Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies on the Wing          2003
 
It would be tedious to list all sightings, but for flight times purposes, the following butterflies are those not all recorded on the main Nature pages:
BUTTERFLY LISTS
 
2004
2005
2006

Adur Butterfly List 2004 (Link)
 

8 November 2003
Will the Red Admiral Butterfly that flew strongly northwards at roof eaves level across Gordon Road, Shoreham, be the last of the year?

6 November 2003
Just as I was resigned to the end of summer, a shirt sleeves sunny 16.6 ºC brought a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over the waste land next to the river just north of Adur Riverside Industrial Park (north of Ropetackle, Shoreham) in the late morning. This is the first record of a Clouded Yellow Butterfly in November on the Adur Valley Nature Notes pages. Just after midday a Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered over the bushes by the railway track in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, and later in the afternoon another Red Admiral fluttered over the path by horse's field on the south-west approaches of Mill Hill, (south of the A27 main road).
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
UK November Butterflies

26 October 2003

Red Admiral and Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen in a Cokeham (west Lancing) garden near the reed beds.

Report by Roy Bratton via Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)
on the Lancing Nature Smart Group
21 October 2003

Red Admiral  3      Mill Hill (1)  Shoreham Town (2)          Wall Brown 1     Mill Hill

18 October 2003

Small Tortoiseshell  1   Lancing Small White   McIntyres Field (top)  Lancing    Red Admiral Lancing Clump, eastern car park

16 October 2003
 
Clouded Yellow  3   Mossy Bottom Hill
                                SE Toll Bridge (Jan Hamblett)
Red Admiral  2+      Mill Hill
              Butterfly copse near the Waterworks Road
Wall Brown   2 
South Downs Link cyclepath just north of the A27 Flyover
Mill Hill

15 October 2003
 
Red Admiral  6+    Town and lower slopes of Mill Hill
Wall Brown 2 Adur Levels (horse's field next to the footpath from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill) and lower slopes of Mill Hill
Large White  4+   Bramber south, towpath by the river
Clouded Yellow 1    Adur Levels (SE of Toll Bridge)
A very tattered Speckled Wood Butterfly in the scrub to the north of the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

11 October 2003
Painted Ladies  2+ (North Farm Road, Lancing garden).                                                   Report by Ray Hamblett
Butterflies of Lancing

8 October 2003
On the footpath from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill, at least two Red Admiral Butterflies fluttered around, although there was hardly any Buddleia in flower.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the early afternoon, I had not expected more than an occasional butterfly, but there were at least two Wall Browns clearly seen - they must be the third brood - as well as two Meadow Browns with a female that settled, two unidentified white butterflies, as well as one strong flying Clouded Yellow Butterfly and there could have been two of them.
A Small White Butterfly was identified between Widewater and Lancing Beach Green.

6 October 2003
Red Admiral Butterfly (1)   Shoreham Town

5 October 2003
There were seven species of butterflies: Red Admiral (3), Speckled Wood (4), Common Blue female (1), Small White (2), Large White (1), Wall Brown (1), Comma (1) around McIntyres field due east of Lancing Clump.

Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on the Lancing Nature Smart Group


Red Admiral Butterfly (1) (Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham), Large White (1) (Eastern Avenue Crossing Gates, Shoreham).

2 October 2003
Red Admiral Butterflies were flying strongly in Shoreham town and on Shoreham beach.

30 September 2003
Over the gravel near the seawater inlet to Widewater Lagoon a Clouded Yellow Butterfly flew in the moderate north westerly breeze on a sunny 16.2 ºC (max) afternoon. Red Admiral Butterflies were flying strongly in the moderate breeze as well as at least one Painted Lady Butterfly in south Lancing.

26 September 2003
Large White and Red Admiral were frequent in the town areas on a sunny day with a few white clouds and a few black ones, but the rain didn't fall.

24 September 2003
Still the summer lingers on, but the temperature of 17.1 ºC on a sunny day falls below 20 ºC, as expected in the final season of the year.
Common Blue Butterfly feeding on Stemless ThistleFresh Wall Brown Butterflies some put in an appearance on the path down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. They were still very flighty and would not settle long enough for a photograph. The small moth-like brown flying insects were discovered to be small female Common Blue Butterflies and there were larger male Common Blues as well, seeming much bluer in flight than when they settled (but not as bright as Adonis Blues, but I checked just to make sure*). One Small Heath settled (first record for September) with its wings closed and then a handful of Meadow Brown Butterflies were identified, not so easy with the first one that disappeared into the Brambles. By the stile that leads on to the overgrazed land, three Clouded Yellow Butterflies danced around each other, and I was pleased to see a large party of ramblers on this footpath which is so often blocked by cows. The return journey produced a Red Admiral Butterfly and a Large White followed by a Small White Butterfly.
On Lancing beach and in Lancing town there was at least one Painted Lady Butterfly in each area. Red Admirals and Cabbage White Butterflies (species not identified) were seen in Shoreham town.

(*Subsequent identifications in 2004 revealed that it is very easy to identify worn Adonis Blues as Common Blues. The former butterfly is slightly commoner than the Common Blue on the lower slopes.)

22 September 2003
 
Red Admiral  1    New Salts Farm Road
Painted Lady 1    Shoreham Airport
Large White           Shoreham Airport
Speckled Wood  1   Coombes Road hedgerow between 
                                Cuckoo's Corner and the Scout hut

20 September 2003
 
Small Copper  1    Adur Levels (one field)
Red Admiral  3+    Town, Adur Levels
Large White (frequent)   Town, Adur Levels
Small White (probable)  Town

Small Copper on Fleabane16 September 2003
Field by the stream by the Steyning Road (TQ 209 068), just north of the A27 Flyover:
Of the two Small Copper Butterflies, both attracted to the Fleabane (to both the yellow flowers and the dead heads), neither of them seemed to be the two seen before because the slight wing damage was different. There was at least one Common Blue Butterfly, an unidentified White Butterfly (could be Green-veined?), and a Red Admiral Butterfly flying over the Hawthorn Trees.
Full Report

In the town of Shoreham and wasteland by the river, twittens and parks and gardens, Large Whites were common (50+ counted and more) and these almost certainly included some Small Whites.

Adur Butterflies Flight Times

14 September 2003
Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Late in the season, but on an exceptionally warm day for September at 21.8 ºC, the numbers and varieties of butterflies was expected to be small in order of first seen was a Wall Brown (4+), Large Whites (6+) Meadow Browns (15+), Small Heaths (8+), small Common Blues (12+)and one Red Admiral. There was a possibility of a couple of Adonis Blues, but these could not be confirmed.
Town and levels (in town):  Red Admirals (6+) Large Whites (25+) Small Whites (probably), Painted Lady (North Farm Road, Lancing).

13 September 2003

Speckled Wood (1), Painted Lady (1), Small White, Large White. Town & Gardens

12 September 2003
On the South Downs Link cyclepath just north of the A27 Flyover, A Wall Brown Butterfly settled in the same location that this species had been seen in July and August this year, (but not recorded in the previous two years). On the path south of the old Toll Bridge, there was still some Buddleia in flower with at least of couple of now faded Painted Lady Butterflies and some (5+) strong flying Red Admirals. Small Whites and Large White were everywhere, probably about seventy seen in two hours. The day did not include a visit to the downs.

9 September 2003

Small White, Large White.  Town             Red Admiral  1 only,  McIntyres Field (top), Lancing.

8 September 2003

The day did not include a visit to the downs.
 
Small Tortoiseshell  1   Town
Small White (probable)  Town
Red Admiral  1    Town
Common Blue  1   Adur Levels (one field)
Large White (frequent)   Town, Adur Levels
Small Copper  2+  Adur Levels (one field)
Green-veined White (possible)  Adur Levels

7 September 2003
Just one female blue butterfly was spotted briefly on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It had a plain chocolate brown upper wing, but I still cannot be sure if it was an Adonis Blue or a Chalkhill Blue, despite managing a photograph.
A half a dozen Meadow Brown Butterflies were identified on the lower slopes as well as at least one unidentified (to species level) Cabbage White Butterfly.
Image and Full Report

2 September 2003
Large White Butterflies (50+) were common on the Sea Kale on the shingle beach from Shoreham to Lancing, and ventured into gardens to feed on Buddleia. There was a large amount of black on the upper wings of the female butterflies, that were often chased by one or more, usually two males, a distinct pitch black on the wing corners, with two large black spots as well.

Large White Video Brief (click on this text)
 
1 September 2003
A Red Admiral visited my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).
 
30 August 2003

 
Small White (frequent)  Town and Downs
Red Admiral  2+  Butterfly copse near the Waterworks Road
Wall Brown (1 or 2)  Footpath to Mill Hill from the SW
Meadow Brown 50+ Mill Hill
Common Blue  25+  Mill Hill
Adonis Blue 25+  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Chalkhill Blue 25+  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Small Heath  50+  Mill Hill
Clouded Yellow (1)  Mill Hill
(Possible)  Brown Argus  Mill Hill
 
26 & 27 August 2003
Red Admiral,  Painted Lady,  Small White (town only)
 
24 August 2003
Red Admiral, Large White (town only).
 
22 August 2003

 
Meadow Brown 50+ Mill Hill
Common Blue  10+  Mill Hill
Red Admiral  3+  Butterfly copse near the Waterworks Road
Small White (frequent)  Town and Downs
Adonis Blue 12  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Chalkhill Blue 30+  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Speckled Wood (1)  Mill Hill Copse
Small Heath  60+  Mill Hill
Clouded Yellow (2)  Mill Hill
 
Link:  Adur Butterflies Flight Times (incomplete)
 
21 August 2003
Red Admiral, Painted Lady (town only, overcast and breezy)
 
20 August 2003

Days observations:
 

Meadow Brown 30+ Mill Hill
Common Blue  20+  Mill Hill
Red Admiral  3+  Butterfly copse near the Waterworks Road
Large White (frequent)  Shoreham town
Comma (1)  SW of Mill Hill Bridge
Adonis Blue 25+  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Painted Lady 5+  Mill Hill
Small White (1)  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Chalkhill Blue 30+  Lower slopes of Mill Hill
Speckled Wood (1)  Adur Levels
Small Heath  100+  Mill Hill

Species Count = 11

Green-veined White (Photograph by Andy Horton)19 August 2003
Green-veined Whites (2+), Cabbage Whites (species undistinguished) (40+), Red Admirals (8+), Painted Lady (1), Meadow Brown (1+) in town and wasteland (Shoreham & Lancing).

17 August 2003
All (5) the white butterflies examined closely on Shoreham town were Small Whites. Also one Red Admiral and one Painted Lady.

15 August 2003
The Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were not showing very well on Mill Hill. There were only about forty seen fluttering around in the prime sheltered area with Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, one or two Wall Browns and a dozen or more Common Blue Butterflies. Other butterflies around in the town were scores of Large Whites, a handful of Small Whites, Painted Ladies and Red Admirals.
Full Report including Butterflies

14 August 2003
The land was very parched and I did not look especially:
 
Meadow Brown
Red Admiral
Large White (100+)
Small Tortoiseshell
Green-veined White

13 August 2003
Flocks of twenty House Sparrows (up to ten flocks) and flocks of fifty Starlings dive into the Buddleia bushes, which are beginning (50%) to lose their flowers. These birds must take their toll of butterflies. The town and wasteland count was estimated at 250 Large Whites (probably including a few Small Whites), 12+  Painted Ladies, 10+ Red Admirals, one Holly Blue and one confirmed Small White, all as I passing on my bike.

10 August 2003
There were scores seen and obviously hundreds of Large White Butterflies everywhere in Shoreham town and gardens, especially over the allotments. In the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063), the Common Blue was faded and dull and looking for moisture on the lawn. As well as the Large Whites, there was on Comma Butterfly and one Red Admiral attracted to the Buddleia.

Clouded Yellow Butterfly8 August 2003
It is a long walk to Southwick Hill and it is pity that more often than not it turns out disappointing, but this time I veered off to the west and found a patch Horseshoe Vetch (not in flower, of course) in a clearing amongst the Gorse, but there was just the one Chalkhill Blue, but this could explain the presence of Adonis Blues in August 2000, but the brightest blue today were Common Blues (25+), the commonest blues on display, and the commonest butterflies after the Large Whites (50+), with twenty plus Meadow Browns (including a pair mating in flight) and over a dozen Gatekeepers, with a handful each of Small Tortoiseshells, Speckled Woods (amongst the Gorse), Small Whites (one landed on my bicycle), and at least one Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Wall Brown and Clouded Yellow. (The was the last day of the year that I recorded Gatekeeper Butterflies.)

Clouded Yellow  composite image.


7 August 2003
It was hot and humid with 25.5° C and up to 89% humidity. Not a time to be out on the parched downs, but I had to lose an hour so I made a hurried visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Full Report

Days observations:
 
Meadow Brown
Common Blue
Red Admiral
Large White 
Clouded Yellow (5+)
Holly Blue
Comma (2)
Wall Brown 
Painted Lady 
Small White
Chalkhill Blue
Speckled Wood (1)
Small Heath

The absence of the Gatekeeper was probably because I forgot to note it. It is inconceivable that they were not present. I did not cycle along the riverbank by Old Shoreham in the heat. Neither of the Skippers, nor Small Tortoiseshells or Peacock were actually seen because I was not earnestly looking for increasing my list of butterflies for the day.

5 August 2003
It was the hottest day of the new millennium when the temperature reached 30.6° C at 5:54 pm with a gentle breeze from the east.
Too warm for looking at butterflies, but:
 
Meadow Brown
Gatekeeper
Common Blue
Red Admiral
Large White (frequent)
Wall Brown 
Painted Lady 
Small White
Chalkhill Blue
Speckled Wood (1) 

4 August 2003
Nothing special and I did not go out of way. I had my fill from yesterday:
 
Meadow Brown
Small Tortoiseshell
Gatekeeper
Common Blue
Red Admiral
Large White (frequent)
Wall Brown (10+) 
Painted Lady 
Small White
Holly Blue (10+)
Chalkhill Blue
Peacock (1) 

A little brown moth (Feathered Thorn, Colotois pennaria?) was fluttering around skipper-like. All apart from the Chalkhill Blues were seen in Shoreham town, beach, parks and wasteland. On the South Downs Link cyclepath from Old Shoreham, twice, I thought I spotted a butterfly I did not recognise north of the A27 Flyover. It was brown speckled, with a wingspan of about 44 mm, but probably a moth. Two extra possible sightings during the day were a Speckled Wood Butterfly in the copse at the top of Mill Hill and a Comma Butterfly in the copse near the Waterworks Road.
Day Flying Moths

3 August 2003
Guided Butterfly Walk
Friends of Lancing Ring  arranged for expert Brianne Reeve of the Butterfly Conservation group to lead a walk over the Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.
Eighteen species of butterfly were seen on the one and half hour walk around the meadows.

The Wall Brown is a tricky butterfly to photograph, resting fleetinglyGreen-veined White (1) (first butterfly seen)
Meadow Brown
Small Tortoiseshell
Gatekeeper
Common Blue
Red Admiral
Large White
Wall Brown (10+) (one by the car park)
Large Skipper  (Subsequent observations indicate a Large Skipper is unusual in August, so I hope the ID is correct?)
Clouded Yellow

At least one of each of the above seen in the car park before we departed on the walk in the first ten minutes.

Speckled Wood (seen in less than a minute from the car park)
Painted Lady  (seen after a couple of minutes when we reached the meadows, numerous)
Small Skipper
Small White
Holly Blue
Chalkhill Blue
Brimstone (1)
Peacock (1)  (not seen until we reached the car park prior to departure)

Species = 18  (A new record number of species in a day.) ? Large Skipper inclusion ?
Now revised to 17

Full Report 2003
2002 Walk Report
White Butterflies Identification page
White Butterflies of Adur
 

2 August 2003

Butterflies today in Lancing Garden VC13
 
Peacock x1
Holly Blue x2
Red  Admiral x1
Comma x1
Small White x2
Gatekeeper x1
Painted Lady x4
Small Tortoiseshell 1

Total Garden species today = 8

Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on the Lancing Nature Smart Group
Midday
Bright sunshine, > 24.1 ºC @ 1:50 pm.

Chalkhill Blue (300+)
Meadow BrownsMeadow Brown (30+)
Small Tortoiseshell (15+)
Gatekeeper (40+)
Common Blue (25+)
Red Admiral (10+)
Large White (80+)
Painted Lady (15+)
Wall Brown (2)
Holly Blue (8+)
Comma (1)
Peacock (2)
Brimstone (1)
Small Heath (1)

Species = 14

1 August 2003
Shoreham town only:
Painted Lady (Eastern Avenue)
Red Admiral (Kingston Buci)
Whites around. Busy indoors.

31 July 2003
First impressions seemed to indicate an even greater influx of Painted Lady Butterflies than yesterday as a half a dozen danced around one Buddleia bush on the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. I did not explore further, but there were the reddish Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, one Large Skipper, Large Whites and the usual Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.
The butterfly copse (TQ 209 063) near the Waterworks Road added Red Admirals, a Comma, a Peacock Butterfly, and the first settled Holly Blue of the second brood this year. I had to wait a couple of minutes for my eyes to scan the Buddleia to find the four species. The path to Mill Hill added a Small White and another Large Skipper (may turn out to be a Small Skipper)..
 
 

Holly Blue
Painted Lady
Small (or Essex) Skipper

The A27 embankment south-east of the Mill Hill bridge added a dozen Common Blues, including females, and one male Chalkhill Blue. Then after 45 minutes, it began to rain.
That was thirteen species of butterfly on a small detour.

Species Total = 13

30 July 2003

Chalkhill Blues (Photograph by Andy Horton)Overcast, cool, with brief sunny spells, light rain at times.

Chalkhill Blue (200+) (estimated 2,000+)
Meadow Brown (30+)
Gatekeeper (50+)
Common Blue (100+)
Red Admiral (12+)
Large White (20+)
Small White (1+)  Cowslip field east of Hoe Court Cottages
Painted Lady (75+)
Wall Brown (2)  Lower slopes, Mill Hill
Small Heath (1)  Lower slopes, Mill Hill
Holly Blue (1)  The Street, Old Shoreham  (Deduced from behaviour, sheltering in the Beech Tree.)
Speckled Wood (1) Slonk Hill southern A27 bank copse
Brown Argus (2+)  Chanctonbury Drive Bank & Steyning Road meadows. BOTH THESE REPORTS WERE REJECTED.
Small Tortoiseshell (50+)
Small (but possibly a Large) Skipper (1)  NW Horse's Field (Top of The Street, Old Shoreham)
Dingy Skipper (1)  Lower slopes, Mill Hill  (Unusual second brood, very clear sighting, unmistakable)
Comma (1)  Butterfly Copse near Waterworks Road
Peacock (1)   Butterfly Copse near Waterworks Road

Total = 17 species (most in a day, new record)
 

29 July 2003
It had rained overnight and it was overcast, breezy and very cool, so I was not too optimistic about finding the Brown Argus Butterflies again. I was right, they were not to be found at the A27 road embankment at the top of Chanctonbury drive, north side, near the bridge to Mill Hill. The Common Blues were there, as expected, and I was able to capture an image of the local female Common Blues with her wings open, and this helped to reduce my doubts about the original identification.
Identification Notes about the Brown Argus (by Andrew Daw)
 

Brown Argus (Photograph by Andy Horton)
Brown Argus
Female Common Blue

The Chalkhill Blues were absent as well, but Gatekeepers (8+) were lively, and a single Meadow Brown.
And the blackberries were large juicy and sweet.
On the wing on the levels today were a large handful each of Painted Lady and Red Admiral Butterflies, plus a Comma settled on the gate at Cuckoo's Corner.

28 July 2003

Mill Hill and approaches

Compared to the recent heatwave, the day was overcast, pleasantly cool and breezy. Painted Lady Butterflies (10+) were immediately noticeable on the path south-east of the Toll Bridge, with just one Large White, the inevitable Gatekeepers and a few Red Admirals.
Click on the image for more informationThe Buddleia and nettles in the copse (TQ 209 063) near the Waterworks Road abounded with butterflies. At my approach they left their flowers in all directions with Red Admirals (12+) being most noticeable, the resident Comma (now looking slightly worn), a single Holly Blue and I also discovered a Peacock Butterfly.
On the path there were the first Meadow Browns and some Gatekeepers, In the horse's field in the north-west corner there were a dozen Common Blue Butterflies.

On the town side of the bridge leading to Mill Hill that transverses the main A27 road, on the east there is a small Hawthorn copse (at the top of Chanctonbury drive, north side) leading to the grasses of the trunk road steep bank. In this small garden sized plot of long grasses and scrub, (three) two* species of blue butterfly congregated sometimes fighting over the same grass head. The size difference could be noted on this cool, overcast and windy day, from the smallest Brown Argus Butterfly* (5+), which is brown, to the commonest Common Blue Butterfly (15+) and at least one, probably three or four of the largest Chalkhill Blue, together with Meadow Browns (6+) and Gatekeepers (3+). * The identification of the Brown Argus was later thought doubtful and rejected.

Blue Butterfly Identification Checks:
 

Common Blue (male)
Common Blue (female)
Common Blue (female) 

These were just the butterflies that were easiest to photograph rather than the smallest ones.
The day was breezy and photography was tricky. There may still be Brown Argus Butterflies around.






Mill Hill proper added extra species in Red Admirals (2+), Painted Ladies (5+), Wall Browns (6+), Small Heaths (4+), a Marbled White, a Holly Blue (by the garden hedge just north of the bridge), a least two of the reddish Small Tortoiseshells and more Chalkhill Blues (40+).

Species Total = 14 (revised from 15)

27 July 2003

Lancing Ring

Weather and location
Sunny sky with occasional cloud on southern meadow, particularly in the south east corner
Time 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Small Skipper (Photograph by Andy Horton) taken at the end of JuneMeadow Brown 500+
Peacock 1+
Small Skipper 10+
Common Blue 10+
Chalkhill Blue 5+
Wall 1
Small Tortoiseshell 5+
Painted Lady 10+
Small White 5+
Marbled White 2
Clouded Yellow 2
Gatekeeper 5
Other Whites of unconfirmed ID

4:00 pm

Speckled Wood
Red Admiral

Total = 14 (or 15) species

Friends of Lancing Ring

Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on the Lancing Nature Smart Group


In the town of Shoreham, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Large Whites and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. The fresh Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were more reddish in colour than earlier in the year (the photographs are not enhanced):

  Colour liveries of Small Tortoiseshells:
 

Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies (Photographs by Andy Horton)
17 March 2003 
Frampton's (horse) Field 
south of Mill Hill
14 June 2003
South Downs Way path
near Anchor Bottom
27 July 2003
North Shoreham garden

24 July 2003

Peacock on TeaselMeadow Brown (50+)
Small Tortoiseshell (20+)
Gatekeeper (10+)
Common Blue (20+)
Red Admiral (50+)
Large White (20+)
Painted Lady (20+)
Wall Brown (5+)
Holly Blue (2+)
Speckled Wood (1+)
Comma (1)
Peacock (1)
Clouded Yellow (1)

Total = 13 species.

23 July 2003

Brown Argus (Photograph by Andy Horton)Chalkhill Blue (150+)
Meadow Brown (100+)
Gatekeeper (90+)
Large Skipper (10+)
Common Blue (70+)
Red Admiral (4+)
Large White (12+)
Painted Lady (20+)
Wall Brown (2)
Marbled White (10+)
Small Heath (6+)
Holly Blue (1)
Speckled Wood (1)
Brown Argus (1) NEW  Slonk Hill southern A27 bank
Small Tortoiseshell (1)  Slonk Hill footpath to Mossy Bottom

Total = 15 species

21 July 2003
Midday

List by area:

Gatekeeper (female)Copse and footpath by horse's field to Mill Hill:
Comma (1), Painted Lady (1+), Meadow Brown (12+), Gatekeeper (12+), Chalkhill Blue (1+), Speckled Wood (1), Common Blue (5+), Small White (1), Red Admiral (4+).
Lower slopes (Vetch Trail):
Chalkhill Blue (200+), Wall Brown (2+), Common Blue (2), Small Heath (2+), Meadow Brown (50+), Gatekeeper (40+), Large White (1), Brown Argus (1, IDENTITY REJECTED ).
Upper slopes (south of car park):
Marbled White (2+), Small Skipper (1 on Greater Knapweed), Large Skipper ? (5+), Meadow Brown (20+), Gatekeeper (20+), Chalkhill Blue (10+).
Plus 6-spot Burnet Moths (12+).
Upper slopes (north of car park):
Common Blue (2), Chalkhill Blue (10+), Painted Lady (1), Meadow Brown (30+), Gatekeeper (20+).

Number of species = 15 (most in a day ever, revised from 16)
( ? Large Skippers were not recorded this late in subsequent years and this entry could be questionable as well? However, the Brown Argus could have been seen afterall as this was seen in later years.)

Female Chalkhill Blue20 July 2003
Early Evening
I returned to Mill Hill in the early evening and I was surprised that on the lower slopes, the abundance of Chalkhill Blues was simply not on view any more. There were still plenty of Chalkhill Blues around but I only counted about thirty and most of them were hiding and only rose into flight because I disturbed them. (Do the Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes disperse quickly to find longer grasses and nectar plants?) On the approaches to the Vetch Trail from the south a handful of Wall Browns left the chalk path and half a dozen 6-spot Burnet Moths buzzed around the Knapweeds. There were a handful of Speckled Wood Butterflies in the scrub, Meadow Browns (including some nymphalid-sized overlarge specimens) and Gatekeepers everywhere. In the long grass on the upper slopes, just to the south of the reservoir, there was one Marbled White resting, looking past its prime, and to my surprise in a small garden plot area, I spotted about sixty Chalkhill Blue Butterflies resting on the stems of the grasses in a manner reminiscent of Common Blues.
Midday
The most scenic walking route to Mill Hill is from Old Shoreham, following the footpath up my horse's field accessible from the top of The Street or from the Waterworks Road. In the north-west corner of the horse's field there is patch of Greater Knapweed and this attracted a handful of male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies, a few Meadow Browns and a Large Skipper. The footpath was graced by Meadow Brown (15+) and Gatekeeper Butterflies (10+).
The Buddleia and nettles in the copse (TQ 209 063) near the Waterworks Road attracted Red Admirals (5+) and a Comma Butterfly. Large Whites were in flight over wasteland and around allotments.

Over 300 Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were observed fluttering around and copulating on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and they were to be seen on the sunny day at a conservative average of one butterfly every two square metres. At this prevalence, I got the impression that I was constantly about to step on one. My estimate for the number of Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill was 1,200. Phil Weller reported Marbled Whites from the long grass on the ridge. The lower slopes supported Meadow Browns (50+), Gatekeepers (30+), and Small Heaths (only one identified positively).

Chalkhill Blue on the Waterworks Road (Photograph by Andy Horton)19 July 2003
A fresh Red Admiral was in my south Lancing garden. Ray Hamblett report.
Image

Large Whites (50+), Meadow Browns (50+) and Gatekeeper (35+) were everywhere from Ropetackle (Shoreham-by-Sea), north along the cyclepath (TQ 210 054) to Old Shoreham, the Waterworks Road and on the cyclepath to Upper Beeding. There were almost certainly Small White Butterflies as well. A Common Blue flitted past, 50 metres south of the Toll Bridge. Chalkhill Blue Butterflies on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham numbered five at least, and they could be seen immediately on the margins amongst the ferns, just north of where  the road passed under the A27 Flyover. In the copse (TQ 209 063) the Buddleia was in flower and two flights of Red Admiral Butterflies were seen, totalling six or more butterflies were disturbed by a dog walker.

The field next to the stream by the Steyning Road (TQ 209 068) was so full of Creeping Thistles that it was nigh impossible to transverse without being pricked uncomfortably, even by choosing easier passage through Fleabane. At least a dozen Small or Essex Skippers flitted around and settled occasionally in the tall vegetation. These skippers were originally misidentified as Large Skippers because they were very dark in colour.
Adur Skippers (with images)

A dark Peacock Butterfly settled and there were almost certainly more than one; Wall Brown Butterflies were seen amongst vegetation including Fleabane on the cyclepath on the east side of Adur from Old Shoreham northwards. The yellow flowers of Fleabane are attractive to butterflies.

18 July 2003
Large Whites 25 + (Shoreham Beach, and Widewater), Cabbage Whites 25 +, i.e. unidentified between the two species (Shoreham town), Meadow Browns 12+ (Shoreham town), Gatekeeper 10+ (Widewater, and south Lancing), Peacock one (south Lancing), Holly Blue one (south Lancing).

Marbled White Butterfly that has struggled to emerge (Photograph by Andy Horton)15 July 2003
In the area of Mill Hill south of the upper car park and north of the reservoir on the ridge. Marbled White Butterflies (15+) and Meadow Browns (25+) were the most prevalent butterflies in the medium length grasses. There was just one Chalkhill Blue but it was early evening and the Meadow Browns (50+) were more numerous in the hedgerows and scrub.
Butterfly List:  Meadow Browns (75+), Marbled Whites (30+), Chalkhill Blue (2), Large Skipper (5+), Gatekeeper (10+), Red Admiral (3+), Common Blue (2).

14 July 2003
Time and heat (28.4 ºC) allowed just a brief detour down the Old Shoreham Waterworks Road, where the butterflies in order of appearing were a Large Skipper, a darker oil painting-style Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, a brown coloured Comma that settled on my bicycle, followed by about dozen Large Whites, with probably some Small Whites as well, up to a score of mostly male Meadow Browns, and at least one Gatekeeper.  A Chalkhill Blue was confirmed on a thistle amongst the nettles nearer the Waterworks house where the stream running alongside the road had dried up. A handful of very blue Common Blue Butterflies, just one Red Admiral in the copse (TQ 209 063) leading to The Street, a handful of Small Skippers and one bright Painted Lady completed a surprisingly high tally in just half an hour on the edge of town.
 
Comma Butterfly
Chalkhill Blue

Twelve species of butterfly was almost the complete gamut that could be expected without looking for them. The breeding area of the Chalkhill Blue is less than 100 metres away but it is almost completely a Sycamore wood in between. The feeding area next to the Waterworks Road was an area of mown grass in the 1970s but now it is tall (over a metre high) sward of thistles, nettles and Ragwort etc. No dragonflies or damselflies appeared.
Adur Butterflies
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham

10 July 2003
A Small Skipper was photographed on the Lancing Clump meadows on this day.



Adur Butterflies
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs
 
 
 

Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page