Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

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August 2006


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

Chalkhill Blue from the Mill Hill Cutting (SW)

Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature


30 August 2006
The parched downs were losing both their flowers and their butterflies and on an overcast day, battered by breezes, it felt as though the summer was over. One of the spectacular hoverflies Volucella zonaria actually landed on my bicycle tyre as I was wheeled my bike up the Pixie Path to Mill Hill
Violet Ground Beetle, Carabus violaceus
Volucella zonaria

A Violet Ground Beetle, Carabus violaceus, hid underneath the discarded chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path. 
Adur Beetles

Adonis Blue27 August 2006
Adonis Blues (128+) were mating on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with a dozen other species of butterflies including both Common Blues and Chalkhill Blues
Butterfly Report
Another diseased adult Rabbit was spotted at the top of its burrow in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.

24 August 2006
An adult 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 
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. There were ten species of butterflies seen including a surprise 24 Adonis Blues at the foot of Anchor Bottom, attracted to the cow pats
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. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Levels

20 August 2006
49 Adonis Blues and a pristine Wall Brown Butterfly were just two of a dozen species of butterfly seen in overcast and breezy conditions on Mill Hill.
Full Report

17 August 2006
Both Migrant Hawkers and Southern Hawkers were seen over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, at least one of each of these dragonflies was confirmed, but there were probably more of them. 

Male Adonis Blue on Carline Thistle Southern Hawker

Common Blue Butterflies were still common on Mill Hill, and both the second brood male Adonis Blue Butterflies (66+) and the worn Chalkhill Blues (72+) were very frequently seen on the downs and surrounding areas. The Adonis Blues were in a bright pristine condition but many of them already showed nicks out of their hind wings. As expected the number of species of butterflies fell to just thirteen as several species had ceased or declined for the year. 
Adur Dragonflies 2006
Butterfly Report

15 August 2006
A morning low tide visit to the beach by the Half Brick (East Worthing) was not very fruitful and the only fish of note was a baby pipefish discovered by Katherine Hamblett. Although it was too small to be positively identified it was probably a Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis, which was unusual this far east up the English Channel, but it is increasing being discovered along with the Daisy Anemone, Cereus. The largest of the local chitons, the mollusc Acanthochitona crinita was discovered on the underside of an intertidal rock. 
BMLSS Rockpooling

Chiton Migrant Hawker

There were small dragonflies everywhere, a dozen all at once darting over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. They were predictably mostly Common Darters, but they did include the first two Migrant Hawkers definitely confirmed this year (although they were probably seen a week ago). Three Hornet Robber Flies landed briefly on the Pixie Path and they were sufficiently spaced apart to be different flies.

8 August 2006

Bottle-nosed Dolphin off Shoreham Beach
Photograph by kayaker Martin Edmonds (Worthing)

A single Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was spotted by kayaker Martin Edmonds as the sun fell below the horizon off Shoreham Beach.

Marine Life of Sussex
British Marine Life Study Society

6 August 2006
A Hornet Robber Fly caught a Greenbottle and landed briefly on the Pixie Path. The Greenbottles were attracted by about a dozen to a dog's faex and the predatory insect pounced. Over the stream on the northern edge of the Saltings Field (near Botolphs), damselflies and dragonflies mated as a female Wasp Spider had spun a web over the waterside vegetation.
Adur Flies
Adur Spiders

Wasp Spider (female)
Leaves of a sapling in the Saltings Field (possibly Black Poplar)

It is strange how the Common Blue Butterflies of two days ago quickly diminished or dispersed and the estimate was now only 150. Chalkhill Blues were counted at 176 and the first second brood male Adonis Blue was seen on Mill Hill. The species count reached the equal highest confirmed day total of 17 different butterflies. Painted Lady Butterflies (50+) were almost all on Buddleia. Brown Argus (40+) flitted with the silvery underwings appearance, mostly, but not entirely, on Mill Hill.
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly and Large Moth List 2006

5 August 2006
An unprecendented 23 Painted Lady Butterflies and one Clouded Yellow Butterfly were seen on and around of the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham in the space of five minutes in the hot and humid mid-afternoon (4:00 pm onwards).
Butterfly Report

4 August 2006
Common Blue Butterflies (400+) had now become the dominant butterfly on the downs and the levels, followed by Chalkhill Blues (129) on Mill Hill only. Female Chalkhill Blues were up to 20% of the total. 
Brown Argus Common Blue Butterflies on Ragwort

Second brood Brimstone Butterflies were out and Brown Argus Butterflies  were confirmed on Mill Hill under a cloudy sky. 
Butterfly Report

Small Copper2 August 2006
A large 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.In a field just north of Old Shoreham, I also spotted my first Small Copper Butterfly seen this year and the first ever seen locally in August. The butterfly species count was 15, but probably 17. 
Damsels & Dragons Report
Butterfly Report
Adur Levels

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

British Marine Life Study Society



Mill Hill News Reports 2006

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

Adur Valley Biodiversity Network (Homepage)
Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages
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Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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