ADUR NATURE NOTES 2012
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

August 2012

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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

2012  Regional

Lammas Day (or Lughnasadh): first day of Autumn


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


EVENTS
 


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 
 

31 August 2012

 
Green-veined White Butterflies 
 Juvenile Wall Lizard

I visited Shoreham Beach to try an get a photograph of a Wall Lizard after my success with a Common Lizard the previous day. Nineteen Wall Lizards were spotted on the south and west facing carnot flint walls of the Old Fort, skittering into holes in the wall at the earliest opportunity, with none of them keeping still in the open and basking in the sun. At least half of them were adults with a distinct green colouration, but one was a small brown coloured juvenile on the pebbles. 

Three species of butterfly were seen on the day including a mating pair of Green-veined Whites
Adur Lizards
Butterfly Report

30 August 2012
As the month draws towards it end with the first chill of autumn in the morning.  I made a detour passage trip up the Pixie Path around 4:00 pm and I would have been surprised to see anything of note in unpromising conditions.

However, I was fortunate see a handful of Meadow Brown Butterflies and half a dozen male Common Blues on the western edge of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham. I was surprised to see a male Adonis Blue on the Mill Hill Cutting (SE), the first time I have seen this butterfly inside the Shoreham town boundaries. A Common Lizard was spotted  basking on the chestnut fencing at the top of the Pixie Path.
Full Wildlife Report
Adur Lizards

23 August 2012
Mill Hill was alive with butterflies in same places with between fifty and a hundred seen all at once on the best parts of the lower slopes. This was despite a large Cumulus cloud casting a big shadow over the hill around midday

Meadow Browns were in unprecedented numbers, estimated well in excess of a thousand and peaking with at least 350 an acre (possibly 500+). Adonis Blues were recorded at 138 in the transect acre. On the top meadows the Adonis Blue density was probably exceeded by the hundreds of Common Blues. Twelve species of butterfly and four species of macro-moth were recorded on and around Mill Hill in an hour. The tally included 21 Chalkhill Blues and four Wall Browns. In a glade with Hemp Agrimony, a half a dozen Red Admirals visited. 
Full Butterfly Report (First Draft Record) & Species List
Mill Hill Report

Hay Meadow at Old Erringham


22 August 2012
On the outskirts of Shoreham, a variety of brown butterflies were in prominence of display. Speckled Woods were frequently seen with 30+ on a detour passage through the Pixie Path. Eight butterfly species showed on a breezy cloudy day. On the outskirts of Shoreham, five separate and quite distinct brown butterflies were quite prominent on the garden-sized area of Mill Hill Cutting SE on the chalk bank. All these were thought to be female Chalkhill Blues, even the one that was smaller than the others.. Three separate sightings of the spectacular hoverfly Volucella zonaria, were noted in and around the Pixie Path.
Butterfly Report

20 August 2012
A Buzzard flew over Southwick Hill and another sighting was reported from nearby Thundersbarrow (on the downs north of Shoreham). 


Deadly Nightshade on Mill Hill
 
An early morning mussel collecting visit to Kingston Beach on a low spring tide found the unprecedented frequent (30+) occurrence of very small Common Starfish Asterias rubens on the underside of rocks just above Chart Datum.

Full Report

17 August 2012

Female Emperor Dragonfly
Photograph by Sharon Penfold

This spectacular dragonfly was spotted in a Sompting garden. It is female Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator.

Adur Dragonfly Reports

On a sunny and very humid day the butterflies were out and seen almost as I left my front door. The first of seventeen different species on the day was a Small Tortoiseshell that was basking on the busy Dolphin Road in Shoreham. It took flight as I cycled towards it. Ten of the species were seen within the boundaries of the built-up area. 

The lower slopes of Mill Hill was alive with hundreds of butterflies, at an average of a butterfly per square metre over the southern part of the lower slopes, usually a less favourable area for numbers. I spent under a quarter of an hour on the hill, but I still managed to see over fifty of each of four species: Meadow Browns, Chalkhill Blues, Adonis Blues and Common Blues. (I estimated their numbers to be over 100 of each in the transect acre.) 
Butterfly Report
Mill Hill Report

Adonis Blue (male)13 August 2012
Second brood male Adonis Blue Butterflies were seen immediately on a visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill curtailed by rain. Frequent Meadow Browns were the most prevalent of nine species of butterfly seen in less than 20 minutes. 
Full Butterfly Report

11 August 2012
In the warm sunshine at least eight Southern Hawkers (dragonfly) were active. Butterflies were courting, notably Large Whites and Speckled Woods of the eight butterfly species seen on the Adur Levels. The large hoverfly  Volucella zonaria was seen for the first time this year. 
Full Butterfly Report

10 August 2012

Rockpooling Event at the Old Fort organised by the Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB)

Over 150 rockpoolers descended down on  to the safe beach at Old Fort, Shoreham Beach at low tide and they were able to forage in the pools for over two hours. The critters of the seashore never had a chance to escape the flimsy nets and probing fingers of the youngsters. Fish fry swam in the shallow pools, notably scores of the young of the Two-spotted Goby, Gobiusculus flavescens. Many of the captures were decamped to temporary aquariums further of the beach and returned to the pools before the incoming tide. Other notable captures included a juvenile Greater Pipefish, Syngnathus acus, looking like a thin strip of seaweed until it wriggled, juvenile flatfish including two small Plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, with more escaping the nets, the first intertidal Solenette (Slipper Sole), Buglossidium luteum, and the expected mixture of Bass fry, Dicentrarchus labrax, small prawns and shrimps, tiny Bullheads, Taurulus bubalis, Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, of all sizes and colours and the common intertidal molluscs

FOSB Events
BMLSS Rockpooling

9 August 2012
I did my Mill Hill transect with the following results: Adonis Blue 4, Brimstone 4, Chalkhill Blue 144, Common Blue 5, Gatekeeper 3, Holly Blue 1, Meadow Browns 192, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 2, Small Heath 4, Small White 3, Wall 3.


 
Small Blue
Gatekeeper 

Six butterfly species were spotted on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting mostly Small Blues and Meadow Browns
Full Butterfly and Moth Report

6 August 2012
A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) looked menacing as it patrolled beneath the tree canopy in St Julian's churchyard, Kingston Buci. The bright yellow fluttering in Southwick was a fresh Brimstone Moth.
Full Butterfly and Moth Report
 
5 August 2012
One characteristic of chalk downland is the ground hugging prickles of the small thistle known variously (as the Stemless Thistle as the bulb usually appears straight out of the prickly leaves) or the Dwarf Thistle. The latter name was more pertinent in this wet summer as many of them have visible stems. The flowers which appear in autumn were very common all over the middle and lower slopes of Mill Hill. The upper meadows are now too overgrown for it (without the annual forage harvesting). 
Mill Hill Report

Meadow Brown on Dwarf Thistle

Because of the dreadful weather I missed the peak emergence of Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill this year. (The Chalkhill Blue Butterflies tend to emerge simultaneously over two days at the turn of the month.) On the first suitable (if far from ideal) day a trip to the lower slopes of Mill Hill discovered only 90 in the transect acre on a cloudy cool (>18.0 °C ) day. There were 86 males seen and four females including two mating pairs. On the wildlife meadows south-west of the upper car park I clearly spotted my first Brown Argus of the year. 
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Thirteen butterfly species (the most in a single day so far this year) and two macro moths were seen on an unfavourable day.
Full Butterfly and Moth Report

Chalkhill Blue on Hardhead

1 - 5 August 2012
With cloudy skies, cool temperatures, rain and continual breezes the weather has been too inclement for butterflies and walks. 

2 August 2012
Rain and then overcast and breezy, humid. By the late afternoon there was a glimpse of sunshine and a Holly Blue Butterfly flew over my small front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, and fluttered over the roof tops and away without pausing. 
Adur Butterfly and Moth List 2012
 
 

BREAKING NEWS:

Field magazine for August 2012 has got a feature on Lobsters and one on beach Shrimping on Lancing Beach as well. Available in the larger branches of WH Smith on the shelf from the end of July 2012. Recommended light reading. £4.20
 

BMLSS Shrimping Page









August 2011 Reports

Adur Nature Notes 2011

 


Butterfly List 2012
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Shoreham Weather 2012
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring



 

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002

ADUR NATURE NOTES 2001

ADUR NATURE NOTES  2000

Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

     

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