Adur Flood Plain
River Adur reaches the sea at Shoreham-by-Sea
where the mouth has been deflected two miles to the east by the longshore
drift. Going upstream with the incoming tide through the centre of
New Shoreham under seven bridges
before the tide reaches the village of Bramber after 6.4 km (4 miles).
The river then passes about one mile east of the town of Steyning. The
is tidal for 17.9 km (11.1 miles) from the mouth to Bines Bridge on the
flood plain or levels refer to the stretch south of Bramber, where the
tidal rivers meanders towards the sea, with low lying fields on each side.
Public access is by the towpath each side of the river, and on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath following the disused railway line.
Dyke next to the Miller's Stream 2005
Link Cyclepath 2005
Road and Butterfly Copse 2005
to Adur Levels 2006
the Coombes Road a few large trees had been felled. The harmful Honey
Fungus was evident and on one heavily lopped
tree there was a bracket fungus
at least 60 cm in the diameter of its semi-circular appearance. North of
Ladywells, the small patch of woodland was in a sorry state and I think
there were Elms
amongst the Willows and other trees, new Elms
appearing by sucker growth and then dying back still as a young tree. The
bark was partially peeled off on some small trees.
Thistle was seen half open in flower on the
edge of the towpath north of the Toll
Bridge and adjacent to Ricardos. This yellow was the only colour amongst
muddy puddle-strewn path that purports to be the Coastal
Link cyclepath, a Grey Heron
was searching the long grass verges near the first layby (from the south)
on the Steyning Road. It did not fly away with the usual panic although
it attempted to fly. I was tempted to think it was injured as it found
a place to hide underneath the scrub.
a drab day without colour, the only plants in flower were a couple of straggly
half opened Sow Thistles. The
leaves were stripped off the stems and I could not ascertain the precise
was a surprise and the first time I had seen this small bird (smaller than
a Greenfinch) in my back garden that backs on the wasteland (Coastal
Link Cyclepath) and River Adur
opposite Shoreham Airport. The garden also supported Goldcrests
by Adrienne Horrocks
the rain the
designated footpath (between the Waterworks
Road and the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham) produced a two mushrooms
in the soil amongst the leaf litter of Field
Maple: Sulphur Tuft, Hypholoma sublateritium,
with gills with a blue tinge and Sulphur
Tuft, Hypholoma fasciculare, with
a yellow tinge to its gills (although this
would not reproduce in a photograph).
Fresh Breeze Force 4 (at 24 mph bordering on
Force 5) from the south-west (224° azimuth)
felt stronger and more from due south.
wind may or may not have brought immigrant Red
Admirals to Shoreham. The tally was at
least nine on the Coastal Link cyclepath
at the extreme southern end by the demolished railway bridge.
Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
I drove from Steyning past the Cement Works at 7.15
am I glimpsed something which looked large
and interesting, but couldn't find it again when I pulled in at Dacre Gardens.
I caught up with it at the Flyover and
had a good view of an Osprey
with a mob of Jackdaws.
It continued to circle and drift down the Adur valley putting up waders
and gulls below the Toll Bridge.
was a Dryad's Saddle,
squamosus, attached to the base of
a wooden sculpture on the Coastal Link cyclepath
near the first layby (from the south) on the Steyning Road.
Lady Butterfly of 2005 in the lower Adur
valley was seen in the Butterfly Copse by the
in the day included a rich brown
Butterfly on Stinging Nettles on the Waterworks
Road, a worn and battered Holly Blue
on Ivy in the Butterfly Copse, with three Red
Admirals, one worn and battered with a
Wood. A dozen or more Large
Whites over residential areas and countryside
just outside of town. Green-veined Whites
were frequent (8+) on the Adur Levels
and Coastal Link cyclepath with a male
Blue Butterfly in a field between the
cyclepath and the River Adur.
Browns were in the low frequency, about
List for the Day
male and female Southern Hawkers
patrolled the cyclepath north of the A27
Flyover with one or two Common
flock of Starlings,
many very spotty and young were atttracted to the Elderflower
Bushes on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath 50 metres north of the
Bridge. There were also at least two Linnets
amongst the same large bushes (almost tree size). Butterflies
included a handful of both Common Blues
and Meadow Browns,
a half a dozen Speckled Woods,
one Red Admiral,
and a small blue butterfly which turned out to be a worn Brown
Argus. Both male and female Southern
Hawkers patrolled around the same Elderflower
Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
patrolled over at the extreme southern end of the Coastal
Link Cyclepath in the town of Shoreham-by-Sea.
These were the first two of the year.
the same area, I saw a female "blue-brown" Common
Blue Butterfly followed immediately by
a definite Brown Argus
Fleabane. It was accompanied by a dozen
Common Blues, a handful of Gatekeepers,
one Small/Essex Skipper and
a Red Admiral.
There were hundreds of white butterflies in the residential areas and on
the outskirts of town including both Small
Whites and Large
Whites. The Waterworks Road and Butterfly
Copse produced three Comma Butterflies,
a Small Tortoiseshell (which
I did not record yesterday), another Red Admiral
and Large Whites,
as well as at least two Holly Blues.
A few more Holly Blues,
were seen during the day. Meadow Browns
were just three in a field near Lancing College.
List for the Day
were congregation of over a hundred House
Martins near Lancing College chapel. It
appears they are this year's young birds almost ready to leave on their
Hawker (dragonfly) patrolled the Butterfly
Copse, near the Waterworks Road (Old
at Upper Beeding (near Bramber) is a medieval antiquity site close to the
Adur. From there we walked a little way along one of the side streams
that hold far more interest than than the barren banks of the tidal river.
seen included about 30 Gatekeeper,
2 Red Admiral,
10 Meadow Brown
and single Small Tortoiseshell.
Close the stream a large damselfly
with very dark wings flew out of sight behind a brick building. I took
this to be the Banded Demoiselle;
splendens. Other blue damselflies were
commonly seen at a distance beyond identification range.
highlight was as male Emperor Dragonfly
came over the stream and settled on to the grass within range of my camera.
Mallow was recorded in flower in a field on
the Adur Levels (on the other side of the Steyning road from Spring
Hawker Dragonflies sparred over the Waterworks
were seen in about three minutes.
Butterfly is unusual butterfly for mid-July.
The one seen briefly in the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks
Road) was faded, but not worn, and flew off strongly and rapidly.
List for the Day
two photographs of a Grass Snake
and a Common Toad
tell their own story.
by Brenda Collins (Lancing)
hour on the Coastal Link Cyclepath enabled
me to reach the meadow verges just south of the Cement Works. The most
difficult identication were the smallish yellow (underwing) and white butterflies
with small spots which were positively identified positively as Green-veined
Whites (18+). The other confirmed butterflies
in order of prevalence were, Meadow Browns
(20+), Red Admiral
(9), Small/Essex Skippers
White (1) and Wall
Butterfly List 2005
astonishing 16 Comma Butterflies
were seen on the Waterworks
Road (Old Shoreham) in a stretch of 100
metres, and these excluded the possibility of counting the same butterfly
twice. Other butterflies seen in fifteen
minutes included one Large White,
one Large Skipper
(confirmed), three Small (or Essex) Skippers
(confirmed), two Green-veined Whites
(confirmed), one Gatekeeper,
one Red Admiral
and three Meadow Browns.
difference in size between the the Large Skipper
seen first and the Small Skipper
seen a minute later was distinctive and obvious. Three more Meadow
Brown Butterflies were seen on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath together with four Small
Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
water level of Miller's Stream was very
low, not much more than a trickle.
being patient, I was still unable to get close enough to get a clear view
of a large dragonfly with a bright yellow-white
banded abdomen that patrolled the Waterworks
Road, north of Old Shoreham, in bright sunlight. It moved so rapidly
and darted in so many different directions, from one metre off the tarmac
road surface to four metres up into the Sycamore leaves within a second
or two, that I could not get a fix on it. It eventually settled after about
three minutes but by the time I retrieved my binoculars I could not find
it again. The dragonfly was at least 75 mm in length. Its identity remains
you considered immature female Southern
Hawker? The coloured areas can be quite
yellowish in the immature stages.
subsequent observation of a dragonfly on Mill
Hill makes me think this is a Southern
of Southern Hawker (Mill Hill)
on the Southern Hawker (Waterworks Road)
get my reward of the my first ever sighting of the brilliant blue abdomen
of the Banded Demoiselle,
its large dark wings which I could see as it settled underneath a Sycamore
leaf four metres above the Stinging Nettles. It looked a bit like a butterfly
at first glance until the brilliance of the blue abdomen became apparent.
Damselflies and Dragonflies
strong flying yellow butterfly, seen over the Slonk
Hill Cutting (south bank) and another
over the Coastal Link Cyclepath between
and the first road lay-by I first thought it must be a Clouded
Yellow, but the absence of black around the
battered wing edges convinced me that this was Brimstone
along the Elm avenue on New Monks Farm was interrupted in a head on confrontation
with a Roe Deer
wanting to proceed in my direction. After attempting to intimidate me from
a distance of 50 metres or so, it veered of after 20 seconds. I nearly
trod on a Common Partridge
before it flew off suddenly. At the Mash Barn Lane end I saw my first blue
damselfly of the year. It was probably an
bombylans var. plumata was
seen at the same time.
Images (by Ray Hamblett)
the field below (west of) Mill
young Roe Deer calf was suckling from
her mother out in the open.*
am I watched a Hoopoe
fly from Henfield Brooks
across the river to trees behind the marl pit north of Wyckham
Wood. I walked up, flushing a pair of Garganey
from the pit, but I couldn't find them again.
the sun found a gap in the overcast sky, a female
Orange-Tip Butterfly settled on Stinging
Nettles, followed by a strong flying male
Butterfly was much more colourful. Both were seen on the cyclepath
just south of the Upper Beeding Cement Works avoided the camera flying
away at least 8 mph. Also seen in the same area were a single Holly
Blue followed by a single Speckled
Butterfly List 2005
Seed Rape was in flower on many of the
low-lying fields on the flood plain. A tractor was going through the fields;
I assume that the crop was being treated.
Seed Rape Information
bird alighted half way up (at a height of about 3 metres) a narrow tree
trunk at Cuckoo's Corner. I had a
glimpse of it for a second before it ran around the trunk to a blind spot
from my viewpoint. I noticed that its upper wing feathers were a slate
grey-blue colour. My original thought was a Treecreeper,
a bird I not seen on the Coombes Road for a decade or more. However, the
colour hue really indicates a Nuthatch,
a bird of which I am even less familiar with, not having seen one in the
Shoreham area before. In the late afternoon, it was not as colourful as
shown in the books.
the Ricardo Test Bed Field (unofficial private nature reserve opposite,
east of, the Sussex Pad and next to the Coombes Road, southern end) two
Deer were feeding in the open.
Sparrowhawk actively hunting at the southern
end of the Waterworks Road in the back
gardens of the houses, before the cliff descends vertically (back, west
of Lesser Foxholes) was a handsome sight. I noticed the fanning of the
tail feathers as it stalled before landing or striking (out of view).
pair of Goldfinches
were flitting around the
extreme southern dead end of the Coastal
Link Cyclepath by the demolished bridge,
viewed on the vertical bank from the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate.
were in flower on the verges of the Coastal
the southern side of Miller's Stream (opposite to Spring
Dyke) a large adult Roe Deer,
without antlers, surprised me with a leap from cover of the long reeds
to disappear under a Hawthorn.
by Marc Read
bird was seen at close distance in the Ricardo's Test field, to the
north of the A27 opposite (east of) the Sussex Pad.
the urban cyclepath (south of the and
Bridge) towpath area of the Adur levels
and the Coombes road as far north as the Ladywell's stream, the following
were noted in flower: Green Alkanet,
Lesser Celandine, Forget-me-Not,
Dead Nettle, and
were in bud, but the flowers had not opened up. None of these are newsworthy,
but I thought I would include a note of the date for a later reference.
adult Great Spotted Cuckoo, Clamator
glandarius, was observed at the Adur
Recreation Ground (just west of the Norfolk Bridge), Shoreham at 6:00
exotic alien (breeds in Spain) bird was just by the side of the A259
in a small tree approx 100 metres west of the car park. I managed to pull
over, grab my binoculars and get within about six metres of the bird.......and
what a beautiful bird it was!
last one in 1990 at Shoreham Airport stayed for nearly a month.
Report by Betty Bishop
of Sussex (Rare Birds)
Spotted Cuckoo Photograph
Butterflies are seen at Coombes. The Wall
is growing and spreading rapidly, not on chalk but on a geological rock
base of a greensand outcrop in Coombes village. This is is only
known location in Sussex.
by Brianne Reeve
a thousand gulls, mostly Black-headed Gulls
Common Gulls followed the plough on the
field below (west) Mill Hill on the Adur
air temperature (10.7 ºC) went into double figures for the first time
since 12 February
2005, a pair of Mallards
were on the flooded freshwater stream that ran parallel with the river
south of Cuckoo’s Corner.
were a pair of Wrens
at Cuckoo’s Corner car park, at least a pair of Long-tailed
Tits in the naked trees as the Coombes
Road crossed Ladywell Stream. The inevitable dozen or so Moorhens
were on the lowland field behind the scout’s cabin. In the canopy on the
southern approaches to Coombes, there were at least a dozen Rook's
nests with their noisy inhabitants.
road verges on the incline to the Applesham Farm junction were warrened
with rabbit burrows. A dozen plus Rabbits
Heron was on vigil on the banks of Passies
the cyclepath south of the Cement Works,
flowers amongst the grass were most noticeable. I could not find any leaves
for this plant.
the rotten logs on the cyclepath verges there were numerous Trametes
bracket fungi and on the end of another log there
were some King Alfred’s Cakes;
a distinctive blackish-coloured fungus.
in Shoreham town, there was at least one Wren
seen over twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road, next to the railway
a front garden tree to the north-west of New Monks Farm, Lancing, in the
second house past the garage (now closed for petrol) on the busy and noisy
southern side of the main A27, a Long-tailed
Titwas making such a racket above the
traffic that I stopped to confirm what all the fuss was about. It was soon
joined by a mate, rival or companion.
was a Goldfinch
in the tree tops of the Italian Alder
on Adur Recreation Ground.
muddy and rather interesting short run on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham produced
nothing out of the ordinary; twenty Wood
Pigeons in the taller scrub, a solitary
colourful male Kestrel
took off from its station on the top of a bare tree, a few Robins,
and two Little
Grebes* on the River Adur estuary
north of the Toll Bridge. At
the 45° the male Kestrel
flew away, its head looked very bulbous. (*
assumed, the birds looked like a larger pair of grebes, but I had left
my binoculars at home)
of Old Shoreham Toll
Bridge two Little Grebes spent
most of the time diving repeatedly under the surface of the River Adur
estuary on a rising neap tide at about 2.5 metres
(two hours after low water).
Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham,
there was a flock of between a dozen and thirty
thrushes in the Hawthorn.
They looked paler and slightly plumper than Song
Thrushes, and there did not appear to be any
red underwing, although they flew off at my approach. My educated guess
are that these are Fieldfares.
only fungi observed were some bracket fungi,
versicolor, on a rotten log.
Adur Estuary Wildlife 2004
Nature Notes 2005: Index Page