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Adur Valley Wildlife
Nature Notes 
Summer 2001: July - September
Shoreham-by-Sea & the Lower Adur Valley

* If the grid references are not given they could be found on the 
Adur Wildlife database on the Adur eForum


29 September 2001
As I sat in the office gazing through the window, a Grey Heron settled on
the rooftop of the bungalow diagonally opposite us. The two Crows were not
happy and tried to dislodge it without much effect. The small garden pond
of Barry the Birdman are probably visible from that roof top. It is short flight from my Lancing garden to the wide expanses of New Monks Farm and its drainage ditches.

Report by Ray Hamblett
Lancing Ring (September Image Gallery by Ray Hamblett)

28 September 2001
In the Adur valley there was a solitary Meadow Brown Butterfly in the damp meadow (TQ 209 068), which turned out to be the last one of these common butterflies this year. 
Adur Butterfly Page
On the footpath heading from Mill Hill due west immediately south of the road bridge over the by-pass (TQ 208 064), I surprised a large adult olive-green Grass Snake curled up and not that quick to slither into the ivy undergrowth. The nearest streams are 200 metres away down a very steep incline. This is only the second adult snake I have ever seen in Shoreham. 
Grass Snake Link
Grass Snake Photographs (Link)
Full Downs Report
Estuarine Bird Report

Late September 2001
My Shermanbury garden in the Adur Valley, 14 miles north as the crow flies from Old Shoreham, was visited by Blue Tits, Great Tits, Greenfinches and Chaffinches
On a countryside walk I spotted an unfamiliar butterfly with orange wings and black markings which I discovered was a Small Copper.
Shermanbury Bug Reports and Photographs

Report by Allen Pollard

21 September 2001
In the River Adur north of the Toll Bridge, the surface was rippled by shoals of young Sand Smelt, which scattered in many directions and there was a pronounced arrow-like disruption of the water surface, which probably indicated predation by a large fish, most likely to be from shoals of second year Bass.
British Marine Life Study Society

19 September 2001
The Tide Chart forecasted a 7 metre tide at Shoreham, which is about 0.5 metre higher than the highest tides forecasted for the 1970s. The River Adur lapped at the sea walls but there was no likelihood of a breach. The tide rose to within about 0.5 metre of the highest I have observed in February 1983. 

Egret on the River Adur  (by  Andy Horton)

A Little Egret was feeding in the shallows which were much nearer the bank than usual and it flew low over the river to the airfield towpath on the opposite side of the river.
Link to Egrets at Thorney Island (1999)
Bird Report (Adur Estuary mid-September 2001)
Adur Estuary page
Adur Estuary Survey

All day the numbers of House Martins seem to escalate and by early evening, the hundreds turning to over a thousand in Shoreham and Lancing, and in Shoreham Town Centre, especially around St. Mary's Church, they put on a spectacular aerobatic show, swooping low, all prior to their migration. 

18 September 2001
There is a considerable amount of silt on Kingston Beach. The tide went out a very long way below the Chart Datum marker, the foot of the Thru'penny Bit (Harbour Control) was exposed, and the thick mud was nearly dangerous, in most parts the boots would sink below ankle depth in black smelly mud. 

High Tide around the Thru'penny Bit

The conditions were unsuitable for prawning. Over winter this mud gets scoured away - it usually arrives as a result of harbour dredging. In the upper-mid shore pools underneath the groynes, there was a solitary juvenile Ballan Wrasse and small prawns. 

18 September 2001
The Information Booth at Widewater Lagoon is officially opened by Tim Laughton MP (East Worthing & Shoreham). It contains a picture display and information by Ray Hamblett and Steve Barker.
Widewater Lagoon page (by Ray Hamblett)
Lancing Nature & History - September 2001 Newsletter

17 September 2001
The distinctive red legs of a returning Redshank stood out clearly in the fading light at the low spring tide on the estuarine mud bank of the River Adur underneath from the Footbridge crossing the river at Coronation Green, Shoreham. 
Usually I have difficulty in separating Swallows and House Martins with hundreds performing aerial acrobatics over Shoreham Beach including Widewater, where they were particularly common, numbering over several hundreds. However, today they were flying so low and so close that at times I was able to look down on them and it is then that their white upper midriff of the House Martins become clear.

14 September 2001
A great of commotion greeted my presence in a private wild field (TQ 209 068) near Shoreham Waterworks, but I was still surprised when a young Roe Deer, without antlers,  suddenly jumped out of some dead undergrowth just over a metre high and veered towards me passing just three metres away before running off rapidly towards the road. It stopped about 30 metres away and looked over its left shoulder like a doe. A few minutes later I saw a pair of deer looking like a parent and youngster in the distance in a field under Mill Hill.
Full Report

10-11 September 2001
As the blackberries are removed from the bramble bushes and the sycamore seed capsules gyrospin in the wind, the last few butterflies flutter around included a Comma seen by Jan Hamblett in their Lancing garden (TQ 185 045) with two Painted Ladies.
Speckled Wood Butterflies are still at Shermanbury, seen by Allen Pollard
The Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata, that is attracted to lights at this time of the year has caterpillar that feeds on the Hawthorn
Butterflies of Lancing

4 September 2001
The first signs of autumn are apparent as birds in the Adur valley are on the move. On an overcast day the obvious example was influx of black and white birds slightly larger than a sparrow in the hedgerows (TQ 205 073) on the Beeding cycle path. The bird looks familiar and it is probably a Great Tit.
Full Report

31 August 2001
On an overcast day, following a shower, a Small Copper Butterfly (probably) was seen at Beeding Hill flying rapidly over towards Anchor Bottom, skirting the hedgerows on the bumpy lane down to Castletown, where a Speckled Wood Butterfly in reasonably good condition settled. 

31 August 2001
Wasp Spider, Argiope bruennichi, was found on Lancing Ring (TQ 180 065) by dog walkers Alex Wilkinson and his mother Vicky. It a large (bigger than a fifty pence piece) yellow, black and white spider in a big web..."
The discovery was verified by Dr Gerald Legg at the Booth Museum of Natural History.
Although fairly rare, these immigrants are gaining a foothold in Sussex and according to a spokesman at English Nature found at several locations around the area including Rye, Heathfield, and Hastings. They are normally to be found on land surrounding the Mediterranean they have spread northwards. They have established themselves in southern England since the 1990's. The species needs very hot summers in order to complete development from spiderling to full-grown adult in less than four months (Köhler & Schäller 1987). 

Report by Ray Hamblett via the Friends of Lancing Ring Newsletter.

29 August 2001
The first Humming Bird Hawk-Moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, of this year buzzed around the Buddleia bushes on the path to the Waterworks Road (TQ 209 063). After the rain shower, there were no butterflies or dragonflies, only a Brimstone Moth. The Grey Herons had left the meadows to feed at the low tide neaps on the River Adur north of the fly-over. Under the Railway Viaduct, tiny Common Goby fry, Pomatoschistus sp., were present in their thousands amongst the small clumps of Irish Moss, (a seaweed) Chondrus crispus. These fish would be too small (20 mm) and quick to excite the interest of even the Black-headed Gulls

Common Darter (Photograph by Andy Horton)

Common Darter Dragonfly

28 August 2001
The small brown dragonfly on the path to the Waterworks Road at the steps down in the south-west corner (TQ 209 063) was noted because of its dark green head, and a red fringe on one wing and black on the other pair of wings. It was probably a Common Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum striolatum. 
Adur Dragonflies & Damselflies
A faded (dull coloured) Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly settled briefly, as did a Speckled Wood and a handful of Red Admirals

27 August 2001
On the edge of the arable field (TQ 175 064) next to Halewick Lane, Lancing, a handful of small brownish butterflies flit past. I was only able to identify the species as the Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus, after consulting the reference book. The eyespots and the small size make them unmistakable.
The adjoining field is covered in a mass of tall and short wild plants that have settled in since the topsoil was replaced  over the landfill that once occupied this land. The mix of plants is nothing like that would normally cover downland, it more resembles colonisation of a derelict building site.

Halewick Report by Ray Hamblett
Earlier Reports of Small Heath
Butterflies of Lancing
Butterfly Guide

Photograph by Allen Pollard
August 2001
I have identified this dragonfly discovered by Allen Pollard at Shermanbury as the Southern Hawker, Aeshna cyanea.

Earlier Report
Shermanbury Bug Reports and Photographs
British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist

23 August 2001
Wheatears, fly to and from over the shingle beach between Widewater Lagoon and the sea, their white rear very distinctive, before this slim bird settles prior to its long migration back to Africa for the winter months. Three birds were seen by the beach huts. There were probably more. 
A few Red Admiral Butterflies appeared to flutter in from the seaward side, but these butterflies are strong flyers and they may be just be moving from one nectareous plant to another. 
Coastal Shoreham

It was early evening, (7:30 pm with reasonable light) In Dolphin Road, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055)  a very small (scarcely bigger than a thrush) bird of prey dived headlong into the bramble bush right next to me as I cycled past. There was no further commotion as the speckled breasted bird with a grey and brown underwing (strongly banded) rose from the bush and rested, silhouetted, on the roof of the house on the opposite side of the road. After a wait of over a minute, it disappeared flying as straight as an arrow. I think this was a juvenile Kestrel, behaving like a Sparrowhawk as they tend to in the autumn. On 28 August 2001, a large female Kestrel was observed leaving a bush adjacent to Widewater Lagoon before flying away rapidly and then soaring. 

20 August 2001
The long spring tide went out below Chart Datum on Kingston beach and there was a meal of large prawns Paleamon serratus. The presence of a dozen very small Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, was unusual for this particular shore. There was an interesting mixture of typical fish and invertebrate intertidal life, with hundreds of very small (30 - 55 mm) first year Bullheads
Full Report
Intertidal (Seashore)

18 August 2001
Brianne Reeve led the Butterfly Conservation Society walk at Lancing Ring.
Full Report
Friends of Lancing Ring

Common Blue Butterfly (Photograph by Andy Horton)17 August 2001
As the Harrier Jump-jet roared overhead, in the meadows amongst the scrub on Mill Hill, the Common Blue Butterfly was common (100+) clinging, wings folded, to the stems of long grasses and wild plants, to rise fluttering in the late summer evening when disturbed. The females are smaller, brown, decorated with distinctive orange spots on the upperside. There were a few Chalkhill Blues as well, some a bit battered and old, others fresher, as well as the omnipresent Meadow Browns, but also some strongly flying Wall Brown Butterflies.
Blue Butterflies (Photographs 2001)
Blue Butterflies (Photographs 2000)
UK-LEPS Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
Lancing Ring Photographic Gallery for August (by Ray Hamblett)

15 August 2001
On the low River Adur neap tides between Ropetackle and the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham, three Little Egrets (pic) stalked the shallows feeding in the shallow pools. One of the egrets seemed much larger than the other two through the binoculars. In what remained of the mainstream at low tide a couple of Herons and a Cormorant took advantage of the low water and the easy opportunities of feeding on small fish.

Emperor Dragonfly from Shoreham (Photograph by Pete Weaver)

Emperor Dragonfly from Shoreham 
(Photograph by Pete Weaver)

14 August 2001
On the footpath from the Waterworks Road (southern end) to (TQ 209 063) to Mill Hill, Red Admiral and Peacock Butterflies and Small Whites refused to settle. 
Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera griseoapteraA large brown cricket or grasshopper was also seen here. It only had a limited jumping ability and it is probably the Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera
A large Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria, settled briefly. 

14 August 2001
Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls circled feeding on flying ants below the white vapour trails crossing the white fluffy cirrus clouds in the blue sky, on the first fine, if slightly hazy day, for over a week.
A Wall Brown Butterfly fluttered strongly over my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). On Mill Hill I recorded what I instantly thought was my first Adonis Blue Butterfly (TQ 213 077) amongst the tall grasses. The female Chalkhill Blue (TQ 213 074) that settled nicely, seem to prefer the shorter Eyebright grasslands that are cropped short by rabbits. 
Full Report
Blue Butterflies (Photographs 2000)
Adur Butterfly Page

9 August 2001
A pair of Mute Swans on Widewater Lagoon were followed by six cygnets, not cuddly small offspring but large dark coloured first year juvenile birds. 

8 August 2001
Balearic Shearwaters, Puffinus mauretanicus, have been seen out to sea from Lancing adjacent to Widewater Lagoon. This seems to a regular migration route for this sea bird.

Volucella zonaria  (Photograph by Andy Horton)6 August 2001
A large nectar-feeding hoverfly settled on the Buddleia bush in a garden in West Way, Lancing, (TQ 198 042) that is near the marshy land between Shoreham Airport and Lancing. The species was not positively identified and this is always tricky as there are at least 250 species of hoverfly found in northern Europe. It was a large species at about 14 mm long. Bill Irwin identified this species as Volucella zonaria.

Report by Steve Barker
Hoverflies Comment
Hoverflies of the UK
Hoverflies (Syrphidae), tribe Volucellini
Volucella zonaria
Report from Bognor

5 August 2001
On an overcast day, a very small garden pond (TQ  219 063) in The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, (near Buckingham Park) was visited by a golden yellow coloured dragonfly with red unevenly spaced vertical dashes and black lines on the side of its narrow smooth abdomen. There were black tips to its wings.  I have tentatively identified this insect as the Common Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum striolatum. 
"It sounds as though your identification is correct . Both females and tenerals are golden and therefore the first signs of red suggest that your dragonfly is a male just starting to colour up to its final orangey-red. The black tips you refer to are a pigmented section of wing membrane called the Pterostigma, which is believed to act as a counter-balance to aid wing-twisting and wing-tip rigidity."

Comment by Alan Reynolds
Common Dragonflies and Damselflies (photographs)
British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist

Gatekeeper Butterfly (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)The small white moths were still present in the waterside vegetation. 
A single Peacock Butterfly settled and a handful of Small Whites fluttered around mostly before settling on the Buddleia bush and a Gatekeeper visited other garden plants for nectar. 

30 July 2001
The first Chalkhill Butterflies are on the wing on Mill Hill, although they could have hatched out a couple of days before. A Brimstone Butterfly, was also feeding in the margins of downs and scrub. 

Southern Hawker (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) not the specimen seenA brown dragonfly was recorded on the path to the Waterworks Road at the steps down in the south-west corner (TQ 209 063), and it was distinguished by two large green splotches on the side of its thorax. These means it is the Southern Hawker, Aeshna cyanea. (This was not a Common Darter). It was too small to be a female Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator.
PS (2004): This seems less likely now. I have not observed a Southern Hawker again in Shoreham and the Common Darter can have very green thoraces.)

Hundreds of Hoverflies, Episyrphus balteatus, invade Lancing (TQ 186 045). With their maroon head a wasp-like abdomen it is easy to understand why they are christened the Marmalade Fly.
Similar large immigrations have been reported from Dorset, especially from Portland Bill. 

Hoverfly Report by Ray Hamblett
"A couple of hundred came in through our conservatory. Most of them came in through the patio doors and buzzed against the ceiling, then died due to the heat. I hoovered up the dead four times during the day and one time actually counted 53 bodies on a 3 metre length of window cill."
Report by Peter Weaver
I have noticed a few hundreds around, but they are usually present and there seem to be many more this year. 
Hoverflies, Syridae, although they display warning coloration like wasps, are a true fly, with a single pair of wings, and a proboscis like a butterfly for feeding on nectar. 
Comment by Steve Barker

29 July 2001
A juvenile Common Toad is discovered in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 045).
Link for the Image

27 July 2001
There was an Evening Argus report of a large jellyfish off Worthing. The photograph was not clear enough to be sure of its identity, but the most likely candidate from the photograph was the harmless Barrel Jellyfish, although it could have been the the venomous Lion's Mane Jellyfish.

Photograph by Allen Pollard (Shermanbury)

Butterfly photographed by Allen Pollard from Shermanbury in the Adur valley.
In this study the butterfly has contracted its forewing between the hindwing.
This is a Meadow Brown

27 July 2001
Burnet Moth (Photograph by Andy Horton)I went up the the Lancing Ring chalk pits (east side) (TQ 187 063) to try and find out what burnet moths they were by counting the spots. This was difficult because these moths would not settle.  There were about 15 moths in a couple of small meadows to the east of the Chalk Pit, attracted to Greater Knapweed
It is the 6-spot Burnet Moth, Zygaena filipendulae
Pictures of the Burnet Moths

26 July 2001
On a scorching hot day, when by the afternoon the temperatures reached 26°C hundreds of various species of butterflies were on the wing everywhere. 
Report from Lancing Ring (Link)
Report from the Waterworks path to Mill Hill

24 July 2001
57 adult Mute Swans congregated on the River Adur adjacent to Shoreham Airport on the flood spring tide but no sign of the Little Egret reported in the Sussex Ornithological Society News. There was a dead Mute Swan on the east towpath midway between the A27 Flyover and the disused cement works, where a small group of five Canada Geese swam leisurely away, I thought at first they were going to swim towards me, so they were probably tame.
Gatekeeper Butterflies were common everywhere and on the cyclepath north of Botolphs, there were over 100 in the hedgerow adjacent to the path next to Saltings Field covered in wild plants (weeds). Many of the Gatekeepers had a double black surround on the underside, but only one white dot was present on many occasions (Small Heaths are usually not around in July?). Because of the predominance of orange and their smaller size, there was no possibility of mistaking these butterflies for Meadow Browns. Both species of Whites (100+), Painted Lady (one), Red Admiral (20+), Meadow Browns (12+) were noticed on he Adur flood plain.. 
Adur Valley Butterflies

22 July 2001
A gathering of large bats with a wingspan of nearly 30 cm were seen at the top of McIntyres Field (TQ 185 061), which is above the Manor Allotments, in Lancing. Martin Love of the Sussex Bat Group identified these as the Noctule Bat, Nyctalus noctula or less likely a Serotine, Eptesicus serotinus.
Bat Detector Kits

Report by Roy & June Bratton
Bats are seen in Windlesham Gardens, Shoreham (hearsay reports).

20 July 2001
A Painted Lady Butterfly landed on the Verbena bonariensis in my Lancing garden (TQ 186 045). This plant is rich in nectar and particularly attractive to butterflies.

Report by Ray Hamblett
Butterflies of Lancing

18 July 2001
The Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society arranged a walk on Mill Hill  in the morning. The long grasses were still soaked from yesterday's downpour. I did not make the 11:00 am start but I went up there a couple of hours later and they were no longer around. The blue butterflies were not out yet and it preceded the school holidays, so it could be seen as a strange date to choose. The only insect of note was a solitary Burnet Moth south of the car park (TQ 212 072). It quickly flew away, the bright red most distinguishable. One of the reasons for my identification was the cocoon photographed at the beginning of July and shown further down the page. It is probably the 6-spot Burnet Moth, Zygaena filipendulae.
Pictures of the Burnet Moths
There was a fair selection of butterflies including Small Skippers.

17 July 2001
It needed torrential rain and a near gale to dislodge a 95 mm pine cone which nearly landed on my head. It came from one of a couple of old pine trees just south of the western tennis pavilion in Buckingham Park. I have tentatively identified these trees as Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata

16 July 2001
A Gatekeeper Butterfly settled in my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), opening its wings to reveal the splendid orange upperside lined with brown. On 21 July 2001 it was joined by others present every day for the rest of July.

15 July 2001
A pair of Comma Butterflies fluttered around and finally settled briefly in my wild garden, without nettles, in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).  This is my first definite report of these butterflies on the Nature Notes web pages. House Martins flew overhead from Middle Road allotments. 
A handful of small Gatekeeper Butterflies fluttered around the Blackthorn (Sloe) bushes (TQ 207 055) and other scrub around the towpath on the eastern of perimeter of Shoreham Airport
At the Old Fort (TQ 234 046), the Common Lizards, Lacerata vivipara, with exceptionally mottled markings, have found new places to hide after the flint wall has been repaired. The exceptionally speckled markings of the lizard are found in the European Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis. (This latter species were kept in the back garden of a house in Old Fort Road and could be escapes. However, lizards were definitely present in the 1960s on the walls of the Old Fort and this pre-dated the presence of lizards in the garden of a herpetologist.)
Earlier Report of the Flint Wall Repairs

13 July 2001
Butterflies between the bridleway (TQ 228 067) skirting Slonk Hill Farm and Mossy Bottom Barn included Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and at least one Painted Lady (TQ 225 074), all species eventually settling on the chalk path, and all the butterflies were in perfect colourful condition. 
The skies around New Erringham Farm were filled with the low flying aerobatic displays of House Martins and Swallows, perhaps Swifts as well. 

12 July 2001
About a dozen of the stout-bodied dragonflies flew rapidly over the Lancing Ring dewpond (see the previous report). They flew much too quickly to ascertain any of the smaller details which is necessary to confirm identification. Both males and females chased each other in the breeze. However, a brown female dragonfly settled for about two seconds a couple of metres away and there was just time to spot at  least three large spots of bright orange on one side of the darker brown abdomen. This together with the brown bulky nature of the flattish abdomen, made to look more bulky by the brown on the base of the wings makes me identify this spectacular insect as the Broad-bodied ChaserLibellula depressa. The appearance of bright green Emperor Dragonfly, female, was comparatively dull and inactive. A Blue-tailed Damselfly tried to hide its then abdomen along a thin waterside reed. 
British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist

11 July 2001
All boats remain in harbour as the beach shingle is rolled about by the Fresh Breeze (Force 5 +) without rain, with many white horses. The shingle that had been levelled with the renovation to the Inner West Arm of Shoreham Harbour sea defences south of Soldier's Point, near the Old Fort, last year, had now been reformed by the wind and returned to its former undulations, with the return of the common shingle plants including Sea Kale, Sea Beet, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Campion, Spear-leaved Orache and the common weed of wild places, the Sow Thistle was abundant. 
Beaufort Scale (sea)

9 July 2001
The remains of two large mature Adders were found trapped in garden netting in Lancing Manor Allotments.

Report by Ray Hamblett
Just before dusk Martin Davies cycles into a swarm of aggressive beetles coming out of a bush near Mill Hill. These could have been the Devil's Coach Horse Beetle, Staphylinus olens, which Ray Hamblett has reported from the downs above Shoreham. This beetle has jaws that can pierce human skin and can also squirt out noxious and irritating chemicals from its rear end.

 7 July 2001
The promised torrential rain arrives at about 5:00 pm with grumblings of thunder. Although it seemed no more than a prolonged heavy shower, a figure of 34 mm was recorded in 3 hours, according to BBC 1 Southern News. I was able to verify this reading exactly using the bucket method. .

5 July 2001
On the long mostly straight steadily uphill path from Southwick Hill to Truleigh Hill, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were common (75 +) (this total possibly included some strong-flying Painted Ladies and Commas), but there were also Meadow Browns (30+), Marbled Whites, (25+), Small Skippers (20+) Red Admirals (12+) and an occasional Small White Butterfly in decreasing order of prevalency. 

Marbled White Butterflies (Photographs by Ray Hamblett)

Marbled White Butterflies

In contrast on Mill Hill, where nettles on the downs are uncommon and the meadows unspoiled, the Meadow Browns (40 +) were the commonest butterfly in the open but where the grass became longer they were replaced by Marbled Whites (40+) feeding on Greater Knapweed, and in the scrub, a handful of Gatekeeper Butterflies could be easily separated from the Meadow Browns by their smaller size and double eye-spot on the underside. They remained settled for long periods with the wings folded. At first the double eye-spots could be seen, but after awhile the fawnish bit covered up the orange and the eye-spot. Large Skipper Butterflies were a bit battered but like the Gatekeeper stayed still, but with their wings open. Red Admirals flew energetically in the small copse.
Small Scabious and Pyramid Orchids were in flower. 
Adur Valley Butterflies (Link)

Shoreham seems to have missed the thunder and electrical storms in other parts of the south coast (notably Dorset), but it is exceptionally and uncomfortably muggy (wet and humid with warm showers). Just before dawn the gulls, Herring Gulls are squawking a lot just like they do throughout the day in nearby Hove. On top of the new houses near Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), there seems to be two gulls that are unusual for Shoreham, looking smaller and with much darker primary feathers than the Herring Gull, and my first choice identification of these birds is the Lesser Black-backed Gull. Their legs are a greenish-yellow colour.
Lesser Black-backed and yellow-legged Gulls (Link for more information)
BMLSS Sea Birds
Sea Birds Portfolio (Photographs by Nicolas Jouault)
UK Birding Discussion Forum
Sussex Ornithological Society News

July 2001
The crew of the Sussex Sea Fisheries Protection vessel "Watchful" spot a Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, in the approaches to Shoreham harbour. 
Sussex Dolphins

4 July 2001
Burnet Moth cocoon (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)Over a hundred Marbled White Butterflies were in the Hay Meadow west of  Pat Barton's Wood (the Little Clump) around Lancing Ring fluttering in the long grass amongst a cacophony of grasshoppers and crickets.

The grasses supported a cocoon from one of the burnet moths.

Full Species List
Butterflies of Lancing
Lancing Nature & History - July 2001 Newsletter
Lancing Ring Photographic Gallery for July

Report by Ray Hamblett

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was spotted on the Coombes road between Cuckoo's Corner and the Ladywell Stream, in a tree at the bottom of the private path leading to Lancing College (TQ 200 069).

Meadow Brown Butterfly (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

I only saw one Marbled White Butterfly in the long grasses. Meadow Brown Butterflies were common everywhere, near allotments in the towns, on Lancing Ring and on the Adur flood plain. Most specimens had a clear pale ring around the eye-spot on the underside of the wings (pic), and a single very small black spot as well on the fawn bit. They were very darkly pigmented brown on the upperside wings. A Large Skipper Butterfly settled at the top of  the path from the Sussex Pad to Lancing Ring, and there were a few Small (or Essex) Skippers that were more restless. 
Adur Valley Butterflies (Link)
Butterfly Conservation Society

An Emperor Dragonfly patrolled the Lancing Ring dewpond (TQ 181 065), but this was to be expected. However, there was also a much sturdier-looking dragonfly darting between the reeds. This species is most likely to be a male Broad-bodied ChaserLibellula depressa. The abdomen was a very pale blue, almost white, and stubby rather than elongate.  I do not think it was a male Black-tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum.
UK Dragonflies Discussion Group
British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
Freshwater Life of North-western Europe EForum

2-4 July 2001
Hot and humid at at least 25° C at maximum.


Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

Adur Valley
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