Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages
 Adur Flood Plain
 Chalk Downs
 Coastal Fringe
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 Lancing Nature Blogspot
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon
 Garden Bird List 2006
 Adur World Oceans Day 2006



 Lower River Adur
or the lower Adur Flood Plain


Adur Levels SE of Old Erringham
(1 May 2006)

Pastures viewed from the southern end of Mill Hill Nature Reserve

The 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 estuary is tidal for 17.9 km (11.1 miles) from the mouth to Bines Bridge on the B.2135. 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. 

Spring Dyke next to the Miller's Stream 2006
Coastal Link Cyclepath 2006
Waterworks Road and Butterfly Copse 2006

Wildlife Reports

Link to the Reports for 2007
21 November 2006
A handful of Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushrooms protruded from the leaf litter (to which they were attached as decomposers) in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road

The small Candle Snuff Fungus, Xylaria sp., was also present in small amounts on wooden tree stumps. 

30 October 2006
A Sparrowhawk flew rapidly over the Steyning Road (south of the Fly-over) towards Old Shoreham.
The first young and small Wood Blewit (mushroom), Lepista nuda, of the year appeared under Field Maple attached to the leaf litter in in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road

27-28 October 2006
Mushrooms discovered in the afternoon were a dozen white-capped species growing on horse droppings piled up on the edge of the field by the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham. The white stems of this species were hollow. Four species of mushrooms included the Snowy Ink Cap, Coprinus niveus. The gills turn black.

ID confirmed by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on the Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)

18 October 2006
An extraordinary white variety of the Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen by the Ricardo Engineering Works settled on the edge of the towpath at the west end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. This was an all-white butterfly with one pale yellow and one white underwing and black wing edges to its upperside wings. There is a variety called 'helice' which is much paler, although it is not usually shown as all white. I think it was most likely to have been Colias croceus f. helice.
Detailed Report

Peacock Butterfly15 October 2006
The afternoon count was of about 25 Red Admirals in Shoreham town, but mostly on the wasteland on the Adur Levels. The best location was the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. A Peacock Butterfly fluttered around the Buddleia and Ivy near the buffer stop. The path and bushes north of Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate hosted a worn Large White Butterfly and a large Painted Lady. Three Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen, the first one over the Hamme near Adur Civic Centre and the other two just north of Old Shoreham. A single worn male Common Blue Butterfly appeared after about five minutes in a field west of the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham. 
Adur Butterfly & Moth List 2006

13 October 2006
In the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C, a surprise bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered over the hedgerow by the A27 Flyover on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
Full Butterfly Report

27 September 2006
On an overcast day, a chirm of at least five Goldfinches were seen amongst the Oak Trees on the side of the country road just north of Coombes and a handful of Nuthatches dived amongst the trees over the stream near Cuckoo's Corner
Adur Sheep

22 September 2006
I  discovered an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar, Deilephila elpenor, on the footpath on the bank of the River Adur up near the South Downs way footbridge. It was damp with loads of big slugs out, but one of them wasn't a slug but this magnificent large caterpillar.

Report by Helen Dwyer
Adur Moths

24 August 2006
A Rabbit by the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham, had blood all over its face and ears and it looked as though it was fatally ill with Myxomatosis.

21 August 2006 
The Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the buffer stop at the extreme southern end in worth a look late in the year with the Marjoram, Fleabane and Buddleia still in flower. Common Blue Butterflies fluttered around despite the lack of sunshine.
My first Hummingbird Hawk-moth since 2 July 2006 and only my second of the year flew around the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath just south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. Another one was seen around the Buddleia  in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, where a Comma Butterfly and a Red Admiral were settled on the fence with their wings closed because the sun was behind the clouds. A handful of Holly Blues and Speckled Woods and a brief ray of sunshine caused the butterflies to open their wings for under a minute. A Painted Lady fluttered amongst the Buddleia. The white butterflies came in two sizes but I was only able to recognise Large Whites
Cat's Ear

Anyrate, the rain did not seem to be imminent so I decided to cycle north up the Coastal Link Cyclepath towards Upper Beeding where Common Blue Butterflies and Meadow Browns were frequent, a couple of Comma Butterflies, another two Painted Ladies and occasional Red Admirals left the path on were spotted again on the Buddleia. There were two possibles on the cyclepath as well: a Small White and a Brown Argus could not be confirmed because they would not open their wings under the clouds.
Butterfly Report

Moorhens scampered over the water in the stream by the River Adur. A Goat's Beard was noticed in flower (to double check the ID). A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) was on patrol as the cyclepath winds its way through the Buddleia by the Cement Works. At the Saltings Field stream (just north-east of Botolphs) the Water Dropwort had been cleared from the stream and several hundred small Whirligig Beetles gyrated on the surface of the stream by the Oak Tree. 
Freshwater Habitats 2006

5 August 2006
An unprecedented 23 Painted Lady Butterflies were seen on and around of the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. They were seen in about five minutes and not counted twice, 22 were counted as I cycled south south to the demolished bridge and 21 separate butterflies (the same ones)  seen as I retraced my steps back and two more seen nearer the Toll Bridge. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered over the gravel path by the seat, There were at least four Red Admirals, at least two Meadow Browns, three Holly Blues and frequent Small Whites and Common Blues and occasional Silver Y Moths
Adur Butterfly & Moth List 2006

4 August 2006
Common Blue Butterflies were common (over a hundred when all added up) on the ungrazed fields, Coastal Link Cyclepath, and wasteland on the levels. Fleabane was a butterfly attractant, especially to a damaged Painted Lady
Common Blue on Fleabane (Adur Levels) Common Blue on Fleabane (Adur Levels)

One Brown Argus was seen in the field near the River Adur and showed a silvery underwing when it flew and was confirmed close-up as well. The levels added just a couple of Comma Butterflies (from the Butterfly Copse by the Waterworks Road) to the day species list of 15.
The other species of butterfly seen on the Adur Levels were frequent Red Admirals and Meadow Browns, occasional Gatekeepers and Small Whites, a few Speckled Woods and Holly Blues, and at least one Brimstone Butterfly.
Butterfly Report

2 August 2006
A large female Southern Hawker buzzed me by the stream at the northern edge of the Saltings Field near Botolphs. This was the first of these spectacular insects I had seen for over a year. Two Ruddy Darters and a handful of Blue-tailed Damselflies were also seen. 
Small Copper Common Blue (male)

In a field just north of Old Shoreham, I also spotted my first Small Copper Butterfly seen this year and the first ever seen in August. There were more of them, but I am not sure how many, perhaps eight, mostly on the Saltings Field near Botolphs which was rather uniformly covered in Clovers, Hop Trefoils etc. The other species of butterfly seen on the Adur Levels were Small Whites (100+), Red Admirals (75+), Common Blues (60+), Meadow Browns (30+), Painted Lady (15+), Comma (8+), Speckled Wood (7+), Gatekeeper (6+), Clouded Yellow 3, Holly Blues (6+), Peacock (2), Large White (1+), Small/Essex Skipper (1) and Wall Brown (1 ?). The Small Whites were attracted to the Field Bindweed in one small area near the River Adur.
Damsels & Dragons Report
Adur Damsels and Dragonflies
Butterfly Report

Leaves of a sapling in the Saltings Field (possibly Black Poplar)In the Saltings Field, near Botolphs, I noticed that at least two trees had been specially planted. The job had not been finished at the time, but four days later the tree had been protected by a wooden surround and barbed wire against deer. 

24 July 2006
The Adur Levels provide a different mixture of butterflies from the downs, although many of the same species are recorded. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen near the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur. The other species of butterfly seen on the Adur Levels were Common Blues (20+), Gatekeeper (20+), Meadow Brown (12+), Small/Essex Skipper (20+), Marbled White (2), Large White (20+), Red Admiral (20+), Painted Lady (3), Peacock (1), Comma (3), Holly Blue (31+), Green-veined White (3+) and Speckled Wood (7)
Butterfly Report

A single male Ruddy Darter (dragonfly) was seen on Spring Dyke (next to Miller's Stream) but the field was too overgrown to enter with Hogweed up to two metres high. 
Adur Dragonflies 2006

21 July 2006
At 27.9 ºC and 60 % humidity it was far too warm to go to the downs to see butterflies, but I was surprised to see a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham; 2500 metres in a direct flight line from their breeding area on Mill Hill. There were Large White Butterflies, Small Skippers, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns seen along the verges of the cyclepath as I passed by and these four species were frequently seen in half an hour. The Waterworks Road produced occasional Speckled Woods, and the first Holly Blue. The Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and its vicinity added two Red Admirals and a fresh Peacock Butterfly with more of the omnipresent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.
Butterfly Report

14 July 2006
I thought I would like to see some dragonflies myself, but blown along by a Fresh Breeze (Force 5) in 22.7 ºC sunshine, the best I could manage was a Broad-bodied Chaser east of Botolphs (on the Cyclepath north of the South Downs Way Bridge over the Adur) and a dozen Blue-tailed Damselflies on the same drainage ditch 100 metres further north. The observation of the damselflies rather inferred that the larger predatory dragonflies were not on patrol. 

Water Dropwort

                  Water Dropwort

The selection of the eleven common butterflies were about on the Adur Levels: very frequent Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, frequent Large Whites, Red Admirals and Small Skippers, occasional Comma Butterflies, at least two Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and Marbled Whites (5+) plus one worn Common Blue, and an unconfirmed Small Tortoiseshell, north of the South Downs bridge. 
Adur Butterfly List

13 July 2006

Southern Migrant Hawker (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
A splendid Southern Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis, and both male and female Ruddy Darters were captured on camera. They were discovered on the Adur Levels about a half mile north of the A27 Flyover. The dragonflies were seen in the narrow area of the drainage ditches and pastures between the cyclepath and the River Adur. (TQ 202 075). (This is very close to where I visited the day before.) The Southern Migrant Hawker is a rare immigrant dragonfly and the last one was discovered in Kent in 1952. 
Identification by David Appleton Report with Images
Adur Dragonflies 2006

12 July 2006
A leisurely ride from Old Shoreham, a quick look in the Waterworks Road and Butterfly Copse, and then a cycle by the Steyning Road to the first layby and then another 200 metres north on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, then south along the path to Ropetackle, Shoreham, without an inkling to take photographs or count butterflies, but nevertheless Small/Essex Skippers,  Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites and Red Admirals were all frequent, plus four Marbled Whites, two Commas and one Speckled Wood. 
Adur Butterfly List 2006

Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea was recorded from the verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath.

9 July 2006
For most of the day a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gales was blowing so any butterflies were a bonus: five Red Admirals (two on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge, three in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road), three of my first confirmed Small Skippers of the year (on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge) where one Gatekeeper of two in 15 minutes on the day were also seen, 4+ Meadow Browns, and a probable Comma with a fleeting glimpse in the Butterfly Copse as I was distracted by a definite teneral Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly).
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

7 July 2006
On an overcast day with at least three predatory Southern Hawker Dragonflies actively patrolling the Waterworks Road, it was scarcely surprising that the only butterflies seen were a Meadow Brown and two Red Admirals which could have been the same one. 

28 May 2006
A splendid sight of a Sparrowhawk gliding over the path just south of the Toll Bridge was exceptional and unexpected. This area is usually the haunt of a male Kestrel and this female hawk was a much bigger bird. 
There was a Peacock Butterfly that settled near the Toll Bridge, and on the path south of the bridge, I passed a Holly Blue Butterfly and a Small White Butterfly.
Butterfly Report (all sites)

18 May 2006
Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, seen for the first time this year, were frequently seen on the Spring Dyke and they appear to have just emerged from the adjacent Miller's Stream.

10 May 2006
Two unusually patterned Clouded Yellow Butterflies framed on the upperside wings by a broad brown border fluttered amongst the shortish grass and herbs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, adjacent to the southern part of the Cement Works. They were discovered to be the first Clouded Yellow Butterflies of the year. They were also the first ever recorded in the month of May. They behaved more like natives, not so restless as immigrants. Orange Tip Butterflies were out in force with a dozen (six males) seen on the Waterworks Road
Butterfly Report and List
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Clouded Yellow Red Damsels

Six pairs of Large Red-tailed Damselflies were mating on the surface vegetation the stream by the Oak tree, north of Botolphs. 
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2006

Lancing College Farm Pond 
(April 2006)

19 April 2006
Spring is running late. However, a few extra flowers are showing, notably a few Primroses (are they really wild ones?) on the approaches to Lancing College where Pussy Willow (=Osier)  catkins were attracting the bumblebees, one solitary bee (probably Andrena sp.) and a handful of small hoverflies including Melanostoma scalare

Field Speedwell was noted in the A27 central reservation by Withy Gap, Lancing, and a few Cowslips, White Dead-nettle and plentiful Lesser Celandine in Lancing (been around all month), but no butterflies seen during an hour on an overcast breezy day. Forget-me-Not was seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath

Peacock Butterfly  on the Waterworks Road18 April 2006
Early evening is usually relatively poor for butterflies. At least three of the well patterned Peacock Butterflies were seen amongst the Nettles over the Waterworks Road. Two were flirting which made obtaining a photograph a little difficult. Ground Ivy was beginning to flower near the Field Maple spinney.

28 March 2006
A Red Kite seen near Upper Beeding at 5.40 pm flew towards Steyning. This bird of prey is classified as rare in Sussex. Rare is less than one seen annually. This classificationmay have to be revised and this raptor is being seen more often. 

Report by Penny Green on the Sussex Ornithological Society News
SOS Red Kite Reports

Coltsfoot: Harbinger of Spring23 March 2006
Along the Coastal Link Cyclepath 750 metres north of the A27 Flyover, the usual small patch of just over a dozen yellow Coltsfoot plants were seen in flower. 

1 March 2006
One Short-eared Owl was observed from about 6:00 pm with two Barn Owls at New Salts Farm (north of the Saltings roundabout on the private road to Shoreham Airport). The Barn Owls were also using the field on the west of the road as well.
There were also two Snipe flying around and at least three Water Rail squealing.

Report by Dave Green on the Birds of Sussex (Yahoo Group)
NB: All these birds are notable records in the Adur area.

9 January 2006
Four Roe Deer were grazing in the middle of the arable field immediately to the north of Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road on the west side of the River Adur. Four deer are the most I have seen together. They looked like adults and all lacked antlers. After the deer, I also saw my first Grey Squirrel of the year at the base of a tree by Cuckoo's Corner. 

6 January 2006

Old Man's Beard, Clematis vitalba straggled (or adorned) the bushes next to the Coastal Link Cyclepath. This climbing plant has alternative colloquial names. I like to think that it is known as Traveller's Joy when it is in flower, but at this time of the year the long white hairs are what are seen. Clematis is very common over scrub on wasteland and the downs including Mill Hill, but it is absent or less frequent in some areas. 
Clematis in flower

Adur Levels 2005
River Adur Estuary Wildlife 2006

Adur Nature Notes 2006:   Index Page

Adur Valley
Adur Nature Notes 2006