Link to the Butterfly List for 2007
A Red Admiral Butterfly and large bumblebee were disturbed in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
16 December 2006
A Red Admiral Butterfly flew over the tennis court in Henfield, Sussex in the afternoon.
NB. On Shoreham Beach the air temperature was about 8.5 ºC.
29 November 2006
A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen today in a garden on Old Salts Farm Road, South Lancing. I may have disturbed it while trimming some Ivy. It was sunny for a spell recording an air temperature of 13.3 ºC at 2:08 pm. This may be the last butterfly of the year for the lower Adur valley?
26 November 2006
I spotted a good condition Red Admiral Butterfly around our south Lancing front garden (TQ 185 046) in the warm sunshine.
19 November 2006
The Red Admiral Butterfly seen flying around the top of flint wall, by the Vicarage in Kingston Buci (east Shoreham) underneath an Evergreen Oak as the sun came out between the clouds just before midday. The butterfly was in an average condition.
A Painted Lady Butterfly alighted on the Euryops bush in our south Lancing front garden (TQ 185 046) in the morning. This may be the last of the year of this species. The temperature outside was around 10 ºC.
14 -16 November 2006
Because of bad weather and other commitments, no butterflies were seen during this period.
Four Clouded Yellow Butterflies and one Red Admiral were seen on Mill Hill. One of the Clouded Yellows rested on my finger. It was rather bedraggled.
A Painted Lady Butterfly and two Red Admirals visited my garden in north Shoreham (west of Kingston Lane). This is the first record of a Painted Lady in November on these Nature Notes pages.
Eleven Clouded Yellows, including one form helice were seen at Mill Hill in the afternoon about 3:00 pm. Despite the fair (11.8 ºC) weather they were rather sluggish, spending most of the time on either warm scree or the wooden boards of the steps and tilting themselves perpendicular to the sun's rays.
6 November 2006
About seven Red Admiral Butterflies were seen on a journey across Buckingham Park, Shoreham, to Mill Hill and back, although none were seen in town. Also, 11 (to 13*) Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill (6 -8* on the lower slopes and one on the ridge by the Reservoir) and on Old Erringham pasture (4). One of the Clouded Yellows had white upper wings but conventional (if slightly paler) underside, and one was a faded yellow and very tatty. They were very flighty, rarely stopping for more than a few seconds at each flower, and on the lower slopes of Mill Hill they visited Devil's Bit Scabious (in hidden places I had not noticed it before) and Autumnal Hawkbit and Wild Basil. On the Old Erringham pasture near the stile adjoining Mill Hill Nature Reserve, two of them were courting rising together vertically, and their preferred nectar plant was Dandelion.
(* The Clouded Yellow Butterflies were flighty, chasing each other at speeds of an estimated 10 mph and the lower figure of 11 seen means that no butterflies were counted twice. They appeared to be resident in the area, rather than just passing through. One of their caterpillar food plants, Common Bird's Foot Trefoil, is abundant on Mill Hill. )
The visit was in the late morning on a pleasant day when the air temperature reached 12.2 ºC at 2:04 pm.
No butterflies were spotted in Shoreham or on the outskirts of town on a clear day.
Four Red Admiral Butterflies appeared within as many minutes along the Riverbank by the houseboats on the River Adur estuary on the Shoreham Beach side. The rest of the Red Admirals around and about the residential area and outskirts of Shoreham town amounted to a further eight, at least three of them were flying relentlessly northwards in virtually no wind (Force 1) under a clear blue sky.
A chill wind from the north-west made me wish I had worn gloves. Butterflies were predictably low with six Red Admirals and six Clouded Yellow Butterflies recorded. Two of the Red Admirals fluttered together under the copse on the top of Mill Hill. One was seen in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, and another one by the closed Furnitureland warehouse on the other (northern) side of Ham Road to the Hamm, Shoreham.
The Clouded Yellows were all seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. They were all bright yellow and this was the most seen together this year. Two were sparring or being amorous.
Fifteen Red Admiral Butterflies were seen on a roundabout journey from Shoreham to Southwick to Shoreham Beach and Lancing and back to Shoreham again. The cycle journey time was about two hours for the measured 15 miles, with stops. The Red Admiral Butterflies were mostly being buffeted about in the south-westerly breeze and one in Lancing was seen flying towards the west before being blown off course towards the north. Some of the Red Admirals appear smaller than usual in flight, which I put down to an optical illusion caused by the butterflies being blown about in the strong wind.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Just the one faded Red Admiral Butterfly was seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge.
Two Red Admiral Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town, one around the closed Furnitureland store near the Hamm around midday and the other fluttering around a lamp post in the narrow West Street in the early afternoon, both in the central area of Shoreham. The afternoon air temperature reached 16.7 ºC.
Paul Graysmark rescued a 85 mm long caterpillar of the immigrant Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Agrius convolvuli, from being squashed as it slowly crawled across Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. This specimen was the green variant. The caterpillars feed on Common Bindweed, but they cannot survive a British winter.
The only butterfly of the day was a Red Admiral visiting the Cosmos shrub in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 185 046).
Immediately, I opened the door in the early afternoon, a Red Admiral Butterfly flew over my front garden and on to the roof. That was one of ten on the day, with two from the southern part of Mill Hill. But these were the only butterflies in an hour. A Silver Y Moth was disturbed, but there were no butterflies at all on the lower slopes.
Three Red Admirals were seen blown about in the breeze on the wasteland near Old Shoreham (i.e. Coastal Link Cyclepath and the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road) in about half an hour. They were associated with Buddleia (no longer in flower) or Ivy.
Eight Red Admirals were seen on a three hour walk round the Adur estuary, Widewater and Shoreham. Also one Painted Lady on Ivy by the houseboats.
After the rain, I would have been surprised to find a multitude of butterflies. The tally in one hour was two Red Admirals disturbed from amongst Stinging Nettles on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, two Meadow Browns on the Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and a very bright yellow Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered across my view as I tried to photograph the Meadow Browns. Both Meadow Browns were damaged but did not look particularly tattered or old. In Lancing town an unidentified white butterfly fluttered across my view as I cycled along.
Link to a Clouded Yellow head shot (close-up) by Noel Cornwall
Six butterflies of four species (my tally only)
A Red Admiral was buffeted about by the Strong Breeze (Force 6) in Shoreham town under a sky full of black rain clouds.
Sightings at Mill Hill, Shoreham in the sunshine out of the breeze after a very wet morning: 1 Red Admiral; 1 Meadow Brown (very tattered) and an amazing 10 Clouded Yellows.
A close look at a white butterfly fluttering around the occasional Buddleia the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge revealed a Small White Butterfly. Five Red Admirals were seen as I weaved my way through the puddles.
A close look at an extraordinary white coloured butterfly on the River Adur estuary towpath by the Ricardo Engineering Works at the west end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, revealed a very pale yellow under-hindwing and a white under-forewing. Immediately, because of the colour scheme, I thought Large White but the butterfly remained still just long enough (one second) to recognise the distinctive pale yellow or grey-rimmed spot of the Clouded Yellow Butterfly. It would have remained still enough for a photograph if it was not disturbed by a walker and then later by a runner. In flight (seen for over a minute) this butterfly displayed totally white upper wings with black wing borders. This was a pure white, the same colour as Large Whites and Small Whites.
The question: was this a faded version of the normal Clouded Yellow Butterfly, Colias croceus, the variety 'helice', or the Pale Clouded Yellow, Colias hyale? or even Berger's Clouded Yellow, Colias alfacariensis, (=Colias australis).
Cockayne Collection of Colias croceus
I have picked as first thought an white variety of the the normal Clouded Yellow Butterfly. It does not seem to match the variety 'helice' in photographs. This is unlikely to be a different species: the Pale Clouded Yellow? or even Berger's Clouded Yellow? I think it was most likely to have been Colias croceus f. helice (although not matching in colour the Cockayne type examples). It is the female only that sometimes appears so pale that it is mostly white.
There was a familiar yellow Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over the towpath south of the inlet by Cuckoo's Corner and a dozen Red Admirals in an hour over the Adur Levels and outskirts of town. There was also a Silver Y Moth fluttering in the undergrowth just north of the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate on the west side of the river.
There were three Red Admirals in the light rain over Shoreham town.
Under a cirrus, blue, sky, 19 Red Admirals were seen in an hour and a half (9 on Mill Hill), one unidentified White (over the Steyning Road, north of Old Shoreham), four Meadow Browns on the Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over the pasture at Old Erringham (next to the stile). The first Red Admiral in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, was flying steadily westwards backed by a breeze from the east. Generally, the Red Admirals were either settled on Ivy, (a few on Buddleia and Stinging Nettles), or flying about randomly in all directions. The air temperature reached 18.5°C in the afternoon.
Four species, 25 butterflies
The afternoon count was of about 25 Red Admirals in Shoreham town, but mostly on the wasteland on the Adur Levels. The best location was the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. A Peacock Butterfly fluttered around the Buddleia and Ivy near the buffer stop. The path and bushes north of Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate hosted a worn Large* White Butterfly and a large Painted Lady. Three Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen, the first one over the Hamm near Adur Civic Centre and the other two just north of Old Shoreham. A single worn male Common Blue Butterfly appeared after about five minutes in a field west of the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham. The downs were not visited. (*probably a Large White, possibly a Small White.)
Six species, 32 butterflies
A Red Admiral Butterfly flew steadily northwards under the eaves of the buildings in East Street, Shoreham, over the Farmer's Market in the late morning under a hazy slightly overcast sky.
In the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C, a surprise bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered over the hedgerow by the A27 Flyover on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. This butterfly has been recorded in the month of October before though. In a half an hour detour on the edge of Shoreham I saw 21 Red Admirals, with the first four flying steadily south but most of them were flying in random directions, around Ivy mostly but also seen on the dead flowers of Buddleia and Stinging Nettles. The best location was the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge which did not record any the day before. At the extreme southern dead end of the Coastal Link Cyclepath (south of the tunnel of shrubs) I saw a slightly worn Peacock Butterfly with half a dozen Red Admirals on the Ivy on the eastern side of the path, and a Silver Y Moth fluttering amongst the ground vegetation (mostly now devoid of any flowers).
Later in the afternoon, a further two Red Admirals were seen flying strongly southwards and a Large White Butterfly flew rapidly northwards in central Shoreham. Even later another Red Admiral or two were seen flying north over the railway track near the Community Centre in Pond Road and it may have changed direction and flew south or it may have been a different butterfly?
Shoreham Weather Reports 2006
Three species, 26 butterflies.
Under the midday sun a remarkable air temperature of 16.6 °C was attained which brought the butterflies out: Red Admirals (26), Comma (2), Large White (1), Clouded Yellow (3), Meadow Browns (9+), Common Blue (3) and a perfect condition Peacock Butterfly (1). This was the first ever record of a Peacock Butterfly during the month of October recorded on these Nature Notes.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
|Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road||Red Admiral (4), Comma (1)|
|Pixie Path to Mill Hill||Red Admiral (7), Comma (1), Large White (1)|
|Lower slopes of Mill Hill||Red Admiral (4), Clouded Yellow (3), Meadow Brown (8+), Common Blue (3)|
|Pasture of Old Erringham (near the stile to Mill Hill Nature Reserve only)||Meadow Brown (1)|
|Mill Hill, north-west, central and upper slopes||Red Admiral (11), Peacock (1)|
The Meadow Browns (8+) and Common Blues (3) were attracted to the Devil's Bit Scabious the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Over half of the Red Admirals were spotted flying steadily in a southerly direction, with the remainder discovered on and around Ivy. None of the Red Admirals were seen flying northwards. Four Red Admirals settled simultaneously on the wooden railing in the Butterfly Copse.
Seven species, 45 butterflies
Three Red Admiral Butterflies were seen on wasteland around Shoreham.
One Clouded Yellow Butterfly flew northwards over the small estate called The Curlews in the Shoreham residential area north-west of the Hamme Road Allotments.
Thirteen Red Admirals were counted prior to their winter diapause (hibernation), all amongst Ivy along the on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge (3), on the Waterworks Road and the nearby Butterfly Copse (with one Comma Butterfly), and on the Ivy bordering the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, and one on the Ivy by the stile in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, there were eleven Meadow Brown Butterflies all on or in the vicinity of Devil's Bit Scabious in the northern part.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Three species of butterfly and 25 in number.
Two Comma Butterflies, one Red Admiral, one Meadow Brown and one Clouded Yellow were seen on Mill Hill.
A half a dozen Red Admiral Butterflies were seen in about an hour in Shoreham town.
Two Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen on the upper part of Mill Hill.
Butterflies were frequently seen on an afternoon trip to the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, and on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In order of first seen they were 11 Red Admirals (Butterfly Copse 4 Pixie Path 3 Mill Hill on Ivy near the stile 4), one pristine third brood male Holly Blue in the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse, one Comma sparring with the Red Admirals on the Pixie Path, eight Common Blues (one of the Pixie Path and the rest on the Devil's Bit Scabious on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill), 18 Meadow Brown Butterflies all on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and one Small Copper on the Devil's Bit Scabious. Only three of the Meadow Browns were males and at least one of the females, although looking fresh enough was badly damaged. All the Common Blues spotted with their wings open were the blue males, but half of them flew of too quickly to see what gender they were. They were all a bit ragged around their wing edges.
Nine species of butterfly and about 45 in total numbers
On an overcast day hardly anything moved at all on an afternoon round trip from Old Shoreham to Botolphs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath and back via the Coombes Road. At most there were a handful of Red Admiral Butterflies south of the Toll Bridge, and a couple north of Old Shoreham.
Amazingly, the small orange butterfly fluttering in the wind in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was seen again (if it was the same one) and this time it settled on a grass verge and positively identified as a Painted Lady Butterfly which came as a bit of a surprise. More than a dozen (about 18) Red Admiral Butterflies were seen on a trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, and on the on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. A Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen in the Butterfly Copse and an unidentified white butterfly (possibly a Green-veined White by the jizz) on the Waterworks Road. The first Common Blue Butterfly was seen on the Pixie Path. It was small with a top wing colour a greyish blue but the spots identified it as a Common Blue.
male or female
Common Blue on the Pixie Path
slopes of Mill Hill in the early afternoon produced frequent butterflies
but slightly reduced in numbers and variety from nine
days ago. Meadow Brown
Butterflies (30+) led the way and most,
but not all, were females. They were counted, but there were so many on
the Devil's Bit Scabious
that I lost count in the confusion. There was a mixture of male and female
(10+) and again they were difficult to count because nearly all of them
were on or around the Devil's Bit Scabious.
A Small Copper Butterfly settled
on the Devil's Bit Scabious.
A Large White Butterfly
and another Meadow Brown
was spotted near the stile. As I was feeling
a bit weak with a cold (virus) I returned by the ridge route where I spotted
another worn and damaged Small Copper Butterfly
Heath Butterfly and a
Eight species of butterfly totalling about 69 butterflies.
A aged Red Admiral Butterfly flew north over the railway crossing gates in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham. A white butterfly was also seen in the distance.
A small orange butterfly (or moth) fluttered in the wind in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, but I could not follow it to find out what it was. This was probably a Painted Lady Butterfly (although it could have been a Vapourer Moth).
A passage journey in the afternoon sunshine up the incline on the western bank of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve was uneventful until the scrub at the top I quickly disturbed a Red Admiral Butterfly and a Painted Lady and spotted a settled Comma Butterfly. The meadows were covered in the young growths of Dogwood that looked like they could threaten the meadows unless the land is forage harvested this year. Butterflies took at least three minutes before a female Meadow Brown was spotted flying rapidly (at a steady 12 mph) over the meadows and hedges, and in the distance a Common Blue Butterfly was seen. A Large White was recorded over Lancing Beach.
There were a few Red Admiral Butterflies (three were noted) and single Speckled Wood in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road on a brief passing visit. Three unidentified white butterflies were seen in the vicinity. They were far too flightly to identify.
A small orange butterfly (or moth) fluttered in the wind and then settled for less a second on the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. This was most likely a Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua (although Small Copper Butterflies have been seen in similar circumstances.)
A middle of the day trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding and back resulted in about twenty Red Admiral Butterflies attracted to Ivy and Buddleia, one Comma Butterfly, at least eight Speckled Woods attracted mostly to the Buddleia, one Clouded Yellow flying steadily north at about 8 mph, two unidentified Whites and four Meadow Browns (one was in Dacre Gardens). A 15 minutes walk around the western (Dacre Gardens entrance) part of Anchor Bottom, to the top on the south side, failed to locate a single butterfly.
Six species of butterfly
As the wild flowers were generally dying out everywhere, I decided to make a note of where the diminished numbers of butterflies were seen and what nectar plants if any they were using. My first stop was the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham (part of Mill Hill, but now overgrown), and it was the Ivy (rather than the remaining Buddleia*) that was the attractant for too many many Red Admirals to count immediately, at least a dozen fluttering around and not remaining still for long all on the single large bush. One bright orange Comma Butterfly was also spotted quickly. (* I have been told by a bee keeper that the Buddleia has been denuded of pollen by this time of the year.)
The Pixie Path recorded a further Red Admiral but passage butterflies tend to decline at this time of the year. Passage over the southern (south of the Reservoir) part of Mill Hill was almost bare of flowers and just a Red Admiral and a Comma were spotted.
slopes of Mill Hill are one of the only places worth visiting for butterflies
in the middle to late September.
The numbers were less than earlier in the month. 25
were counted scattered evenly over the slopes, visiting the common Autumn
Hawkbit, Leontodon autumnalis, one
making a a visit to the occasional Wild Basil.
Then on the northern part butterflies were all over the place settling
on Devil's Bit Scabious.
There was at least a further dozen bringing a counted (then estimated)
total of 40+ Meadow Browns
on the lower slopes. Generally, the females (about half of them) were to
be found on the short grass, possibly looking for somewhere to lay their
were still around, but only nine
of them were seen and the males were old. The Devil's
Bit Scabious was also attractive to Small
Heath Butterflies (11) ,
and one attractive Small Copper.
Heaths were more widespread, but the Common
were concentrated at the northern end. There was at least one bright
blue male that looked fresh. The female
Common Blues (over half of them and mostly worn and tattered)
seemed to be looking for somewhere to lay their eggs but there was so many
leaves of Horseshoe Vetch that they did not seem to settle on any Bird's
Foot Trefoil (their larval food plant). Most of them were brown all over
with the orange fringe spots, but one had lots of bright
blue on her upper wing. It is possible that
at least one of about ten of these brown females could have been a Chalkhill
Blue female. There were two further
Browns on the pasture near the stile (where
Hawkbit was frequently seen). I returned via
the ridge route and a further six
were seen on passage.
Large White Butterflies were seen occasionally on passage through Shoreham town and one or two on the downs. These whites were much too flighty to identify for sure.
Down to eight species and just under 100 butterflies as the butterfly season draws to a close
A Clouded Yellow Butterfly is seen over a a pebbled garden on Lancing beach, an expected location for this immigrant butterfly.
16 September 2006
At least a dozen Red Admirals were immediately seen on the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road followed by four Comma Butterflies in five minutes. Three of these Commas were orange and the other a dark orange-brown. Three Large White Butterflies were seen over the Waterworks Road and other were seen by the River Adur south of the Toll Bridge.
After the rain and with all the spiders and Starlings, I was surprised to see any insects, but in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road a badly damaged Speckled Wood made a short flutter, a fresh Comma Butterfly rested for over five minutes in the same position on a Hawthorn, opening and closing its wings when disturbed by hoverflies, and at least three Red Admirals were seen on the Ivy. Over a field to the west of Spring Dyke by the Steyning Road, I spotted a Clouded Yellow Butterfly. There were a few whites in Shoreham town and over the Adur Levels but they could not be identifed and I think they were either Large Whites or Green-veined Whites, or both.
12 September 2006
distinctive caterpillar of the Elephant
elpenor, was discovered in the middle
of Nicolson Drive in residential Shoreham (an area with large gardens).
As it was imminent danger of being squashed it was removed to a garden.
The caterpillar was not measured, but estimated to be about 70 mm in length.
11 September 2006
A Small Copper Butterfly that landed on a path in front of me through the long grass on the Mill Hill gentle slope west of the upper car park came as a surprise with the ordinary fare of butterflies on a sunny early afternoon. The butterflies are fading earlier this year and the upper meadows on Mill Hill had only a small population of the frequent Common Blues. The lower slopes were much reduced as well. The overall numbers of the others were Speckled Woods (10+), Large Whites (15+), a few Green-veined Whites (probable), Clouded Yellows (8), Small Heaths (13), Adonis Blues (22), Chalkhill Blues (2), a few Red Admirals, a possible Brown Argus or a few (not confirmed, all photographs were of female Common Blues), one bright Comma in the Hawthorn wood of the north-west, and with the most numerous Meadow Browns (40+) that was it. Treble-bar Moths (25+) were frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Twelve species, but not positive about one of them, plus a possible
A pair of Small Copper Butterflies were seen and photographed in a pebbled garden on Lancing beach, an unexpected location for this attractive butterfly.
A Common Blue Butterfly with anomalous broad dark borders to its upper wings escaped the camera as all the butterflies were very flighty in the early afternoon sunshine on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, and south of the railway buffer (in the area adjacent to the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate). There were at least half dozen male and female Common Blue Butterflies seen and there were probably many more hiding. Most of the males were the usual bright blue as the butterflies were fresh, although the females looked a bit faded. Red Admirals were occasional on the Coastal Link Cyclepath and all but one of the half a dozen seen in town and wasteland were flying languidly or energetically due north. Large Whites were frequent, Green-veined Whites were probably frequently seen as well, but as the butterflies were reluctant to stay still for a minute so their identity could to be confirmed. One Comma Butterfly was seen near the railway buffer.
With the sun out and the air temperature rose to 24.2 ºC at 1:15 pm, humidity 74%, I just could not stay in so I went for a small cycle ride after the gales of two days ago. Buddleia was still in flower bordering the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, and immediately I was greeted with the simultaneous appearance of both a Brimstone Butterfly and a Comma feeding on the Buddleia. The first Brimstone stayed long enough for me to get my best photograph of this species (that is quick to hide and avoid my camera). The day was completed with frequent Large Whites over the town and downs, occasional Small Whites in Shoreham, occasional Green-veined Whites (only identifed by their jizz) on the Waterworks Road and Frampton's Field, and two more Brimstones, one in Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, and the other on Mill Hill. The Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road hosted just one Red Admiral on a passage visit where I did not wait for other butterflies. The Pixie Path was rather devoid of butterflies, although a female Common Blue settled briefly.
Mill Hill blown about by a negligible Moderate Breeze added a further selection of butterflies including 49 Adonis Blues, very frequent Meadow Browns on the lower slopes with, occasional white butterflies, occasional confirmed Brown Argus Butterflies, but just the two mating Chalkhill Blues. The scrub in the north-west added a Comma that flew over the lower slopes, and at least five Speckled Woods. Just a small part of the top area visited was attractive to three Small Heath Butterflies, another Brimstone Butterfly with a few mostly female Common Blues.
|Mill Hill lower||
|Old Erringham pasture||
|Mill Hill, middle & upper||
Thirteen butterfly species
A Small White Butterfly was quickly seen in Shoreham town followed by several others, but it was the Large Whites that were frequently seen in the town, on Lancing Beach and on the Coastal Link Cyclepath. Two Clouded Yellows were seen near Lancing Sailing Club (west end of Widewater), the second of these two immigrant butterflies visiting a Common Mallow and Dandelion in quick succession. Buddleia and fallen crab apples were the butterfly attraction in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 185 046) where a Speckled Wood Butterfly, a Comma and a Red Admiral were seen in five minutes. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth visited the Buddleia as it had been doing for the last two weeks. The Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road hosted another Red Admiral and another Comma opened its wings by the twitten to Frampton's Field at the of The Street, Old Shoreham.
afternoon trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath
Beeding and back saw about ten vanessid
butterflies of which most were probably Red
Admirals, but they included at least one Painted
Lady. The verge meadows just south of
the Cement Works was the best area where at least one confirmed Brown
and half a dozen Common Blues
were seen, including one female
(but late in the day they were likely to be hidden and resting). White
butterflies fluttered around and at least
a pair were confirmed as unmistakable Green-veined
Whites, when one of them rested. A twelve
minutes or so wander around the Dacre Gardens
end of Anchor Bottom added 14
half attracted to the cow pats and four were
females (one of the females was faded and
could have been a Chalkhill Blue).
There were two Common Blues
and just one Meadow Brown
one Small Heath
seen amongst the wiry grasses and cow pats of Anchor
Twelve definite butterfly species
Overcast and breezy and in the afternoon, I would not expect many butterflies, but there was a fresh Comma and a Red Admiral in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, another Red Admiral on the Pixie Path, frequent Meadow Browns, 15 Adonis Blues, 7 Chalkhill Blues, 5 Small Heaths, one Brown Argus, at least 2 Common Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I returned by the ridge and did not visit the upper part of Mill Hill. One of the Chalkhill Blues appeared to be dying. Many of the Adonis Blues were already showing signs of wear at the edges and there did not appear to be any fresh males. No females were spotted on a casual ramble.
Eight species of butterfly in unfavourable conditions
A few of both Large Whites and Small Whites were seen in Shoreham town.
Adonis Blues (128+) were mating on Mill Hill with a dozen other species of butterflies on a breezy midday. The count was 110 (about 13 females seen) on the lower slopes and 18 males above the ridge. This was the most I have ever counted on Mill Hill. There were occasional Common Blues on the lower slopes and they were still frequent on the upper meadows so distinguishing the species was not always automatic. The Adonis Blues were evenly spread over the lower slopes and I would estimate their numbers on Mill Hill at 350+. All the females were actually mating or I watched them until they were courted by a male. The males did chase after an occasional Meadow Brown though.
were still frequently seen and the
figure of 25+
(20 lower, 5
middle and upper Mill Hill) may be under their numbers as I lost count
of them. Meadow Browns (70+)
were still very frequent, but Small Heath
Butterflies (6) were only occasionally
seen, with one Wall Brown* that
did not settle for confirmation over the lower slopes. Large
Whites were frequent over the downs,
and at least one Small White
was seen in town. Almost all the whites, even the smaller ones were Large
Whites (although it was not easy to be sure).
About a dozen Speckled Woods
were seen in the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill. Faded Brown
Argus Butterflies were confirmed occasionally
flitting with the Common Blues
on the top meadow. About eight Holly Blues
and few Red Admirals
were seen on the Pixie Path and a very
faded and tattered Comma Butterfly
on the Waterworks Road. (*I
now think this was possibly a Meadow Brown?)
Twelve species possibly thirteen species, as one was not an absolute certainty
Definitely both Small White Butterflies and Large White Butterflies in Shoreham town as the sun came out in the afternoon.
The frequent Large Whites fluttering around the Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach are much bigger (25% larger) than the white butterflies inland (identified? as Large Whites).
The Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the buffer stop at the extreme southern end in worth a look late in the year with the Marjoram, Fleabane and Buddleia still in flower. Common Blue Butterflies fluttered around despite the lack of sunshine.
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. Another one was seen around the Buddleia in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, where a Comma Butterfly and a Red Admiral were settled on the fence with their wings closed because the sun was behind the clouds. A handful of Holly Blues and Speckled Woods and a brief ray of sunshine caused the butterflies to open their wings for under a minute. A Painted Lady fluttered amongst the Buddleia. The white butterflies came in two sizes but I was only able to recognise Large Whites.
Their wings are closed under the cloudy sky
Any rate, the rain did not seem to be imminent so I decided to cycle north up the Coastal Link Cyclepath towards Upper Beeding where Common Blue Butterflies and Meadow Browns were frequent, a couple of Comma Butterflies, another two Painted Ladies and occasional Red Admirals left the path on were spotted again on the Buddleia. Anchor Bottom (Dacre Gardens entrance) was a surprise: 24 Adonis Blue Butterflies were counted in a twenty minute circular walk, although ten of them were all on moist cow pats near the swing gate. There were about eight Common Blue Butterflies and two Small Heath Butterflies as well. There were two possibles on the cyclepath as well: a Small White and a Brown Argus could not be confirmed because they would not open their wings under the clouds.
Ten definite butterfly species and two possibles
With the weather forecast predicting rain for the next week, I ventured up the downs even though the conditions (20.2 ºC at 11:00 am, 83% humidity, Wind Force 4 falling to Force 3, direction southerly at Azimuth 158º) were far from ideal for butterflies.
Predictably most of the butterflies were hiding and the numbers on Mill Hill actually seen were down from the last visit. The walk did not involve stopping and the count was Chalkhill Blues (50) and Adonis Blues (49). The Chalkhill Blues were thought to be undercounted as just north of the Reservoir on the upper part of Mill Hill, I instantly saw one Chalkhill Blue Butterfly, but I dawdled for a couple of minutes and a further seven appeared out of nowhere. Only about five female Chalkhill Blues were included and no female Adonis. Most of these were seen on the lower slopes. One Adonis Blue was very bright and pristine, but it was already damaged with five nicks out of its hind wing.
Common Blues (100+) were the most numerous butterfly, but these were in far greater numbers on the meadow north of the upper car park where an estimated 60 were seen compared to about 30 on the rest of Mill Hill. These were only a fraction of the total as they were the ones disturbed from the tall herbs (with a large amount of Greater Knapweed) in the meadow. Some of the females were a very dark chocolate brown and much smaller, and there were a confirmed handful (probably many more) of Brown Argus Butterflies. Meadow Browns (75) were widespread with an estimated 50 on the lower slopes where a single pristine Wall Brown and a single Small Heath were noted. Red Admirals were occasional, one Painted Lady was seen in the central area, and four Small Whites* in the meadow north of the upper car park, all on Mill Hill. About ten Speckled Wood Butterflies were a familiar sight as I walked through the scrub on the north-west of Mill Hill. On the way home, a Large White Butterfly fluttered south over Gordon Road, Shoreham. (*Second thoughts on the ID, these might be Large Whites?)
A dozen species of butterfly were seen in far from optimum weather conditions
Common Blue Butterflies (100+) were still common on Mill Hill and the downs, 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 and Chalkhill Blues were counted, but the plus signs are included because if there as any doubt if it was an Adonis or a Common Blue it was put down as a Common Blue, and with Chalkhill Blues, possible duplicates were excluded and females are likely to have been overlooked. The Adonis Blues were seen mostly on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. They were nearly all in a bright pristine condition but many of them already showed nicks out of their hind wings. The list included very frequent Meadow Browns (75+) on grass and meadows, frequent good condition Speckled Woods (25+) in scrub and shady bits on Mill Hill, frequent Holly Blues (12+) mostly on the edge of town, occasional Green-veined Whites, Large Whites and a Small Whites on the downs and wasteland, at least one Red Admiral in the scrub of Mill Hill, one Painted Lady over the Canadian Goldenrod on the Slonk Hill Cutting south, one each of a Clouded Yellow, seen visiting a diminutive Hardhead, and a definite Small Heath, the latter two both on the Old Erringham pasture near the stile. There were probably more Red Admirals about in town as has been usual over the last few days.
This butterfly (right) caught my eye buried at the foot of some long grasses north of the upper car park on Mill Hill because it looked slightly strange. Close examination revealed it to be a Common Blue which promptly fell off the Knapweed leaf and died (instead of fluttering away) when briefly tickled.
Thirteen species is an expected fall as species have ceased and declined. The day was humid, cloudy with spots of rain and an early morning shower.
Within ten minutes one of each of the Green-veined White, Large White and a Small White were seen on Buddleia in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 185 046). There were frequent white butterflies during the day, but I did not bother to identify them to species as it was far from obvious which were the most prevalent. A cycle ride home included a diversion through the Waterworks Road, Pixie Path, a brief visit to Mil Hill Cutting in the late afternoon (roosting time for the blue butterflies) and then straight home, brought approximately a handful each of Red Admirals (c. 6), Holly Blues (4), Chalkhill Blues (3+) and Common Blues (7+).
Immigrant Red Admirals continued to fly in under a cloudy sky (not so many, perhaps ten seen in a couple of hours around town and on Shoreham Beach), and one was even seen flying south helped by a northerly breeze.
Butterflies around Edburton included three Clouded Yellows, a nice Purple Hairstreak in an Ash tree, a Silver-washed Fritillary, a Small Copper and a Painted Lady.
On a passage journey over New Monks Farm and through the Elm corridor there were occasional each of the expected butterflies: Whites (species not specified), Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Meadow Browns and Red Admirals. Around the Sea Kale on Shoreham and Lancing beaches, Large Whites were frequently seen as well as lesser number of Small Whites. Painted Ladies were frequent around the Buddleia on a swift passage over the Coastal Link Cyclepath south from the Toll Bridge to Ropetackle. I did not stop to look for butterflies. If I had the total would have been greater.
When the sun disappears behind the clouds, so do the butterflies and they are difficult to discover although on a brief afternoon passage journey there was a Small White over the Nettles of the Waterworks Road, five Painted Ladies, three Red Admirals, one Speckled Wood, one Comma and one Holly Blue in the nearby Butterfly Copse, four Meadow Browns on the Pixie Path, just one Chalkhill Blue seen on the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) and a Common Blue female on the Mill Hill Cutting road embankment at the top of Chanctonbury Drive.
It is strange how the Common Blue Butterflies of two days ago quickly diminished or dispersed and the estimate was now less than half at 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 mostly on Buddleia. Brown Argus (40+) flitted with the silver underwings, mostly, but not entirely, on Mill Hill.
NB: Chalkhill Blues can show the same dramatic short term rise and fall in numbers, so it makes me think I could again missed the main emergence this year?
|Small White E 10+||Everywhere|
|Red Admiral E 25+||Slonk Hill south 1 or 2, Mill Hill a few, Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 4, Coastal Link Cyclepath E 15+|
|Comma 1||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road|
|Painted Lady E 50+||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 2, Coastal Link Cyclepath E 40+, Slonk Hill meadow bank south, Mill Hill lower and middle and upper, Shoreham town on Buddleia.|
|Common Blue E 150+||Slonk Hill south, Mill Hill, Coastal Link Cyclepath, in transit|
|Clouded Yellow 1||Old Erringham pasture near the stile|
|Adonis Blue 1||Triangle section of Mill Hill|
|Meadow Brown E 40+||Slonk Hill south, Mill Hill, Coastal Link Cyclepath, in transit|
|Holly Blue E 8+||Everywhere with hedges and scrub including a few on Mill Hill|
|Essex Skipper 1||Buckingham Cutting south|
|Green-veined White 6+||Coastal Link Cyclepath|
|Gatekeeper 20+||Pixie Path, Mill Hill, Coastal Link Cyclepath (Last records this year)|
|Speckled Wood E 8+||Coastal Link Cyclepath 5+ Mill Hill scrub and copse 3|
|Chalkhill Blue 176||Mill Hill Cutting 29+ Mill Hill lower 108, Old Erringham pasture near the stile 6, Mill Hill middle and upper 33|
|Brown Argus E 40+||Mostly Mill Hill, but a few each from the Slonk Hill Cutting meadow bank south and the Coastal Link Cyclepath|
|Wall Brown 1||Triangle section of Mill Hill|
|Large White 6+||Coastal Link Cyclepath 5+ Mill Hill 1|
species again equals the best day record of definite species ever.
An unprecedented 23 Painted Lady Butterflies were seen on and around of the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham in the mid-afternoon (4:00 pm onwards). They were seen in about five minutes and not counted twice. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered over the gravel path by the seat.
Coastal Link south of the Toll Bridge > Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks
Road > Footpath to The Street, Old Shoreham) (Duration:
passage journey of about 25 minutes.)
|Painted Lady 25||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 23 Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road 2|
|Meadow Brown 2+||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 2|
|Small White 20+||Everywhere|
|Red Admiral 20+||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 6 Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road 8 Town 6+|
|Common Blue 16+||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 16+|
|Holly Blue 6+||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 3+ Waterworks Road 3+ possibly more|
|Gatekeeper 1||Footpath at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham|
|Clouded Yellow 1||Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge|
Eight species in Shoreham town environs in a very short time period (10 minutes maximum plus travelling time)
A male Brown Hairstreak was seen on Potentilla by my back door this morning in Steyning, and a female at Upper Beeding in the afternoon. This was the first report of the year of this butterfly that is not seen on the downs near the coast. There were five Clouded Yellows along 100 metre bank edge of Steyning.
(400+ in two hours) had
now become the dominant butterfly on the downs
and the levels, followed by Chalkhill
Blues (129) on Mill
Hill only (Mill Hill estimates at 450
on the hill). This
puts the Chalkhill Blues
past their peak early this year. Female Chalkhill
Blues were at 20% on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill.
the two unconfirmed species of two days ago were confirmed with the Brown
(20+) seen frequently on Mill Hill and
seen in the field near the River Adur as well, and
at least two Wall Browns
seen clearly on Mill Hill.
Other butterflies seen on a cloudy day (on a round trip of Slonk Hill Cutting south to Mill Hill and the Coastal Link Cyclepath on the Adur Levels to the Cement Works) in order of first seen were Small Whites (12+), Speckled Woods (16+), Meadow Browns (80+), Small Copper (2+), Holly Blues (12+), Large White (3+), Red Admiral (25+), Gatekeepers (40+), Painted Ladies (2), Brimstone (3+) and Comma Butterflies (2).
The Brimstones appeared to be a new brood. Two Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were spotted in the upper meadows of Mill Hill. Silver Y Moths were frequently seen in anything with long grass or shrub shelter. A handful of the Gatekeepers were badly damaged, at least one with almost a complete wing missing and one of the Painted Ladies had a large part of its wing missing.
Butterfly Notes for the Day (Link)
The personal count of fifteen butterflies was a very promising start, but no more could be added to the local list for the day. See the above link for more details.
In far from optimum breezy cloudy conditions, I cycled an hour round trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to the Saltings Field (near Botolphs) Upper Beeding with a brief detour to the Anchor Bottom and return by the same route. I was quickly greeted with three species of vanissed: a half a dozen Red Admirals, two Comma Butterflies and a Painted Lady in the Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road. Soon afterwards in a field by the Steyning Road (next to Miller's Stream, west of the road) a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered slowly past, and almost simultaneously my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year was spotted settled on a patch of bare earth underneath a patch of Fleabane. At Botolphs more of these were identified when settled, but they were hard to identify in flight. These are my first August records for this butterfly, which means 26 species have been recorded in the lower Adur valley for this month.
Whites and Red
Admirals dominated the air space, but in the
tall grass meadows, Common Blue
were common and Meadow
Two Peacock Butterflies
graced the cyclepath near the Cement Works. Gatekeepers
were only occasionally seen and it was 30 minutes before I saw my first
one. There was one each of Small/Essex
Skipper and Large
White and just the one
Wall Brown* (rising
from the bare cyclepath) off
the downs. Holly
Blues and Speckled
Woods were both occasionally seen in the
hedgerows. Later, at Anchor Bottom, I think
I recorded my first (not confirmed) Brown
Argus Butterfly* of the year as well,
where just the one Chalkhill Blue was
seen amongst the frequent Common
The Small Whites
were attracted to the Field Bindweed
in one small area near the River Adur. Silver
Y Moths were frequently seen in anything
with long grass or shrub shelter.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
list (in order first seen):
|Small White E 100+||Everywhere|
|Red Admiral E 75+||Everywhere|
|Comma E 8+||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 2, Coastal Link Cyclepath E 6+|
|Painted Lady E 15+||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 1, Coastal Link Cyclepath E 14+|
|Common Blue 100+||Coastal Link Cyclepath, Adur Levels Fields, Anchor Bottom|
|Clouded Yellow 3||Adur Levels Field, Saltings Field (Botolphs), Coastal Link Cyclepath|
|Small Copper 3 to 10||Adur Levels Field 1 Saltings Field (Botolphs) 2+ to 9|
|Meadow Brown E 45+||Coastal Link Cyclepath, Adur Levels Fields, Anchor Bottom|
|Holly Blue E 6+||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 1, Coastal Link Cyclepath E 5+|
|Small/Essex Skipper 1||Adur Levels Field|
|Peacock 2+||Coastal Link Cyclepath (near the Cement Works)|
|Gatekeeper 6+||Near Botolphs 1 Coastal Link Cyclepath 5+|
|Speckled Wood E 7+||Near Botolphs 1 Coastal Link Cyclepath 5+ Waterworks Road (second visit) 2|
|Chalkhill Blue 1||Anchor Bottom|
|Brown Argus 1 *||Anchor Bottom 1 (80% sure) (no photograph was available to confirm; camera malfunction)|
|Wall Brown 1 *||Coastal Link Cyclepath (near the Cement Works) (a very brief glance only 50% sure)|
|Large White 1||Waterworks Road (second visit) Possibly more.|
Seventeen species again equals the best day record of definite species ever. (* However, two species were not 100%)
A late afternoon passage journey along the southern path (eastern half) of the Slonk Hill Cutting, under an overcast sky with a Strong Breeze (Force 5) blowing, revealed a handful of Speckled Woods in the linear spinney, occasional Meadow Browns disturbed from their rest on the meadow bank, three Holly Blues in the hedgerows, frequent male and female Common Blues (20+) in the longer grasses and vegetation by the path, three Small White Butterflies and two Red Admirals at the Buckingham Cutting. In the five or so minutes I actually stopped to look around, I failed to see either Small/Essex Skippers or Gatekeepers. A Yellow Shell Moth was seen.
Six species is poor even for a passage journey.
Chalkhill Blue Butterflies showed just an average year on Mill Hill with just 243 recorded in the sunshine, which equates with an estimated day record on the wing of about 650 on Mill Hill (Chalkhill Blues were absent on the Slonk Hill Cutting). The day total number of butterfly species was 17 which equals the best ever locally. Common Blue Butterflies (95+) and Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were very frequently seen, Small Whites and Red Admirals were frequent enough, but the rest of the list; Small Blue (1), Holly Blue (2), Large Whites (4+), Green-veined Whites (3+), Speckled Wood (7+), Small/Essex Skipper (3+), Marbled White (10+), Comma (1), Wall Brown (1), Small Heath (1), Painted Lady (2) came in dribs and drabs in the space of one and a half hours in the morning. Brown Argus Butterflies were suspected, but all the photographs indicated female Common Blues. There were far more Common Blues than the count of 95 indicated, because the long grass meadows were only traversed for part of their prime area north of the upper car park on Mill Hill.
Brown Argus & female Common Blue ID page
Female Common Blues
|Large White 4+||Coastal Link, Shoreham town|
|Meadow Brown E 40 +||Coastal Link, Slonk Hill 12+ Mill Hill 20+|
|Gatekeeper E 40+||Coastal Link, Slonk Hill 12+ Mill Hill 20+|
|Comma 1||Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road 1|
|Small White 15+||Shoreham Town & Mill Hill|
|Common Blue 95+||Mill Hill, mostly on the upper part (64) middle (17) & occasionally on the Buckingham Cutting|
|Small/Essex Skipper E 3+||Slonk Hill south & Mill Hill. Under-recorded.|
|Holly Blue 2||Waterworks Road 1 Twitten between Ropetackle & Victoria Road 1|
|Speckled Wood E 7+||Slonk Hill south 1 Mill Hill scrub 3 copse 3|
|Green-veined White 3+||Waterworks Road 3 + definites, but not sure how many elsewhere because of ID problems|
|Chalkhill Blue 243||Mill Hill lower 152,
Old Erringham by the stile 3+, middle 12, upper 18, south of Reservoir
8 Mill Hill Cutting E 50 (This is 50 in an area the size of a small
Stemless Thistle was the most often used nectar plant, although Round-headed Rampion was also seen used on one occasion. Females at 5% only and probably under-recorded.
The condition of the Chalkhill Blues varied, most were average, some worn and battered (20%) and others pristine and bright (10%),
|Marbled White 10||Slonk Hill 1 Mill Hill 9+|
|Red Admiral 12+||Slonk Hill, Mill Hill, Shoreham town|
|Wall Brown 1||Definite on the path approaching the copse from the NW|
|Painted Lady 2||Mill Hill 2 (one very bright and fresh)|
|Small Heath 1||At least one definite from the lower slopes of Mill Hill|
(none confirmed, doubtful)
|Rejected: all photographs indicated female Common Blues. One blurred photograph is a possible though.|
|Small Blue 1||Buckingham Cutting, one only was a definite, no sign of any others|
Route: Slonk Hill Cutting south > Mill Hill Cutting south > Pixie Path north > Mill Hill (circular route via lower slopes, scrub, copse, upper meadows, plateau) > Waterworks Road > Coastal Link Cyclepath (south of the Toll Bridge only).
Seventeen species equals the day record for this year
Courting couples of Red Admiral Butterflies were seen frequently throughout the day, but I didn't keep a log.
Ten minutes at the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, and most of this time was working out if they were Green-veined Whites or Small White Butterflies. Eventually, they settled and both species were confirmed*. Altogether there were about 15 white butterflies (no Large Whites were noted), but both showed languid flight and similar behaviour. There were also a handful of Red Admirals, at least one Holly Blue, one Common Blue and one each of a Painted Lady and a Comma Butterfly. The Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge saw another 20 white butterflies plus a handful of Gatekeepers, two more Painted Ladies, a few Small Skippers and Meadow Browns. This was a passage journey along the path and as it was low tide I took the riverside route missing out the Buddleia and verges. (*They may be both be Small White Butterflies. I need to double check.)
That is only ten (maybe only nine) species in about 20 minutes which is just about par for a sunny day in late July without visiting the downs.
As I walked out my front door a Green-veined White Butterfly (or was it a Small White Butterfly ?) fluttered to and fro. Identification was from the upper wing black vein lines, but these were by no means distinct in moving butterfly that settled for less than a second.
I made a 45 minutes or so trip up Benfield Valley, Portslade, which is on the extreme eastern edge of the Adur area. I walked up as far as Benfield Hill on the Benfield Valley Golf Course in the sunshine. Although the trees on the eastern boundary looked promising, I did not have a guide to show me any interesting areas and the butterflies were restricted to the usual species: five bright Painted Ladies on the Buddleia, frequent Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Large Whites and Speckled Woods (in the shady spinneys), with occasional Small/Essex Skippers (overgrown footpath to the east of part of the golf course), Common Blues (on the golf course rough) and Red Admirals, with just one Holly Blue spotted. Two Marbled Whites were seen on Benfield Hill next to shrub copse. Silver Y Moths were very frequently disturbed on the grass dried yellowish on the rough. A few Six-spot Burnet Moths whirred about. The plants were a very small selection of the downland flora more akin to paths adjoining agricultural land, although very small patches of Bird's Foot Trefoil were noted. I did not investigate the rough grassland south of the golf course (it looked fairly ordinary, but it could have sprung surprises.) (There was nothing interesting to photograph.)
Ten (from Benfield) species are taken for granted in late July, plus one from my front garden equals eleven.
In contrast to yesterday, the first butterfly seen was a Small White in Nicolson Drive, Shoreham. Then it is was an hour round trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding with a brief detour to the Anchor Bottom and return by the same route. There seemed to be a new emergence of Holly Blues. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen near the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur.
Duration: 90 minutes
|Large White 30+||Coastal Link, Shoreham town|
|Meadow Brown E 52 +||Coastal Link 12+ Anchor Bottom 40+|
|Gatekeeper E 20+||Coastal Link 20+|
|Comma 3||Coastal Link 2 Waterworks Road 1|
|Small White 2||Shoreham town|
|Common Blue 40+||Coastal Link 20+|
|Small/Essex Skipper E 20+||Coastal Link 20+|
|Holly Blue E 31+||Coastal Link E 15+ Waterworks Road 6|
|Speckled Wood E 7+||Coastal Link E 5+ Waterworks Road 2|
|Green-veined White 3+||Waterworks Road 3 + but not sure how many elsewhere because of ID problems|
|Chalkhill Blue 2||Anchor Bottom 2|
|Marbled White 2||Coastal Link 2+|
|Red Admiral 20+||Coastal Link, Shoreham town|
|Clouded Yellow 1||By the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur|
|Painted Lady 5||Coastal Link 4 Anchor Bottom 1|
|Peacock 1||Coastal Link just south of the Cement Works|
Six-spot Burnet Moths (10+) were seen along the route and many were overlooked. There were at least sixty Silver Y Moths seen at Anchor Bottom.
Sixteen species (the most this year) of butterflies seen on the day.
At least, in the late morning it was a bit cooler (after the thunderstorms of 22 July 2006) mostly overcast at 24.1 ºC from 11:00 am, and tolerable for watching butterflies when most of the usual species were seen. The most exceptional Lepidoptera were the large numbers of Silver Y Moths at a rate of at least five a minute in the long grass and herbs of Slonk Hill, and at least three a minute on the meadows on the upper part of Mill Hill.
Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were common on Mill Hill and were the most prevalent (163+) of the fifteen species (the most this year) of butterflies seen on the day. Common Blues had recently emerged, but counting or estimating their numbers on Mill Hill was interrupted by a rain squall.
Butterfly List (in order first seen):
Duration: 90 minutes
|Large White 20+||Everywhere Mill Hill 5 Waterworks Road 7+|
|Meadow Brown E 55 +||Everywhere but urban and residential Shoreham town|
|Gatekeeper E 80+||Everywhere|
|Comma 4||Slonk Hill 1 Waterworks Road 2 or 3|
|Ringlet 1||Slonk Hill Cutting south|
|Common Blue 7 to 20+||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1+ Mill Hill lower slopes 1 upper meadows 5 to 20+ (interrupted)|
|Small/Essex Skipper E 25+||Everywhere|
|Holly Blue 2||Buckingham Cutting south 1 Waterworks Road 1|
|Speckled Wood 3+||Buckingham Cutting south 1 Mill Hill copse 1 Waterworks Road 1|
|Green-veined White 3+||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 but not sure how many elsewhere because of ID problems|
|Chalkhill Blue 163+||Mill Hill Cutting 12+ Mill Hill lower slopes 136 middle 10 upper 15|
|Marbled White 24||Mill Hill lower slopes 10 middle 7 upper 7|
|Red Admiral 12+||Everywhere but only one on Slonk Hill and none in residential Shoreham town|
|Large Skipper 1||Mill Hill upper plateau long grass meadows (confirmed by a photograph)|
|Painted Lady 6||Mill Hill upper plateau long grass meadows 5 Coastal Link cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge 1|
Burnet Moths were frequently seen and
frequently overlooked, and a pale white species of moth was on and around
Nettles at the top of The Drive, Shoreham.
Two of the pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta
nigrata were noted on the lower slopes
of Mill Hill, but many more have been overlooked.
All but one Painted Lady was very bright and fresh and the other one was not particularly faded. All but one Comma Butterfly was bright a fresh as well and the other one was not particularly faded.
The 136 Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes were all seen within 20 minutes. Three females were seen, One on the Mill Hill Cutting, one on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and one up the top by the Reservoir. I expect the females were overlooked.
Fifteen species (the most this year) of butterflies seen on the day.
recorded included Peacock,
Blue, Wall Brown,
White (?*) and Small
Tortoiseshell, but there were a handful of
other that could conceivably have appeared during the couple of hours (including
travelling) on the downs.
(?* I was not able to identify a Small White, the one photograph turned out to be a Green-veined White Butterfly.) Chalkhill Blues were absent from the Slonk Hill Cutting despite the large amounts of Horseshoe Vetch.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
At 27.9 ºC and 60 % humidity it was far too warm to go to the downs to see butterflies, but I was surprised to see a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham; 2500 metres in a direct flight line from their breeding area on Mill Hill. There were Large White Butterflies, Small Skippers, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns seen along the verges of the cyclepath as I passed by and these four species were frequently seen in half an hour. The Waterworks Road produced occasional Speckled Woods, a probable Small White (maybe a Green-veined White ?) and the first Holly Blue with another one at the top of the Pixie Path by the tall hedge. The Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and its vicinity added two Red Admirals and a fresh Peacock Butterfly with more of the omnipresent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. Just the one Chalkhill Blue was seen in the Mill Hill Cutting, (SW end with the small patch of Horseshoe Vetch). I saw a faded Painted Lady settle on Ivy in the shade of the small copse at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, SE of the Mill Hill bridge over the A27. Silver Y Moths were frequently present and 6-spot Burnets occasionally with their whirring flight.
Large White Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town at the rate of one a minute. There was a Gatekeeper in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent.
Ten species of butterflies and skippers.
It was still far too hot to be out in the sun and too warm even in the early morning. Large White and Red Admiral Butterflies were frequent on the Shoreham streets with the occasional Gatekeeper and Small Skippers. Silver Y Butterflies were seen occasionally and were noticeable in shrubby gardens and may have been frequent if I was more alert to note them.
The usual suspects are dropping by in my south Lancing garden (TQ 185 046) during this spell of hot weather (29-30ºC): Comma, Small Whites, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue have all been noticed.
17 July 2006
It was simply too warm and I gave up recording butterflies after about an hour in the late morning, of which nearly half was travelling time. I traversed the south side of Slonk Hill half way along only and gave up on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and returned by the ridge path, now overgrown. missing out the upper meadows and plateau north of the Reservoir altogether.
White = common (not many on Mill
Gatekeeper = common
Meadow Brown = frequent
Small Skipper = frequent
Ringlet 1+ (Slonk Hill)
Speckled Brown = frequent
Comma 3 = occasional (Slonk Hill south 1, Mill Hill south of Reservoir 2)
Chalkhill Blue 27 = frequent (Mill Hill Only) (Mill Hill Cutting 1, Mill Hill south of Reservoir 7, Lower Slopes 19)
Marbled White 31 = frequent (Mill Hill only) (South of Reservoir 15, Lower Slopes 16)
Painted Lady 1 to 3 (Mill Hill only)
Red Admirals = frequent (Mill Hill only)
Small Whites 4+ = occasional (Shoreham town)
Burnet Moths = frequent
Small White Butterflies were confirmed from one specimen late in the day.
It was the warmest morning of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.6 ºC at 11:39 am. In the afternoon, it became HOT and the highest temperature attained during the day was 30.3 ºC at 4:15.
Eleven species of butterflies and skippers only. Over 300 butterflies.
Above the high water mark the Large White Butterflies were common, seen at a rate of over one a minute from Shoreham Beach all away along to Lancing Beach Green. When I down on the shore rockpooling on the low tide, one Large White Butterfly even flew past my ear. Most of them fluttered around the Sea Kale. There were frequent Red Admirals that seemed to be flying in off the sea and Gatekeepers that were residents in the vegetation around Widewater Lagoon and a few on Shoreham Beach. One orange butterfly flew in off the beach at low level (waist height) at such a rate of knots that I could not tell if it was my first thoughts of a Small Tortoiseshell or was it a Comma Butterfly? (It was thought unlikely to be a Painted Lady.) To follow it would mean cycling through a throng of people, so I missed it.
I led a small party of children from my sons' school on a butterfly hunt to Mill Hill, Shoreham. We saw 6 Large White, 5 Small White, 2 Large Skipper, 4 Small Skipper, 6 Red Admiral, 5 Clouded Yellow, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Brimstone. Gave up counting large numbers (30+) of Painted Lady, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Chalkhill Blue.
The selection of the common butterflies were about on the Adur Levels: very frequent Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, frequent Large Whites, Red Admirals and Small Skippers, occasional Comma Butterflies, at least two faded Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and Marbled Whites (5+) plus one worn Common Blue (definite), and an unconfirmed Small Tortoiseshell, (this would have been only my second of the year, but neither of them have settled for confirmation), north of the South Downs bridge. There were orgies of the very frequent Six-spot Burnet Moths and a few Silver Y Moths.
Eleven species of butterfly (including the unconfirmed one). The downs were not visited.
Large White Butterflies were frequent over Shoreham beach everywhere with the occasional Small Skipper on Silver Sands.
The first butterfly of the day was a Red Admiral inside a charity shop near the church of St. Mary de Haura in Shoreham town centre.
A leisurely cycle ride from Old Shoreham, a quick look in the Waterworks Road and Butterfly Copse, and then a cycle by the Steyning Road to the first layby and then another 200 metres north on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, then south along the path to Ropetackle, Shoreham, without an inkling to take photographs or count butterflies, but nevertheless Small/Essex Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites and Red Admirals were all frequent, plus four Marbled Whites, two Commas and one Speckled Wood. One of the Marbled Whites was seen very close to the north side of the Railway Viaduct.
A Red Admiral Butterfly outside my front door in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was an auspicious start to a day of weak sunshine and this was followed by three Large White Butterflies in residential Shoreham, another Red Admiral, followed by a dirty brown-greyish butterfly at Holmbush, and an unidentified skipper.
At the top of Slonk Hill Drive, a Ringlet Butterfly and Gatekeeper a immediately appeared. I made my way along the path that winds its way parallel with the A27 road on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting venturing twice briefly on to the road embankment which are meadow-like with long grasses, with orchids and herbs and then continued along the path which is mostly overgrown this year but opens up with a meadow-like herb area in one place. I then cycled down the main road pausing briefly at the uneventful Buckingham Cutting before continuing cycling along the road until I ventured off the road to meet the old footpath to Mill Hill and joining the Pixie Path for a sortie over Mill Hill in the circular route a over the lower slopes through the scrub and copse in the north and west and back across the upper plateau. Then I made a cursory passage visit to the Waterworks Road but only the bit south of the A27.
|Chalkhill Blue 4||Mill Hill lower slopes 4|
|Large White 8+||Town 3 Waterworks Road 3* Mill Hill 2|
|Red Admiral 12+||Everywhere|
|Marbled White 38||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Mill Hill 37|
|Large Skipper 1||Mill Hill upper plateau long grass meadows (confirmed by a photograph)|
|Meadow Brown E 45 +||Everywhere|
|Small Skipper E 60+||Everywhere|
|Painted Lady 1||Mill Hill upper plateau long grass meadows (faded butterfly confirmed by a photograph)|
|Gatekeeper E 80+||Everywhere|
|Ringlet 5||Slonk Hill Cutting south 5+|
|Comma 14||Mill Hill NW scrub and upper meadows 12 Passage 1 Waterworks Road 1|
*The whites recorded from the Waterworks Road were too amorous and were not identified. They could have been Green-veined Whites but although smaller than the pristine example of a Large White from the upper meadows of Mill Hill, the definitive features of the Green-veins could not be seen.
Some notes of nectaring plants were made with Chalkhill Blues visiting Stemless Thistle and Bramble flowers, and Small Skippers on Field Scabious, Pyramidal Orchids, Red Clover and other plants not noted. Marbled Whites,Chalkhill Blues and Comma Butterflies were counted.
Eleven species recorded. About 250 butterflies.
A possible Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly in pristine condition (on the path through the southern part of Mill Hill) was rejected and thought to be a Comma. Half the Comma Butterflies had exceptionally orange upper wings. This is the summer form hutchinsoni.
Burnet Moths and Silver
Y Moths were frequently seen. Most smaller
moths went unnoted although the first of the second brood Pyrausta
nigrata was definitely recorded from
the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Adur Burnet Moths
For most of the day a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gales was blowing so any butterflies were a bonus: five Red Admirals (two on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge, three in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road), three of my first confirmed 3+ Small Skippers of the year (on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge) where one Gatekeeper of two in 15 minutes on the day were also seen, 4+ Meadow Browns, and a probable Comma with a fleeting glimpse in the Butterfly Copse as I was distracted by a definite teneral Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly).
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
A Gatekeeper Butterfly (referred to as a Hedge Brown) visited an annual Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, in my garden in south Lancing (TQ 185 046).
A probable Large White Butterfly flew over St. Mary de Haura churchyard in the sunny morning of the Farmer's Market.
At South Furze Field, Edburton there were plenty of butterflies despite the cloud: 2 White Admirals, 20 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 50 Marbled Whites and a few Commas, Ringlets and Red Admirals.
On an overcast day with at least three predatory Southern Hawker Dragonflies actively patrolling the Waterworks Road, it was not surprising that the only butterflies seen were a Meadow Brown and two Red Admirals which could have been the same one.
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered along the railway-side hedge of Dolphin Road, Shoreham, near the railway crossing gates.
Three species of butterflies were seen for the first time this year; two Ringlets on the southern grass embankment of the Slonk Hill Cutting, a Gatekeeper first seen on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting and a surprise very early couple of Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In the sunshine I was unable to chase the skippers around to discover what they were. There could have been my first Small Skipper of the year.
Overall, butterflies were common in Shoreham and the downs for the first time this year with just over a hundred seen in the first hour and a half. Marbled Whites led the way and fifty were counted, all but one on Mill Hill. A handful of Cinnabar Moths and Silver Y Moths were recorded on both Slonk Hill and the other A27 road banks as well as the upper meadows of Mill Hill. Scores of small moths in the undergrowth went unrecorded.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
|Chalkhill Blue 2||Mill Hill lower slopes 2|
|Small Heath 5+||Mill Hill lower slopes 4+ upper plateau 1|
|Red Admiral 3||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Mill Hill NW scrub 1 Waterworks Road 1|
|Large White 1||Mill Hill south of the Reservoir|
|Marbled White 50||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Mill Hill 49|
|Large Skipper c 10||Slonk Hill Cutting south & Mill Hill lower slopes (some could have been Small Skippers)|
|Meadow Brown c 40||Everywhere|
|Speckled Wood 5+||Slonk Hill Cutting south 5|
|Painted Lady 1||Mill Hill by the Reservoir|
|Gatekeeper 10+||Buckingham Cutting 1 Mill Hill 9+|
|Ringlet 2||Slonk Hill Cutting south 2+|
Eleven species recorded
Tottington Wood between Small Dole and Edburton produced an excellent count of 56 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 White Admirals, 3 Ringlets, Red Admiral, a Green-veined White plus plenty of Large Skippers. In the garden in Edburton the first of the summer brood of Comma and Small Tortoiseshell were seen.
It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.8 ºC at 4:16 pm. This was the warmest temperature that I have ever recalled to date.
It was too warm to venture out and the only two butterflies recorded were a Red Admiral in Dolphin Road near the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates and a Large White in Corbyn Crescent, both in urban Shoreham.
It was a surprise to see the first Hummingbird Hawk-moth of the year whirring around my uncut Garden Privet hedge before flying on. This was much earlier in the year than their normal first appearance.
A walk around Edburton early evening was quite productive with three White Admirals along the sunny side of a small wood called South Furze Field near my house + 2 Marbled Whites, 20 Large Skippers. In the garden the first Small Skipper of the year.
first butterfly was not seen until I reached
Lancing Manor where a Red Admiral was
spotted. Passage travel through McIntyre's Field, Barton's Wood and some
of the meadows of Lancing Ring Nature
Reserve similarly produced only a few butterflies which is often the case
in the lull period at the end of June.
The following were noted in the order first seen: Red
Admiral 3, Speckled
Wood 5, Large White 2,
3 and Small
The Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge added a Red Admiral and Meadow Brown on a passage journey.
A handful of the first Burnet Moths of the year were seen on Lancing Ring meadows and around the dewpond.
Eight species and 42 butterflies recorded but a few others were seen but not noted.
I recorded my first Ringlet and 6 fresh looking Painted Ladies on Edburton Hill.
A passage visit to the meadows on the south bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting revealed 16 Meadow Brown Butterflies, including mating pairs, three Marbled Whites and one Large Skipper. Buckingham Cutting added at least two worn Small Blue Butterflies.
I took at walk around Tottington Wood, Edburton and I was pleased to see at least 15 Silver-washed Fritillaries on the wing. Not much else there just a few Large Skippers, Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns.
In the pleasant midday sunshine (nearly 20 ºC) butterflies were very frequent, but nothing special. I eventually managed to capture a Large Skipper on my camera. The Small Blues were worn and most were seen in the patch of Kidney Vetch on the Buckingham Cutting. The Marbled Whites were flighty. A Small Heath visited a pink and white sweet wrapper on the upper plateau of Mill Hill.
|Common Blue 14||Mill Hill lower slopes 11 (5 small females) middle 3|
|Small Heath 18||Mill Hill lower slopes 14 NW scrub 1 upper plateau 3|
|Red Admiral 1||Mill Hill NW scrub 1|
|Large White 2||Slonk Hill Cutting south, field by the Waterworks House 1|
|Marbled White 5||Mill Hill lower slopes 5|
|Large Skipper 9||Mill Hill upper meadow 2 Slonk Hill Cutting south 7|
|Meadow Brown 21||Mill Hill lower slopes 4 NW scrub 1 middle 2 upper meadow 5 upper plateau 2 Slonk Hill Cutting south 6 Buckingham Cutting 1|
|Speckled Wood 5||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Mill Hill top copse 2 Buckingham Cutting 1 Waterworks Road 1|
|Holly Blue 2||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Buckingham Cutting 1|
|Brimstone 1||Mill Hill lower slopes|
|Small Blue 10+||Slonk Hill Cutting north 2 south 1 Buckingham Cutting 7+|
78 butterflies of 11 species
Meadow Browns have arrived in my garden in Shermanbury, Sussex.
20 June 2006
The first Marbled White Butterfly of the year fluttered strongly over the lower slopes of Mill Hill where the Horseshoe Vetch flowers had almost disappeared and the corkscrew-like seed pods could be discovered if searched amongst the emerging herbs and new flowers. The largest yellow patches on Mill Hill were now Bird's Foot Trefoil. Butterflies were frequent (about 50), but not common. The most prevalent on Mill Hill were now Common Blues and Small Heath Butterflies with about 15 each. (NB: Some of the Common Blue females could be mistaken for Small Blues by the inexperienced. Small Blues are absent from the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but will occasionally be seen in the Mill Hill Cutting.)
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
|Adonis Blue 1||Mill Hill lower slopes|
|Common Blue 16||Mill Hill lower slopes 10 (3 small females) middle 6|
|Small Heath 15||Mill Hill lower slopes 15|
|Red Admiral 2||Mill Hill lower slopes, one at the top by the steps|
|Small White 1||Slonk Hill Cutting south|
|Marbled White 1 or 2||Mill Hill lower slopes 1 or 2|
|Large Skipper 5||Mill Hill lower slopes 4 Slonk Hill Cutting south 1|
|Meadow Brown 3||Mill Hill lower slopes|
|Painted Lady 2||Mill Hill lower slopes 1 upper 1|
|Speckled Wood 6+||Slonk Hill Cutting south 2 Mill Hill scrub 2 top copse 2|
|Holly Blue 2||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1 Mill Hill lower slopes top by the steps 1|
|Brimstone 1||Mill Hill lower slopes|
|Small Blue 1||Slonk Hill Cutting south 1|
Ladies were intact but faded. The Large
Skippers were confirmed when settled as was
the single male Adonis Blue.
The female Common Blues
were dark bluish and small. The Speckled Wood
on Slonk Hill fluttering over the Spotted
Orchid meadow was fresh but all the others
There was a Cinnabar Moth at the top of the Pixie Path.
There were two further possibles. On the southern Spotted Orchid bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, a large brownish butterfly arose and disappeared and this could have been a Ringlet or a Meadow Brown or even another Speckled Wood (subsequently thought to be a Meadow Brown). And on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, two courting butterflies that flew over the bank and then I could not follow over the western scrub boundary looked very much like Grizzled Skippers, but it is a month late for them. (One other person has recorded late Grizzled Skippers this year in central England.)
confirmed species in an hour were recorded which was the equal largest
number this year. Just over 50 butterflies.
The dead flower head twitched and moved, and it turned out to be a large moth, the Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata, discovered in a Southwick garden. Adur Moths
About half of the 25 Adonis Blue Butterflies on Mill Hill showed signs of raggedness and age, whereas the Common Blues appeared fresher. Some of the Adonis females were coloured a dark brownish navy blue which is how they appeared to the naked eye. I spotted my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year on the lower slopes, where I was surprised at spotting a late Grizzled Skipper (absolutely definite) and I had a better look at a Large Skipper that did not settle.
list seems the most pragmatic way to record the butterflies
on a day when I just went for a walk on the downs:
|Adonis Blue 25||Mill Hill lower slopes 23 Old Erringham pasture near the stile 1 Upper plateau 1|
|Common Blue 14||Mill Hill lower slopes 8 middle 2 upper 4|
|Small Heath 15||Mill Hill lower slopes 12 upper 3|
|Red Admiral 5||Waterworks Road 1 Pixie Path 1 Mill Hill NW scrub 1 Mill Hill top copse 2|
|Large White 3+||Waterworks Road (possibly a Brimstone) 1 Mill Hill lower slopes 1 Other areas 1+|
|Grizzled Skipper||Mill Hill lower slopes 1|
|Large Skipper||Mill Hill lower slopes 1|
|Meadow Brown 2||Mill Hill lower slopes 1 Old Erringham pasture near the stile 1|
|Painted Lady||Old Erringham pasture near the stile 1|
|Speckled Wood 2||Mill Hill NW scrub 1 Mill Hill top copse 1|
|Holly Blue||Pixie Path 1|
69 butterflies of eleven species in an hour without trying
Y Moth, a Burnet
Companion, a Treble-Bar
and two pretty Mother Shiptons, Callistege
mi, were all seen on Mill
A brief visit to the scarp slope of Edburton/Truleigh Hill produced 1 Adonis Blue, 4 Dingy Skippers, 6 Common Blues, 20 Small Heath, 2 Meadow Brown, a Large Skipper and 5 Painted Ladies plus a Small Purple Barred Moth. In my Edburton garden in the evening the first Small Elephant Hawkmoth was visiting the first honeysuckle flower to open and a Cypress Carpet Moth was by the outside light.
The first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year was seen on Mill Hill. Other butterflies seen were Dingy Skipper (1), Small Heath (10), Adonis Blue (many, including several egg laying females),Common Blue (20), Brimstone (2), Small White (4), Painted Lady (1).
of both Speckled Wood Butterflies
and Red Admirals,
including one courting pair, were seen on the Coastal
Link Cyclepath north of the Toll
Bridge with a small dark blue Common
Blue male near the Cement Works, and there
were probably more in the later afternoon. At the extreme southern
end of the path near the demolished railway bridge there was a probable
Skipper which did not settle for confirmation.
There were a handful of both Small Whites and Large Whites, and three more Speckled Woods in and around Shoreham town, but not the wooded areas which were not visited. One Speckled Wood flew over the riverbank edge of the Ropetackle town centre estate.
The day started well in my garden in Edburton with my first tiny Diamond-backed Moth. Butterflies in the garden were a Wall Brown, Small Heath, Brimstone, 10 Painted Ladies, 5 Common Blues and a Peacock that I unfortunately disturbed from inside a bush. On nearby Edburton Hill there was a Grizzled Skipper, Large Skipper, 15 Painted Ladies, 25 Small Heaths, 6 Red Admirals and 25 Common Blues. About 40 Silver Y Moths during the day.
In about three miles from Steyning Round Hill to Chanctonbury Ring: 12 Painted Ladies, 8 Red Admirals, Common Blues, Large Skippers, Small Heaths, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths. On way down through the woods, a few Speckled Woods, and in Steyning Rifle Ranges, more Common Blues, Small Heaths, Large Skippers, a few Meadow Browns and a Dingy Skipper. Moths included Mother Shiptons, Burnet Companions, Latticed Heaths, Cinnabars, Silver Ys and a few Burnets. Evening in my Steyning garden, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth, and a Small Elephant Hawkmoth at dusk on Philadelphus and Honeysuckle.
A fluttering of red on the upper part of the Pixie Path was my first Cinnabar Moth of 2006. Butterflies did not seem too varied and numerous but when I counted up afterwards, I saw nearly a hundred of ten species. This is the highest number of the year, most of them in less than an hour on Mill Hill and over half of them were Adonis Blue Butterflies. Amongst the long grass meadow north of the top car park on Mill Hill, I had a brief sight of my first Large Skipper of the year (the only skipper of the day). I did not get a good a look as I would have liked to identify it, but Large Skippers precede the Small Skippers, so that is what it was.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Adonis Blues were also recorded on the north bank of Slonk Hill, but this terrain was very difficult to ascertain numbers. I recorded five and there were undoubtedly many more. The female Adonis Blues were actually crawling in amongst the dense clumps of Horseshoe Vetch and I had to be alert to see them at all. The same terrain problems made the numbers of Small Blue Butterflies difficult to even guess as well. Kidney Vetch was now beginning to flower and there were many more than the dozen of these very small Small Blue Butterflies I counted in a garden-sized patch. Another Small Blue was seen on my passage journey over the southern path of the Slonk Hill Cutting, with the first of the five or so Large Whites on the day. A Small White was seen earlier over the Middle Road allotments, Shoreham town.
As on the lower slopes of Mill Hill the massive yellow covering of Horseshoe Vetch has now disappeared and the long grasses in the pasture of Old Erringham has also obscured the field of Bulbous Buttercups.
The lower slopes count was as follows in a heatwave:
|Adonis Blues||36 definite, most (all except about 4 seen) of them males|
|Undetermined blue species||8 were not definites, at least one was possibly a Common Blue|
|Small Heath||7 on the lower slopes|
the north-west scrubby area on Mill Hill,
there were six very worn, but still amorous Speckled
Woods, one Holly
Blue and one oldish but intact Red
On the middle slopes, there were three Adonis Blues and two definite male Common Blue Butterflies.
On the upper slopes, there were two Adonis Blues and three definite male Common Blue Butterflies, one Small Heath Butterfly, at least one Large White and the Large Skipper already mentioned.
Ten species of the day were: Adonis Blue (45 to 53+), Small Blues (frequent), Common Blues, Small White, Large Whites, Speckled Woods (6), Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Large Skipper, Small Heath (8).
Considering the weather, there were not many butterflies on a two hour walk around Edburton/Tottington Wood with the total sightings being 1 Large Skipper, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Painted Ladies, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 4 Speckled Woods and a Small White.
A brief detour to the Waterworks Road produced a Common Blue Butterfly and a Large White immediately, but after three minutes in the warm sunshine, no other butterflies appeared. An afternoon passage journey along the overgrown path on the Slonk Hill Cutting south bank added a Speckled Wood Butterfly. The Buckingham Barn Cutting on the Dovecote Bank side added two Small White Butterflies.
On the north bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting the Small Blue Butterflies were there as predicted. Nine were recorded, half of them on the Horseshoe Vetch, and all in a small garden-sized area. There was also a much larger Holly Blue Butterfly that landed on a Wayfaring Bush, and two Large Whites flying around and a Small White Butterfly. At least one Silver Y Moth was spotted.
the southern part of Buckingham Barn Cutting
there were more Small Blue Butterflies,
at least three probably more, as well as a Common
A pair of white butterflies were courting over the Pixie Path. They looked like Green-veined Whites, but I could not be sure.
A quarter transect stroll in the late morning sunshine saw the signs of diminishing Horseshoe Vetch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill to something like 70% of their peak and 36 Adonis Blue Butterflies, all male and fresh, and at least one each of Small Heath, Grizzled Skipper (two definites), Dingy Skipper, Brimstone and Large White with one large vanessid-sized unidentified dark or brown butterfly. There were four more Adonis Blue Butterflies near the stile to Old Erringham, two on the Mill Hill side and two just inside the pasture. The Grizzled Skippers were the first recorded locally during the month of June.
The Waterworks Road was disappointing with lust a handful of Large Whites and a Holly Blue, and possible Green-veined Whites.
The Coastal Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works produced half a dozen Common Blue Butterflies including at least one female and there were probably many more. There was another dark vanessid that could not be identified. (With the paucity of Small Tortoiseshells, these are most likely Red Admirals.)
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
species, one unidentified, possibly twelve
A faded immigrant Painted Lady Butterfly landed on a Sea Kale flower on the shingle of Shoreham Beach above the high tide mark.
Shingle & Saltmarsh Flora & Fauna (flickr)
Two Large White Butterflies were seen in Dolphin Road, Shoreham. A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered over a north Lancing garden in the evening.
The butterfly count on a hazy slight overcast afternoon was a paltry eight male Adonis Blues and just a single Small Heath on a passage visit.
On an overcast day, I thought the rain would arrive before I saw any butterflies. Just as I was about to give up for a sunnier day, I spotted a Painted Lady on the very common Mouse-ear Hawkweeds in flower. A minute or so later, the unmistakable blue of a male Adonis Blue fluttered over the Horseshoe Vetch. As I decided to rush for cover I nearly stumbled over my first two Small Blue Butterflies of the year on the northern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting.
That was it until I saw a Large White Butterfly on the Dovecote Bank and again I bumped into my first Common Blue Butterfly of the year, the blue of the male on a Meadow Buttercup.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Blue Butterfly was seen at the top of
Chanctonbury Drive, Shoreham (SE of Mil Hill).
A passage journey only along the path through the lower slopes of Mill Hill disturbed just two male Adonis Blues and a female on its own and one Dusky Skipper. In the Old Erringham pastures of confirmed Bulbous Buttercups there was another male Adonis Blue and a Wall Brown visited a Bulbous Buttercup near the stile to Mill Hill Nature Reserve. I returned by the ridge route where I spotted another Wall Brown visiting Horseshoe Vetch and a Large White Butterfly fluttered by. Another Painted Lady was seen amongst the long grass and Greater Knapweed leaves south of the Reservoir.
Eight species of butterfly were recorded on an overcast showery day.
Two Small White Butterflies in Rosslyn Road, Shoreham, were the first of the day.
Butterflies were mating on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill, with three mating
embraces seen and at least thirteen of these unattached bright blue butterflies
flying around. The actual count of Adonis
Blue Butterflies was more like thirty, but
I suspect some were the same butterfly so the realistic total was sixteen
males and three females. Plus, there
was another male Adonis Blue
seen on the Old Erringham pastures near the stile to Mill
Hill Nature Reserve. After the rain of the gales of the last few days,
were sparse for the time of the year, the only others on the lower slopes
of Mill Hill were five Dingy Skippers.
noted were two Pyrausta nigrata and
a Yellow Shell Moth
that flew into the Privet.
A Holly Blue Butterfly on Dogwood and a Red Admiral were noted in the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill.
In the central Triangle area (clearing amongst the scrub) of Mill Hill there was a Large White Butterfly, a Silver Y Moth and a Carpet Moth, the latter more inclined towards the Brambles. On the upper plateau south of the car park, a Small Heath Butterfly settled. A Large White Butterfly was seen flying over the lower slopes from the top of the ridge.
The Pixie Path produced a probable Large White Butterfly and a Red Admiral.
At the bottom of the path, the Butterfly Copse hosted a Holly Blue, and the Waterworks Road had at least two Green-veined Whites (confirmed by a photograph), and at least two Large Whites and four undetermined white butterflies. One Peacock Butterfly fluttered around the pony field at the northern end by the house. Two Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen clearly.
There was another Peacock Butterfly that settled near the Toll Bridge, and on the path south of the bridge, I passed another Holly Blue and a Small White. There was Holly Blue in the twitten between Old Shoreham Road and Victoria Road, Shoreham.
Fifty butterflies (including skippers) of ten species.
In my last visit to the garden at The Drive in north Shoreham, I discovered that there were two resident Painted Lady Butterflies, one intact and the other one worn with one chunk out of each its wings. Again it was the "Boules Mauve" Wallflower that attracted these butterflies but also a Red Admiral, Large White and a Small White Butterfly, A Holly Blue Butterfly flew around the garden but did not seem to settle. The Painted Ladies were later seen courting in mid-air.
A brief walk to the Buckingham Cutting produced more of the expected Small White, Holly Blue and Red Admiral butterflies as well as one Speckled Wood seen on the Slonk Hill southern path. On the north bank of the A27, a single Silver Y Moth fluttered amongst the Horseshoe Vetch in flower.
mystery of the day was the caterpillar (image
on the immediate left) crawling around in
my south Shoreham garden. It jerked rapidly
and fell and got lost in the undergrowth after I briefly touched it.
this is the caterpillar of the Muslin Moth,
It probably the same Painted Lady Butterfly as before that landed on the wallflowers in a north Shoreham garden, followed later by a Small White Butterfly. This time the Painted Lady was faded with a large chunk missing from one wing.
Three Small White Butterflies flew around the mixed vegetation on the path leading to the beach from Ferry Road, Shoreham Beach, but they were not seen around the Sea Kale which was beginning to flower in the Strong Breeze (Force 6).
A shorter than normal visit to the Waterworks Road showed a handful of Small White Butterflies (confirmed by a close-up view) one Holly Blue and one Red Admiral.
Comma on its Stinging Nettle larval food plant
The Butterfly Copse was a fraction more sheltered and a pair of Red Admirals were courting, one Comma Butterfly was resting on a leaf in a sheltered spot and a Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around.
Butterflies were seen almost immediately with a Red Admiral in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Middle Road, Shoreham, and a Small White over the adjacent allotments.
Immigrant butterflies appear to be coming in and early in the afternoon, my first Painted Lady Butterfly of the year landed on a Wallflower in a north Shoreham garden followed by frequent Red Admiral Butterflies. (A Painted Lady was previously seen at the end of March.)
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
list seems the most pragmatic way to record the butterflies on a day when
I went slightly out of the way to look for damselflies:
|Peacock Butterfly 1+ (worn)||Waterworks Road.|
|Small White 6+||Shoreham urban area.|
|Speckled Wood 1+ (not confirmed, probable)||Waterworks Road.|
|Holly Blue 12+||Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road. Slonk Hill south.|
|Green-veined White 1+ (definite, photographed)||Waterworks Road.|
|Red Admirals 25+||Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road. Slonk Hill south.|
|Large White 6+||Waterworks Road and elsewhere.|
|Orange Tip 1||Waterworks Road|
|Comma 3||Waterworks Road|
|Painted Lady 2||Shoreham urban area (garden). Coastal Link Cyclepath.|
Ten species of butterfly without visiting the downs on an overcast day
Y Moth was seen on the Slonk
Hill Cutting (south bank) at the western end.
Four Speckled Wood Butterflies and one Red Admiral were seen on a very brief visit to Lancing Ring.
15 May 2006
Butterflies were slow to appear on the Waterworks Road. After about three minutes an Orange-tip flew by and landed on a Bluebell. This was followed by a Large White which disturbed the Orange-tip, simultaneous with the appearance of the first of two Holly Blues. Two Speckled Woods courted and a third one was seen.
My first two Silver Y Moths of the year flew from Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, but there were no butterflies seen on my passage journey along the Pixie Path.
slopes of Mill Hill produced 15 Dingy
Skippers, just the one confirmed Grizzled
Skipper and three Small
Heath Butterflies in the hazy sunshine
over a quarter of the transect covering about two-thirds of an acre. An
and a Large White
fluttered by. Pyrausta nigrata moths
were particularly noticeable as I tried to find Grizzled
Skippers. There were most likely more of the
latter skipper, but I failed to note them. The Adonis
Blue failed to appear. A Silver
Y Moth flew into the Privet.
My first two Wall Brown Butterflies of the year were seen. The first was on the steps near the stile and the second in the middle area of Mill Hill in scrub near the ridge where my first Brimstone Moth of the year was seen. Another Speckled Wood was seen in the scrub, but I returned on a much shortened route just above the ridge and missed out nearly all of the upper part of Mill Hill and the scrubby areas in the north-west.
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Eight species of butterflies, including skippers
An attractive Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata, was discovered on a Daffodil in my garden in Mill Hill Gardens, which was at one time part of Mill Hill.
At 10:00 am the resident Kestrel hovered in the overcast sky before the start of the Butterfly Walk on the lower slopes of Mill Hill which produced just two Small Heath Butterflies and a handful of small Pyrausta nigrata moths. The sun struggled to come out in the afternoon and I recorded my first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year on the Shoreham Bank with 13 Dingy Skippers, five Grizzled Skippers and three Small Heath Butterflies. There were about a dozen small Pyrausta nigrata moths noted and plenty more of them unrecorded. A Red Admiral Butterfly landed on the path at the top of the steps on the southern part of Mill Hill. Two Small White Butterflies were seen in a north Shoreham garden and a Large White at top of Chanctonbury Drive, near (SE) of Mill Hill.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Sussex Butterfly Records Page
Seven species of butterflies, including skippers
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered over St. Mary de Haura Churchyard in Shoreham town centre. Later only my second* Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly of the year fluttered over the bandstand at Shoreham Farmer's Market adjacent to the churchyard. (*This was only a probable record; the butterfly did not land for confirmation. I have having doubts as I have not seen any others.)
The Waterworks Road (which used to be at the foot of a bare Mill Hill, but is now overgrown) is rather convenient because it only takes ten minutes out of my schedule to visit and is usually better than average wasteland for butterflies. In the first second an Orange-tip Butterfly flew restlessly followed almost immediately by a couple of Holly Blues, a Large White, Green-veined White and a Speckled Wood. There were a handful of all these butterflies within five minutes although not every White butterfly was discerned to species. At least one Small White was seen in Shoreham town.
A Comma Butterfly landed in my back garden in south Lancing (TQ 185 046) and there were Holly Blues around everywhere.
On the warmest day of the year so far, I was stuck inside making only a brief foray to note about three Small White Butterflies in Shoreham town, a Peacock Butterfly in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Middle Road, Shoreham, a Large White an unexpected male Orange-tip and two Holly Blues in a north Shoreham garden, and a Green-veined White and half a dozen or more Speckled Woods on a passage journey over the southern path of the Slonk Hill Cutting.
Seven species personally without trying
A bright yellow butterfly framed on the upperside wings by a broad brown border fluttered amongst the shortish grass and herbs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, adjacent to the southern part of the Cement Works. I had try and get a closer look to find out what it was. It was very lively and would not settle and flew at about 6 mph which carried ahead of my walking pace and then flew over an impenetrable hedge and out of sight. Luckily a second butterfly appeared from behind me and settled briefly with its wings closed. They were discovered to be the first Clouded Yellow Butterflies of the year. They were also the first ever recorded in the month of May. They behaved more like natives, not so restless as immigrants. They also looked in pristine condition. I managed to capture one with my camera below. The leaves may actually be Bird's Foot Trefoil (which may be one of their food plants?)
These butterflies were not so much unusually patterned, but these were females and it must have been males only I had observed closely before (although females have been recorded). The two butterflies looked exactly like the females photographed in the link below.
Comparison Photographs (Link to European Butterflies)
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Tip Butterflies were out in force with
a dozen (six males) seen on the Waterworks
Road. On the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, Dingy Skippers
were mating. The Horseshoe Vetch
was only just beginning to flower. Red
Admirals were seen occasionally. Again
a list was needed as butterflies and moths
were very frequently seen.
Adur Skippers Page
|Peacock Butterfly 5+||Lower slopes of Mill Hill. Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding). Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road.|
|Small White 6+||Shoreham urban area. Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding).|
|Speckled Wood 10+||Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road.|
|Holly Blue 12+||Shoreham urban area (garden). Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road.|
|Green-veined White 3+||Waterworks Road. Coastal Link Cyclepath.|
|Red Admirals 7+||Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding). Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road.|
|Grizzled Skipper 1||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Dingy Skipper 12+||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Large White 4+||Waterworks Road and elsewhere.|
|Brimstone 3+||Coastal Link Cyclepath. Waterworks Road. Lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
|Orange Tip 14+||Waterworks Road 12. Coastal Link Cyclepath.|
|Comma 1||Waterworks Road|
|Clouded Yellow 2||Coastal Link Cyclepath.|
Thirteen species of butterfly is easily the highest total this year, Numbers at least 79, probably more.
Butterfly First Flight Times
Sussex Butterfly Records Page
was an orange and white moth that I have not identified and other buff
moths on lower slopes of Mill
Hill as well as hundreds of the micro-moth Pancalia
and Pyrausta nigrata.
were frequently seen. Again a list seems the easiest way to record them.
|Peacock Butterfly 3||Lower slopes of Mill Hill. Mill Hill Road north of the bridge. Top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill)|
|Small White 6+||Shoreham urban area|
|Speckled Wood 1||Top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill)|
|Holly Blue 4+||Shoreham urban area (garden). Slonk Hill Cutting (south). Pixie Path.|
|Green-veined White 2||Slonk Hill Cutting (south)|
|Red Admiral (dead but intact)||Mill Hill Road north of the bridge.|
|Grizzled Skipper 5||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Dingy Skipper 5||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Large White 2||Shoreham garden. Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Small Heath 1||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
Nine species alive, one dead
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
On the Shoreham Bank (lower slopes of Mill Hill) the pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata was common with over 100 seen in about one and half acres on Daisies, Horseshoe Vetch, and Milkwort noted, and the micro-moth Pancalia was almost as prevalent (over 50 an acre). A Longhorn moth 150 Adela reaumurella was discovered on the Pixie Path.
In the late afternoon a Painted Lady Butterfly was spotted in my garden at Shermanbury.
A glimpse of orange-red amongst the Bluebells was my first small moth Pyrausta aurata of the year in a north Shoreham garden. Despite the warm sunshine, circumstances only allowed me a passage trip along the path on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, where seven Speckled Woods, one Peacock, one Green-veined White Butterfly and a surprise Red Admiral were seen in ten minutes.
An Orange Tip Butterfly was photographed in Lancing. Two Orange Tips were seen, one at the Lancing Manor Allotments and one in my south Lancing garden. (TQ 185 046).
On the second warmest day of the year as the temperature attained 21.6 ºC at 1:13 pm, the numbers of butterflies already need a list:
|Grizzled Skippers were mating in a small depression on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
|Peacock Butterfly 15+||All wasteland, Adur Levels, lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
|Small White 6+||Shoreham urban area|
|Speckled Wood 15+||All wasteland, Waterworks Road, lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
|Holly Blue 8+||Slonk Hill Cutting (south), Pixie Path, Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham)|
|Green-veined White 2||Slonk Hill Cutting (south), lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
|Brimstone 9+||Mill Hill Cutting, lower slopes of Mill Hill, Waterworks Road|
|Grizzled Skipper 8+||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
|Dingy Skipper 4+||Lower slopes of Mill Hill|
The small moth Pyrausta nigrata was frequently (25+) seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The Holly Blues were very lively and rarely settled.
Eight species personally plus one from Jan Hamblett
In the hazy sunshine, it was first day that two of the common species of butterfly are out in force with Small White Butterflies frequent on Shoreham Beach and in Shoreham town and my first of three middle of the day Holly Blues seen on the Riverbank where the houseboats are moored.
An early evening foray to the Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham) and I was immediately greeted by a Brimstone Butterfly chased by a much smaller male Orange Tip, the latter the first of the year in Shoreham. It then returned and briefly landed on the first Garlic Mustard flower I had seen this year. There was at least two Orange Tips seen and possibly more, as well as six Speckled Woods next to the Waterworks Road and in the Butterfly Copse. Another Holly Blue was seen south of the buffer stop on the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
over thirty butterflies of five species
A Holly Blue Butterfly was seen in Lancing.
May came in with a shower. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first Milkwort was seen in flower and the exiguous beginnings of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, with visiting pollen beetles which were also present on nearby Hawkbits. Dog Violets were still abundant and at the northern end diminutive Ground Ivy was noted.
A single first Grizzled Skipper was recorded, the first of the year, with frequent (10+) small moths Pyrausta nigrata, seen for the first time this year, visiting Hawkbits. A probable Dingy Skipper was spotted briefly. Pancalia micro-moths were seen and were probably frequent to common, but because these are very small and hidden, their numbers could not even be guessed at.
On a late afternoon passage trip over the southern part of New Monks Farm, a single Peacock Butterfly fluttered strongly over the rough ground north of the flint barns and horse grazing paddock.
One Orange Tip and a Brimstone Butterfly visited my garden at Shermanbury.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
At the top of The Drive, there was one each of a Speckled Wood, Peacock and Small White Butterfly in the early evening.
I did not visit the levels or the downs during the day.
A first butterfly in my Shoreham town garden, a Small White, did not so much as visit, but fluttered over the Privet hedge.
I did venture anywhere near butterfly country, but a brown butterfly flew out of the Stinging Nettles between Widewater and the beach (next to the upper path) and it could have been a Comma or a Small Tortoiseshell. I got stung through my jeans trying to find it.
A Holly Blue and Small White were seen in Lancing. The White has just appeared fluttering around near the top of my garden Hawthorn Tree. (TQ 185 046). The Holly Blue was earlier this afternoon in a secluded garden nearby.
Three Small White Butterflies were seen in the residential area of Shoreham.
With the sun out so were the butterflies with a Brimstone Butterfly seen immediately on the Waterworks Road. It posed on a Dandelion but my camera malfunctioned. It was followed almost immediately by my first Green-veined White of the year chased by a smaller Speckled Wood Butterfly, then a Small White and then another one. Then the first Brimstone disturbed another one. A few minutes later I spotted one of two Comma Butterflies. And three minutes later two Peacock Butterflies showed.
On the Pixie Path north, a pair of Peacock Butterflies settled on the discarded Chestnut fence paling.
Hill was not so prolific. A Small White
was the only butterfly seen on the southern area. The lower
slopes immediately showed another Small
White followed by two Brimstone
Comma and another pair of Peacock
Butterflies. At the northern end I spotted
my first Dingy Skipper ofthe
year (TQ 029 072)
that briefly sparred with a Peacock
and the size difference was most noticeable. This Dingy
Skipper was the first
seen in England this year. Another Small
White Butterfly was spotted in The Drive in
Twenty one butterflies of seven species.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
In our Upper Beeding garden I saw my first Green-veined White of 2006. This is the first of the year in the Adur valley.
A Holly Blue Butterfly settled on an evergreen hedge at St Bernard's Court on a warm spring day. (TQ 181 044) This was the first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year locally seen in central Lancing, near the railway station. A few Whites were seen as well.
A male Orange Tip Butterflywas recorded in Shermanbury.
A Holly Blue Butterfly was seen in my north Shoreham garden with lots of Holly and Ivy.
21 April 2006
I saw an Orange Tip Butterfly flying by the side of Steyning bypass (at about TQ 183 110) at lunchtime. This was the first Orange Tip of the year.
"Has spring sprung at last?" I spotted my first Small White Butterfly and my first Speckled Wood Butterfly (TQ 22046 06576) of the year in a garden in north Shoreham and on the Slonk Hill Cutting (south bank) path respectively. The Dovecote Bank and the top of The Drive, north Shoreham, produced two orange butterflies, one was definitely a Comma, and the other one was either a Small Tortoiseshell or a Comma? A large yellow Brimstone Butterfly flew over Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, towards the Hamm Road Allotments as I waited at the traffic lights. (I did not make even a brief visit to the downs or the levels because of a multiple bicycle puncture.)
Five butterflies of three or four species.
was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured
21.7 ºC at 2:52 pm.
19 April 2006
|There were many silk Brown-tailed Moth nests on Brambles at Mill Hill, Shoreham and a caterpillar noted and shown the photograph. The caterpillar was not connected to the silk nests and has been identified as an Oak Eggar Moth, Lasiocampa quercus, caterpillar (which does not associate with Oak).|
Early evening is usually relatively poor for butterflies. At least three of the well patterned Peacock Butterflies were seen amongst the Nettles over the Waterworks Road. Two were flirting which made obtaining a photograph a little difficult. Amongst the plants noted first in flower today were Dog Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. An orange, faded slightly to beige, Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly flew strongly. One of thousands of remaining Sweet Violets attracted a Peacock Butterfly.
On Lancing Ring LNR above the cemetery (south-west), there is a large area of Nettles which covers about an acre. The Nettles were lush as they are beginning their new seasons growth, and stand about 15 to 20 cm tall. Treading through this we disturbed six Small Tortoiseshells and a single Peacock Butterfly.
10-16 April 2006
It seemed to too breezy and overcast with showers to be worth even a passing visit to the wasteland on the edge of the town or the downs and Adur valley where butterflies could be expected if the weather was more clement.
cf: Last Year
My only butterfly of the weak sunny day (turning to rain as I write this) was a midday Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly over Frampton's Field (Old Shoreham). It was one of the dark red ones rather than the bright orange. It was my first confirmed one of the year. There was a possible Brimstone Butterfly over the Dovecote Estate, north Shoreham, but I was cycling past too fast to be sure.
In the warm sun but breezy in exposed areas up on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve, Jan Hamblett spotted a Brimstone Butterfly at the Cemetery seat, and two Small Tortoiseshell duelling butterflies (first confirmed this year) at the top of butterfly meadow near to Brian Old's seat. Finally she saw a Red Admiral on the ground south of the car park on the grassy area after walking through the wooded copse.
A Brimstone Butterfly flew past me as I worked in St Bernard's Court, central Lancing. It was first spotted by Katherine Hamblett who was with me.
last I get to find my own butterflies and they stay still for long enough
to be sure of a battered Comma,
followed by an intact Comma Butterfly
on the verges of the Waterworks Road,
Old Shoreham, followed by an unsettled bright yellow Brimstone
Butterfly flying over the Stinging Nettles.
This was all in the first two minutes. Alas, it was not until over a half
an hour later on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill another orange butterfly that rose from the path and flew off
so quickly, I was not able to confirm which species it was. I saw it twice
more and I thought it was a Small Tortoiseshell
recognised as the first of the year). It would not settle and could not
be confirmed as the first (it could have been another Comma?).
Then my eyes were drawn to the fluttering on another butterfly which was
an unmistakable Peacock Butterfly
nectaring on the thousands of Sweet Violets.
At least two were seen and possibly more. Then another Comma
was spotted also choosing the Sweet Violets.
The air temperature was 11.5 ºC at 2:02 pm.
Seven butterflies of three or four species. (A rather poor show for early April.)
I saw some bright yellow Brimstone Butterflies in the Marks & Spencer car park at Holmbush, Shoreham (the car park is adjacent to the downs and A27 road embankment).
3 April 2006
Another butterfly rose and flew away with such rapidity that it was lost on the breeze before I could see where and if it settled to identify it. However, the size and the black underside in flight convinced me that this was a Peacock Butterfly, rising from the ferns on the eastern verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
I had a very quick glimpse of a butterfly in a back garden in north Shoreham, but it flew away so rapidly it could not be identified.
Only one butterfly: one very bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly was seen in my garden at Shermanbury.
My first Sussex butterfly sightings of the year today: Peacock in our back garden at Upper Beeding; Small Tortoiseshell elsewhere in the village; and male Brimstone Butterfly on Downslink path near South Downs Way footbridge north of the Cement Works.
Jan Hamblett spotted a Peacock Butterfly at the bottom of McIntyre's Field (east of Lancing Clump) and Ray Hamblett spotted a Comma Butterfly at the top. The latter was the first of the year. I saw the Peacock Butterfly but it flew away and hid so quickly that I was unable to recognise it.
Katherine Hamblett spotted a butterfly in her back garden in south Lancing (TQ 185 046), but it flew away so rapidly it could not be identified.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Dru Brook reports a Painted Lady (first of the year) and a Red Admiral Butterfly in McIntyre's Field (east of Lancing Clump).
immigration of Painted Lady Butterflies
is predicted from sightings at Gibraltar.
Report on Ralph Hollin's Nature Notes (Hampshire)
blowing a Force 5, it was the most promising
day for butterflies this month with weak
sunshine and a temperature from 9.6 ºC
to 12.3 ºC during the day. Alas, in the
promising spots of the Waterworks Road,
the Pixie Path north, Slonk
Hill south and Mill Hill, there were
no butterflies on show.
Last Year 2005
Andy Brook reported a Brimstone Butterfly in Ring Road, North Lancing. This was the first report of the year.
Katherine Hamblett (aged 11) reported a butterfly fluttering over my south Lancing garden. (TQ 185 046). I thought it was most likely to be a Red Admiral.
The first Peacock Butterfly of the year was seen by Dru Brook near the eastern car park on Lancing Clump.
Underneath the discarded chestnut fence strut on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill and illustrated on the right, the caterpillar is likely to be either one of the (2133) Six-striped Rustic Xestia sexstrigata or the (2134) Square-spot Rustic Moth Xestia xanthographa, both common species with caterpillars that feed on a variety of grasses (and other plants if available) during mild winters. Porter in "Caterpillars of the British Isles" states that larvae of the two species cannot be separated.
Lincolnshire Moths (including the larva and adult of the Square-spot Rustic Moth)
The cattle have been removed from the "lambing field" or intermittent pasture to the south-east of Old Erringham Farm and will not now venture on to Mill Hill. This is probably because the grass on the land has now been grazed to its optimum and is best left for the spring growth. This pasture is of no butterfly value although the fringes may contain the occasional wild flower.
There are cattle all over Mill Hill from Old Erringham Farm enriching the low nutrient hillsides with their dung and threatening the flora (Horseshoe Vetch) and the internationally important population of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies. It looks like the fence was broken down deliberately, probably at the instigation of the South Downs Conservation Board on public land given to the people of Shoreham. There is also the danger or erosion, breaking up the steps under the hooves of the cattle and reduction of the amenity value of the downs. They were timid cattle and they were shooed of the vulnerable lower slopes by the public.
A Red Admiral Butterfly visited my Southwick garden.
17 January 2006
My first butterfly and my first large insect of the year was seen flying in of the beach and sea over the fringes of Widewater Lagoon at 2:00 pm. Alas, it was so sudden and disappeared so quickly I could not be positive of its identity. It was highly probably a Red Admiral. The air temperature was 11.1 ºC. There was no definite proof that this was an immigrant butterfly as it could have been a hibernating butterfly that had flown out from under the eaves of the nearby houses to the north, flown south and then north again against the Light Breeze from the north-west. From previous experience in late autumn, there was good chance it was an immigrant though. There were other reports from the south coast including the Havant area of Hampshire, mostly on 17 & 18 January 2006.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Earliest Butterfly Sightings Summary
Butterfly Flight Times (best site)
Butterfly Conservation: First Sightings
UK Butterflies Discussion Board
Chalkhill Blues (German Article)
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham
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
Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs