|Species||Slonk Hill south||Pixie Path||Mill Hill Lower||Mill Hill Scrub||Mill
216+ butterflies of fifteen species (equal the most species in a day this year) added to by::
In the late afternoon I made a brief journey to Old Shoreham and added a Comma Butterfly to the species tally from the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and a few minutes later added a confirmed Green-veined White from the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge, making seventeen species of the day and one short of my all-time day record. Although I was not counting out other butterflies, there was also an additional Peacock, Red Admiral,Speckled Wood and Holly Blue in the Old Shoreham area. As I had reached 17 species I thought I would cycle to Upper Beeding to try and increase the species tally. As is often the case, I was out of luck and although there were about five more Peacock Butterflies taking their count into double figures for the day, as well as three noted Speckled Woods and uncounted Large Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.
Seventeen species (best of the year)
|Species||Slonk Hill south meadow||Slonk Hill Farm - New Erringham||Mill Hill Upper||Pixie Path||Butterfly Copse||Adur Levels||Shoreham Town||TOTAL|
|Meadow Brown||3+||OC||OC||2||1||OC||1||E 30+|
|Six-spot Burnet Moth||2||OC||OC||1||-||OC||-||-|
The Wall Browns were discovered at different locations, the first one on the bridlepath verge near Slonk Hill Farm, the second at the top of the hill between Mossy Bottom and New Erringham, the third on the verge by New Erringham, the fourth in a field to the west of the road to Mill Hill, the fifth on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill and the sixth on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham.
Over 200 butterflies of fourteen species.
|Species||Slonk Hill south||Pixie Path||Mill Hill Lower||Mill Hill Scrub||Mill Hill Upper||Butterfly
|Shoreham Town||Buckingham Cutting||TOTAL|
|Chalkhill Blue||-||-||16 + 1||-||-||-||-||-||17|
|Pyrausta nigrata Moth||-||-||FQ||-||-||-||-||-||FQ|
|Pyrausta puperalis Moth||-||-||1||-||-||-||-||-||1|
|Six-spot Burnet Moth||-||-||2||FQ||-||-||-||-||FQ|
Fourteen species of butterfly. 135 butterflies
A sort half and hour leisurely cycle trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath around Old Shoreham produced a Green-veined White Butterfly not seen on the last two recording days, with frequent Peacock Butterflies (12+), frequent Speckled Woods (12+), occasional Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, frequent Large Whites, one Comma, and one Red Admiral. A Holly Blue was seen in St. Mary de Haura churchyard in the centre of Shoreham town.
As so often happens when one butterfly species ceases (the Small Blues were not recorded) than fresh butterflies appear with a new brood. The new ones were the occasional Holly Blues in Shoreham town and the outskirts, one Wall Brown over the A27 dual carriageway north of the Dovecote Estate, and a Brimstone Butterfly on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The occasional Peacock Butterflies were fresh as well. Chalkhill Blues were just beginning on Mill Hill with 24 strong flying males noted. All but one were seen on the lower slopes and the other one in the Triangle middle slopes area.
|Species||Slonk Hill south||Pixie Path||Mill Hill Lower||Mill Hill Upper||Butterfly Copse and Shoreham Town|
|Wall Brown||1 (A27)||-||-||-||-|
Burnet Moths were occasionally seen on
the meadow southern bank of Slonk Hill and
all over Mill Hill, with most on the upper meadows where a Silver
Y Moth was also spotted.
species of butterfly (the most in a single day this year)
(Three species seen on 14 July 2008 and another one from 13 July 2008 were not recorded)
(The unrecorded species were Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White & Small Blue)
In the early afternoon, butterflies were common on the Adur Levels in the weak sunshine. I recorded frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Small Skippers, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Comma Butterflies, one Small Tortoiseshell (on the towpath near Botolphs), occasional Peacock Butterflies, occasional Red Admirals, one Marbled White (on the river towpath) a few Small Skippers, one Speckled Wood, one Small White and frequent Large Whites. The Marbled White flew strongly, without settling, from the towpath by the River Adur over a hay meadow which was being cut and baled.
Gardens and the Ragwort-covered
basin of Anchor Bottom at Upper Beeding
added more frequent (20+) Meadow
(7 -10) Peacock Butterflies,
a few Comma Butterflies,
one Red Admiral
a few Small Tortoiseshells.
The first confirmed Six-spot Burnet Moths were spotted on Greater Knapweed on the south-facing Horseshoe Vetch slope of Anchor Bottom.
Adur Burnet Moths
Eleven butterfly species
On rather dull day, the expected smattering of butterflies put in appearance on the southern meadow bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting with frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Small Skippers, plus a few Large White Butterflies and at least one Burnet Moth. On the Buckingham Cutting south, the one Small Blue seen was rather ragged and worn. The Pixie Path added a Comma Butterfly.
the time I arrived at Mill Hill about 11.45
am, the sun had disappeared behind a cloud
for the whole duration of my stay of about 45 minutes. Not suprisingly
the butterfly tally was low: frequent Gatekeepers,
two Chalkhill Blues
(including one female), one Marbled
White, one Small
White (could have been a Green-veined
White?) and one Small
Skipper on the lower
slopes, plus another Cinnabar Moth.
The small pyralid moth,
nigrata was frequently seen on the
lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon. Most of them were so faded
that they were originally mistaken for one of the other pyralids. A Speckled
Wood was seen in the tunnel of Hawthorn
as I returned by the ridge route.
Eleven butterfly species
Blustery conditions (Force 5 gusting to Force 6), but at least the rain held off: a few butterflies were in flight, firstly a Large White and two pairs of Gatekeepers on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, followed by three Meadow Browns, and then two sparring Red Admirals over the nearby Butterfly Copse.
two Chalkhill Blue Butterflies
flew over the lower slopes of
Hill, with occasional Gatekeepers,
a Large White,
and two small pyralid
nigrata and Pyrausta
There was a Red Admiral
in the scrub to the north-west of Mill
Hill Nature Reserve as I returned by the ridge route where the wind
was too great for anything other than a few more Gatekeepers.
Five species of butterfly
Four days of continual gales and heavy rainfall prevented any visits to Mill Hill. On the fifth day the planned trip was interrupted by a heavy rain shower.
The first two Chalkhill Blue Butterflies flew over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, late in the afternoon. They may have been in flight for a few days as the first reports from Sussex of this butterfly was on 1 July 2008. The first Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria, of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with a probable Ringlet Butterfly from the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve which would be (if confirmed) the first from the Hill and the only one of the 32 species of butterflies seen in Shoreham that has not been recorded on the hill. The Small Blues were not seen on the southern part of Buckingham Cutting, but a fresh Peacock Butterfly was a surprise. These small butterflies can be elusive and the late afternoon visit may account for their absence. However, they are also right at the end of their flight period.
|Species||Buckingham Cutting south||Lower Slopes of Mill Hill||Scrub, middle slopes, top meadow and plateau of Mill Hill||Pixie Path and Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road)||Total|
|Ringlet||1 (?)||1 (?)|
|Small White||1 (Old Shoreham)||1|
My first definite Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year spent a long time fluttering around the Privet on the Coastal Link Cyclepath (north of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge) and it never did settle for a close look. There were at least two more along the cyclepath to Upper Beeding which also hosted occasional Meadow Browns (6+), two Marbled Whites, frequent Large Whites, a few Small Whites, three Small Tortoiseshells, occasional Ringlets and a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on a Ragwort plant, on a rapid cycle ride which did not involve stopping.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Seven adult species
Nine species of butterflies and skipper were seen in as many minutes from the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting embankment to the southern Buckingham Cutting, included my first Small Skipper of the year, see clearly as it settled on a flower and opened its wings. Earlier a Large Skipper had settled, but it still needed a practised eye (in the absence of the camera which was broken) to differentiate them. On the orchid-covered north-facing bank Ringlets (15+) outnumbered Meadow Browns (10+) with a few undetermined Skippers, a few Large Whites, one sparring with a Marbled White and a Comma Butterfly. On the Buckingham Cutting, south, there were the usual frequent Small Blues (15+) two Speckled Woods in the overgrown hedgerow area, with the first Silver Y Moth of the year. Later a pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly settled by Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. No Gatekeepers were seen.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
A small orangey-brown butterfly fluttered over Dolphin Road, Shoreham. It could have been the first Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year, but it was flying too high in the breeze to be sure. A Burnet or Cinnabar Moth fluttered rapidly over the shingle and vegetation near the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Butterfly List 2008
NEW ACFOR SYSTEM OF ABUNDANCE OVER A SPECIFIED AREA:
SUPERABUNDANT = 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
VERY FREQUENT = 50-100
FREQUENT 10 - 50
RARE = ONLY 1 or
Scarce 4-10 per year
Very Scarce 1-3 per year
Rare less one than every year
Very Rare 1-3 records in total since 2000
MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs
British Lepidoptera on flickr
UK Butterflies Sightings