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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

2011 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.

4 November 2011
The "Natural History of Mill Hill"
Illustrated Talk by Andy Horton
Shoreham Horticultural & Allotment Society
St.Peter's Church Hall (entrance in West Street) 
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm 

Local Speakers (Adur)

22 October 2011
Friends of Lancing Ring
Coffee Morning 
Venue: The Holy Family Catholic Church Hall at Monks Farmhouse in North Road, Lancing
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lancing Ring Slide Show (by Ray Hamblett)
Sussex Woodsman Display


December 2011
A pair of Snow Buntings were seen near Widewater Lagoon on numerous separate dates. 

5 December 2011
I felt very privileged to be able to see the courting displays of the Red-breasted Mergansers in the morning at Widewater Lagoon.

27 November 2011
TwoSnow Buntings were spottedon the beach at Widewater in the morning. The strong wind made it difficult to keep my big lens steady but I managed to get a few images (photo). There were Little Grebes on the lagoon along with a single Teal

22 August 2011
Under an overcast sky 200+ butterflies of nine species fluttered around on Mill Hill, led by an estimated 90+ Meadow Browns, a counted 19 Chalkhill Blues, 66 Adonis Blues (including four females), about 20 Common Blues (including about five females), an estimated 16+ Small Heaths, one (perhaps the last of the year) faded but intact Gatekeeper, one (possibly three) Brimstones, a few Large Whites, and a Speckled Wood (in the scrub). 

Round-headed Rampion
Round-headed Rampion
Carline Thistle

On the lower slopes, a few Round-headed Rampion were flowering and there were more of these delicate blue flowers on the upper plateau.
Mill Hill Full Report

Chalkhill Blue (male)1 August 2011
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I saw three of my first second brood male Adonis Blues of the year. The 20 minute transect count of 58 Chalkhill Blues (including six females). was only a tenth the total of a good year and below par even for poor years. A half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, including courting pairs, fluttered into view. This was more that usual years when only a few are seen. Eleven butterfly species were seen in under an hour.
Butterfly Report

28 July 201
A targeted search of the slopes and upper glades of Mill Hill produced 12 Dingy Skippers, this being by far the strongest second brood showing I have ever seen. The knock-on effects of the unusually warm spring may yet produce more unexpected events in the late summer and autumn butterfly calendar. 

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Skippers

14 July 2011
An Earthquake of 3.9 magnitude (depth 10 km, poorly constrained) was felt in Shoreham at 7:59 am. Its epicentre was 89 km (55 miles) SSW of Brighton, 10 km under the English Channel

10 July 2011
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year flew about quickly, noted only landing briefly on the yellow flowers of Bird's Foot Trefoil and hiding amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. Eleven species of butterfly were seen in the late morning. 
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Full Butterfly Report

27 June 2011
On a hot and humid morning, I noticed the first Humming-bird Hawkmoth of the year flying energetically around the vegetation at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham. 
Adur Moths

24 June 2011
Parasitic plants were very much in evidence on Mill Hill, with Common Broomrape added to my local flora list, as well as Yellow Rattle, Red Bartsia and Eyebright. On an overcast day, the sun shone briefly and the breeze was still a Force 5. Predictably, butterflies were hiding but were still frequently seen with fresh Marbled Whites and  Comma Butterflies with Meadow Browns now seen amongst the eleven butterfly species.
Butterfly Report

11 June 2011

Environmental Festival & Adur World Oceans Day 2011
Understanding and celebrating our marine environment

The wind and rain held off for the eleventh Adur Environment Festival and Adur World Oceans Day went well in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham Footbridge at the High Street end on the second Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs
World Oceans Day on Facebook

"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)

Adur World Oceans Day Blogspot 2011 et seq.

A shoal of half a dozen Grey Mullet were spotted in the shallows as the tide came in by Coronation Green in Shoreham town centre by the River Adur

At Mill Hill, I saw and photographed my first Marbled White Butterfly of the year. 

Adur Butterflies: First Dates

15 May 2011
This year the expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was extremely disappointing. It was already past its prime and the flowers were only showing about 20% of their usual brilliance after an extended dry spring. The spiral horseshoe seed pods were commonly seen. On the lower slopes the first Dropwort was seen in flower. 
Flowering Dates of Horseshoe Vetch

Adonis Blue (female)

The north-westerly direction of the Moderate Breeze made conditions poor for butterflies on the exposed slope of Mill Hill. Almost all of them were hiding or resting. About 160 Adonis Blues were disturbed as it was too cool and overcast for them to be actively fluttering around. The males were worn and the females looking to lay their eggs amongst the Horseshoe Vetch. On the southern part of Mill Hill, I spotted a handful of my first Common Blue Butterflies of the year. 
Full Butterfly Report

8 May 2011
We took advantage of the late sunny afternoon to visit Lancing Ring LNR for the first time. In over two and half hours from 2 :00 pm until 4:30 pm we spotted seven Red Admirals, one Peacock, four Brimstones, six Holly Blues, one Wall Brown, one Speckled Wood, ten Small Heath, one Small Copper, 15 unspecified Whites (probably Large Whites), five Small Blues, 28 Common Blues (of which 4 were females), and five Brown Argus

Lancing Ring Report by Colin & Lucia Knaggs on Sussex Butterflies

NB: The Small Blues and Common Blues were first of the year records.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

7 May 2011
I did my weekly transect at Mill Hill in the morning and counted one Holly Blue, two Brimstone Butterflies, seven Small Heath, 23 Dingy Skipper, 112 Adonis Blue. Most of these were at the bottom of the hill, though I did see Dingy Skippers and Adonis Blue by the top car park. The hill was covered by Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and I saw a Green Hairstreak, two Small Coppers, two Grizzled Skippers and a Red Admiral

2 May 2011
The first Brown Argus Butterfly of the year in the Adur District was seen at Sompting Abotts.

29 April 2011
Maybe it was fitting for the morning of the Royal Wedding there was the emergence of the female Beautiful Demoiselles, Calopteryx virgo, with three seen of these damselflies on the outskirts of Shoreham. 

Adonis Blue
Beautiful Demoiselle

On a cool sunny day there was a large variety of April butterflies with 15 species seen (the most in a day this year) including my first of a handful of male Adonis Blues this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, together with my first of frequent Small Heaths, my first dainty Small Copper at the northern end of the lower slopes, my second Green Hairstreak on Brambles in the same area, 27+ Dingy Skippers and a notable record of Brimstone Butterflies mating. 
Full Butterfly Report

17 April 2011
Spring arrived on a sunny day (14.5 °C) visit to Mill Hill where the first flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, appeared on the lower slopes with another prostrate downland herb Milkwort. Thirteen (easily the most in a day this year) species of butterfly were definitely recorded including my first Large White Butterfly, my first Holly Blue and the locally scarce Green Hairstreak. Orange-tip, Peacock and Brimstone Butterflies all put in an occasional appearance.

Misumena vatia
Horseshoe Vetch
Green Hairstreak

A small white crab spider Misumena vatia on Green Alkanet had ambushed and killed a Carder Bee (bumblebee) twice its size. On Spring Dyke I spotted the head of my first adult Slow Worm of 2011
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

12 April 2011
I could not miss the chance to see the Adders, Vipera berus, and they were located* on the lower part of Mill Hill about mid-way along under the scrub at the bottom (west) of the slopes. I saw four separate Adders, two were black, one was dark and another was almost silver with the black triangles. I assume the writhings of the two Adders were copulation

(* Discovered with the help of Colin Knight).

Seven species of butterfly were seen on a pleasant day with the sun shining in a bright blue sky with fluffy cumulus clouds. These included my first Dingy Skipper of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. 
Full Butterfly Report

Three Adders (Photograph by Colin Knight)11 April 2011
At Mill Hill I was rewarded by a fantastic display by at least four Adders. A large brown female was mating with a 'white' adder. A black Adder then appeared but decided not to interfere. The pair disappeared into the bushes, then two black Adders twisted about each other while rearing up to determine dominance. All this occurred in the same spot..

10 April 2011
I called in at Mill Hill again. There was a 'flutter' of butterfly enthusiasts: John, Chris, Neil Hulme, Richard, Dan and Cherie plus a gentleman from Scotland. The Grizzled Skippers were joined by an equal number of Dingy Skippers. Peak flight time was 2 to 3 pm. The Dingy Skippers were involved in aerial combats with themselves and Peacocks. A black Adder with a light coloured companion also put in an appearance.

29 March 2011
A careful examination of the Pancalia micro-moths on the lower slopes of Mill Hill revealed some (17) to be the Scarce Violet Cosmet, Pancalia schwarzella, (ID confirmed by Tony Davis, and the first Sussex records since 1931) rather than the common species Violet Cosmet, Pancalia leuwenhoekella. The latter species has a white band on its antennae.
I also found a nationally scarce carabid beetle Licinus depressus which has specially adapted jaws to feed on snails. 

25 March 2011
At least 22 scarce Barred Tooth-stripe Moths, Trichopteryx polycommata, were spotted on Privet on Mill Hill

Report by Dave and Penny Green and Judith and Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies
Full Report

23 March 2011
A half a dozen adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered rapidly over the south-facing flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, in the weak sunshine. They were my first reptiles seen this year. 

22 March 2011
Four species of butterfly were out in the sunshine: 6+ Peacock , 3+ Brimstone, one Comma and at least one Small Tortoiseshell, with three of the species seen on Mill Hill
Adur Butterfly List 2011

20 March 2011
A spell of brief sunshine brought a Peacock Butterfly out of hibernation, flighty and in good condition, my first butterfly of the year visited Sweet Violets on the verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. I also recorded my first beetle, a very small Paederus littoralis seen under a plastic cap on southern bank of the Mill Hill Cutting, with a slightly larger small spider of the genus Pardosa (probably). A few Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees were seen on the outskirts of Shoreham.
Adur Butterfly List 2011
Bumblebees 2011

Later, in the early evening, I recorded by first wild fish of the year a 5-Bearded Rockling on the kelp-covered shore by Brooklands, west Lancing, plus my first crab, a very small Velvet Swimming Crab
Full Report

A Brimstone Butterfly was seen on Lancing Ring.

 Brimstone Report by Friends of Lancing Ring

17 March 2011

A Common Seal, Phoca vitulina, ventured up the River Adur as far as just north of Cuckoo's Corner and rested on a sandbank. This unusual sighting occurred in 2009 (in October) as well. 
Report and Photograph by Sarah Reeve on Facebook
More Reports of the 2011 Seal

8 March 2011
My first butterfly of the year was a Comma found basking on a warm south facing fence in south Lancing. 

Report by Jan Hamblett on the Lancing Villager.
Adur Butterfly List 2011

27 February 2011
The first frog spawn of the year was noted in my tiny garden pond in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. 

12 February 2011
My first Common Frog of the year was spotted in the lane by my house in Steyning.
Report and Photograph by Doug Thompson

The pink masses are believed to be appendages to the reproductive organs.

Comment by Andy Horton

25 January 2011
The Elm Trees in Rosslyn Avenue, Shoreham, finally succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease and were felled. 
Original Diagnostic Report

4 January 2011
Low clouds obscured a partial Solar Eclipse which occurred in Sussex after the sun rose over the horizon between 8:00 am and 9:30 am.

1 January 2011
The first four legged wild mammal of the year was a Fox in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, by the twitten on the way home from the pub. About 8:00 am I was awoken by the yapping of the Herring Gulls, but I could not see them from my window. A cacophony of Starlings in the Sycamore Tree in Corbyn Crescent were the first birds recognised from their silhouettes in the bare branches, followed immediately by a closer view of a Collared Dove

Adur Nature Notes 2010


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

Shoreham Weather 2011

Adur Valley Wildlife on Photobox

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pages

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


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

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