ADUR
NATURE NOTES    2011
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
Mill Hill
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August 2011


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


  Chalkhill Blue
Adonis Blue
Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports


EVENTS


WILDLIFE REPORTS

Black Swan (Photograph by John Dowse)30 August 2011
An Australian Black Swan on the Widewater was seen attacking the resident pair of Mute Swans and the ducks just to the west of the Causeway bridge. The Black Swan had its wings raised as it raced towards the resident birds. 

Report and Photograph by John Dowse


29 August 2011
On a cool breezy and cloudy Mill Hill, a pristine Comma Butterfly was the first butterfly to be seen followed by 100+ (partially counted) Meadow Browns, twenty tattered male Adonis Blues and eight Chalkhill Blues were disturbed with two females, an estimated 25+ Small Heaths, occasional Common Blues and frequent 25+ pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta pupuralis. On the lower slopes Devils' Bit Scabious and Ploughman's Spikenard were noted in flower for the first time this year. 
Mill Hill Full Report

22 August 2011
Under an overcast sky 200+ butterflies of nine species fluttered around on Mill Hill, led by an estimated 90+ Meadow Browns, a counted 19 Chalkhill Blues, 66 Adonis Blues (including four females), about 20 Common Blues (including about five females), an estimated 16+ Small Heaths, one (perhaps the last of the year) faded but intact Gatekeeper, one (possibly three) Brimstones, a few Large Whites, and a Speckled Wood (in the scrub). 
 

Round-headed Rampion
Round-headed Rampion
Carline Thistle

On the lower slopes, a few Round-headed Rampion were flowering and there were more of these delicate blue flowers on the upper plateau.
Mill Hill Full Report

17 August 2011
We saw a scary caterpillar (Val spotted it first): it puffed itself up and showed us a couple of threatening "eyes". We think it was a Small Elephant Hawk-moth, putting its life at risk by crossing the Downslink Cyclepath, just north of the A27 Flyover. In the overcast conditions, there were few butterflies out despite it being warm, the most interesting was a Common Blue deep in Shoreham at the very start of the Downslink path. 

Report and Photograph by John A Heys on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

Adonis Blue14 August 2011
On a overcast but pleasant (19.1 °C SW Force 4) autumn late morning was bracing for a walk but inimical for butterflies of eleven species of which 50% were hiding. On Mill Hill, I recorded an estimated 100+ Meadow Browns, 66 Adonis Blues, 37 Chalkhill Blues, 30+ Common Blues, 35+ Small Heaths, a few of the last Gatekeepers, one Small Copper, one female Brimstone Butterfly, one Wall Brown, 15+ Speckled Woods and one Large White
Mill Hill Full Report

The first Holly berries were seen. 

12 August 2011

In the weak afternoon sunshine seemed to have encouraged at least 13 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that basked in the sunshine before skittering rapidly back in their holes, mostly on the west wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, but at least two on the south-facing carnot wall and two in the undergrowth away from the wall.
Adur Lizards
 
11 August 2011
Hornet Robber Fly preying on a Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on Mill Hill
 

5 August 2011
31 adult Mute Swans congregated in the small River Adur inlet by Cuckoo's Corner on the high spring tide, with a further five seen by the Cement Works at Upper Beeding. 

Chalkhill Blue (male)3 August 2011
Under the midday sun, thirteen butterfly species were seen on and around Mill Hill including 46 Chalkhill Blues, an estimated 70+ Common Blues, five Dingy Skippers, two male Adonis Blues, a few Wall Brown and a late Marbled White.
Butterfly Report

The following berries were ripening: Elderflower, Blackberry, Hawthorn, the inedible Bittersweet (poisonous) and Wayfaring Tree.

On Lancing Ring Nature Reserve, I spotted plenty of butterflies but the meadows very disappointing. There were hardly any blues seen just two Common Blues and one Chalkhill Blue which was in one of the chalkpits at the far eastern end. One Dark Green Fritillary was seen on the path leading to the chalkpits from Mill Road . It was  clearly very old with a large chunk missing from the left wing. I glimpsed two others in the trees up the clump and also three Purple Hairstreaks in one of the rides.

Lancing Report by Mark Senior by EMail


NB: these were first of the year reports for the Dark Green Fritillary and the first ever Lancing report of Purple Hairstreaks
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

1 August 2011
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I saw three of my first second brood male Adonis Blues of the year. The 20 minute transect count of 58 Chalkhill Blues (including six females). was only a tenth the total of a good year and below par even for poor years. A half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, including courting pairs, fluttered into view. This was more that usual years when only a few are seen. Eleven butterfly species were seen in under an hour.
Butterfly Report

The first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of the year was seen patrolling the bottom slopes of Mill Hill right by the boundary hedge and was one of 19 species in the afternoon including 60 Chalkhill Blues, six Adonis Blues and five Wall Browns
Full Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates


 


 

August 2010
 


History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2011
 

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

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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