Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
Lapwings on the River Adur estuary at Old Shoreham
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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
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2018  Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
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18 December 2018

Asperitas Clouds over Shoreham
Photograph by Paul Robb

Asperitas (formerly referred to as Undulatus Asperitas) is a distinctive, but relatively rare cloud formation that takes the appearance of rippling waves. These wave-like structures form on the underside of the cloud to makes it look like a rough sea surface when viewed from below. The way in which asperitas clouds form is somewhat a mystery, yet there is much debate and confusion over how the wave-like clouds come into existence.
Adur Weather 2018

10 September 2018
Tremendous!, I chanced upon a magnificent uninterrupted view of a large female Sparrowhawk whilst cycling at 15 mph as the big brown bird of prey flew across my path about five metres above the road junction, (so the view of the bird was side on rather than from underneath), between The Avenue and Downside at the entrance of the Dovecote Estate, north Shoreham. I had seen one before whilst cycling in autumn in similar circumstances but never managed such a clear view, if only for two seconds. 

6 September 2018
A dozen Clouded Yellows and a surprise Brown Hairstreak were found at Southwick Basin with other butterflies.

Adur Butterfly List 2018

1 August 2018

Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue

I cycled up to Mill Hill about midday for the annual count of Chalkhill Blues on the fixed one acre transect on the lower slopes. The 30 minute count recorded 51 male Chalkhill Blues. This was a very low day count but not the worst recorded which was 30 in 2016. They were even outnumbered on the parched downs by male Adonis Blues which were counted at 58. 
Mill Hill Report

31 July 2018

Mill Hill

On the turn of the month, the Chalkhill Blues were expected to reach peak numbers on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but for the fifteenth successive year the numbers have been terribly disappointing.  Under a cloudy sky, a third of an acre transect at the northern end of the lower slopes recorded an estimated (part counted) 60 blue males and two brown females with not many more than a hundred seen over the hill. Adonis Blues were about 30, but of the twelve species of butterflies seen the ubiquitous Meadow Browns led the way with 400 seen and many more hidden. 
Butterfly Report

11 July 2018

Male Chalkhill Blues visited Marjoram on the middle slopes of Mill Hill

With the Cirrus clouds it was slightly cooler on Mill Hill, enough to send the butterflies into hiding on the warm afternoon. Meadow Browns were everywhere but there were a few Chalkhill Blues amongst thirteen species.
Mill Hill Report

6 July 2018
Without a hint of rain the sun and extra humidity produced a haze and the flowers were dry and the old ones were wilting from lack of water.

Peacock Butterfly

Some of the larger butterflies may have been suffering too

5 July 2018
All the signs of late summer; the meadows had been cut for hay and the young birds were out of their nest and trying to survive on their own. Gatekeepers (butterfly) fluttered around in the hedgerows.

Marbled White, Gatekeeper
Speckled Wood
Mill Hill

Most of all, the a flash of sky blue and the first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill
Mill Hill Report

1 July 2018
A score or more Green-veined White Butterflies were seen on the warmest day of the year over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and Old Shoreham.

By 3:00 pm it was hot, the Met Office (Shoreham) recorded 30.5 °C and over 30°C for the first time at Shoreham this millennium. 
Shoreham Weather 2018

19 June 2018

Stag  Beetle 

A female Stag  Beetle flew well over my head in Kingston Lane from Shoreham to Southwick by a row of Elm trees.
Adur Beetles 2018

21 May 2018

Lower slopes of Mill Hill

In less than ideal conditions hundreds of Adonis Blue Butterflies flew over the yellow carpet of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Over two hundred were seen in an hour in an unprecedented count. 
Mill Hill Report

18 May 2018

Common Blues
Cinnabar Moth, Adonis Blues

WIth the yellow carpet of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, looking splendid a day or two off its peak, the butterflies were out in force, in numbers, if not variety. In the transect acre there were estimated to be in excess of a hundred butterflies fluttering around in the sunshine. At least sixty were the lively and amorous male Adonis Blues, and the rest were made up of female Adonis Blues, frequent Common Blues, frequent Small Heaths, occasional Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers, and a few Brimstone Butterflies and Small Whites. I spotted at least one Cinnabar Moth on the lower slopes, and one Carpet Moth where the cattle had disturbed the flora and spoilt the habitat by the water trough. The only surprise of the early afternoon was a very quick male Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly) chasing after the skippers. A few Azure Damselflies were seen around the Brambles. 
Mill Hill Report

14 May 2018

Hawthorn and Horseshoe Vetch
Mill Hill

Hawthorn was in blossom all over Mill Hill and the Adur Levels. Likewise the yellow swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, were more than half in flower, attracting the bees and butterflies. Ten species of butterfly were seen in and around Mill Hill including my first Adonis Blues and Brown Argus of the year. 
Mill Hill Report

11 April 2018
Three Thimble Morel, Verpa conica, mushrooms were the first I have ever seen anywhere amongst some grass below the path on the middle area of the lower slopes of Mill Hill

Adur Fungi 2018

3 April 2018

Adder on the Chalk Pit,  Lancing Clump LNR
Photograph by Sarah Reeve

Despite the overcast rather cool weather (10.5 °C) we spotted three Adders basking in the Chalk Pit area of Lancing Clump Local Nature Reserve. Two of the snakes slithered off quite quickly but the third posed for a photograph sensing its surroundings with its forked tongue.

Adur Lizards & Snakes

15 March 2018
In the weak sunshine I spotted my first butterfly of the year; a Red Admiral over Mill Hill Road at the southern end of the bridge over the A27.

A Buzzard glided over Erringham Hill, seen in the photograph from the top meadow of Mill Hill Nature Reserve.

27 February 2018

Buckingham Park.
Corbyn Crescent (at midnight), Mill Hill

Fur-lined (and little used) Wellingtons passed the test and both heavy duty gloves were needed, but I felt the wind chill through my anorak in the afternoon when it was only just below freezing. There was a flurry of settled snow just after midnight and it remained below freezing throughout the second successive day. 
Shoreham Weather 2018

29 January 2018
My first arthropod of the year was a tiny Money Spider, Linyphiidae, indoors. A Fox lolloping down Adelaide Square, in Shoreham, in the evening, was my first wild mammal of 2018.

25 January 2018

Sawbills at Widewater Lagoon South Lancing 
Photograph & Comments by Robert North

Left to right female Red breasted Merganser then a male. Above male Goosander followed by a female.

1 January 2018
Predictably a young Herring Gull was my first bird of 2018 on a cloudy morning by Shoreham-by-Sea railway station. Nearby, a diminutive Oxford Ragwort was my first wild flower of the new year. 

Adur Wild Flowers 2018
Shoreham Weather 2018

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Adur Nature Notes 2013


Adur Butterfly List 2017
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Adur Nature Notes 2015
Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to                      Adur Nature Notes 2005 Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index                      page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes                      and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of                      Shoreham


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