not noted, but the cloudy and breezy conditions were well below optimum. Ten Small Blue Butterflies still fluttered around on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting

20 July 2010
My first Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, of the year hovered/flitted around a clump of Greater Knapweed  in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, as seen from the Pixie Path. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the count of male Chalkhill Blues were still a mere seventeen. 
Butterfly & Moth Report

19 - 20 July 2010
An astonishing 22 butterfly species were seen on the Lancing Ring meadows over two days as follows:

Meadow Brown 
Marbled White 
Large White 
Red Admiral 
Small Copper 
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper
Common Blue 
Holly Blue 
Small Tortoiseshell 
Small Heath 
Green-veined White 
Wall Brown 
 Dark Green Fritillary
Small White
Speckled Wood
Painted Lady

One small patch of Bramble was unusually attractive to butterflies today with no less than 13 species attracted to it in a 15 minute watch. This included a Dark Green Fritillary which gave me some very good close views and five Common Blues

Report by Mark Senior on Sussex Butterfly Reports

This is the first positive record of a Dark Green Fritillary on Lancing Ring on these Nature Notes pages.

10 July 2010
At Shermanbury the freshwater reaches of the western River Adur are more like a large slow flowing stream, with plenty of vegetation including yellow Water Lilies. Shoals of Rudd with reddish fins could be seen in the surface waters with much smaller silvery fish fry. By far the most impressive sight was the appearance of frequent attractive male Banded Demoiselles which were everywhere and numbered in excess of thirty in a small area of river near the road bridge. A large brown dragonfly cruised repeatedly over the river, and it was much too large to be a Common Darter.
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2010

Silver-washed Fritillary

At Southwater Woods, I recorded White Admiral Butterflies and Silver-washed Fritillaries for the first time this year.
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Levels

The elusive White-letter Hairstreaks were discovered in Kingston Lane, Shoreham. Opposite the southern entrance to Shoreham Academy (formerly Kings Manor School) there is a long line of Elms on the east side of Kingston Lane (TQ 237 056). In the morning we saw two at the northern end of these Elms at about 10:00 am and then another about half way along. They spent the whole time flitting round the canopy though I did see one settled through binoculars. These are the first records of this butterfly on these web pages. Also a Small Tortoiseshell and then a first of the year Clouded Yellow in Phoenix Way, Southwick. 

Report by Paul & Bridget James on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

5 July 2010
The first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year was recorded at 11.06 am on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Five Ringlet Butterflies were recorded on the top of Mill Hill for the first time. Seventeen different butterfly species were seen in a couple of hours. 
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Full Butterfly & Moth Report

9 June 2010
Summer is nearly here! In the sunshine numerous (at least ten) wild plants were seen in flower for the first time this year.
Wild Flower List

In the meadow to the north of the upper car park on Mill Hill, Common Blue Butterflies flitted amongst the taller herbs and it was here that I spotted my first Large Skipper of the year. The twelve species of butterfly were seen during the day.
Small Blue ButterflyFull Butterfly Report
Adur Moths
Adur Skippers
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

8 June 2010
My first Cinnabar Moth of the year flitted amongst the grasses and herbs on the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham, where about fifty Small Blue Butterflies were immediately seen in an area of five square metres in just two minutes. 
Butterfly and Moth Report

5 June 2010

Adur World Oceans Day 2010

The tenth Adur World Oceans Day went well in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham footbridge at the High Street end on the opening Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. 

"The aim of the event is to introduce the young visitors to the world of the 
sea and seashore, an opportunity they may not get. It is an educational 
event with an opportunity for children to participate in the interactive 

Quote by Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)

30 May 2010
Two more notable firsts of the year were three Silver Y Moths, Burnet Companion Moths and a Purple Bar (a carpet moth) on Mill Hill

On the transect 1.2 acres of the lower slopes the count in a timed 11 minutes was 122 male Adonis Blues and nine females, including a mating pair. This count extrapolates to about 350 Adonis Blues on Mill Hill. Eleven species of butterfly and three macro moths were seen in about an hour. 
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Moth Report

23 May 2010
With the sun coming out, so were the butterflies. On Mill Hill, I stopped counting the Adonis Blues at a hundred males and handful of females. Fourteen species in a couple of hours was the most variety seen in a day this year. The tally included my first Small Heaths of the year, a Green Hairstreak losing itself amongst The Horseshoe Vetch and a Wall Brown seen in the same area (near the copse at the top of Mill Hill) for the last seven years. Over the Waterworks Road, (Old Shoreham), the first female Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly), Libellula depressa, of 2010 cruised above my head, and the four white butterflies seen there were females of the Orange-tip
Full Butterfly Report

21 May 2010
My first shrimping outing of the year using my smaller three foot wide shrimp net on the medium tide on Lancing Beach (Widewater West) yielded a rather poor 30 or so Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, and a notable young Turbot, Psetta maxima.
Full Shrimping Report

14 May 2010
At this time of year the St. Mark's Flies, Biblio, make a bit of a nuisance of themselves and they were common on and around the Buckingham Cutting (at the top of The Drive, Shoreham) although not so common on Mill Hill. Twelve species of butterfly were seen in a couple of hours of weak sunshine including my first Wall Brown Butterfly of the year, my first chocolate-brown female Adonis Blue Butterfly, my first Brown Argus, and my first male Common Blue Butterflies of the year, all on Mill Hill. 

female Adonis Blue
Brown Argus

The other species seen were a Small White, frequent Large Whites, a Green-veined White, a male Orange-tip, a Grizzled Skipper, half a dozen Dingy Skippers, occasional Holly Blues, and frequent Speckled Woods.
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

12 May 2010
The expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was only just beginning on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, visited by 13 Dingy Skippers and my first four male Adonis Blues of the year. 
Butterfly Report 2010

10 May 2010
I spotted my first Swallow of the year flying over Victoria Road, Portslade. Later, in the early evening a few more (at least two) Swallows were seen over Middle Road in the residential part of Shoreham. 

6 May 2010
Then off across the bridge to Mill Hill Nature Reserve on the lower slope I spent two hours, 2.30 to 4.30 pm. I saw my first Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year, then I found three Green Hairstreaks, three Small Coppers, one Grizzled Skipper, two Orange Tips, one Speckled Wood, two Small Heaths, lots of Dingy Skippers, male and female Brimstones, and Small Whites

Report by Alec Trusler on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

23 April 2010
Horseshoe VetchThe first solitary flower of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, appeared on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, at least nine days later than last year. The first solitary Milkwort was also spotted. 
Flowering Dates of Horseshoe Vetch

20 April 2010
In the weak sunshine the first reptile of the year was spotted on the wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach: an adult Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, (with an intact tail) skittered into a hole the size of a flint cobble on the south-facing wall. 
Adur Lizards

21 March 2010
At last I saw my first butterfly of the year: a Red Admiral flew around the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill
Adur Butterfly List 2010

3 March 2010
The first clump of Common Frogspawn appeared in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, the first year frog spawn have been laid in the tiny pond (since it was installed at Easter 2004).

Urban Reports 2010

1 February 2010
There was a large range of seven metre tides measured by WXTide at Shoreham Harbour (Kingston Beach), from 6.9 metres high to minus 0.1 metres below Chart Datum

10 January 2010
Walking up to Beeding Hill from Shoreham was strenuous due to the 1.5 metre snow drifts but the blanket snow cover in the fields demonstrated why so many inland birds are seeking shelter in the river valleys and on the coast. There was a huge bunting flock on Beeding Hill with at least 400 Corn Buntings, 90 Yellowhammers and three  Reed Buntings feeding in a stubble field accompanied by 200 or so Skylarksand 20 Linnets.

RSPB Corn Buntings

7 January 2010
Rabbits spent a long time in the open fields on the levels east of Lancing College, grazing on the snow covered pastures. Snow carpeted the countryside averaging a depth of 95 mm on Lancing Ring after the overnight snowfall. At 9:00 am the air temperature fell to an over night low of minus 6.1 °C. Birds foraged in the open amongst the bare twigs and the snow; about half a dozen Reed Buntings  were particularly noticeable on the tideline of the River Adur estuary south of the Toll Bridge, with Meadow Pipits, and a dozen more Reed Buntings on the frozen pond by the road to Lancing College. 
Full Weather Report

A flock of about twenty Fieldfares visited North Farm Road in South Lancing feasting on the red berries of a Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' tree in the Hamblett's back garden. One of these northern thrushes was seen to gobble up three berries in quick succession.   

Reed Bunting

In severe winters these birds move south and from the countryside into the parks and larger gardens. 
RSPB Fieldfares

6 January 2010
A steady flurry of light snow blew in from the east in a Moderate Breeze (Force 5) but the air temperature remained just above freezing. The ground temperature must have been lower as the snowfall lasted for hours in the morning and a small amount of snow (8 mm) laid on the pavements of Shoreham. The downs and countryside were covered to a similar depth, but in places this quickly turned to slush. Pastures and arable fields were more sparsely covered, negligible in lots of places. After dusk there was a further snowfall.
Shoreham Weather 2010: Snow


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 2007 web pages

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


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