Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies and the Larger Moths 2008 
Link to the Mill Hill web page for 2008All observations by Andy Horton, unless stated otherwise.
It would be tedious to list all sightings on the main pages,  but for flight times purposes the following butterflies and moths include ones not recorded on the main Nature Notes pages:

BUTTERFLY LISTS
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

Sussex Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
Adur Moths                                                                                                         British Lepidoptera on  flickr


WILDLIFE REPORTS
(Narrative):
 

Butterfly & Large Moth List 2009

16 November 2008
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered around the south-facing shop fronts at the western end of Shoreham High Street around midday.

12 November 2008
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered over the twitten between Gordon Avenue and Nicolson Drive in Shoreham next to Hamm Road Allotments. It came as a great surprise to me to see a large yellow Brimstone Butterfly fly over the top meadow (north of the upper car park) on Mill Hill. It flew strongly in the direction of New Erringham. This was the first Brimstone Butterfly recorded in the month of November on these Nature Notes pages. Five minutes later a Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttered amongst the long grass south of the Reservoir on Mill Hill. Two more Red Admirals were seen rising from the vegetation next to the the Pixie Path.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

11 November 2008
A single Red Admiral Butterfly settled on the creamy-coloured front wall of Ray Hamblett's house in south Lancing.

7 November 2008
A single Red Admiral Butterfly arose from the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.

5 - 6 November 2008
No butterflies recorded over both days.

3 November 2008
Over the muddy outskirts of Shoreham as far north as Cuckoo's Corner on the west side of the river, there were no butterflies recorded.

2 November 2008
After the continual heavy rain of the previous day, no butterflies were recorded around the allotments of Shoreham, Buckingham Park, the Pixie Path or Mill Hill.

31 October 2008
A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen fluttering around in the back garden of a dentist's surgery bordering The Green, Southwick.

28 October 2008
No butterflies were recorded on a cycle ride along the Coastal Link Cyclepath north to the South Downs Way Bridge, Upper Beeding.

27 October 2008
On the last fine day before the forecasted cold weather, there were no butterflies to be seen on Mill Hill, just two Red Admirals on the Ivy on the Pixie Path and the last butterfly was a good condition Speckled Wood in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road. In the afternoon, a Large White fluttered across Eastern Avenue, Shoreham near the railway crossing gates, followed by three Red Admirals, one over Southlands Hospital and another (the last one) in Buckingham Park.

26 October 2008
No butterflies were recorded on a rainy day.

18-25 October 2008
Both Large White Butterflies and Red Admirals were seen on every day, but only a few and sometimes one only of each in a day cycling or walking around the residential areas and outskirts of Shoreham, Southwick and Lancing.

17 October 2008
Red Admirals were frequently seen over the town and outskirts of Shoreham including Mill Hill, running at about eight an hour. Large Whites were less at about five an hour. A midday visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill was leisurely. There were hardly any butterflies, just one plain brown Common Blue female, one Small Copper that appeared after five minutes and a few Meadow Browns. A few Vapourer Moths took flight from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 

Comma Butterfly and Common Darter


A Comma Butterfly settled on the wooden rail in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.

16 October 2008
A Red Admiral Butterfly appeared to fly in of the sea on east Lancing beach by Widewater Lagoon.

12 October 2008
A late morning visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill was restricted to about 30 minutes including the return trip by the shortest ridge route. In the weak sunshine, the first butterfly was a Large White spotted from the steps flying strongly across the berried Privet in the central area below the path. Simultaneously a Silver Y Moth fluttered from almost under my feet. A Small Heath Butterfly also flew strongly up the slope. At the northern end there were two tattered male Adonis Blues and two male Common Blues seen in the few minutes I was there. A fine condition Brown Argus visited Wild Basil and Autumnal Hawkbit.
Two Red Admirals left the Ivy on the Pixie Path and a Comma Butterfly was seen leaving the wooden railing in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.
Seven species

9 October 2008
A sunny day when the air temperature reached a pleasant 16.1 °C in the shade prompted a cycle ride along the Coastal Link Cyclepath north to Bramber Castle. There were hardly any butterflies on the route with just five Red Admirals, a few Large Whites, a few Comma Butterflies and a few Speckled Woods only. Large Whites were seen occasionally over Hamm Field Allotments and they were certainly frequent if I bothered to look for them.
Four species

8 October 2008
The approaches to Mill Hill produced a Large White Butterfly and the first Red Admiral at the top of Slonk Hill Farm Road, north Shoreham. There were a few more of Red Admirals, a few Speckled Woods and a few Comma Butterflies, especially on the Pixie Path visiting Ivy.
 

Speckled Wood Meadow Brown (male)

After five days of rain and poor weather the herb layer of the lower slopes of Mill Hill was still springy and firm under foot. A Peacock Butterfly flew up and visited me. Otherwise all the butterflies were at the northern end and there were not very many of them, a handful of Meadow Browns, a tattered (torn and battered) male Adonis Blue, at least one fine condition male Common Blue and a Small Copper.
There were a few more Comma Butterflies visiting blackberries, and Speckled Woods in the shade as I returned by the ridge route. The Speckled Woods were darker in colour than two months ago and in fine condition. The total count of butterflies was about 30.
Nine species

2 October 2008
There was the faint bite of an autumn chill in the air on a morning of weak sunshine, and the butterflies did not emerge until near midday. At the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, three species could be seen resting on Devil's Bit Scabious and only later when the sun came out did many of the butterflies emerge in numbers and fluttered about so much that I could not be sure of the numbers.
 

Brown Argus on Mill Hill Adonis Blue (female)

Meadow Browns were the first seen, counted at least eight, and then I spotted a female Adonis Blue with her wings closed on Devil's Bit Scabious followed by a closed winged Small Copper on the same plant. Then magically as it warmed up slightly, two Meadow Browns began courting, two out of three Small Coppers chased each other all over the bank, more Adonis Blues appeared with at least half a dozen of each gender, the females in good condition and the males mostly ragged and torn. A Large White flew over the straggly hedgerow. In contrast, the Common Blues were ten minutes later to appear, with at least five males, some in fine condition, with at least one brown female identified. The last species on the lower slopes was a surprise Brown Argus, with at least five pristine individuals counted.
The scrub and middle slopes on Mill Hill added four Speckled Woods, two Red Admirals two more Meadow Browns and another Small Copper. A faded Peacock Butterfly flew over the meadows at the top of Mill Hill, followed by another one and a Small Heath Butterfly. There was another Red Admiral on the Pixie Path, plus another one and a Comma Butterfly in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road. Two further Red Admirals were recorded in Shoreham town and the outskirts, with frequent Large Whites.
Eleven species

29 September 2008
In Shoreham town there were frequent Large White Butterflies especially around the Buddleia, and one Peacock Butterfly was seen on the Brighton Road (A259) flying into the prefabricated warehouse-type B&Q retail store from the south.

28 September 2008
A trek in the weak sunshine to the downs was for the purpose of picking apples rather than the butterflies of which there was three Comma Butterflies, two Large White Butterflies, two Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.  A Peacock Butterfly  was seen basking on the path on the return journey with a Large White and A Comma in the Butterfly Copse.
The lower slopes of Mill Hill were initially devoid of butterflies and their numbers seen have fallen from last week with two Large Whites, two male and one female Common Blues, six Meadow Browns, one Small Heath Butterfly and just the one female Adonis Blue spotted. There was another Meadow Brown by the stile to Old Erringham.
I returned by the Hawthorn tunnel and ridge route, so the amount of time in the scrub as less than usual and I quickly saw four Speckled Woods, a Comma and a Meadow Brown.
On the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Large White Butterflies were frequently seen with at least one Green-veined White and a male Common Blue.
Ten species

27 September 2008
A trip to the Pixie Path was for the purpose of picking blackberries rather than the butterflies of which there were a handful of Red Admirals and a Peacock Butterfly. On the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Large White Butterflies were occasionally seen.
 
Large White

26 September 2008
A cycle ride along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Annington Sewer and back produced a very ordinary fare of the usual butterflies of about a dozen Speckled Woods, occasional Large Whites, a few Red Admirals, and at least four Comma Butterflies.
Four species

Small Copper on Mill Hill25 September 2008
With some weak sunshine, I decided it would be a rare autumn day to miss a trip to Mill Hill. At the lower southern end of the Pixie Path near the Waterworks Road, I spotted a surprise Peacock Butterfly and then immediately afterwards a Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Comma Butterfly in quick succession. There were a further two Red Admirals and another Comma Butterfly as well as three Green-veined White Butterflies seen visiting Ivy or fluttering over the path.
A Small Heath Butterfly, a Comma in the vicinity of the Stinging Nettles and a Large White were seen on and over the southern part of Mill Hill. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were initially devoid of butterflies, but they then appeared in dribs and drabs, a Green-veined White, a Small Heath Butterfly and a Small Copper on a pocket of Bramble scrub in the middle of the Shoreham Bank below the winding path. As usual, most of the butterflies were to be found at the northern end, including at least eleven male Adonis Blues, another Small Copper, eight Meadow Browns, another Large White and one male Common Blue.
The scrub on Mill Hill added two more Comma and a Red Admiral on Ivy, plus three Speckled Wood, including a courting pair. There was also a courting pair of Green-veined Whites and all these were around the Ivy near the stile in the north-west corner of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. In another part of scrub further north a Wall Brown showed. On the top plateau which was rather hurriedly trekked, there was a Red Admiral, Large White and another Wall Brown.
On the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Large White Butterflies were frequently seen.
Twelve species

21 September 2008
On a fair day in the intermittent sun when the shade air temperature attained a maximum of 18.1 °C in the afternoon, I made extensive roundabout treks and recorded a Speckled Wood Butterfly under the shade of the trees as I passed Slonk Hill Farm. Butterflies were not noted early in the morning until two Small Heath Butterflies were spotted on the bridlepath from Stonechat Junction to Mossy Bottom where one Green-veined White appeared, and one Comma in the shrubbery as negotiated the large puddle at the lowest point of the path. So I approached Mill Hill from the north and in the meadows near the car park there were two Large Whites and one Speckled Wood. In the copse at the top, two Speckled Woods were courting. A cursory trip around parts of the middle slopes revealed just two Small Heaths. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I recorded two or three male Common Blues plus two females, 7-8 male Adonis Blues plus 4-6 females, six Meadow Browns, two Large Whites, one Small Heath and a Small Copper. A Red Admiral patrolled the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road. Numerous Large Whites were around Shoreham town and the outskirts with a few more Red Admirals over the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
 

Small Copper Red Admiral on the Hemp Agrimony at Cissbury Comma Butterfly

Later, in the afternoon, I made a trip to Cissbury Ring with Jan Hamblett, where on the Nepcote approach seeded Rosebay Willowherb lined trail, a few clumps of Hemp Agrimony in one place attracted four Comma Butterflies, one Meadow Brown, a Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral. There were frequent Large Whites, but the walk was not for the purpose of recording butterflies, so the full record around the circular balustrades was incomplete.
Ten species

20 September 2008
My first Small Copper Butterfly of the year was recorded on the towpath near (north of) the Toll Bridge in Old Shoreham. A tattered Painted Lady was seen on the towpath north of Ropetackle, only the fourth seen this year. Over 200 Large Whites and frequent Red Admirals were seen peaking around the Buddleia on the outside of Shoreham town.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

17 - 19 September 2008
Large White Butterflies were common over the shingle of Lancing Beach, especially around the Sea Kale, and frequent on the outskirts of Shoreham. Red Admiral Butterflies were occasionally seen especially near Ivy and Buddleia. On the third day, they were very strong flying, estimated at 16 mph on occasions.

16 September 2008
I was not in the mood to monitor butterflies on an overcast day, but on the  lower slopes of Mill Hill, I noted five Meadow Browns, two Wall Browns,  thirteen Adonis Blues (three females), three Common Blues (one female) and a faded Pyrausta nigrata moth.  There was a Red Admiral on the southern section of the Pixie Path.
Five butterfly species

14 September 2008
A rare trip to Lancing Clump since the reopening of the Toll Bridge, produced literally over a hundred butterflies and all of these were Large Whites, especially at the top of McIntyres Field. Occasional Red Admirals were seen mostly on the flint paths, a few Green-veined Whites, a few Speckled Woods in the woody areas and one Small Heath Butterfly were noted.
Five species

13 September 2008
The Buddleia was the main attraction to the Large White Butterflies in the hedgerows on each side of the on the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding. One bush had at least five on it, and they rarely stayed still long enough to photograph, possibly indicating the deficit of available nectar. Speckled Wood Butterflies were occasionally seen in the more shaded parts of the path, notable by the Cement Works. In contrast the few Common Blues spotted on passage were by the open meadow areas. The few Red Admirals seen were all in fine condition and strong fliers. A yellow Brimstone Butterfly was a surprise. A few Green-veined Whites were recognised, plus a handful of Meadow Browns.
Seven species
 

12 September 2008
Adonis Blues on Devil's Bit ScabiousButterflies were not to be seen everywhere despite the weak sunshine: on the Slonk Hill Cutting south and Pixie Path approaches to Mill Hill, none were recorded. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first butterfly seen was Common Blue, followed later by a female of the species, a few male Adonis Blues scattered over the slopes with a congregation of both sexes on the Devil's Bit Scabious at the northern end, totalling seven males and seven females, plus six Meadow Browns (gender undetermined, mostly males), two Small Heath Butterflies, at least one Treble-bar Moth and a faded Pyrausta nigrata moth. Three Meadow Browns and a Common Blue were spotted in the Old Erringham pasture in the vicinity of the stile. Amongst the scrub, a Speckled Wood fluttered by and two Small Heaths were seen courting. In the top meadow there were three Common Blue males and four more Meadow Browns plus a surprise Wall Brown. In the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road I recorded a good condition Red Admiral settling on the Ivy. The were a few Large Whites around and at least one Green-veined White identified on the towpath to Cuckoo's Corner.

Nine butterfly species

10 September 2008
 

Green-veined White Comma Butterfly on Blackberries Female Common Blue

About a dozen Green-veined Whites were seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath with half a dozen Large Whites, at least one Red Admiral, one Peacock Butterfly, one Small Tortoiseshell and one Comma Butterfly on ripe Blackberries on an overcast day. On the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom, I recorded one male Adonis Blue and a brown female blue butterfly which was identified by the photographs as a Common Blue, as well as two Meadow Browns.
Nine species

Small Heath Butterfly on Hardhead9 September 2008
It was still much too overcast, with spots of rain, for butterflies to be out and about if they had survived the atrocious weather. A quick check on the Privet-inundated lower slopes of Mill Hill produced seven male Adonis Blues, ten Meadow Browns and a Small Heath Butterfly. The scrub added a Speckled Wood, and the upper area of Mill Hill another Meadow Brown and another Small Heath. Large Whites, Small Whites and a Green-veined White were seen on the Pixie Path. There was one Red Admiral in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.
Eight species

8 September 2008
Large and heavily marked specimens of the Large White Butterfly were frequently seen, especially around the Sea Kale on Lancing Beach. There were occasional Red Admirals on the Ivy on the the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of Old Shoreham, and in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road. A Speckled Wood was seen in Lancing town near Brooklands.

4 - 7 September 2008
There was more atrocious weather with heavy rain intermittently on all four days.

3 September 2008
In a brief spell of weak sunshine, Large White Butterflies were frequent in Shoreham town and the outskirts, with a faded male Common Blue on Buckingham Cutting south, a Speckled Wood, a Meadow Brown, two Holly Blues, and a good condition Common Blue were seen on the Pixie Path to Mill HIll, and on the southern part of Mill Hill, a Red Admiral settled before I had to turn back prematurely.
Six species

1 September 2008
A male Meadow Brown Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent in Shoreham town, and only my third Painted Lady of the year in good condition settled in front of me adjacent to the Middle Road Allotments, Shoreham. (Unusually, I did not have my camera with me.)

31 August 2008
On a day that began with thunder and lightning, frequent Large White Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town gardens, town outskirts and on the towpath to Cuckoo's Corner. There were also occasional Green-veined Whites and a few Small Whites.

A Common Blue on Creeping Thistle24 - 30 August 2008
I have been pre-occupied but I have noticed both Large White and Small White Butterflies fluttering around in mostly murky weather. At least one male Meadow Brown was seen in Shoreham town.

20 - 24 August 2008
A few Red Admirals, Green-veined Whites and Large Whites were seen in four days of poor overcast weather conditions. There was a male Common Blue Butterfly on a seeding Creeping Thistle on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of Old Shoreham on 21 August 2008.

15 August 2008
After four days of poor weather, the butterflies were out again. They were common on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with 25+ Chalkhill Blues including a few females, 62 male Adonis Blues, an estimated 75+ Meadow Browns of both sexes, frequent Common Blues (estimated 12+) including very small ones, one confirmed Gatekeeper, a few Large Whites, at least one Green-veined White, two Speckled Woods on the southern steps, and a Wall Brown. I returned by the ridge route where I saw two more Speckled Woods, a pristine female Adonis Blue on Marjoram, and a further two Chalkhill Blues fluttering around the very short grass on the rim of the ridge. The only other butterfly species seen on the hill were Holly Blues with at least two fluttering around the large hedge on the side of the road south of Mill Hill Nature Reserve.
On the outskirts of town including the Slonk Hill southern route to Mill Hill via the Pixie Path were one male Gatekeeper, at least four Meadow Browns, at least seven Common Blues, four Holly Blues, two Speckled Woods, two Large Whites, and on the Mill Hill Cutting in the south-west corner there were two female and a male Chalkhill Blue seen.
Nine species

10 August 2008
A second brood Dingy Skipper fluttering around in the herb undergrowth at the the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill was difficult to spot on a day on a day too breezy for the flowers to remain still enough to photograph. (This skipper may have been around for a week or more.) I had to virtually to tread on many of the blue butterflies to make them take flight so the numbers recorded were low: 26+ Chalkhill Blues including a few females, 48+ Adonis Blues (with no females discerned), and frequent Common Blues (estimated 20+) with almost as many females as males. Meadow Browns (estimated 50+) were the most frequent butterflies with both males and females in roughly equal numbers. A Wall Brown paid me a visit when I attempted to photograph a collection of mixed blues on a Carline Thistle waving frantically in the wind. Gatekeepers were recorded at just three, one Green-veined White settled for identification out of two and there was a Large White by the hedgerow. The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta purpuralis seen on the lower slopes. Unusually I retraced my steps along the return path of the lower slopes and added another Chalkhill Blue and five more Adonis Blues.

 
Chalkhill Blue on Carline Thistle Common Blues on Buckingham Cutting south Chalkhill Blue (female) on Hardhead on the Mill Hill Cutting
Other butterflies recorded on the way to Mill Hill (Slonk Hill Cutting to Buckingham Cutting south) were 22+ Common Blues (including mating pairs), four Gatekeepers, eight Speckled Woods, one Meadow Brown, one Green-veined White, one Large White, two unidentified Whites, six Holly Blues, and on the Mill Hill Cutting in the south-west corner, four Chalkhill Blues, including two females. There were probably more as the sun was in the others could have been hiding. A Peacock Butterfly was seen over the Pixie Path at the southern end on the way home.
Twelve species

7 August 2008
In the early evening about 6:00 pm, a few Red Admirals, at least one Peacock and one Comma Butterfly danced around the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham. It is interesting that two of the above species were not recorded the day before when 16 species were seen. A Common Blue was seen amongst the tall herbs on the verges. Earlier in the day Large Whites (probable ID) were seen and a pair of sparring Speckled Woods in Southwick.
Six species

6 August 2008
With the weather conditions ameliorated enough to make a trip to Mill Hill worthwhile, it seemed as though I have missed the main emergence of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies for 2008 as the very poor showing of 43 (with one female) on the 1.2 acre transect on the lower slopes indicated. There were a further three male Chalkhill Blues seen on the upper part of Mill Hill and another six on the Mill Hill Cutting.  There were nearly as many fresh male Adonis Blues with 37 noted on the lower slopes, not to be confused with Common Blues with 29+ recorded on Mill Hill, including six on the lower slopes, as well as three on the Pixie Path and at least one on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of Old Shoreham. A small butterfly flitting about a long grass meadow on the top of Mill Hill turned out to be a pristine Brown Argus Butterfly when it settled. A total of nine of this species were recognised on Mill Hill with six of these occurring over the lower slopes. Mill Hill hosted frequent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. Gatekeepers were becoming less in number and Meadow Browns increased.
Wall Browns appeared in the front of me on four occasions, three on Mill Hill and one on the Pixie Path. A Marbled White was a welcome surprise over the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 

Pyrausta purpuralis Moth
Male Adonis Blue 2nd brood on Mill Hill
Speckled Wood on Lesser Burdock in Buckingham Park
Pyrausta purpuralis Moth
on Mill Hill
Male Adonis Blue 2nd brood
on Mill Hill
Speckled Wood on Lesser Burdock in Buckingham Park

Speckled Woods were noted for their frequency (18+) at the top of Buckingham Park, Shoreham. This butterfly is not often seen on flowers but were repeatedly attracted to Lesser Burdock. There were two more of these butterflies on Mill Hill and more on the outskirts of Shoreham. White butterflies were everywhere in small numbers, notably four Green-veined Whites at the top of Buckingham Park and this was the most frequent of the whites on the day, although both Small Whites and Large Whites were also identified, most of these whites were not identified as they fluttered around much too quickly. Two pristine condition Peacock Butterflies  and three of the small Small Heath Butterflies settled on Mill Hill. Seven Holly Blues were seen in Shoreham town and the outskirts. Another surprise was a good condition Small Tortoiseshell on Buddleia at the top of the Drive, Shoreham.
Sixteen definite butterfly species
Chalkhill Blues 

The maximum transect day count for 2008 was 81 on 30 July 2008, which was even lower than 2007 when the maximum 1.2 acre day count was 96 on 5 August 2007. In 2003, the Chalkhill Blues were too many to count and the estimate for the 1.2 acre transect was at least 375 and possibly double that. 

A Silver Y Moth was noted in the dense meadows north of the upper car park on Mill Hill, and the small pyralid moth, Pyrausta purpuralis seen on the lower slopes. One faded Six-Spot Burnet Moth was noted on Greater Knapweed, but there could have been more. At least three Treble-bar Moths were fluttering around on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

4 August 2008
In the breezy conditions, a visit to the downs was contemplated but not undertaken because of the unfavourable conditions. Butterflies were frequent in Shoreham town and at the top of Buckingham Park amongst the Lesser Burdock and Stinging Nettles, both Large Whites and Small Whites were identified; both species were quite large and the identification was made by the greater amount of black on the wing tips of the Large White. However, the most prevalent white butterfly was the Green-veined White with at least six noted and there may have been more. There were also occasional Speckled Woods (4+) and a fresh lot of Holly Blues.
 

Common Blue (male) Butterfly
Large White Butterfly
Green-veined White
Common Blue (male) Butterfly
Large White Butterfly
Green-veined White

A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen at the top of The Drive, and a further one in the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road), with a Gatekeeper Butterfly first recorded in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square, and another one noted on Buckingham Cutting south, with a Meadow Brown noted and at least three more Holly Blues and four Common Blues, including a female. A hurried passage trip down the Pixie Path produced two male Chalkhill Blues (one on the Mill Hill Cutting south-west) with four Common Blues in the long grass in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, and a few more Holly Blues. Finally, only my second Painted Lady of the year was a pristine butterfly in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road in Shoreham town.
Ten species

1 - 5 August 2008
It was too breezy and overcast to assess the Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill.

1 August 2008
With rain showers and mostly overcast as well as a breeze blowing, it was unsuitable conditions for visiting Mill Hill at what should be the peak time for the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies. I did a brief test ride along the Slonk Hill Cutting to fossick apples and blackberries and in this area and outskirts of Shoreham town and recorded the expected species of Large Whites, Small Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods and Common Blues, Holly Blues and Small Whites, with two Comma Butterflies in the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and one Red Admiral on the Waterworks Road. There were also two Six-Spot Burnet Moths on Buckingham Cutting south.
Ten Species
 

Small White on Fleabane
Six-spot Burnet Moth on Greater Knapweed
Comma
Small White on Fleabane
Six-spot Burnet Moth on
Greater Knapweed
Comma Butterfly

The photograph above has been identified as a Small White and some of the the Large Whites of the previous few days may have been Small Whites.

30 July 2008
The Chalkhill Blues were slow to appear this year, as the count of a mere 81 (including two females) plus two male Adonis Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, indicated. Another 15+ Chalkhill Blues were present over the south-west corner of the Mill Hill Cutting. I was not in mood for counting butterflies, but the other butterflies seen in the middle of a sunny day were Large Whites, Small Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods and Common Blues all frequently seen on the downs and outskirts of Shoreham town, plus the occasional Marbled Whites (five on Mill Hill), Small Skippers (on Mill Hill), Wall Browns (two courting pairs), Peacock Butterflies (3) and Holly Blues, as well as a pristine new Small Blue on Buckingham Cutting south, a Red Admiral on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of Old Shoreham, and a Comma Butterfly in the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road). On the Buckingham Cutting (south) a few pairs of Common Blues were mating and there was one colourful female shown in the photograph below.
Sixteen butterfly species without trying
 

Common Blues on the Buckingham Cutting, south Common Blue female
Synaphe punctalis
Common Blues
Common Blue (female)
Red Admiral

However, the most interesting lepidopteran observation were the frequent occurrence of a small brownish moth on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. At least twenty flitted about in a five metre square patch.
The small moth was Synaphe punctalis, a pyralid moth associated with shingle and sand dunes as well as other dry habitats such as chalk downland. Not a common species, but it seems to have spread its range in Sussex in recent years. The larvae feed on mosses.

ID & Comments by Sarah Patton on the British Insects Yahoo Group


The flash of grey was a Treble-bar Moth. Six-Spot Burnet Moths were frequently seen mostly on the upper meadows of Mill Hill.
Adur Moths

29 July 2008
After the rain there were the usual butterflies out and about on the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding: Large Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, courting Comma Butterflies (5+) and courting Speckled Woods (5+), plus at least three Peacock Butterflies, at least two Holly Blues, one Small Skipper and one Common Blue.
Nine species

Wall Butterfly28 July 2008
Even more spectacularly, the number of butterfly species seen on 27 July 2008 has to be increased by one to 22 species, as a second brood male Adonis Blue was identified on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and one was seen there yesterday as well. My visit was to look for the main emergence of Chalkhill Blues and make a count on the 1.2 acre transect of the lower slopes, which came to 68 males. There were also 15+ Chalkhill Blues on the Mill Hill Cutting (south-west corner), two seen by the stile to the Old Erringham pasture, and another six as I returned by the quickest ridge route through the tunnel of Hawthorn. There were frequent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns everywhere, with an occasional prevalency of Speckled Woods in the shade, plus a Peacock and at least one Small Heath on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. A Marbled White flew amongst the long grass south of the Reservoir on Mill Hill. On the ridge path a single Marjoram plant attracted five Gatekeepers and a Peacock Butterfly. Large Whites were seen in Shoreham and a Wall Brown in Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, next to the Pixie Path. Typically the Wall Brown chose to land on the bare earth amongst a horse pasture of grass. Six-Spot Burnet Moths were frequently seen mostly on the upper meadows of Mill Hill.
Ten butterfly species

27 July 2008
On warm (21.5 °C) sunny day, an unprecedented 21 species of butterfly were seen (three more than the previous largest day tally in the last eight years of 18). Nineteen were seen in two hours in the morning on Mill Hill and its approaches. There were very frequent Large Whites (50+), Gatekeepers (75+), Meadow Browns (50+) and Chalkhill Blues (70), frequent Common Blues (18), occasional Small Skippers (6) and Speckled Woods (8), with just a few of most of the others like Brown Argus (2), Wall Brown (3), Holly Blue (4), Red Admiral (3), Small Heath (3), Brimstone (3), Small White (3), Comma (2), Peacock (2), and just the one confirmed each of Green-veined White, Small Blue and a Ringlet.
In the afternoon I visited Anchor Bottom and added one Marbled White and a faded Small Tortoiseshell as well as a Common Blue, two Peacocks and frequent Meadow Browns, but no Chalkhill Blues. I was too tired to monitor the butterflies on the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding, but noted in passing frequent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, and a few Comma (2) Peacock (3) Red Admiral (2) and at least one Speckled Wood and one Small Skipper. There was even a possible Small Copper at Anchor Bottom, but I was too exhausted to chase it around to make sure. If I see any more in the next few days, this butterfly may be added to the list for the day.
Tabular List
A Silver Y Moth was recorded on the upper part of Mill Hill, with the small pyralid moth, Pyrausta nigrata seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and Six-Spot Burnet Moths were frequently seen both on Mill Hill and over the verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding.
Adur Moths

22 Butterfly species (a new day record tally exceeding the previous best day tally of 18)

26 July 2008
Several newly emerged female Wall had boosted the total to c.15 on Mill Hill and we watched them ovipositing, locating several of the greenish white, globular eggs. The second brood Dingy Skipper was again located, along with the first couple of pristine, second brood Adonis Blue.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


25 July 2008
Unfortunately the Chalkhill Blues numbers continue to disappoint on Mill Hill. The Wall is doing considerably better here and I counted 12, comprising 9 males and 3 females. Also of note was a second brood Dingy Skipper on the lower slopes.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


24 July 2008
I walked from the bridge at Mill Hill along the north bank of the A27 dual carriageway almost as far as the footbridge at New Barn Road. Also the stretch eastbound from the link road opposite Tesco towards the tunnel entrance, the stretch from Mile Oak to Foredown. And I walked Southwick Hill, Cockroost East and Benfield Golf course.
The best record was two male Chalkhill Blues on Buckingham Cutting north. One Wall Brown was seen in the first field on the right after crossing Mill Hill bridge heading north. Small Blues were seen in small numbers on most sites.

Report by David Blakesley


I visited Anchor Bottom where there were just the occasional Meadow Browns and a Peacock Butterfly and no Chalkhill Blues on the south-facing hill.

23 July 2008
Over 200 butterflies of 15 species were seen in about two hours on Mill Hill and the approaches with 37 Chalkhill Blues (including two females) seen mostly on the lower slopes. Another notable was the first two of the second brood Brown Argus Butterflies in amongst the long grass and herb meadow north of the upper car park. The day was sunny but the period spent on the 1.2 acre transect of the lower slopes was overcast by passing clouds and the blue butterflies were mostly resting and a third of the ones in flight were disturbed. (The count would have expected to be higher if the sun was out.)
 

Brimstone Butterfly on Greater Knapweed Brown Argus Peacock Butterfly on Hawthorn

Gatekeepers led the count with over 50 seen. Large Whites were close behind with 44+ and Meadow Browns were the only species in double figures with 35.
Tabular List

In the late afternoon I made a brief journey to Old Shoreham and added a Comma Butterfly to the species tally from the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) and a few minutes later added a confirmed Green-veined White from the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge, making seventeen species of the day and one short of my all-time day record. Although I was not counting out other butterflies, there was also an additional Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue in the Old Shoreham area.  As I had reached 17 species I thought I would cycle to Upper Beeding to try and increase the species tally. As is often the case, I was out of luck and although there were about five more Peacock Butterflies taking their count into double figures for the day, as well as three noted Speckled Woods, more Large Whites taking their day count to over fifty, and uncounted Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.

Seventeen species (best of the year)

21 July 2008
Wall Butterfly at New ErringhamA trip across the downs north of Shoreham yielded over 200 butterflies of 14 species, with special note of six Wall Browns at six different locations and the first two male Chalkhill Blues on the upper meadow of Mill Hill which was dominated by Peacock Butterflies. My journey took me from Slonk Hill Farm to Mossy Bottom where I saw my first Painted Lady of the year.
My journey over the top of Mill Hill only was a hurried cycle ride only briefly being stopped by the dense herbs in the meadow north of the car park which was the most fruitful location for butterflies. The most numerous butterfly of the day were Gatekeepers with an estimate of over 80 in two hours. There were frequent Meadow Browns and Large Whites.
Tabular List
Fourteen species, 200+ butterflies

20 July 2008
 
 

Common Blue on Hardhead (Mill Hill, upper meadow) Chalkhill Blue (female)

Butterflies are recorded as common (135+) for the first time this year of 14 species (one less than five days previously) of which the most notable was the first second brood Common Blue Butterfly on the upper meadow of Mill Hill, three Wall Browns on Mill Hill and a Chalkhill Blue count of 17 (including one female) on an acre of the lower slopes. The male Chalkhill Blue in the photograph above on the far left appeared as dark as illustrated. Gatekeepers had the highest count of 47.
Tabular List
Fourteen species, 135 butterflies

Green-veined White Butterfly19 July 2008
A sort half and hour leisurely cycle trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath around Old Shoreham produced a Green-veined White Butterfly not seen on the last two recording days, with frequent Peacock Butterflies (12+), frequent Speckled Woods (12+), occasional Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, frequent Large Whites, one Comma, and one Red Admiral. A Holly Blue was seen in St. Mary de Haura churchyard in the centre of Shoreham town.
Nine species

15 July 2008
As so often happens when one butterfly species ceases (the Small Blues were not recorded) than fresh butterflies appear with a new brood. The new ones were the occasional Holly Blues in Shoreham town and the outskirts, one Wall Brown over the A27 dual carriageway north of the Dovecote Estate, and a Brimstone Butterfly on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The occasional Peacock Butterflies were fresh as well. Chalkhill Blues were just beginning on Mill Hill with 24 strong flying males noted. All but one were seen on the lower slopes and the other one in the Triangle middle slopes area.
 

Ringlet Peacock Butterfly on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill Chalkhill Blue (male)
Species Slonk Hill south Pixie Path Mill Hill Lower Mill Hill Upper Butterfly Copse and Shoreham Town
Peacock 1 1 - 2 3
Small Skipper 3+ - 1 8 -
Large Skipper - - - 2 -
Gatekeeper FQ OC (15+) FQ FQ OC
Meadow Brown OC OC 1 FQ OC
Speckled Wood 3 - - 1 -
Wall Brown 1 (A27) - - - -
Large White OC OC OC OC  OC
Ringlet 1 - - - -
Holly Blue 1 2 - 1 1
Marbled White - - 1 6+ -
Chalkhill Blue - - 23 1 -
Red Admiral - - - 1 -
Small Heath - - 1 - -
Brimstone - - 1 - -

6-spot Burnet Moths were occasionally seen on the meadow southern bank of Slonk Hill and all over Mill Hill, with most on the upper meadows where a Silver Y Moth was also spotted.
Adur Moths

Fifteen species of butterfly (the most in a single day this year)
(Three species seen on 14 July 2008 and another one from 13 July 2008 were not recorded)
(The unrecorded species were Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White & Small Blue)

14 July 2008
In the early afternoon, butterflies were common on the Adur Levels in the weak sunshine. I recorded frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Small Skippers, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Comma Butterflies, one Small Tortoiseshell (on the towpath near Botolphs), occasional Peacock Butterflies, occasional Red Admirals, one Marbled White (on the river towpath) a few Small Skippers, one Speckled Wood, one Small White and frequent Large Whites. The Marbled White flew strongly, without settling, from the towpath by the River Adur over a hay meadow which was being cut and baled.
 

Small Skipper Comma

Dacre Gardens and the Ragwort-covered basin of Anchor Bottom at Upper Beeding added more frequent (20+) Meadow Browns, occasional (7 -10) Peacock Butterflies, a few Comma Butterflies, one Red Admiral and a few Small Tortoiseshells.
The first confirmed Six-spot Burnet Moths were spotted on Greater Knapweed on the south-facing Horseshoe Vetch slope of Anchor Bottom.
Adur Burnet Moths
Eleven butterfly species

13 July 2008
On rather dull day, the expected smattering of butterflies put in appearance on the southern meadow bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting with frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Small Skippers, plus a few Large White Butterflies and at least one Burnet Moth. On the Buckingham Cutting south, the one Small Blue seen was rather ragged and worn. The Pixie Path added a Comma Butterfly.
 

Ringlet Female Chalkhill Blue Comma

By the time I arrived at Mill Hill about 11.45 am, the sun had disappeared behind a cloud for the whole duration of my stay of about 45 minutes. Not surprisingly the butterfly tally was low: frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, two Chalkhill Blues (including one female), one Marbled White, one Small White (could have been a Green-veined White?) and one Small Skipper on the lower slopes, plus another Burnet Moth. The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon. Most of them were so faded that they were originally mistaken for one of the other pyralids. A Speckled Wood was seen in the tunnel of Hawthorn as I returned by the ridge route.
Eleven butterfly species

11 July 2008
Blustery conditions (Force 5 gusting to Force 6), but at least the rain held off: a few butterflies were in flight, firstly a Large White and two pairs of Gatekeepers on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, followed by three Meadow Browns, and then two sparring Red Admirals over the nearby Butterfly Copse.
 

Gatekeeper Male Gatekeeper on the Slonk Hill Cutting south Male Meadow Brown

Another two Chalkhill Blue Butterflies flew over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with occasional Gatekeepers, a Large White, and two small pyralid moths, Pyrausta nigrata and Pyrausta despicata. There was a Red Admiral in the scrub to the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve as I returned by the ridge route where the wind was too great for anything other than a few more Gatekeepers.
Five species of butterfly

6-10 July 2008
Four days of continual gales and heavy rainfall prevented any visits to Mill Hill. On the fifth day the planned trip was interrupted by a heavy rain shower.

5 July 2008
The first two Chalkhill Blue Butterflies flew over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, late in the afternoon. They may have been in flight for a few days as the first reports from Sussex of this butterfly was on 1 July 2008. The first Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria, of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with a probable Ringlet Butterfly from the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve which would be (if confirmed) the first from the Hill and the only one of the 32 species of butterflies seen in Shoreham that has not been recorded on the hill. The Small Blues were not seen on the southern part of Buckingham Cutting, but a fresh Peacock Butterfly was a surprise. These small butterflies can be elusive and the late afternoon visit may account for their absence. However, they are also right at the end of their flight period.
 
Species Buckingham Cutting south Lower Slopes of Mill Hill Scrub, middle slopes, top meadow and plateau of Mill Hill Pixie Path and Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) Total
Ringlet     1 (?)   1 (?)
Chalkhill Blue   2     2
Peacock 1 1     2
Gatekeeper     7 1  
Large White   2 few   2+
Small White       1 (Old Shoreham) 1
Marbled White   6 8 1 15
Green-veined White     1   1
Meadow Brown 1 6 4 2  
Small Heath   1 1    
Speckled Wood     1 4 5
Comma       1 1

 Twelve species

4 July 2008
My first definite Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year spent a long time fluttering around the Privet on the Coastal Link Cyclepath (north of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge) and it never did settle for a close look. There were at least two more along the cyclepath to Upper Beeding which also hosted occasional Meadow Browns (6+), two Marbled Whites, frequent Large Whites, a few Small Whites, three Small Tortoiseshells, occasional Ringlets and a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on a Ragwort plant, on a rapid cycle ride which did not involve stopping.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Seven adult species

3 July 2008
Nine species of butterflies and skipper  were seen in as many minutes from the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting embankment to the southern Buckingham Cutting, included my first Small Skipper of the year, see clearly as it settled on a flower and opened its wings. Earlier a Large Skipper had settled, but it still needed a practised eye (in the absence of the camera which was broken) to differentiate them. On the orchid-covered north-facing bank Ringlets (15+) outnumbered Meadow Browns (10+) with a few undetermined Skippers, a few Large Whites, one sparring with a Marbled White and a Comma Butterfly. On the Buckingham Cutting, south, there were the usual frequent Small Blues (15+) two Speckled Woods in the overgrown hedgerow area, with the first Silver Y Moth of the year.  Later a pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly settled by Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. No Gatekeepers were seen.
Adur Skippers
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Moths

Ten Species

1 July 2008
A small orangey-brown butterfly fluttered over Dolphin Road, Shoreham. It could have been the first Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year, but it was flying too high in the breeze to be sure. A Burnet or Cinnabar Moth fluttered rapidly over the shingle and vegetation near the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

30 June 2008
In the breezy sunshine I recorded over fifty (88+) butterflies for the second day this year with nine species seen on the Adur Levels and Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding. The fresh Comma Butterflies were the most impressive. The Ringlets were confirmed on the Coastal Link Cyclepath with a positive view of the ringed spots on the underwing. Meadow Browns, including courting pairs, were the commonest species with half of all the butterflies seen. At least nine Marbled Whites were seen on the wing, but I have not yet seen one settle this year. A Cinnabar Moth fluttered rapidly on the towpath next to the River Adur halfway between Cuckoo's Corner and the Cement Works.
Adur Moths
 
Species Coastal Link Cyclepath (east) 
Old Shoreham - Upper Beeding
Anchor Bottom & Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding Total
Ringlet 12 + 1 13+
Meadow Brown 30+ 12+3 = 15 45+
Small Tortoiseshell - 1 1
Marbled White 5+ 4+ 9+
Large White 6+ - 6+
Small White 2 - 2
Comma 6 2 8
Large Skipper 1 1 2
Speckled Wood 2 - 2

 Nine species

29 June 2008
There was a surprise Speckled Wood Butterfly in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square in Shoreham. In Buckingham Park there were two Large Whites and a Small White with a few other Large Whites seen around the allotments in Shoreham town. On the south side of Buckingham Cutting, I spotted a few Small Blues, one Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood in a few minutes.
In the late afternoon, two fresh Comma Butterflies courted over the Waterworks Road with a Large White and another Speckled Wood nearby. One day far too breezy for butterflies, I was blown about on Mill Hill and on the lower slopes managed to spot just one Small Heath, an unexpected (they should have ceased in mid-June) pristine male Adonis Blue, a male and female Common Blue, a Marbled White and a Meadow Brown on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Ten species

26 June 2008
A few Large White Butterflies fluttered around Shoreham town and were seen on passage.

24 June 2008
A Red Admiral flew over Shoreham Library and a Small White over the railway line near the Eastern Avenue Crossing Gates, Shoreham. Despite the shirt sleeves sunshine there were the number of butterflies on the wing was only in the order of low frequency (about 13), with three Large Whites in Lancing, one on the approach road and two over the long grass meadows of Lancing Ring in the late afternoon joined by one Large Skipper, a handful of Meadow Browns and two Marbled Whites.
Six species

23 June 2008
My first half a dozen Ringlet Butterflies of 2008 were discovered on a long grass verge on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works, Upper Beeding, on the more sheltered western side of the cyclepath. They had not been recorded on the Adur Levels before on these Nature Notes pages. Over fifty butterflies were seen for the first time this year of six species.
 

Small Tortoiseshell on Anchor Bottom


The Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen near the Stinging Nettle beds by the towpath on the western side of the river between the South Downs Way Bridge over the Adur to Botolphs (3), by a large patch of Stinging Nettles in the middle of Anchor Bottom (3) and at the back of the houses by Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding (2).
 
Species Coastal Link Cyclepath (east) 
Old Shoreham - Upper Beeding
Coastal Link Cyclepath (west) Upper Beeding & Botolphs Anchor Bottom & Upper Beeding Total
Ringlet 6 + - - 6+
Meadow Brown 8+ 7 18+ 33+
Small Tortoiseshell - 3 5 8
Marbled White 1 - - 1
Large White 2 3 1 6
Common Blue - 1 - 1

Six species

Adur Butterflies: First Dates


22 June 2008
On the southern side of Buckingham Cutting, three Speckled Wood Butterflies, one Red Admiral, an estimated 25+ Small Blue Butterflies and one Large Skipper were seen. The Small Blues were about to mate on one occasion and the number seen represented much less in numbers than there actually were as the vegetation was dense enough for these smallest of English butterflies to hide successfully. Another Red Admiral was spotted flying over the tall hedge that borders the two houses north of the bridge over the A27 dual carriageway on the approach to Mill Hill.
 

Small Blue Butterflies


A Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gale Force 8 was not compatible for watching butterflies especially on the exposed slopes of Mill Hill. One male and one worn female Common Blue Butterfly, three Small Heath Butterflies, my first definite sightings of two Marbled White Butterflies blown about in the breeze, and just a single male Meadow Brown Butterfly was the tally. A further Meadow Brown was seen on the southern part of Mill Hill as I was blown sideways by a south-westerly gust of wind.
Eight species

21 June 2008
A Large White Butterfly fluttered over the twitten between Gordon Avenue and Rosslyn Avenue in Shoreham town.

19 June 2008
Only 18 butterflies were seen on my Upper Beeding transect walk in the afternoon in sunny but quite windy conditions, but they included a beautiful pristine Dark Green Fritillary sheltering in long grass. This was the first report from the Adur area this year. This species appears to be no longer recorded from the downs near Shoreham.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies


On a day too breezy and cool for many butterflies my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year was spotted on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill with two Speckled Woods. Mill Hill recorded ten Small Heath Butterflies, a Large Skipper on the lower slopes amongst the Brambles and Tor Grass, four Common Blues including one female, and a further four Speckled Woods amongst the Hawthorn scrub. A worn Red Admiral settled on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Six species (my tally only)

17 June 2008
In the late afternoon, it seemed that the butterflies were likely to be at rest as on a passage trip to the Buckingham Cutting, southern bank, only a few of the Small Blue Butterflies were seen in a few minutes.  A dirty white butterfly was seen in the distance on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, and this could have been the first Marbled White of the year, but this was not confirmed. An unidentified large brown butterfly or vanessid was seen over the Middle Road allotments, Shoreham.

11 June 2008
One White Admiral Butterfly was seen on the wing in Hoe Wood at Woods Mill, Small Dole.

Report by Pen Green on Sussex Butterflies


This butterfly is not normally recorded on these Nature Notes pages as it is not to be found in the lower Adur Valley.

9 June 2008
A very rare Spurge Hawk-moth, Hyles euphorbiae, was caught at Shoreham.

Report by Pen Green on UK Butterflies Sightings
It is a sporadic migrant to southern England from south Europe, there are only a handful of recent records.
Adur Moths

About a dozen Common Blue Butterflies were seen fluttering over the Bird's Foot Trefoil on Shoreham Beach near the Old Fort, and a Large White Butterfly in the same area and a Small White in Shoreham town.
Three butterfly species

8 June 2008
At Mill Hill, I spotted five very active male Adonis Blues, one Large Skipper and one Speckled Wood.

Report by Sezar Hikmet on Sussex Butterflies


There were two Small Blue Butterflies in a clearing on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, frequent 20+ Small Blue Butterflies seen on passage on the Buckingham Cutting, southern bank, with my first Cinnabar Moth of the year and a Burnet Companion Moth in the same area.
 

Bird's Foot Trefoil
Common Blue Butterflies

Common Blue Butterflies (30+) were fresh and at least one pair were mating in the thin strip of intermittent horse pasture to the east of Mill Hill. There were at least three Small Heath Butterflies seen on the edge of the swathes of Bird's Foot Trefoil.
Three butterfly species  (my tally only)

7 June 2008
A Small White Butterfly and a few Holly Blues and a few Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen over the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
Three butterfly species

6 June 2008
Large Skipper
A Red Admiral fluttered rapidly over the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, and later one settled in the copse at the top of Mill Hill. A Holly Blue was seen over the Pixie Path.
My first Large Skipper of the year looked very fresh and quite lively on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but one of the two Dingy Skippers was very dingy and worn. The lower slopes produced 16 Adonis Blues on passage over the transect 1.2 acre area, including three females, six Common Blues including two females, and two Small Heath Butterflies with a further one seen on the upper plateau. Passage through the north-west Hawthorn scrub area added two Speckled Wood Butterflies. A further male Adonis Blue was very easily seen in the Triangle area of the middle slopes.
Adur Skippers
Seven species

5 June 2008
A Large White Butterfly fluttered over the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. Three Speckled Wood Butterflies danced around each other over the Waterworks Road. It is surmised that these three were recent emergents.

4 June 2008
With a brief glimpse of the sun, one Red Admiral, frequent Small Blue Butterflies, and one male Common Blue were seen on passage on the Buckingham Cutting, southern bank. Later on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting on an west to east journey along the path that runs parallel with the A27, I spotted one Speckled Wood Butterfly. A Large White fluttered over Buckingham Park, Shoreham.
Five species

3 June 2008
The sole butterfly seen on the day was a Large White by a gate marked Lancing Point to the west of Lancing Sailing Club, over the cyclepath that runs parallel with the sea by Lancing Beach.

1 June 2008
On a hazy day, too cool for butterflies to be in flight, 23 Small Blue Butterflies, two male Common Blues and a definite Brown Argus were spotted mostly settled on the Buckingham Cutting, southern bank, just before midday. A few of the Small Blues fluttered around the Kidney Vetch, but only by staying for about ten minutes did I discover that there were many more than it first appeared. Some were courting and it appeared that mating may be imminent. One Holly Blue Butterfly settled on the south-western bank of the Mill Hill Cutting.
 
Swathes of (1.5 acres) Bird's Foot Trefoil with the copse at Mill Hill in the background
Holly Blue
Small Blue
Small Blue on Kidney Vetch

The thin strip of intermittent horse pasture to the east of Mill Hill, adjacent and parallel to the A27 dual carriageway on the northern side, was covered in a measured 1.5 acre yellow carpet of Bird's Foot Trefoil. Although swathes of this small yellow herb (the food plant of the Common Blue Butterfly) had been seen on this land before, I had never seen such a covering this century. The land hosted two Small Heath Butterflies fluttering around the grassy edges and a male Common Blue Butterfly over the Bird's Foot Trefoil.

Any hint of sun had faded on my arrival on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, had rapidly faded and 23 Adonis Blues (including just one female seen) stood out against the green appearance of the slopes, with two Yellow Shell Moths seen early on amongst the Wild Privet, two Small Heath Butterflies, and one Common Blue Butterfly. A further Small Heath Butterfly was spotted as I returned rapidly by the ridge route.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Six butterfly species

27 May 2008
On a day too cool for butterflies to be flying in any numbers, I spotted my first Small Blue Butterfly on the Buckingham Cutting southern side where a few clumps of Kidney Vetch were in flower. It was not the first one of the year as Jim Steedman reported one from Upper Beeding earlier in the month. In the same area I spotted a Burnet Companion Moth. I had briefly looked over a small portion of the north banks of the Slonk Hill Cutting near the road sign, but I failed to see any Small Blues in this favoured spot, although an old male Adonis Blue was disturbed near the fading Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa.  A Small White Butterfly was seen clearly on the southern side of Slonk Hill and another one was spotted in passing in Shoreham town.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

24 May 2008
Mill Hill: In windy conditions we managed to see perhaps 30 Adonis Blue, including a few females, and 3 Common Blues on the lower slopes along with a couple of Brimstone Butterflies and a Lesser Treble-bar Moth. There was also a single Wall Brown at the north west corner of the reserve on the path that leads to Old Erringham Farm.

Report by Dave and Pen Green on Sussex Butterflies


23 May 2008
On the Coastal Link Cyclepath north the Toll Bridge as far as Botolphs, there were occasional Small White Butterflies, a few Large Whites, at least two male Common Blues, occasional Holly Blues and occasional Speckled Woods only.
Five species

22 May 2008
A male Common Blue Butterfly fluttered over the expanses of Bird's Foot Trefoil on the Widewater flood plain south of the bridge. Small White Butterflies were frequently seen amongst the flowering Sea Kale and the occasional Large White was noticed. Both these butterflies turned out to be frequent on the day over gardens and unofficial and official countryside mostly in Lancing. The first Holly Blue was not positively recorded until one settled on the bushes just to the north of the Salvation Army charity shop in south Lancing, with this butterfly frequently amongst the hedgerows seen on the approaches to the Lancing Ring meadows from the south. The first Speckled Wood Butterfly of the day was seen over North Farm Road, south Lancing, and this may or may not have been the same one that landed in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden.
In the south-west corner of the main meadow of Lancing Ring a male Common Blue Butterfly fluttered over the Bird's Eye Trefoil which with Bulbous Buttercups were both prominent,  but I looked for and could not discover any Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. It was in this area I saw my first definite Burnet Companion Moth of the year.
In the north-west corner of the Nature Reserve, west of the Lancing Clump, I spotted two Small Heath Butterflies and one Wall Brown without looking for them. They all flew into the fenced off private pasture to the north. Both Small White Butterflies and Large Whites were frequent but not much more than a dozen of each on Lancing Ring mostly at the top by the bridlepath.
Adur Moths
Seven butterfly species

21 May 2008
My first definite pair of Common Blue Butterflies of 2008 were seen on the northern Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, covered bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, with a pair of Adonis Blues, a Brown Argus and a Large White. There were no Small Blues seen.
 

Female Common Blue Butterfly Mother Shipton

My first confirmed Mother Shipton Moth of the year was seen on a clearing on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting where a handful of Holly Blue The female Brimstone Butterfly flitted rapidly from one Sainfoin flower to anotherButterflies fluttered around and two Speckled Woods were seen in the wooded parts, with two more Large Whites and a Small White.
Adur Moths
Seven butterfly species

20 May 2008
Contrary to my previous observations I have now discovered an extensive area of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the north (south-facing) bank of Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding. In a stay of over 40 minutes I spotted 5 - 7 male Adonis Blue Butterflies, one large creamy-white female Brimstone Butterfly, and my first definite Brown Argus of the year in pristine condition. On a north bank clump of long grass, five Yellow Shell Moths were spotted together.
Full Anchor Bottom Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 
The extensive patch of Horseshoe Vetch observed from the Dacre Gardens entrance of Anchor Bottom Adonis Blue amongst the vegetation on the Horseshoe Vetch main area of Anchor Bottom A good condition dark Speckled Wood Butterfly near the Cement Works

A fresh batch of Small White Butterflies seem to have emerged as they were both frequently seen and in good condition, especially on the Coastal Link Cyclepath by the Toll Bridge. Occasional Large White Butterflies put in an appearance and one settled on Spring Dyke.  A few Holly Blues only were seen in Shoreham town. A good condition dark Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath by the Cement Works land, southern part.
Seven butterfly species

19 May 2008
Male Adonis BluesAn early afternoon visit to Mill Hill in slightly cool (12.6 °C) conditions with a 15 minute ramble over the 1.2 acre transect area of the lower slopes produced 36 Adonis Blue Butterflies of which three were females, six Small Heath Butterflies, one Dingy Skipper, three Grizzled Skippers, one unidentified white butterfly, one Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moth, and two Treble Bar Moths. The male Adonis Blues were sparring with three seen together twice, but there were no observed matings. I looked for Common Blues without success (making me think that the ones a few days ago could have been misidentified Adonis Blues?). There were four Holly Blues spotted amongst the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill.
In and around Shoreham each of Small Whites, Large Whites and Holly Blues were occasionally seen in passing.
Seven definite butterfly species

16 May 2008
On a day too cool (12.3 °C) for butterflies, a Common Carpet Moth and a Yellow Shell Moth were disturbed on the northern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting.
 
15 May 2008
The Drinker, Euthrix potatoria, caterpillar on Yellow Flag Iris on Spring Dyke, north of Old Shoreham.

The weather was too cool for butterflies.

Adur Moths

14 May 2008
A late afternoon visit to Mill Hill was undertaken for the purpose of ascertaining the extent of the covering of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, which could be seen from Old Shoreham by the Toll Bridge. It was at least as spectacular as the best year, but a close inspection revealed that a proportion (c 5%) of the flowers were already fading on the lower slopes.
 

Although, it was too windy, too cool and too late in the day for butterflies, a couple of enthusiasts said they had given up counting the Adonis Blues at over a hundred over a three acre area of the lower slopes, and they also had two confirmed Green Hairstreaks on the middle slopes above the ridge. This hairstreak is only rarely recorded on Mill Hill. Their species count for Mill Hill was 14. I recorded my first Common Blue Butterfly* of the year and my first definite Red Admiral of 2008. The Red Admiral was at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill).
I found Adonis Blues to be frequent on the lower slopes, Common Blues* occasionally spotted, but they would not settle for positive identification. A few Grizzled Skippers and a few Dingy Skippers were still in flight amongst the Horseshoe Vetch. A couple of Speckled Woods were seen, one by the bottom hedge of the lower slopes and another amongst the scrub. Other butterflies I saw during the day were frequent Small Whites, occasional Large Whites and frequent Holly Blues mainly in Shoreham town.
(*Latterly rejected as not positive.)
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Eight definite species and one possible (my tally only)

11 May 2008
I walked my Upper Beeding transect route again and had my first Wall (2),Common Blue (9) and Small Blue (11) of the season, together with 8 Small Heath, 2 Large White and 2 Small White, and 1 Peacock. Also 4 Mother Shipton and 4 Burnet Companion Moths.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies


10 May 2008
In a rather sticky 20.9 °C at 11:00 am, Holly Blues and Small Whites were both frequently seen in Shoreham town. The footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, added another Holly Blue, at least three Green-veined Whites, and one male Orange-tip which flirted with the other whites before the wrong identity was discovered. There was a pristine Peacock Butterflysettled on the north-south section of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. Mill Hill was not visited.
 
Green-veined White Butterfly Adonis Blue (probably a female)

In the warmth of mid-afternoon, a Large White Butterfly flew over my front garden. Later a sojourn up the Coastal Link Cyclepathnorth of Old Shoreham, there were frequent Holly Blues and one Speckled Wood were disturbed. The Holly Blues were occasionally fluttering around low lying vegetation and I checked in case they were Common Blues, but none were.
Seven species

9 May 2008
I was two days late on parade to see my first Adonis Blue Butterflies of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. One of the three looked very much like a brown female with its wings closed and without the distinctive blue as it flew off. The underside of males tend to be lighter in colour, sometimes greyish. I also saw five of my first Small Heath Butterflies of the year four on the lower slopes and one on the ridge return route. There was one Wall Brown, one male Brimstone Butterfly, one Green-veined White, eleven Dingy Skippers and four Grizzled Skippers. The Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths were occasionally seen and many were missed. There was a probable Pyrausta despicata pyralid moth as well, but it eluded a photograph.
Speckled WoodThere was a damaged Speckled Wood Butterfly in the scrub and another was seen at the top of The Drive. Frequent Small Whites, occasional Large Whites and frequent Holly Blues were seen over Shoreham town and the outskirts. Another Brimstone Butterfly flew over the Pixie Path to Mill Hill and a Peacock Butterfly flew into some Stinging Nettles.
Thirteen identified butterfly species (my tally only, the most in a single day this year).

A very fresh Red Admiral was found in my south Lancing garden. It was in pristine condition and was very docile, even climbing on to a finger briefly before flying off. An hour later, the same butterfly was rediscovered an hour later with half its wing missing.

Admiral Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group) & the Adur Valley News (Yahoo Group)
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

Holly Blue on the hedges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath, north of Old Shoreham8 May 2008
Small Whites and Holly Blues were frequent in Shoreham town and on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north to Botolphs, with occasional Large Whites, at least two Speckled Wood Butterflies and two Peacock Butterflies. Some of the Holly Blues were such a bright blue, I double-checked them in case they were Common Blues. On the grassy and herb verges of the cyclepath south of the Cement Works, I saw my first Burnet Companion Moth of the year in late afternoon.
Adur Moths
Five Butterfly species

7 May 2008
While showing Jack Harrison (on holiday down here) some of our Sussex sites, I managed to see five 'firsts' for me this year. These were two Adonis Blue (including an atypically early female!), one Common Blue, two Small Heath Butterflies and three Wall at Mill Hill. Dingyand Grizzled Skippers were plentiful at Mill Hill.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


6 May 2008
I walked my Upper Beeding transect again in the morning. I saw just four Peacock Butterflies and two Small Heath Butterflies (plus four unidentifiable Whites that rocketed past me in the easterly breeze!). But saw my first Mother Shipton moth of the year, plus one Yellow Belle Moth and one Burnet Companion Moth.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies


My first definite Wall Brown Butterfly of 2008 was seen over the path and cleared ground immediately to the west of the copse of Mill Hill. Ten other butterfly species included about 11 Grizzled Skippers, about 12 Dingy Skippers (one on the middle slopes) and at least five Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths on the lower slopes. The first Brimstone Butterfly was a bright yellow male seen over a clearing in the scrub, and then a bright yellow male and white female appeared to be courting under the canopy of the copse at the top of Mill Hill, until another yellow male came and competitively interrupted the proceedings. Whereupon the female disappeared and the males carried on jousting. Three Holly Blue Butterflies fluttered around the low lying scrub on the middle slopes of Mill Hill. The sun was not warm enough for smallish blue butterflies to open their wings. They were also frequently seen over the gardens and twittens of urban Shoreham and the outskirts. Two Speckled Woods danced under the copse at Mill Hill, and about eight others were seen on my travels on the wasteland on the outskirts. On the verges of the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, a pair of Green-veined Whites, a male Orange-tip, and a Peacock Butterfly were seen in three minutes. Small Whites were frequent in Shoreham town and Large Whites occasionally seen.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eleven butterfly species (my tally only, the most in a single day this year)

5 May 2008
On Bank Holiday Monday, it felt warm for the first time this year as the temperature reached 20.0 °C at midday. The wind was from the north at 13 mph (Force 4) at midday.
Shoreham Weather

Occasional Small Whites and a few Large Whites amongst them and at least two Holly Blues were seen on small trips in Shoreham town on the first warm day (>20.0 °C) of the year.

4 May 2008
On my regular butterfly transect near Upper Beeding in the morning there was one Small Heath Butterfly (first of the year), one Dingy Skipper and one Small Tortoiseshell. Also one Burnet Companion Moth and one Yellow Belle Moth.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies


3 May 2008
A few Small Whites were observed over the front gardens in residential Shoreham. On the verges of the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, three Holly Blues, a pair of Green-veined Whites, a male Orange-tip, and a Brimstone Butterfly were seen in the first two minutes. There were two Small Tortoiseshells on Spring Dyke next to Miller's Stream, Old Shoreham. On the Coastal Link Cyclepath I observed three Speckled Woods and a Green-veined White on  a cycle ride to Botolphs and back.
Seven species

2 May 2008
Six Holly Blues were seen in Lancing.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group)
Pyrausta purpuralisOn a mild sunny day, 13.2 °C, butterflies were in flight with a few Small Whites in Shoreham town, a Peacock Butterfly at the top of The Drive, Shoreham, a couple more over the Pixie Path  to Mill Hill, and between two and four (one could have been seen three times) over the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Another Peacock Butterfly was seen in the scrub before I returned via the ridge route. Five Grizzled Skippers were seen on a leisurely (30 minutes) passage trip over the lower slopes visiting the very common Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and common Milkwort flowersand landing on Bramble leaves, but none on the common Dog Violets and Daisies. Two of the Grizzled Skippers appeared to be courting. Two Dingy Skippers were spotted. At least two Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths, the first small Pyrausta purpuralis pyralid moth of 2008, and a fluttering Treble Bar Moth were noted.
Four butterfly species and three day-flying moths (my tally)

1 May 2008
A few Small Whites and Large Whites were seen over the Middle Road allotments on passage to the Polling Station.

Holly Blue29 April 2008
On a tepid cool 11 °C day a passage trip on the footpath section of the the Waterworks Road produced two fresh Large Whites, a female Orange-tip and a Holly Blue, all attracted to Green Alkanet flowers.

28 April 2008
There were two Peacock Butterflies and a male Orange-tip Butterfly over the Waterworks Road, the latter tending to fly under the canopy of the trees from 12 to 15 metres above the flowery verges.

27 April 2008
With spots of rain and a relatively tepid cool 13.8 °C, the butterfliesremained moribund in the morning. There was a Small White over residential Shoreham, but there were none in flight on the approaches to Mill Hill. On the lower slopes, I disturbed just one Small Tortoiseshell, discovered two Grizzled Skippers, one resting on a tall dead plant, one Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moth, and a good condition Peacock Butterfly.
Five butterfly species

26 April 2008
The first butterfly seen on a mildly sunny day was a Large White over a garden near the Hamm Road allotments in Rosslyn Road, Shoreham.  On my second trip out two Small Whites were seen near the same are in Gordon Road, followed in chronological order by a Holly Blue over Ham Road by the Police Station, a vanessid blown about in the breeze over Adur Recreation Ground, a Small Tortoiseshell leaving the towpath by Shoreham Airport, a confirmed Green-veined White and a male Orange-tip Butterfly over the Garlic Mustardon the verges of the Coombes Road near where it crosses Ladywells Stream (north of Cuckoo's Corner). At Botolphs where the path leads through a wooded section towards the South Downs Way bridge over the River Adur, a Comma, Brimstone Butterfly and a Speckled Wood made an almost instant appearance in less than one minute. There was just one Small White Butterfly at Anchor Bottom flying up from the Dacre Gardens, and in the afternoon there was a paucity on the Coastal Link Cyclepath with two definite vanessids and I think it is safe to assume these were all Peacocks. There was a Large White Butterfly over the Waterworks Road and another one over the north of The Street, Old Shoreham, at the top by Frampton's Field.
UK Butterflies: Whites
Ten species, but only about 15 butterflies

25 April 2008
The first Dingy Skipper of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. One Grizzled Skipper was also spotted on a passage journey on a muggy day. A birdwatcher reported seeing five Grizzled Skippers.
Adur Skippers
 
A Dingy Skipper visiting a Dandelion on the lower slopes of Mill Hill Female Orange-tip Butterfly

Another first were two female Orange-tip Butterflies positively identified from over the Waterworks Road, chased by a single male and very flightly, stopping only very briefly on Green Alkanet flowers, a least thrice after being disturbed by Rhingia campestris hoverflies. Other butterflies seen during the day were occasional (three on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and one on the Pixie Path) Small Tortoiseshells, three (Slonk Hill Cutting south, the lower slopes of Mill Hill and the Waterworks Road) Peacock Butterflies, two (Slonk Hill south linear spinney, and the north-west scrub of Mill Hill) Speckled Woods, a few Small Whites and a Large White.
Eight species

23 April 2008
On a breezy day with rain showers in the morning, the only butterfly seen was a Peacock Butterfly that fluttered strongly over the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.

22 April 2008
My first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year was seen in a Lancing garden.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group)


My first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year was seen in the twitten from Victoria Road to Ropetackle at the eastern end by the main road. Small Whites were frequent over the allotments and Large Whites were occasionally seen. A Peacock Butterfly fluttered over the eastern bank of the River Adur, at high tide, on the side opposite Shoreham Airport. Two male Orange-tip Butterflies fluttered over the verges of the Waterworks Road, settling very briefly (for between one and five seconds) on the small blue flowers of Green Alkanet.
Five species seen in Shoreham town and outskirts on passage

20 April 2008
My first two Orange-tip Butterflies of the year were seen near Small Dole (near Henfield).

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group)


The first Large White Butterflies and the first Orange-tip Butterflies of the year were seen in the Shoreham area and the first Green-veined White Butterfly and Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill. Frequent Peacock Butterflies were the most numerous and with Small Whites, Brimstone Butterflies, Grizzled Skippers and a Small Tortoiseshell, this makes four firsts for Shoreham seen on a tepid (>16.9 °C) sunny day.
The first Large White Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, with the second over the nearby Middle Road allotments. At least one more was seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham.
Four male Orange-tip Butterflies were quickly seen over the Waterworks Road, north of Old Shoreham, the first one seen immediately.
The first Green-veined White Butterfly of the year was seen over the path by the flowering Blackthorn leading into scrub at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
The two pristine Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen above my head on the Hawthorn in the copse at the top of Mill Hill.
Frequent Peacock Butterflies numbered at least a dozen over the lower slopes of Mill Hill with another seven seen in the countryside. (19)
A Brimstone Butterfly was seen south of the closed Toll Bridge and another one on the Pixie Path.
A passage journey over the lower slopes of Mill Hill revealed four Grizzled Skippers visiting Dog Violets and at least one of the first Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths of 2008.
Occasional Small White Butterflies were seen around Shoreham town and in the countryside, probably about six.
The Small Tortoiseshell was seen on the footpath running along the south side of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.
Anchor Bottom (at the eastern Dacre Garden end) was devoid of all butterflies.

Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Violets

Nine species of butterfly, about 42 in total
 
17 April 2008
On a breezy day, just the two Small White Butterflies were recorded, the first amongst the Alexanders on Adur Recreation Ground on the river side of the sports buildings (photographed on the right), and the second flying down Eastern Avenue in Shoreham. 

16 April 2008
In the late afternoon, past the optimum time for butterflies, at least four Peacock Butterflies were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. On the transect walk there were no Grizzled Skippers to be seen as definites in passing, so I retraced my steps and a smaller male was seen amongst the Bramble and then a second one. There was a larger female on the path as it enters the scrub to the north with another Peacock Butterfly basking in the weak sunshine.
Adur Skippers

15 April 2008
Peacock Butterflies were seen on the Slonk Hill Cutting south linear spinney, the second one at the very top of the Drive, Shoreham, on the road side, and the third one flying rapidly south to north over the Riverbank towpath by the houseboats on the River Adur.

14 April 2008
The first local Orange-tip Butterfly of 2008 is seen in Spitalfield Lane, Steyning.

Report by Betty Bishop
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Another Peacock Butterfly was seen fluttering around the flood plain of Widewater to the west of the bridge, south of one of the pipe inflows.

13 April 2008
There were three other butterfly enthusiasts (Andrew Burns, Neil Hulme and Bert Laker) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon, chasing around the Grizzled Skippers until they stopped for a photograph. I saw three of them, but Andrew Burns reported at least ten different ones (ignoring possible doubles, twenty sightings in total) along the whole of the lower slopes below the path. Both males and females were reported. The Grizzled Skippers were difficult to find and if I had searched them I would not have discovered in by usual passage walk. Other butterflies on the lower slopes were just the one Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell. There was another Peacock Butterfly in the scrub to the north-west. There were frequent micro-moths amongst the ground herbs. They were a pale grey colour. (I originally thought I spotted a Red Admiral, but I think this was probably a Peacock.)
 
Peacock Butterfly Grizzled Skipper

Earlier in the afternoon, another Peacock Butterfly and two Brimstone Butterflies fluttered over the verges of the Waterworks Road (footpath section).
Adur Skippers
Three species

Early in the afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill Hill there were at least four Grizzled Skippers, three Peacocks and one each of Comma, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell.

Report by Dave and Pen Green on Sussex Butterflies


11 April 2008
Small Tortoiseshell 2008On a breezy afternoon, a cycle ride to Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding, and back along the Downs Link Cyclepath to Old Shoreham, failed to discover a single butterfly or anything of interest. Nearer to home, a Peacock Butterfly basked on the Waterworks Road with another one on footpath that runs along the south of Frampton's Field to The Street, with a pristine Small Tortoiseshell on Stinging Nettles, from which it may have just emerged after winter hibernation.

10 April 2008
The vanessid that flew strongly from south to north over Rosslyn Road, Shoreham, and over the rooftops was almost certainly a Peacock Butterfly.  My first worn orangey Small Tortoiseshell was seen over the northern part of Frampton's Field next to the Pixie Path and further east at the top of the path I disturbed a basking Peacock Butterfly.
On the southern end steps down to  the lower slopes of Mill Hill, another Peacock Butterfly was resting. This was followed by four more in flight together, followed by another two resting and two in the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. My first Grizzled Skipper of the year fluttered in front of me and then jousted or courted with another of the same species. In the Hawthorn as the path enters the scrub to the north a Comma Butterfly was seen. Another Comma Butterfly rested on the steps of the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
The Grizzled Skipper first sighting is the equal first day for this insect in England for 2008.
Fifteen butterflies of four species

9 April 2008
A Small Tortoiseshell visited a back garden in The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Report by Ken Bishop


8 April 2008
The first butterfly was an unidentified vanessid that flew from between the beach huts on Lancing Beach and it appeared to have have come in from over the sea (although it was perhaps more likely to be a local butterfly flying wayward). The second was a Small White Butterfly* in north Lancing on the approach road to Lancing Ring. This was followed by nine definite Peacock Butterflies and one smallish Comma Butterfly on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve, plus another unidentified vanessid near Cuckoo's Corner. Both unidentified vanessids are assumed to be Peacock Butterflies.  (*Possibly a Green-veined White?)
Eleven butterflies of three species

5 April 2008
Mill Hill SMG Meeting
Despite the awful forecast and plummeting temperature the first SMG evening field meeting of the year at Mill Hill near Shoreham was well attended. However, we only saw three moths - but nobody was complaining; two were of our target species Barred Tooth-striped, Trichopteryx polycommata, and the other was the micro Pale Flat-body, Agonopterix pallorella.

Report and Photographs by Michael Blencowe on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

4 April 2008
A Peacock Butterfly left the Daisies on the north-western side of Buckingham Park, Shoreham. At the very top of the Drive, Shoreham, my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year, flew over the front garden of the last (most northerly) house on the western side of the road. A strongly marked (black spots and wing edges) Small White Butterfly flew from east to west over the Middle Road Open Space towards Shoreham football ground.
Three species on the day

3 April 2008
A glut of early spring butterflies on Lancing Ring included frequent (20+) Peacock Butterflies, frequent Red Admiral Butterflies (??), five Brimstone Butterflies, and two Small Tortoiseshells.

Report by Andy Brook (North Lancing)


A Small White Butterfly fluttered across the western end of Rosslyn Road in Shoreham town. This was first one I had seen in 2008. The first of the year was seen on 26 February 2008.

30 March 2008
A Peacock Butterfly left the verge of the Waterworks Road, near where the footpath veers off towards Mill Hill, and flew strongly away.
 
29 March 2008
One of Britain's favourite butterflies may be being killed by a parasite. The Small Tortoiseshell, right, has suffered a dramatic decline in recent years and it is thought that a tiny parasitic fly, Sturmia bella, is the cause. The butterfly caterpillars eat the fly's eggs, found on nettles, which then hatch, killing the host. The charity Butterfly Conservation Society and the Dept. of Zoology at Oxford University's are conducting research to find out if the fly is to blame. It is a common parasitoid of Nymphalidae in Europe but nothing can be said as yet of the British status.
Times Report
Image of Fly
Small Tortoiseshell from 2007

26 March 2008
My first Brimstone Butterfly of 2008 was seen in South Lancing garden feeding on Aubretia and a bit on Hyacinth. This was the second local record of this species for 2008.

Report by Ray Hambletton the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group) & Lancing Nature Notes
Image

Four Peacock Butterflies were seen in under an hour on the downs north of Shoreham, the first faded specimen at the top of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, the second and third left the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and the fourth one was in the extreme north-west corner of Mill Hill Nature Reserve next to the Old Erringham pasture. All four were past the best condition, but they appeared mostly intact.

15 March 2008
My second Peacock Butterfly of the year was seen in a sunny garden in Barfield Park, Lancing.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group) & Lancing Nature Notes


7 March 2008
The first Comma Butterfly of the year emerged from hibernation to flutter around the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. It was in pristine condition and was restless, rarely settling for more than 15 seconds, and after a few minutes it flew off rapidly westwards.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

26 February 2008
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Lancing. This was the first report of a Small White Butterfly on these Nature Notes pages for the month of February, now making it six species seen locally in the second month of the year since the start of the new millennium.

Report by Katherine Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group)


Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

13 February 2008
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen flying about my mothers garden in Hawkins Close, Shoreham by Sea, in the early afternoon in good sunshine. This was the first local record of this species for 2008 and the first ever for the month of February, making five species seen locally in the second month of the year.

Report by Christine Burgess on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

11 February 2008
A male Brimstone Butterfly settled on ivy on the wall outside my house in Mill Hill Drive, Shoreham at midday. This was the first local record of this species for 2008.

Report by Stanley Allen on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

10 February 2008
The first Peacock Butterfly of the year was seen in a sunny Lancing garden in the morning.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK-Leps (Yahoo Group)


Around midday a Peacock Butterfly rose from the lower slopes of Mill Hill and fluttered further up the slope so I had to chase it to identify the good condition Peacock Butterfly when it basked briefly in the weak sunshine with its wings open.
These two are the first February records on these Nature Notes pages for the Peacock Butterfly, making four species seen locally in the second month of the year.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

3 February 2008
Was it a leaf blowing in the gales, or was it a butterfly over the Norfolk Bridge end of Ropetackle. I think it was a Red Admiral but I could not be sure. It flew away too quickly, upwards, and it looked like settling on a  wharfeside lamp, but it flew over the River Adur.

28 January 2008
The cattle were now seen from the Adur Levels on the richer floristic middle zone of Mill Hill, where they will do more damage.
In business farming terms, butterfly food plants are weeds to be eradicated.

22 January 2008
The cattle were still on Mill Hill dumping their excrement all over the long grass south of the Reservoir, but also on the recovering herb-rich plateau north of the Reservoir. Cattle cause great damage by disturbance of the soil and nutrification with their urine and faeces. Both these factors change the flora for a long time and encourage grasses and ruderal plants. A dogwas seen in panic in the presence of the cattle.
Tip: wear old shoes: the cattle urinate on the grass and it can be difficult to get the smell out even if you avoid the cow pats.

4 January 2008
Unfortunately the cattle are still trashing the top of Mill Hill in an asinine plan by the South Downs Conservation Board on an important Nature Reserve. The flat area being grazed (seen from the Adur Levels) is an area that contains a recovering low fertility wildlife meadow flora including Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and many other important caterpillar food plants and nectar plants.
The cattle indiscriminately eat the flora, but more importantly the destruction occurs because of the ground disturbance they cause and their patterns of urination and cow pats which are making the paths impassable on shallow chalk soil in wet muddy conditions. Chalkhill herbs require low fertility undisturbed land and are wiped out (most of them permanently) if the conditions change.
 
 
Butterfly Habitat Notes
 

Observations of the habitats of the Small Heath Butterfly

Observations of the habitats of the Small Copper Butterfly

Some Notes on the local Meadow Brown Butterfly populations

Notes on the Wall Brown Butterfly

Bird's Foot Trefoil & the Common Blue Butterfly

Some other notes on resident butterflies and moths in the Adur area (Part One)

Some other notes on resident butterflies and moths in the Adur area (Part Two)

Adonis Blues notes from the downs near Shoreham

Chalkhill Blues notes from the downs near Shoreham

Skippers of the downs near Shoreham

Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur district area and a few absentees

Observations of some of the smaller Moths in the Adur district area
 

Lead Agencies for designated Local Nature Reserves
 

Clouded Yellow Butterfly  (Link to a recommended photograph by Dave Appleton)

 


 


Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)

Adur Butterflies 2007



 

Earliest Butterfly Sightings Summary
Sussex Butterflies
Butterfly Flight Times (best site)
Butterfly Conservation: First Sightings
UK Butterflies Discussion Board



 
 

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index pageMill Hill Wildlife Reports 2008 (Link)

Notes:At the current rate of decline, Chalkhill Blue Butterflies would disappear from Mill Hill in about 20 years


Adur Butterflies
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham



Prevalence Definitions (does not apply to birds):

NEW ACFOR SYSTEM OF ABUNDANCE OVER A SPECIFIED AREA:

SUPERABUNDANT = 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
COMMON 100-500
VERY FREQUENT = 50-100
FREQUENT 10 - 50
OCCASIONAL 2-10
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

Condition of Butterflies
Pristine
Fine:  good condition
Average
Poor
Tattered;  Torn and battered



Adur Butterflies
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs

British Lepidoptera on flickr

UK Butterflies Sightings
 
 

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages

Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index page
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages