Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies and the Larger Moths 2009 
Link to the Mill Hill web page for 2009All 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
2008
2010


Sussex Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
UK Butterflies: Sightings
Adur Moths
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers

  British Lepidoptera on  flickr

WILDLIFE REPORTS
(Narrative):
 

Butterfly List 2010

10 -13 November 2009
Continual poor weather with rain means I think we have seen the last of the butterflies for the year, the complete demise after the first few days of November as in previous years since 2003.

9 November 2009
As expected it was almost a complete miss for butterflies on Mill Hill, but in the north-west corner of Mill Hill Nature Reserve I almost stumbled over a Clouded Yellow Butterfly which fluttered on to the Old Erringham pasture and when I almost trod on it it flew over the Hawthorn scrub in the direction of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was only positive butterfly sighting of the day and the last butterfly of the year.

7 - 8 November 2009
After the torrential rain starting in the afternoon and continuing throughout the night and into all the morning with a few remissions, I would not be surprised if I do not see any more butterflies this year, unless a spell of sunshine or disturbance entices out a Red Admiral. It was too damp for a visit to Mill Hill.

7 November 2009
A Red Admiral flew around the eaves in West Street in Shoreham town centre and I assume that this was the one seen before on three or four occasions. Another Red Admiral flew over the Dovecote Estate, north-west Shoreham.

5 November 2009
I found  60+ Large White Butterfly caterpillars feeding on four Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli plants in a garden near Mill Hill. There were a wide range of instars but it seems rather late in the year.

Report by Richard Roebuck on Sussex Butterflies


A Red Admiral flew near some Ivy on the Bridlepath to the west of Hoe Cottage, Lancing (on the way from the Sussex Pad to Lancing Ring).

4 November 2009
Another white butterfly flew near St. Michael's Church, Southwick, but again it was too far away to determine which out of three possible species (it wasn't large enough for a female Brimstone). Later there was just the one Clouded Yellow was seen at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, visiting Devil's Bit Scabious in the early afternoon, before the black clouds produced a torrential downpour. This Clouded Yellow was very lively and flew rapidly over the Hawthorn scrub to the brow of the hill.

2 November 2009
It appeared to be a Large White Butterfly that fluttered over the top of Buckingham Road, Shoreham (in front of White Lodge), but I could not get close enough to see for sure to make it the first time this species has been recorded in November in these Nature Notes pages. When the sun emerged from from behind the frequent clouds a Peacock Butterfly emerged from hibernation by the Ivy on the edge of the Pixie Path, looking slightly tatty and this was the first time this species has been seen in November. There was also a possible Speckled Wood flying high over the path.
 

On Mill Hill, a Clouded Yellow was the first butterfly to be seen. There were three on the lower slopes including a yellow one mating with a helice type (female) which was white with black markings on the upper wing and creamy yellow on the underside. The was the first time I had seen this butterfly actually copulating, which occurred over the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, slopes just over the path. The Clouded Yellow Butterflies usually appear with their wings closed, but it has been reported that the wings actually open and close faster than the human eye can observe, and in the photograph above, I surmise pre-mating sequence of about a second, that the wings open and close at a slower rate. A further Clouded Yellow was seen on the upper slopes by the Reservoir, the last butterfly seen in the afternoon. This one was teased on to my finger as it appeared slightly lethargic.
Clouded Yellow Butterfly (Link to a recommended photograph by Dave Appleton)

Pre-mating, female Clouded Yellows (as well as Berger's and Pale Clouded) may hold their wings open for some considerable time (up to a minute) and males will attend them with wings half-open.

Comments by Guy Padfield (Switzerland) on UK Butterflies
More Images (by Guy Padfield)
 

A few minutes afterwards the first female Common Blue visited a Hawkbit and then the single Devil's Bit Scabious flower. This was the first of three females and a tatty male (or indeterminate) Common Blue. This species was another first for November. The Adonis Blues were not seen.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Three species plus a probable

30 October 2009
A Red Admiral flew over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

29 October 2009
The Indian summer resumes (15.5 °C at midday) and I visited Mill Hill directly through the Dovecote Estate, where at the top of the estate in Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the Mill Hill Bridge) amongst the fallen Sycamore leaves on the grass patch, a damaged Painted Lady Butterfly seemed incapable of flying long distances but was able to flutter out of camera range. With the exiguous supply of nectar flowers on Mill Hill, the seven other butterflies were very lively indeed fluttering from Devil's Bit Scabious (two flowers) to Hawkbits and away on the breeze. There were two male Adonis Blues, two Common Blues (one faded male and a very faded female), and a bright yellow Clouded Yellow on the lower slopes, and another Clouded Yellow (last butterfly of the day) above the ridge on the top of the hill. A Red Admiral flew strongly over the Hawthorn scrub.
Five species

27 October 2009
Two Red Admirals were seen in the Shoreham residential area.

26 October 2009
I was in an absent-minded reverie enjoying the brief sunshine and not thinking about butterflies when exactly the same Holly Blue Butterfly of the previous day fluttered along the Pixie Path and was later seen in the Butterfly Copse with the slightly aberrant spot or damage on the forewing. A Red Admiral flew over Frampton's Field, and after I turned the corner on the west-east stretch of the footpath that runs parallel with the A27, a very faded pale Clouded Yellow Butterfly flew past. Less than a minute later on the same part of the Pixie Path an extremely bright Clouded Yellow flew over the chestnut fencing into Frampton's Field. I thought I was going to draw a complete blank on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, when a pure white black lined Clouded Yellow fluttered rapidly past. This was the first time I had seen a completely white one and I have identified this as a female Clouded Yellow var. Helice, which would be a first for Mill Hill. (It could have been a rarer Pale Clouded Yellow or even a Berger's Clouded Yellow?).
2006 records of Helice variants

Then to my surprise a nearly new iridescent male Adonis Blue was spotted on a single Devil's Bit Scabious flower its presence preventing a female Common Blue from landing. This particular Common Blue was marked very much like a Brown Argus, and I chased it around until it settled with its wings closed so I could confirm its identity from its spots. A few minutes later a completely brown, tatty, and more obvious female Common Blue showed. The Adonis Blue was seen to visit the sparse collection of nectar flowers favouring a Stemless Thistle but also landing on the small Hawkbits and one Lesser Centaury. Then another bright Clouded Yellow flew northwards.
 

The iridescence was quickly noticeable when the Adonis Blue was first spotted
The Adonis Blue repeatedly returned to the Stemless Thistle
The Holly Blue had distinctive markings and would not settle for a second

The Waterworks Road added a Red Admiral and a Small White. The Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath in the early afternoon, after the sun had disappeared behind the clouds, produced just the one Painted Lady on Ivy. There were three Red Admirals in Shoreham town, the last butterfly of the day rising high into a Fir tree in St. Mary de Haura Churchyard in the fading light of approaching dusk..
Seven species plus the variant

25 October 2009
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttering around the Holly and Ivy in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road surprised me. As I attempted to get a photograph before the numerous Common Wasps disturbed the butterfly a Speckled Wood appeared. Three Red Admirals were seen in Shoreham town and a Small White along the towpath to Cuckoo's Corner. The Red Admiral in West Street, Shoreham, was the last of the day in the early afternoon.
Four species

23 October 2009
With the first mushrooms after the rain and an autumnal feel under a cloudy sky, I was already looking for the last butterfly of the year, and one was not found until the very last Ivy bush next to the Pixie Path bordering on Mill Hill Road before the bridge over the A27. It was a good condition Red Admiral.

21 October 2009
No butterflies were seen in Old Shoreham on a cloudy day, but there was a Vapourer Moth fluttering at low level over the towpath just north of the Toll Bridge.

18 October 2009
Just after midday on a sunny but cool day under a blue sky of cumulus clouds, two male Common Blues fluttered between the small Hawkbits that decorated the northern part of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was a passage trip and I only stayed for long enough to discover that the Devil's Bits Scabious was no longer in flower and I could not even find the remnants of the last flowering clump. The first Clouded Yellow flew by. On the verges of the path as it entered the Hawthorn scrub a Speckled Wood fluttered over the short grass, and above a Peacock Butterfly glided over the Clematis covered shrubbery. By the gate to Old Erringham, another Clouded Yellow visited a Small Scabious that had turned white and the third one of the day fluttered over the unoccupied pasture. The middle slopes and top meadows and plateau were devoid of butterflies until I cycled down trip on the Pixie Path and disturbed a Red Admiral.
In Shoreham town I examined the Ivy in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road and found it covered in Drone Flies (a hoverfly) and no butterflies seen in the first two minutes and I only spotted a good condition Painted Lady resting on an Ivy leaf at the last moment. Over the central town area I added a Red Admiral and later a Large White Butterfly over residential Shoreham.
Seven species

16 October 2009
I had a quick walk around Mill Hill at lunchtime and I saw three Clouded Yellows, one Painted Lady, one Red Admiral and several Small Coppers that were all were flying purposefully and did not land.

Report by Richard Roebuck on Sussex Butterflies


A Speckled Wood fluttered in the churchyard of St. Mary de Haura in central New Shoreham. A Large White was seen over Shoreham town.

15 October 2009
Three Large Whites, a Peacock Butterfly and a Vapourer Moth seen in Windlesham Road, fluttered over Shoreham town. A Red Admiral fluttered over the mud flats at Old Shoreham, with another one along the towpath to Cuckoo's Corner with the first Clouded Yellow of the day, a Small White and a Large White. Butterflies were few and far between in the afternoon with two Speckled Woods and another Red Admiral seen on the bridlepath to Lancing Ring from the Sussex Pad. In the main part of the Nature Reserve I spotted a Clouded Yellow flying over the fringes of the dewpond, and just the Red Admiral flying over the unshorn meadows.
Six butterfly species

14 October 2009
Butterflies seen over Old Shoreham on a cloudy afternoon were one Clouded Yellow and four Red Admirals all seen near the River Adur at low tide.

13 October 2009
Butterflies seen over Southwick and Shoreham in the morning were one Clouded Yellow, three Large Whites and two each of Speckled Woods, Painted Ladies and Small Whites. The Clouded Yellow was seen flying across the western approach to Southwick Square and the two Speckled Woods were courting over a Yew sapling in St. Julian's Churchyard, Kingston Buci.

12 October 2009
Life for the declining number of butterflies was beginning to becoming more difficult. The Ivy was still an attractant but everywhere the bushes were dominated by swarms of wasps, bees and flies with the occasional bumblebee and the butterflies if they were able to find a perch it was an even chance that it would be right at the top of the bush. Predatory dragonflies were frequently seen, mostly Common Darters, but also at least one Southern Hawker which I have seen prey on large butterflies (in previous years). A few Garden Orb Spiders, Araneus diadematus, cast their webs amongst the Ivy and Garden Privet hedges. On Mill Hill, nectar plants were few and far between, and for this reason the numbers of each butterfly were problematical and it may have been the same butterfly seen on two occasions and the excluding of these is reflected in the lower number count than actual sightings.
 

Painted Lady
Comma
Clouded Yellow

The first butterfly seen was a Comma amongst the Ivy on the Pixie Path in the late morning before the sun had shined. The first Clouded Yellow of the day flew over the northern part of Frampton's Field and the same one may have been seen at the southern end an hour later. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the half dozen male Common Blues visited the small Hawkbits, and quarrelled with the Brown Argus and Small Copper Butterflies over a single clump of Devil's Bits Scabious. On the top meadow of Mill Hill, a Clouded Yellow or two visited a few remaining flowering Greater Knapweed, Hardhead and the flowers of Creeping Thistle. Just the two Meadow Browns; they were not seen until I was about to leave Mill Hill. The Ivy and Buddleia on the railway embankment next to the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road in Shoreham town hosted three Painted Ladies, five Red Admirals, three Large Whites and a Comma.
 
Small White Dolphin Road in Shoreham 1 (the last butterfly seen in the afternoon)
Large White Shoreham Town 4  Waterworks Road 1  Pixie Path 1  = 6
Red Admiral Shoreham Town 6  Downs Link Cyclepath 3  Pixie Path 2  Mill Hill 2 or 3  New Erringham Pasture 1  = 14 or 15 
Painted Lady Shoreham Town 3  Downs Link Cyclepath 1  Pixie Path  5   = 9
Clouded Yellow Pixie Path  1 or 2  Mill Hill  2 or 4  Old Erringham Pasture 1 New Erringham Pasture 1  = 5 to 8
Speckled Wood Pixie Path  3  Mill Hill  2  = 5
Meadow Brown Mill Hill  2 (south of the Reservoir on my return)
Common Blue Mill Hill  6+  (males on the lower slopes)
Brown Argus Mill Hill  lower  1 or 2
Wall Brown Mill Hill upper   1
Small Copper Mill Hill  1 or 2  (lower slopes)
Comma Shoreham Town 1  Pixie Path  2  = 3

 Red Admirals were the only butterfly that were numbered in double figures with 14 or 15.
 Twelve species

11 October 2009
On a cloudy day with spots of rain the only butterfly seen was a Painted Lady in Ham Road, Shoreham.

10 October 2009
A quick walk with the dogs this morning up to the top of Mill Hill around 10:00 am, I spotted five Painted Ladies, one Comma, one  Common Blue, one Red Admiral, one Specked Wood, and two Clouded Yellows.

Report by Alec Trusler on Sussex Butterflies


8 October 2009
I was curious to discover how much the inclement weather of the last four days and the rain deluge of the previous day had affected the butterfly populations and if I would see any at all. As I opened my gate in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, an unexpected Clouded Yellow Butterfly flew past, skirting the Garden Privet hedges. A promising start was followed by the first of occasional Large Whites seen in the early afternoon, about 15 minutes later by a Red Admiral flying high over Old Shoreham Road, north of the the Swiss Gardens. And then a few minutes after that, the first of three Clouded Yellows and another Red Admiral flying over the Sea Purslane and mud flats at low tide on the River Adur south of the Toll Bridge. Over the Pixie Path, five more Clouded Yellows were seen quite quickly with two courting over some Creeping Thistles in Frampton's Field. The Ivy attracted swarms of wasps, bees and flies and just a few butterflies including two out of four Red Admirals and a Peacock Butterfly. At the top of the Pixie Path the lazy flight of a Small White Butterfly enabled it to be easily identified.
 

Painted Lady
Devil's Bit Scabious
Small Copper

By the time I had reached Mill Hill, the weak sun was beginning to shine out of a blue sky, with the first Speckled Wood and another Red Admiral seen on the steps leading down to the lower slopes from the south. A Silver Y Moth was quickly seen followed by the first of 13 more Clouded Yellows. I ambled down to the northern end of the lower slopes without seeing anything apart from the first of just three Meadow Browns. I sat down by a small patch of Devil's Bit Scabious and waited for the butterflies to come to me. From this vantage point the first Painted Lady of the day settled followed by three Common Blues, two males and a pretty bluish female, two old but intact Small Coppers and two positive views of Brown Argus Butterflies. Another Clouded Yellow was the first one seen to settle this year, but only for a couple of seconds on the Devil's Bit Scabious. Two further Clouded Yellows were seen over Old Erringham pasture from the gate. The Ivy in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve again attracted swarms of wasps, but also two Peacock Butterflies, three Red Admirals and a Painted Lady. The Hawthorn scrub area added three further Speckled Woods. The top meadows were devoid of butterflies but the breeze-swept open grassy areas added two more Clouded Yellows and a Wall Brown fluttered past and was seen clearly just north of the Reservoir.

On the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath in Old Shoreham (south of the Toll Bridge) a single patch of still flowering Buddleia attracted two Painted Ladies, a Peacock, a Large White and a transient passing Holly Blue Butterfly. The Holly Blue was a surprise third brood butterfly. Shoreham town added another Red Admiral and a Large White.
Thirteen species including two not seen before this month

3 October 2009
Returning (from the last car boot sale of the year in a field on the Adur Levels west of Mill Hill) along the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath from the Old Erringham layby to Shoreham, I noted at least two Comma Butterflies, frequent Speckled Woods, and at least one each of a Painted Lady, Small White, Red Admiral, Vapourer Moth, and in Shoreham town a Large White Butterfly.
Six butterfly species

2 October 2009
As the sun was still shining, I thought I would make a detour through the outskirts of Old Shoreham where two Clouded Yellows graced the towpath just north of the Toll Bridge. Over the Pixie Path and the top of Chanctonbury Drive in the vicinity of the Ivy, Red Admirals (20+) and Painted Ladies (12+) were both frequently seen, with one Comma, one surprise Peacock, one Speckled Wood and a handful of Large Whites. Under the blue sky I could not resist the temptation for a quick cycle ride up to the upper car park on Mill Hill, where there were about fifty Common Darter dragonflies over the tarmac path next to the meadow to the north but very few butterflies seen in a ten minute foray with just two Wall Browns, a Clouded Yellow and a male Common Blue. The small brown moths seen over the hedgerows and for the last few days were thought to be Vapourer Moths, Orgyia antiqua.
Adur Moths
Nine butterfly species
 

Comma Butterfly
Painted Lady
Red Admiral
Meadow Brown
Speckled Wood
Red Admiral
Common Blue
Clouded Yellow
Comma
Wall Brown
Small Heath
Painted Lady
Large White
Small White
 Peacock
Small Copper
     

Feamle Common Blue on Creeping Thistle on Mill Hill

Thirteen species of butterfly seen in the first two days of October 2009





1 October 2009
A pleasant (17.3 °C) beginning to October with a Light Breeze (Force 2) blowing form the NNW (N veering to NW) brought butterflies out to visit the few remaining nectar flowers. The Ivy on the Pixie Path and Mill Hill attracted the Red Admirals (2+2), Painted Ladies (3+0) and Meadow Browns (0+3).
How Painted Butterflies Navigate (BBC Web Site)
 
Small White Mill Hill lower slopes 2
Large White Occasional over urban Shoreham, outskirts and Mill Hill  3
Red Admiral Pixie Path 2  Mill Hill  5
Painted Lady Pixie Path  3  Mill Hill  1
Clouded Yellow Mill Hill  3
Speckled Wood Mill Hill  2
Meadow Brown Mill Hill  13
Common Blue Mill Hill  8 (including two females) (lower 4 upper meadow 4)
Small Heath Mill Hill  lower  1
Wall Brown Mill Hill upper   2
Small Copper Mill Hill  1 (lower slopes)
Comma Pixie Path  1  Mill Hill  1

 Twelve species
 

28 September 2009
A Painted Lady Butterfly flew into some still flowering Buddleia next to the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates in Shoreham.

27 September 2009
I visited Mill Hill in the afternoon on a sunny day (on the route from the Waterworks Road and along the Pixie Path), visiting the lower slopes and returning by the second ridge route. Butterflies were widespread and scattered, the only congregations were 19 Meadow Browns, five Common Blues, three Small Heaths and a Wall Brown at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and a mixture on the Ivy in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve (to the south of the gate to Old Erringham pastures) of two Red Admirals, two Meadow Browns, one Painted Lady, a Speckled Wood and a Large White.
 
Small White At least one on the Downs Link Cyclepath in Old Shoreham
Large White Occasional over urban Shoreham, outskirts and the downs
Red Admiral Old Shoreham  3  Pixie Path 1  Mill Hill  3
Painted Lady Old Shoreham  1  Pixie Path  7  Mill Hill  1
Clouded Yellow Pixie Path 1  Mill Hill  2
Speckled Wood Old Shoreham  3  Mill Hill  4+
Meadow Brown Mill Hill  27
Common Blue Mill Hill  5 (including one female)
Small Heath Mill Hill  lower slopes  1
Wall Brown Mill Hill  upper meadow 2
Small Copper Mill Hill  (above the ridge)  1

 Eleven species

25 September 2009
Large White Butterflies were frequently seen everywhere. A Red Admiral and a Painted Lady were seen over the Ivy on the western verge of the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. On a cycle ride along the towpath to Upper Beeding added a Comma Butterfly and a Speckled Wood over the cyclepath part. The vast grass downland expanses of Anchor Bottom were almost devoid of butterflies although a Red Admiral flew high overhead further up the slope, and a Large White was seen in the distance. The south facing Horseshoe Vetch field is the most promising area, but it was a few minutes before a Meadow Brown Butterfly fluttered in a lopping lackadaisical manner before briefly (a second or two) landing on a Devil's Bit Scabious (which was my first report of this plant on this site) and then Sow Thistle.  As I followed it, a the bright yellow of a Clouded Yellow Butterfly distracted my attention. The return by the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath to Old Shoreham added a few more Speckled Woods and to my surprise a definite Wall Brown on the path verges about about 100 metres north of the Toll Bridge.
Eight species

24 September 2009
Five Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen on another nearly warm (>18.9 °C) day, all in the first 30 minutes and although the butterflies settled very briefly (> 5 seconds) on yellow flowers, notably Dandelions in Gordon Avenue, Shoreham, their stay was much too brief for a clear photograph. The second one was seen fluttering across the eastern end of nearby Rosslyn Road. The other three (possibly five) were seen on the west side of the cyclepath by Widewater Lagoon and mostly chose Ragwort to visit. Other butterflies seen on the beach route were frequent Large White and frequent Small White Butterflies, at least one Red Admiral over Lancing. Only Large Whites flew over a mown McIntyre's Field, north-east Lancing, with occasional Speckled Woods by the trees and on the bridlepath at the top of the field. Next to the ploughed field north of Cuckoo's Corner, the orange vanessid was probably a Painted Lady (the habitat did not seem right for a Comma).
Six species

23 September 2009
A few Large White Butterflies were seen on my travels on an overcast afternoon with one Painted Lady Butterfly and about twenty Speckled Woods on a cycle ride up the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham halfway to Upper Beeding and a return by the towpath.
Three species

21 September 2009
I had a quick walk around the top part of Mill Hill at lunch time and saw two Wall Browns, a pristine Small Copper and a Common Blue.

Report by Richard Roebuck on Sussex Butterflies


In contrast to the previous day, it was the Small White and Green-veined White Butterflies that were frequently seen along the cyclepath from Weald Dyke, Shoreham Beach, going eastwards towards Lancing Beach Green where a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered northwards across the mown grass. Large White Butterflies were only occasionally seen. On a hurried passage route along the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, another Clouded Yellow was conspicuous.
Four species (personal tally)

20 September 2009
On an energy sapping humid morning, both hoverflies and butterflies were active around one large clump of Ivy on the Pixie Path (near the NW corner of Frampton's Field) and it was a flash of orange I saw first which I thought was a Comma, but it turned out to be one of five pristine Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral seen immediately followed by a Comma Butterfly seen in less than a minute and another duller Comma spotted about three minutes after the initial sighting. Two Large White Butterflies were spotted over Frampton's Field and this butterfly was frequently seen in widespread places on the downs, outskirts and over Shoreham streets and allotments. Almost all of these were the larger species, but at least two Small Whites were also noted on passage.
 

Painted Lady
Small Copper
Red Admiral

A Meadow Brown Butterfly visited a Hardhead next to the southern steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. But it was a few minutes before the next butterfly, one of two Small Heath Butterflies over my one acre transect, three Large Whites, two Meadow Browns, three male Adonis Blues, and just as I was about to leave the lower slopes, a sparring Clouded Yellow and Small Copper Butterfly. The Hawthorn scrub area added three Speckled Woods, two more Painted Ladies and at least one more Meadow Brown. The middle slopes mixed scrub and open spaces hosted two good condition Wall Brown Butterflies. The upper meadows of Mill Hill again seemed almost devoid of visible butterflies with only a Red Admiral spotted.  South of the Reservoir there was a Large White Butterfly and in amongst the dying herbs a Silver Y Moth fluttered about.
The Butterfly Copse hosted two Speckled Woods, and the Waterworks Road a further two and a Large White.
Twelve butterfly species.

18 September 2009
A Red Admiral was seen over Shoreham streets and white butterflies over the allotments.

14 September 2009
A Clouded Yellow Butterfly was spotted on the shingle between the beach huts at the eastern end of Lancing Beach Green and a Red Admiral at the western end. Over the town and allotments frequent white butterflies were spotted, both Large Whites and Small Whites.
Four species
 
10 September 2009
This brightly coloured caterpillar was spotted crawling across the tarmaced approach to Tarmount Public Hard in Shoreham. It is the larva of the Sycamore Moth Acronicta aceris. The moth varies in colour from pale grey to dark sooty-grey. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Sycamore or Horse Chestnut. 

What's this Caterpillar?

9 September 2009
An anticipated decline in butterflies was noted: the Pixie Path recorded six Speckled Woods, two Red Admirals and a Holly Blue. The one acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill produced ten Adonis Blues (seven males and three females), seven Meadow Browns, three Small Heaths, one female Common Blue and a Treble-bar Moth. The Hawthorn scrub on Mill Hill added at least eight Speckled Woods and four Meadow Browns plus two more in the clearing on the middle slopes known as the Triangle, where three male Common Blues were also seen.
 

Speckled Wood
Adonis Blue
Holly Blue

The top meadows and plateau were almost devoid of butterflies with just the one Speckled Wood in the shelter of a Hawthorn bush and a few Silver Y Moths and a Treble-bar Moth in the meadow north of the upper car park. In Shoreham town and outskirts there were frequent Large Whites, occasional Small Whites and another Red Admiral.
NB: Holly Blues have been very few and far between this year. The only time one opened up his wings, I was disturbed by a passer-by.
Nine butterfly species

8 September 2009
On a warm day with a midday air temperature at 20.8 °C, a Comma Butterfly fluttered across Buckingham Park with a Speckled Wood Butterfly under the trees at the top and a few more at the top of The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea. A Silver Y Moth but no butterflies was seen on the verges of Buckingham Cutting south. Frequent Large White Butterflies were seen flying over the allotments and gardens in Shoreham town.
Four species

6 September 2009
A Red Admiral Butterfly rested on a white wall in West Street, Shoreham. A long aching walk to Mill Hill was rewarded by frequent butterflies on the lower slopes, under fifty were seen. Adonis Blues were first to make an appearance with nine males and four females seen, two Large Whites and a reduction in the numbers of Meadow Browns with an estimated only about fifteen all at the northern end of the lower slopes, where I noted one Small Heath Butterfly and a Common Blue. I returned by the ridge route and added three Speckled Woods from the Hawthorn tunnel. Amongst the Ivy on the verges of the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge in Old Shoreham, the hoverflies and bees would not give the butterflies any rest and three pristine Red Admirals and three faded Painted Ladies were disturbed.
Eight species

5 September 2009
Great Butterfly Hunt (Independent) Article

3 September 2009
On another overcast rainy day, just the two butterflies were seen; a Comma Butterfly nearly underneath the A27 Flyover on the western bank of the river where a patch of Fleabane and Ragwort were still in flower*, and a Small White on the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge in Old Shoreham. (*The bicycle broke down here and I proceeded no further.)

2 September 2009
After the deluge and on a cool cloudy breezy day, I visited Mill Hill to check out whether any Gatekeepers were still around. I must have looked at over fifty Meadow Browns but even the brown and orange butterflies in the hedgerows were Meadow Browns. They were divided about equally between male and females. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, there were at least 21 Adonis Blues (16 males and five females), a slightly greater number of Common Blues of both genders, 40+ Meadow Browns, one Speckled Wood and three Small Heath Butterflies. It is was very difficult to put the brown females to species and there may have been up to a dozen Adonis Blue females and some of these could even have been Chalkhill Blues. Some of the male Adonis Blues were very tatty and there could have others identified as Common Blues. I returned by the ridge route and another 20+ Meadow Browns and three more Small Heath Butterflies were spotted. On the Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, a very large grey butterfly was tilted over in a peculiar way. These butterflies have been seen in most years on the exposed ridge flying off so rapidly as to elude positive identification. I have always dismissed them as Meadow Browns. There is a possibility that this was a Grayling Butterfly which has not been recorded on Mill Hill since 1968. On a second look I think it was a Meadow Brown.
In Shoreham town there were Large Whites, Small Whites and one Speckled Wood.
Grayling in Sussex
Seven definite species

30 August 2009
After several days of inclement weather I noted a Red Admiral Butterfly visiting Buddleia in the twitten between Corbyn Crecent and Adelaide Square in Shoreham town. Large White Butterflies were frequently seen courting.

29 August 2009
I returned to Steyning Rifle Range expecting to observe a downward trend in Brown Hairstreak numbers, but got a rather nice surprise! There was also a visit of a Purple Emperor. We saw a total of nine female Brown Hairstreaks, along with the 'usual suspects' including Wall and Clouded Yellow. There had clearly been a 'second wave' of emergence, as all nine of the Brown Hairstreaks were in better condition than the brown I saw during my last visit on 21 August 2009. Some were very fresh and probably only a day or two old.

Report by Neil Hulme on UK Butterflies
Report on Learn About Butterflies (Adrian Hoskins)

25 August 2009
Mating Adonis Blues on Carline ThistleOn a breezy day, the lower slopes of Mill Hill were sheltered compared to the exposed plateau. Meadow Browns were the most prevalent butterfly with about fifty seen on the lower slopes and something like the same number again on passage over the top meadows and scrub. The most notable sightings were the large number of female Adonis Blues on the lower slopes only. Out of 38 Adonis Blues, 21 were males and 17 were the brown females and for most of the time the female count outnumbered the bright blue males. This count of females is the highest ever on the lower slopes. There was a possibility that a few, four at most, were female Chalkhill Blues. On the lower slopes there were four male Chalkhill Blues, two Common Blues, two Wall Browns, a Large White or two, at least one Small Heath, one Speckled Wood, at least one Gatekeeper and a strong flying Clouded Yellow. There were frequent small pyralid moths and a few Shaded Broad-bar Moths, Scotopteryx chenopodiata. Both Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns were frequent in the Hawthorn scrub with two more Wall Browns recorded. In contrast the top meadows hosted Common Blues of both genders in lesser numbers than previously but well over fifty actually seen under an overcast sky. All the potential Brown Argus turned out to be female Common Blues. Blown about on the top of the hill there was just one Painted Lady and one Small Heath seen and occasional Small Whites. There was a Holly Blue around the Ivy on the southern part of the Pixie Path.
Thirteen species

24 August 2009
On a passage cycle ride through Lancing and Old Shoreham, Large Whites were frequent everywhere, with occasional Small Whites and Painted Ladies, and at least one Holly Blue, Green-veined White, Red Admiral and Comma Butterfly. The Comma Butterfly fluttered amongst the Stinging Nettles along the footpath section of the Waterworks Road.
Seven species

23 August 2009
In the afternoon (3:00 pm) of the second day of the Shoreham Air Show, the sun was still out and the butterflies noted as I negotiated the crowds in Old Shoreham and on the Pixie Path were all the usual ones: Large Whites, Small Whites, Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies, Chalkhill Blues (Mill Hill Cutting SW), Holly Blues, Speckled Woods, two Red Admirals (not seen since the 17 August 2009), but no Gatekeepers were observed.
Nine species

Anchor Bottom (TQ 210 0930)
Two Clouded Yellows, Large Whites and Small Whites, Brown Argus, Adonis Blues, Common Blues, Small Heaths, Speckled Wood, Meadow Browns, and a glimpse of a possible Wall Brown.

Anchor Bottom Report by Crispin Holloway on Sussex Butterflies
Small Heath Butterfly on a Hardhead
22 August 2009
In the late afternoon (3:30 pm) of Shoreham Air Show, the sun was still out and a smattering of butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill where I recorded 28 male Adonis Blues, 36 mixed gender Common Blues, just one male Chalkhill Blue plus two brown females which could have been either Adonis or Chalkhill Blue. Meadow Browns were by far the most frequent butterfly on show, estimated at 75+ including 30+ large females. The lower slopes also hosted a few Painted Ladies, (now declining in numbers and condition), nine Small Heath Butterflies, two Wall Browns, a Large White or two, and a smattering of the small pyralid moths. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttered past without stopping and there altogether four sightings of at least three separate butterflies. I returned by the shortest ridge route where I saw at least one Speckled Wood in the Hawthorn tunnel, three female Gatekeepers (when none were seen around the hedges on the lower slopes) and one Green-veined White as well as some more Meadow Browns. A brief sortie through the meadow and picnickers and some more Common Blues and Meadow Browns were disturbed and a flash of orange which I thought could have been a late skipper but it was another Small Heath. It fluttered from Hardhead to Ragwort. I arrived via the Pixie Path where a few Small Whites were identified with the more numerous Large Whites, Meadow Browns in Frampton's Field, and a Holly Blue by the hedge at the top. Passing Mill Hill Cutting, I noted a male Chalkhill Blue from the Pixie Path.
Thirteen species

21 August 2009
Much too breezy for butterflies, but I needed some fresh air so I visited the upper part of Mill Hill where I saw most of the expected butterflies: scores of Common Blues, frequent Large Whites, Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies and Speckled Woods, occasional Small Whites and Silver Y Moths, at least one Brown Argus and one male Adonis Blue. The Mill Hill Cutting added three of each sex Chalkhill Blues, the females both courting the attention of the good condition males as well as crawling through the Horseshoe Vetch to discharge their eggs. Holly Blues were occasionally to be spotted amongst the Ivy on the Pixie Path. A Gatekeeper was not spotted.
Only ten butterfly species

19 August 2009
As the sun was out I could not resist another visit to Mill Hill to see if I could capture the Brown Hairstreak on my camera. Alas, as was usually the case a brief search was unsuccessful. I only visited the upper part of Mill Hill where Common Blues were frequently seen everywhere, with an estimated twenty Meadow Browns, frequent Painted Ladies, six Wall Browns, two Adonis Blues, a few Speckled Woods, just the one definite Gatekeeper, one Small Heath and one smallish skipper that looked and behaved like an Essex Skipper.
 

The four female Chalkhill Blues were rather worn and ragged, but at least two crawled through the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch to deposit their eggs.

Female Chalkhill Blues

The route to Mill Hill went through the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where there were a dozen Chalkhill Blues, including four females, all seen at the same time. The four female Chalkhill Blues were rather worn and ragged, but at least two of them crawled in amongst the prostrate leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. A Green-veined White landed on a Bramble leaf and I thought that the triangular shape of the wings was most pronounced and this would help with the practical difficulties in identifying the white butterflies. There were three Wall Browns and two Holly Blues on the northern stretch of the Pixie Path with Meadow Browns and Common Blues in Frampton's Field. In Shoreham town both Large Whites and Small Whites were frequently seen with occasional Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and Holly Blues.
Thirteen species

On a brief visit to Mill Hill where there was up to three Clouded Yellows and also a second brood Dingy Skipper as well as plenty of  Adonis Blue.

Report by Bob Eade on Sussex Butterflies


18 August 2009
Steyning Rifle Range was still producing the goods and getting quite busy! No less than six different female Brown Hairstreaks down low, differentiated on the basis of wear and tear (although one was fresh and scale-perfect). Some appeared several times during their wanderings around the site. I watched quite a lot of egg-laying today and I reckon they are just about at peak. I was surprised at how readily they flew over several 100 metres of open ground to get to new stands of Prunus (they prefer to lay on bullace here), rather than hugging the hedge-lines.

Report by Neil Hulme on UK Butterflies


The Brown Hairstreak spends most of its time around the tops of tall mature trees (Oak and Ash) where mating takes place, and so tends not to be seen, except for the female when she comes down to lay her eggs on fairly low Blackthorn bushes.

Comments from the Birdguides CD-ROM on British Butterflies

17 August 2009
I was shocked by the sighting of a Brown Hairstreak Butterfly* on Mill Hill south of the upper car park. It flew off rapidly and was lost to my sight in about 20 seconds, so this was my first ever glimpse of this hedgerow butterfly that lays its eggs on Blackthorn (Sloe). I caught a brief sighting with its wings closed (I was trying to identify if it was a Gatekeeper or Meadow Brown.) and it was not until I got home that I identified the species. It was about the size of a Gatekeeper and larger than the Green Hairstreak. This has increased the total species seen in Shoreham and all on Mill Hill to 33.
*Later doubts have crept in about the identification of this butterfly. I did not get a good enough look to be 100% certain.
Sighting and Photograph in 2010

Other species of butterfly seen on the day on Mill Hill and its approaches and the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding (by the Cement Works), were 54 Adonis Blues, an estimated 75+ Painted Ladies, an estimated 100+ Common Blues, an estimated 80+ Meadow Browns (including frequent females), frequent Gatekeepers, 13 Chalkhill Blues, frequent Speckled Woods, frequent Large Whites, frequent Small Whites, occasional Wall Browns, occasional Brown Argus Butterflies, occasional Green-veined Whites, occasional Small Heath Butterflies, occasional Holly Blues, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Red Admiral, two Comma Butterflies and one Peacock Butterfly*. Larger moths noted included a few Shaded Broad-bar Moths, occasional Silver Y Moths, at least one Carpet Moth, one Brimstone Moth and occasional Treble-bar Moths.
(*The sudden disappearance of most of the Peacock Butterflies was probably because of early hibernation.)
Full List by Location
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eighteen or Nineteen butterfly species

Notes:
The Brown Hairstreak Butterfly you saw at Mill Hill may well have come as a surprise to you, but I very much doubt that it was either a 'vagrant' or has been introduced. Brown Hairstreak is our most elusive species 'by a country mile' and many sites are known solely from egg surveys. The eggs are much easier to see than the adults. Steyning is throwing them up with impressive regularity (once you know where to look and when), but until I discovered eggs here in January 2008 the colony was unknown. Similarly, it was only when I discovered eggs on Cissbury Ring (January 2007) that Brown Hairstreak was added to the species list for the site - despite being transect-walked for decades and visited by butterfly-watchers on a very regular basis. They can be living on 'your patch', undetected, for donkey's years! Now you know they're there and will be watching out specifically for them, you will start to see more - but great patience is required!

Comments by Neil Hulme on UK Butterflies


After escaping from work, I trundled up to Mill Hill above the delightful A27 for some total escapism. The delights this evening on offer were a single Clouded Yellow, a single Gatekeeper, two Wall Brown, two Painted Lady, several Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Small Heath and Meadow Browns. Far fewer than earlier on in the day, but it was near the butterflies bedtime!

Report by Nick Linazasoro on Sussex Butterflies


Large White Butterfly16 August 2009
On a breezy overcast day, an appointment meant the cycle ride was a passage one through Buckingham Cutting (south) where occasional Large Whites and Small Whites, a Holly Blue and a few Common Blues and at least one Silver Y Moth were noted. Down to the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where more Common Blues, one Chalkhill Blue, a Painted Lady and a Speckled Wood were seen. The Pixie Path route was then due south to the Waterworks Road noting another Painted Lady more Common Blues of both sexes and a few Speckled Woods with more Large Whites. On the cyclepath in Old Shoreham south to Ropetackle, there were more Common Blues and a Brimstone Moth.
Seven butterfly species

13 August 2009
A cycle ride was originally just going to the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach and back but it extended along the towpath past the houseboats, across Adur Recreation Ground and along the towpath adjacent to the Airport and over the Toll Bridge up the Pixie Path to the top and a detour to Buckingham Cutting south.
 

Common Blue
 Common Blue (female)
Brown Argus
Brown Argus

Small Tortoiseshell on Creeping ThistleThe following butterflies were seen on route: frequent Large Whites, Small Whites, Painted Ladies, and Common Blues, occasional Green-veined Whites, Speckled Woods, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, three Wall Browns, three fresh Comma Butterflies, two Red Admirals, one Small Tortoiseshell, five Chalkhill Blues (including one female at the Mill Hill Cutting south-west), two Holly Blues, and a confirmed Brown Argus and a Small Blue (both at Buckingham Cutting). Many of the female Common Blues are entirely brown on the upper wings with orange spots and no trace of blue colour.
Brown Argus Identification Notes
Seventeen species of butterfly  (including three not seen the previous day)

12 August 2009
On an overcast afternoon, I decided to cycle along the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Annington Sewer (north of Botolphs). I had no plans to count the butterflies, only to note the species. The inevitable Painted Ladies were frequently seen everywhere, less frequent were Large Whites, Small Whites and in the shady areas Speckled Woods and a few Green-veined Whites. Gatekeepers were occasionally seen, many less than a week previously, with two Red Admirals, two Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterfly noted along the cyclepath. Despite the unpromising breeze, I explored Anchor Bottom from Dacre Gardens where Meadow Browns 35+ were frequently disturbed on my trek to the main Horseshoe Vetch slopes and back. An estimated twenty Common Blues (including one female) were mainly amongst the floristically poor longer grass on the southern slope and were only seen when disturbed so the actual numbers were much larger. Two Small Heath Butterflies were seen at the foot of the Horseshoe Vetch as usual, where after about ten minutes when I had given up all hope of any blue butterflies, a bright blue Adonis Blue was spotted amongst a few flowers near the Stinging Nettle patch followed by a male Chalkhill Blue and another one of each. On the return trip across the foot of the southern slopes of Anchor Bottom I spotted a Wall Brown, a Small (or Essex) Skipper and another Small Heath. Later in the afternoon, I went blackberrying and almost the only butterfly on the path running along the south of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, was a Holly Blue over the hedgerow. For a second, I thought I saw a Clouded Yellow, but it was a Brimstone Moth.
Seventeen species of butterfly

11 August 2009
A Red Admiral was seen on the southern path of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, a species not seen the previous day. In the same general area I counted five Holly Blues in the hedgerow together. The trip was a brief one to pick some apples, and the Slonk Hill south route in the afternoon was not very productive: the species were frequent Large Whites, Small Whites and Painted Ladies in town and country, Speckled Woods in the linear wood, frequent Common Blues and a few Meadow Browns in the verge meadows. On Mill Hill Cutting south-west, the Chalkhill Blue count was ten including one female and the plant they stayed on longest for nectar was Carline Thistle, but they made fleeting visits whilst I was watching to Autumn Gentian, Bird's-foot Trefoil and Eyebright.
Nine species

10 August 2009
Painted Lady Butterflies were everywhere in town and country with over fifty an hour seen. Both Large Whites and Small Whites were frequently seen as well.
 
Meadow Browns were frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill including mating pairs.

Lower Slopes of Mill Hill
Just a little too overcast and breezy for butterflies to be out, but there were just 13 Chalkhill Blues (including two females) and 41 Adonis Blues (including a female, although it was possible that this was a Chalkhill Blue) with an estimated ten Common Blues in flight on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Meadow Browns were frequently seen including mating pairs. The lower slopes also recorded occasional Painted Ladies, occasional Gatekeepers, two Wall Browns, at least one Small Heath Butterfly, one Speckled Wood, at least one Treble-bar Moth, one Shaded Broad-bar Moth and frequent pyralid micro-moths of both Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata. There was a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on a small Ragwort. Only later when examining the photographs, I discovered I had seen a very faded Dingy Skipper that looked like a moth.

 
Common Blue
Common Blue
Adonis Blue
Chalkhill Blue

Upper Meadows of Mill Hill
There must have in excess of 200 Common Blues of both sexes in the long herb meadows at the top of Mill Hill, but even this is a fraction of what can be seen of this butterfly in peak years when the numbers runs into thousands. There were a few Brown Argus as well but it is difficult to be sure how many when there were scores of female Common Blues. One Small (or Essex) Skipper was noted on the southern part of the hill. Painted Ladies were frequently seen almost everywhere but before it began to rain I did not spot any Peacock Butterflies. A Green-veined White Butterfly was identified amongst the scrub.

Approaches to Mill Hill:
Pixie Path and Frampton's Field
Common Blues were conspicuous in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field with a few Meadow Browns. By the hedges there were two Holly Blues and two Speckled Woods as well as Small Whites and the omnipresent Painted Ladies.
Mill Hill Cutting (south-west)
After a few minutes the Chalkhill Blues appeared with nine spotted including a female with at least four Common Blues.
Buckingham Cutting (south)
Not nearly as many as the previous day and it was a minute or two before the occasional Common Blues and at least three Small Blues and Meadow Browns were noticed.
Buckingham Park
A passage trip across Buckingham Park encountered a Gatekeeper. The vegetation was regrowing under the trees at the top where a few Speckled Woods were seen.

Seventeen species of butterfly in an hour, excluding three or four common species

9 August 2009
Lower Slopes of Mill Hill
The lower slopes of Mill Hill were more crowded with butterflies than the previous week but the one acre transect still only recorded a meagre total of 35 Chalkhill Blues (including two females) with 30 Adonis Blues (including one female*) and slightly less in number of Common Blues of both sexes. Meadow Browns were about the same in numbers with a handful of huge females, and I noted at least one Gatekeeper and I expect there were many more. At least three Small Heath Butterflies showed and three or more Large Whites fluttered about and a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly emerged from the central Tor Grass area on the lower slopes. The lower slopes also hosted the inevitable Painted Ladies, (just a few; there were many more in Shoreham town), a Green-veined White (there were two more of these on the Waterworks Road), three Wall Browns, at least one good condition Dingy Skipper (i.e. not the tattered one seen on 29 July 2009), at least three Treble-bar Moths, a few Silver Y Moths and frequent pyralid moths with Pyrausta nigrata noted. With time pressing, I retraced my route along the path and only visited the southern part of Mill Hill where a Small (or Essex) Skipper was spotted amongst more Common Blues and frequent Painted Ladies.
(* It is not easy to separate female Chalkhill Blues from the slightly larger Adonis Blue females.)
Adur Skippers
 

Wall Brown
Female Common Blue
Female Chalkhill Blue
Female Chalkhill Blue

Buckingham Cutting (south)
This small area of herbland was notable for 25+ Common Blues with the blue males and both very small brown females and a few much larger brown and blue females. It would be easy to mistake the smaller females for Brown Argus Butterflies, but none of the latter were positively identified. At least two Small Blues were noted with frequent Meadow Browns and a few Large Whites in the verge meadows. Amongst the hedgerows and linear wood there were occasional Gatekeepers and a few Speckled Woods.

Mill Hill Cutting (SW) and the Pixie Path
About ten Chalkhill Blues were noted including two females on the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) with three Treble-bar Moths. On the Pixie Path there were three Wall Browns and four Speckled Woods.

A Red Admiral, Holly Blue and a occasional Small Whites were seen in Shoreham town.

Seventeen butterfly species in an hour, excluding two common species

8 August 2009
The usual gamut of butterflies were seen around the outskirts of Shoreham including five Comma Butterflies, not seen two days previously, the first one the houseboats on the River Adur and the second one at the western end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. Painted Ladies were everywhere especially on Buddleia and there were occasional Red Admirals.
 

Brown Hairstreaks
Photographs by Neil Hulme

I visited Steyning Rifle Range (map) in warm sunshine, almost immediately seeing four male Brown Hairstreaks flitting around the Master Trees above the spring-fed ponds. After getting no more than a brief glimpse of a female Brown Hairstreak heading across the open fields, I was about to change venue when a second one appeared, giving a small group of us superb views as she sat in the hedge-line for a while, before heading off on an egg-laying run. I then moved on to Steyning Round Hill, where the very steep slope allowed head-height viewing of two male Brown Hairstreaks in the Master Tree above the quarry. My ninth of the day was a female, again on a mission to lay eggs along the blackthorn scrub-line. The Wall Brown is certainly having its best year in Sussex for a very long time and I counted 22 here without searching exhaustively. A female Clouded Yellow provided a nice bonus.

Report and Photographs by Neil Hulme on UK Butterflies


7 August 2009
Strictly a blackberrying trip, but I did see a Red Admiral on the south side of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, a species not seen the previous day.

Common Blues6 August 2009
On a humid sunny morning the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly count in a 15 minute transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a paltry 37 with just one pristine female seen. There were frequent Common Blues including males courting with very small females. The first male second brood Adonis Blues* were recognised when they settled, as in flight they could not separated reliably from Common Blues. There could have been up to a dozen of them. Four Clouded Yellows were notable, with one on the lower slopes and at least three on the upper slopes with a pair courting. Small Heaths* are back and at least two were seen one on the lower slopes and another in the upper meadows. There were at least four Wall Browns on Mill Hill. Painted Ladies were present everywhere with over a hundred seen in an hour as well as frequent Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites, Speckled Woods and Peacocks. One bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly was seen in the meadow north of the upper car park where Common Blues were frequent including mating pairs. A faded Small Skipper was spotted amongst the Greater Knapweed south of the Reservoir. The purpose of the visit to Mill Hill was to count the Chalkhill Blues in flight and the visit was hurried. In the Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road, a Holly Blue flew amongst the Buddleia. On the Waterworks Road itself, two Green-veined Whites fluttered past. Small Whites were seen over the allotments in Shoreham town.
Seventeen butterfly species including four not seen the previous day and two* of these not seen before this month

5 August 2009
I spent a very enjoyable day with Guardian journalist Patrick Barkham, who is touring the UK in an effort to see every species of British butterfly, and whose experiences along the way will provide the material for a book. With only three species to go we had high hopes of bagging Brown Hairstreak, Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper to complete the set. The sun refused to show over Steyning, denying us the opportunity of seeing the first on our list, but by heading a few miles east we managed the others without difficulty, getting a few bonus species along the way. The highlights of our tally of 26 species were 25+ pristine Adonis Blue (including a mating pair) and a second brood Dingy Skipper at Mill Hill, Shoreham (also Wall Brown, Chalkhill Blue, Common Blue, Small Heath).

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


Wall Brown Butterflies could turn up virtually anywhere as one on the western towpath underneath the A27 Flyover indicated. Over the bridlepath from the Sussex Pad to Hoe Cottages there were at least four more and another one in the Chalk Pit on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve. Painted Ladies were present everywhere with over fifty seen in an hour. On the approaches to Lancing Ring there were the expected few each of Speckled Woods, Gatekeepers, Common Blues, Large Whites and one Red Admiral. In the meadow at the top of McIntyre's Field the first butterfly was a tattered Green-veined White and both Common Blues and Meadow Browns were frequently seen with one Brown Argus identified and more suspected although some turned out to be female Common Blues. A Brimstone Butterfly and Yellow Shell Moth were seen at the entrance to the eastern car park on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve with frequent Speckled Woods under the trees.

Pyrausta purpuralis
Photograph by Alec Trusler
Holly Blue
 Hemp Agrimony
Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata

The large meadows to the south-east of the main clump of trees was much more overgrown than in previous years (because of the rain) and the dense and varied grasses and herbs hosted frequent Common Blues but not nearly as many as seen in the best years when thousands were actually seen. There were frequent Meadow Browns and frequent Silver Y Moths with a few Brown Argus Butterflies and a few Large Whites. Hemp Agrimony bordering the hedgerow that can be found along the south side of the main meadow is a nectar plant visited by numerous butterflies, but there was not as many as previous years although the small patch was visited by a few Peacock Butterflies, the inevitable Painted Ladies, a few Common Blues and at least two each of Meadow Brown, and Gatekeeper and a single Small Tortoiseshell. Two Clouded Yellow Butterflies flew strongly over the short grass immediately to the east of the main clump of trees. There was single Wall Brown flying around near the dewpond.
A visit to Ray Hamblett's back garden in south Lancing, produced half a dozen Painted Ladies, two Red Admiral, a Common Blue, a Speckled Wood and on the washing stand a Comma Butterfly repeatedly landed. In Shoreham town there was at least one Small White and a Holly Blue Butterfly landed amongst the Ivy in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road.
Seventeen butterfly species

Gatekeeper (male)4 August 2009
The most notable observation of the day was a markedly-patterned Magpie Moth amongst the Stinging Nettles on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
A Wall Brown Butterfly fluttered across Middle Road, Shoreham through the wire fencing and into the trees in Middle Road Open Space. Later on the afternoon there was another one on the towpath of the River Adur, north of Cuckoo's Corner. elsewhere on the outskirts of Shoreham, I noted frequent Common Blues, occasional Gatekeepers, a few Meadow Browns, occasional Large Whites, a definite Green-veined White and a few Small Whites. And of course, frequent Painted Ladies that fluttered around  almost anywhere. At least one Speckled Wood was seen in the residential area of Southwick during my travels.
Nine butterfly species

3 August 2009
Mill Hill
In the sunshine at the peak period for Chalkhill Blues, Mill Hill registered a mere 46, 44 males and just the two females seen in the one acre transect walk taking 15 minutes on the lower slopes. Again they were concentrated at the northern end which means that the number of the Chalkhill Blues in flight on Mill Hill were probably around 150 which is a disastrously low total. Chalkhill Blues were not seen on the upper or middle part of Mill Hill, but there was one in the Old Erringham pasture fluttering over from the scrub. Other butterflies were exiguous too;  Meadow Browns were estimated at about 30 on the lower slopes, Common Blues at about 20, with a few Gatekeepers and Large Whites.
 

This Chalkhill Blue appeared to be ill or poisoned and it could he handled. This has been seen before in previous years.
This skipper was thought to be a fresh first of the year Essex Skipper (but it could have been a Small Skipper).
Brimstone Butterfly on Buddleia on the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath

There were well over a hundred Common Blues on the meadows to the north of the northern car park on Mill Hill with frequent Painted Ladies all over the hill, about ten Peacock Butterflies, a surprise Brimstone Butterfly, and just two fresh first of the year Essex Skippers (but they could have been Small Skippers). Female Common Blues were frequent and it was only on the Triangle are of the middle slopes where I was able to separate a few Brown Argus Butterflies. In the middle and scrub area I noted frequent Gatekeepers, just one Wall Brown, occasional Speckled Woods, a few identified Small Whites, occasional Large Whites, a Yellow Shell and occasional Silver Y Moths and Six-spotted Burnet Moths. A Red Admiral flew over the plateau. In the hedge by Mill Hill Road (north of the bridge), I noticed a Comma Butterfly as I cycled slowly past.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Fifteen butterfly species

Approaches to Mill Hill
Buckingham Cutting South
This small area still hosted a few Small Blue Butterflies, occasional Common Blues of both sexes, a few each of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Speckled Woods and Large Whites.

Mill Hill Cutting (south-west)
This small area hosted even fewer Chalkhill Blues than the end of July with just six seen after a few minutes chased around with three Common Blues, a Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Painted Lady and a Treble-bar Moth.

Pixie Path and Frampton's Field
The northern part was visited on the way to Mill Hill when a Painted Lady, Peacock, Large White and a Silver Y Moth were seen  on the path with occasional Meadow Browns in the taller vegetation of Frampton's Field. On the return trip, I cycled past spotting three male Common Blues dancing around in F-rampton's Field with three Meadow Browns. On the section of the path running north-south a Small Tortoiseshell flew out of the Stinging Nettles.

Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Botolphs
I cycled the route without stopping and picked out the noteworthy two Comma Butterflies, a Green-veined White, a definite Small White as I checked the identifications, a Brimstone and two Red Admirals. I made a detour to Anchor Bottom, but it looked so bare that I just sat on the southern hill and had a rest. I was pleased to see my first Small Copper of the year settled in the grass briefly.

Shoreham Town
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered amongst the Ivy in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road.
 
 

Large White
Small Blue
Meadow Brown
Chalkhill Blue
Red Admiral
Common Blue
Speckled Wood
Green-veined White
Brimstone Butterfly
Comma
Wall Brown
Holly Blue
Gatekeeper
Essex Skipper
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Small White
 Peacock
Small Copper
Brown Argus
Silver Y Moth
Yellow Shell Moth
Treble-bar Moth
Six-spotted Burnet Moth

Twenty species of butterfly which is second highest day total recorded with four of the larger moth species

2 August 2009
A trek along the Bridlepath from Slonk Hill Farm to New Erringham under a cloudy sky recorded 9+ Common Blues, 5+ Painted Ladies, 2 Wall Browns, 2 Large Whites, 8+ Gatekeepers, 2 Small Whites, a Peacock and a Red Admiral.
I planned to visit the whole of Mill Hill, but I only had time for the upper meadow which was alive with butterflies. Over one hundred Common Blues were seen amongst the tall herbs, with frequent Painted Ladies, eight Wall Browns, frequent Gatekeepers, at least four and probably many more Brown Argus Butterflies, with at least one Large White, frequent Peacocks (including seven seen altogether on Greater Knapweed), at least two Meadow Browns and a Red Admiral. A few Six-spotted Burnet Moths were seen before I had to curtail my visit.
On the underside hind wing of the Brown Argus two of the spots line up to form a colon.
Brown Argus Identification Notes
Ten butterfly species
 

Common Blue
Brown Argus
Green-veined White

1 August 2009
About a dozen Green-veined White Butterflies flew around the Stinging Nettles and White Deadnettles etc on an earth bank at the north-east corner of Adur Recreation Ground by the Railway Viaduct. Two were about to mate when I disturbed them. This species may have been seen in the previous few days but were not positively identified. A Painted Lady landed on a Stinging Nettle. Around the towpath adjacent to the Airport there were frequent Common Blues, at least one Gatekeeper seen and a Large White fluttered strongly before it began to rain after midday.

Five species on passage only

31 July 2009
Mill Hill
The weak sun sun shone through the white cumulus clouds in a bright blue sky on what should have been a peak day for the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies, but only 51 were counted in in the one acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and one extra just out of the transect area. Two females were noted and included in the above total. The spread was uneven with concentrations below the winding path in the central area and at the northern end and absent from the southern part of the slopes. Not all the Chalkhill Blues were flying so I may have missed half of them. Many had to be disturbed. I returned by the shortest ridge route so I omitted to visit the scrub area, middle slopes or plateau of Mill Hill. Other butterflies of note on the lower slopes was ironically a Speckled Wood at the southern end amongst the invading Privet, a fresh Wall Brown, ten Common Blues (including a much smaller female, not a Brown Argus though), five plus Gatekeepers, seven plus Meadow Browns, a Peacock Butterfly and at least one Silver Y Moth. On Mill Hill by the return ridge path above and down south of the Reservoir were four more Wall Browns (three on Field Scabious near the northern gate to New Erringham pasture), one more male Chalkhill Blue, nine more male Common Blues, at least nine more Gatekeepers, only two Meadow Browns actually noted down, another Chalkhill Blue, a Small White, two courting Large Whites, a Painted Lady and another Silver Y Moth. The Meadow Browns had more females than males. A Six-spotted Burnet Moth flew across the bridge over the A27 and a Holly Blue flew over the hedge at the top of the Pixie Path. The Chalkhill Blue count was very poor as in a poor year 200 would be recorded in the transect acre and 750+ in a good year. This would compute to 500 and 3000+ on Mill Hill as a day count.

Approaches to Mill Hill
Buckingham Cutting South
This large garden-sized verge on the edge of the A27 carriageway is rich in meadow herbs and attracts numerous butterflies and on a passage trip lasting about five minutes, I listed a Small White, at least ten Common Blues, at least five Meadow Browns, just the two Small Blues and the four Silver Y Moths was certainly underecorded as they remain hidden unless disturbed.
I also noted four Speckled Woods, at least one Gatekeeper, a Red Admiral and two Peacock Butterflies in the wooded area arriving from The Drive in north Shoreham.

Mill Hill Cutting (south-west)
This is another slightly larger garden-sized verge plot carved out of chalk with Cotoneaster and Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa.. At first there were no butterflies to be seen, but after about three minutes the first Chalkhill Blue fluttered up from the Horseshoe Vetch where the first mating pair of the year was seen. There were six males and two females which was still an extremely low count at the peak period when between 20 and 50+ would normally be expected. There were also two Common Blues, a Large White, a few Gatekeepers and a Speckled Wood. A Red Admiral flew over my head.

Pixie Path and Frampton's Field
This path leads from the Mill Hill Cutting, south-west, to Mill Hill Road at the top. No butterflies were seen at first on the northern stretch until a Meadow Brown showed in the horse pasture field, followed by three Gatekeepers and two Common Blues in the partitioned field as I walked by bicycle past. A Wall Brown settled on the path itself and there was a Speckled Wood at the top. A Small Tortoiseshell wasn't a definite as it flew too quickly to be sure.
On the return from Mill Hill, I cycled down the route at much greater speed noting two Painted Ladies on passage. In the Butterfly Copse (leading to the Waterworks Road which was not visited) there was just a Holly Blue and on the southern section of the path just a Speckled Wood and a Gatekeeper.

Speckled Woods were seen in Shoreham town with a Painted Lady that flew across Buckingham Park and Small Whites seen on passage.

Thirteen definite butterfly species and a possible

30 July 2009
An inclement morning followed by heavy rain in the afternoon excluded butterfly observations.

29 July 2009
Second brood Wall Brown Butterflies have emerged with the first one clearly seen on the breezy lower slopes of Mill Hill and the second one was a surprise sighting on the verge of the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath between Upper Beeding and Old Shoreham as the first drops of rain were felt. On Mill Hill, the Chalkhill Blues count was even more disappointing with only 30 seen when even in a poor year over a hundred would be expected. A single worn second brood Dingy Skipper was spotted at the extreme northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was nearly overlooked. Common Blues were the most frequent butterfly on the brief visit to Mill Hill.
 
Species:
Buckingham Cutting
Pixie Path & Butterfly Copse 
Mill Hill
Lower Slopes
Mill Hill
Middle & Upper
TOTAL
Chalkhill Blue   1  30+  1  32+
Meadow Brown  Few  Few  1+  Few  Frequent
Gatekeeper  Occasional  Few  Frequent  Few  Frequent
Large White      1+  Few Frequent
Small Blue  Few       Few
Painted Lady    Few  1+ Frequent  Frequent
Dingy Skipper       1
Speckled Wood Few   Few    3  Occasional
Red Admiral     1 1+  2+
Peacock   3 1 Occasional  Frequent
Holly Blue    1     1
Common Blue  Occasional
(incl. females)
3+ Occasional 
(incl. females)
 30+  Very Frequent
Small White      1+  2+ Occasional
Wall Brown     1   2
MOTHS:          
Silver Y Moth        Occasional Occasional
Six-spotted Burnet Moth       Frequent Frequent

The butterflies on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath were not counted, but as well as the Wall Brown included Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites, Small Whites, a Red Admiral, Painted Ladies and a few Peacocks.
Adur Skippers

Fourteen butterfly species

28 July 2009
On the towpath adjacent to the Airport, there were occasional Painted Ladies and Gatekeepers and at least two male Common Blues, and elsewhere in Shoreham there were both Large Whites and Small Whites and Green-veined Whites. In the late afternoon the path from the Butterfly Copse on the southern side of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, to The Street, yielded a probable Holly Blue Butterfly and a Red Admiral sparring with a Painted Lady.
Eight species

27 July 2009
In under three minutes on the path from the Butterfly Copse on the southern side of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, to The Street, a Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, a Large White and two Speckled Woods appeared.
Seven species

26 July 2009
Mill Hill was continually found to be disappointing for butterflies with just over fifty Chalkhill Blue males being disturbed on the one acre transect, and a female spotted crawling amongst the Horseshoe Vetch leaves. The breezy cool conditions were far from ideal for butterflies. It seems it is going to be another poor year for the blue butterflies. One bonus was my first Brown Argus of the year seen clearly on the upper Greater Knapweed meadow south of the copse on the top of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. Female Common Blues were also spotted and the Small Blues were still frequently seen, notably on the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting.
 

Small Tortoiseshell
Common Blue
(female)
Chalkhill Blue
Small Blue

 
Species:
Buckingham Cutting 
Pixie Path & Butterfly Copse 
Mill Hill
Lower Slopes
Mill Hill
Middle & Upper
TOTAL
Chalkhill Blue      50+1    51+
Meadow Brown  1+  2  1+  4+  Frequent
Gatekeeper  1+  8  Frequent  13+  Frequent
Large White  1+    1+  9+ Frequent
Small Blue  15+       15+
Painted Lady  7  1+ 21+  30+
Small Tortoiseshell        1 1
Speckled Wood  1   2    8+  11+
Red Admiral    1   1+  2+
Peacock   2 1 5+  8+
Brown Argus         1
Common Blue  10+ 2 1+  22+  35+
Small White    1    2+ Occasional
Marbled White      1   1
MOTHS:          
Silver Y Moth  2+      Occasional Occasional
Pyrausta nigrata      Occasional   Occasional
Six-spotted Burnet Moth       2+ Occasional

Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Fourteen butterfly species

Painted Lady25 July 2009
A fresh batch of Holly Blues were out as four were seen on a breezy day on the outskirts* of Shoreham with frequent Painted Ladies, Gatekeepers  and Large Whites, and a few each of Small Tortoiseshells (two on Frampton's Field south), Small Whites, Red Admirals, Peacock Butterflies, Speckled Woods, with one Comma and at least one male Common Blue (Mill Hill Cutting SW). (*Adur Recreation Ground > towpath adjacent to the Airport > Pixie Path)
Nine species

23 July 2009
Under a cloudy sky my first female Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year was blown about in the breeze, with a count of 24 males in unfavourable conditions on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The highlight of the day, as the sun and vanessid butterflies came out along the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath between Upper Beeding and Old Shoreham, was the first Hummingbird Hawk-moth since 2006 whirring away amongst the meadow herbs on the edge of the verges, its orange rear and vibrating wings most distinctive.
Greater Knapweed Meadow (Image)
Knapweed Studies
 
Species:
Buckingham Cutting & the Dovecote Bank
Pixie Path & Butterfly Copse 
Mill Hill
Coastal Link Cyclepath & Shoreham Town
 

TOTAL
Chalkhill Blue      25+1    26
Meadow Brown  5  1  25  4+  35+
Gatekeeper  11  5  26  4+  46+
Large White  1  2  6  4+ Frequent
Small Blue  6+       6+ 
Painted Lady  5  29 26+  61+
Small Tortoiseshell        4 4
Speckled Wood  4 2 1    7
Red Admiral 1     12+  13+
Peacock  1 1 8 14+  24+
Small Skipper      2   2
Common Blue  5   10    15
Small White  1  1    2+ Occasional
Comma        3  3
MOTHS:          
Silver Y Moth  3  1 6  1 3
Pyrausta nigrata      Occasional   Occasional
Six-spotted Burnet Moth  2 1 1   4+
Hummingbird Hawk-moth      
1
1

 Fourteen butterfly species

21 July 2009
Both Painted Lady Butterflies and Large Whites were seen on passage in Shoreham.

Gatekeepers (male:top) and (female:bottom)20 July 2009
The weather was still too inclement for butterflies after a wet and breezy weekend, but despite the poor conditions Painted Ladies were frequently (25+) to be seen on the outskirts of Old Shoreham (Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath & Pixie Path and Buckingham Cutting south), with frequent fresh Red Admirals (10+) and Peacocks (10+).
 
Common Blue Female Gatekeeper

A Ringlet was recorded on the Waterworks Road for the first time in this location on these web pages and it flew towards Mill Hill to just about make a first inclusion in Mill Hill Nature Reserve. It was joined by a Comma and a Meadow Brown and frequent (20+) Large Whites. On Buckingham Cutting (south) this undisturbed (by passing humans) piece of roadside verge instantly revealed three male Common Blues, a Small Skipper, courting Gatekeepers, a few Speckled Woods, mating Small Blues plus handful of solitary ones, a Six-spotted Burnet Moth and a Burnet Companion Moth. Over the hedgerow at Buckingham Cutting a blue butterfly flew and I very much suspect that this was a Holly Blue, but it was much too restless and disappeared towards even denser foliage.
Twelve confirmed butterfly species and one probable

17 July 2009
On a day too breezy and overcast for butterflies, the usual July species were seen on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding: frequent Red Admirals, occasional just about everything else listed, Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods, Large Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, two Comma Butterflies (both at Dacre Gardens) and one Peacock Butterfly (at Old Shoreham).
Nine species  (including the Comma not seen the day before)

16 July 2009
My first Clouded Yellow Butterfly since 2007 flew over Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, and disappeared from sight amongst the Creeping Thistles. On Mill Hill in the early afternoon the count of male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies was 30. As expected at this time of the year, Large Whites, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were all frequently seen. At least five Small Blues, most in good condition were seen on the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting and this must be a second brood.
 
Species:
Buckingham Cutting & the Pixie Path 
Lower Slopes
Scrub & Copse
Plateau & South, Middle Slopes and Top Meadow
 

TOTAL
Chalkhill Blue    30      30
Meadow Brown  3  6  11  1  21+
Gatekeeper  5  14  5  3  27+
Large White  1+  1+  1+  1+ Frequent
Marbled White    2    1  3
Painted Lady      1 3  4
Clouded Yellow   1       1
Speckled Wood  2    6    11
Red Admiral    1      2
Peacock      2    2
Small Blue  5+       5+
Small Skipper        2 2
Common Blue  2  3     1  6
Small White  1       Occasional
Brimstone Butterfly   1     1
           
Silver Y Moth  1  1    1 3
Pyrausta nigrata   Frequent     Frequent
Six-spotted Burnet Moth  Frequent    Frequent Frequent Frequent

In Shoreham, including Buckingham Park, there were three Speckled Woods at the top (where all the vegetation under the trees had been mown and disposed of), frequent Large Whites and occasional Small Whites and another Red Admiral added up in the above totals.

Greater Knapweed Butterfly Study


Painted Lady
Six-spotted Burnet Moth
Peacock Butterfly

In the early evening there were further Small Skippers (2+) frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Gatekeepers on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, and on the bridlepath north of Slonk Hill Farm there were three Painted Ladies (two pristine and one badly mauled) and a Peacock Butterfly. These are not included in the table above. Six-spotted Burnet Moths were frequently seen both on Buckingham Cutting (south), north Shoreham, and on Mill Hill.

Fifteen butterfly species (the most in a day this year by one)

Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Burnet Moths
Mill Hill & its Butterflies Article

In the last good year in 2003 the numbers of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies recorded on Mill Hill were:

Chalkhill Blue
 Date  
11 July 2003
 First visit
11 July 2003
50
20 July 2003
1200+
21 July 2003
200+
30 July 2003
2000+
2 August 2003
3000+
7 August 2003:
120
20 August 2003
30

 UK Butterflies Chalkhill Blues 2009

14 July 2009
A visit to Tottington Woods, Small Dole, with Jan Hamblett, resulted in the sightings of two butterflies not recorded personally in the Lower Adur Valley area before.
 

Silver-washed Fritillary
White Admiral
White Admiral


There were frequent flights under the canopy of Oak and Willow of the large and splendid Silver-washed Fritillaries flying up to about five metres above the ground vegetation and wood piles and occasionally landing for a photograph. Two splendid White Admirals were spotted, the first one slightly worn and intact, and the one that landed in front of us was damaged with two chunks missing out of its left forewing. Other butterflies seen in the woods were frequent Large Whites, occasional Small Whites, frequent Peacock Butterflies, frequent Speckled Woods, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, occasional Comma Butterflies, a few Small Skippers, at least two Large Skippers, at least one Red Admiral, frequent Ringlets, and on the mown field immediately outside of the woods to the south-east a Marbled White fluttered amongst the shorn grass.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Fourteen butterfly species  (equal most in a day this year)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Large White
Peacock
Meadow Brown
Chalkhill Blue
Red Admiral
Common Blue
Speckled Wood
Marbled White
Small White
Comma
Large Skipper
Ringlet
Gatekeeper
Small Skipper
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Silver-washed Fritillary
 White Admiral

Chalkhill Blue

18 species of butterflies were recorded on the 13 & 14th July 2009


Clouded Yellow
Small Blue
Brimstone 

21 species of butterflies were recorded on the 13th, 14th & 16th July 2009

13 July 2009
On the first fine day since the 4 July 2009, it was still a bit breezy and overcast for butterflies, but a visit to Mill Hill produced 14 Chalkhill Blues and the following common species:
 
Species:
 Plateau & South
Lower Slopes
Scrub & Copse
Middle Slopes and Top Meadow
Mill Hill 
TOTAL
Chalkhill Blue    12    2  14
Meadow Brown  Few  Occasional  Occasional  Occasional  Frequent
Gatekeeper  Occasional  Occasional  Occasional  Occasional  Frequent
Large White    Frequent  1  1 Frequent
Marbled White    2    1  3
Painted Lady      2    3
Comma        1 1
Speckled Wood      5    5
Red Admiral       4    4
Peacock      2    2
Small Tortoiseshell  2  1     3
Small Skipper  3  1    1 5
Common Blue         2  2
Small White     1 +   1+
           
Mother Shipton Moth    1     1
Silver Y Moth    1     1
Pyrausta nigrata   Frequent     Frequent
Six-spotted Burnet Moth   1   6 7

 Fourteen butterfly species (equal most in a day this year)

12 July 2009
As the breeze blew the upright Teasel almost horizontal at times, it wasn't a day conducive for watching butterflies but the following were noted on the outskirts of Old Shoreham: occasional Large Whites, occasional pristine Red Admirals, occasional Gatekeepers, a few Meadow Browns, a few Small Skippers, a few Speckled Woods, a few unidentified smaller whites (Green-veined &/or Small?) and a few flying Six-spotted Burnet Moths.
Seven butterfly species

9 July 2009
A Speckled Wood Butterfly flew over the hedge in the twitten between Adelaide Square and Corbyn Crescent in Shoreham town.
After three days of rain, an overcast day was too cool for downland butterflies as almost all of them were resting until disturbed and the Chalkhill Blue was not seen. Mill Hill produced on a quick visit two Red Admirals, one Peacock, seven Gatekeepers, three Marbled Whites, a few Meadow Browns, one Small Skipper, two Large Whites, one Small Heath and two Six-spotted Burnet Moths. By the Reservoir the first Cinnabar Moth caterpillars of the year were seen on a small clump of Ragwort. The Pixie Path and Waterworks Road added a faded and tattered Painted Lady, two Gatekeepers, at least three Large Whites, two Speckled Woods, two Comma Butterflies, another Small Skipper and a definite Green-veined White.
Eleven species

5 July 2009
There was still just the one Chalkhill Blue Butterfly over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, flying rapidly around in the breeze. On the approaches there were three Large Whites, one Large Skipper and three Small Skippers, three Speckled Woods, a few Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers, two Marbled Whites and a Silver Y Moth. On Mill Hill (lower slopes and return by the ridge route) in addition ot the Chalkhill Blue, there were about a dozen Marbled Whites (six over the lower slopes), occasional Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, one Comma, at least one Small Skipper and one Red Admiral. The two small pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata were frequently seen.
Eleven species

4 July 2009
A late afternoon cycle ride to Cuckoo's Corner and the field to the north produced frequent Meadow Browns, frequent Large Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional good condition Red Admirals, one Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell, occasional Skippers and at least one Large Skipper and one Small Skipper were positively identified, at least one Small White, one Speckled Wood and one Marbled White.
Eleven species

3 July 2009
A pristine Peacock Butterfly was spotted on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath halfway between Upper Beeding and Old Shoreham which makes 18 species seen in the first three days of July. Other butterfly species on the cycle ride to Annington Sewer and back were frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Large Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional (8+) Red Admirals, occasional (6+) Commas, occasional Ringlets, at least six Small Tortoiseshells on the path from the South Downs Way Bridge to Annington and one in Old Shoreham, one Speckled Wood and one Marbled White.
Ten species

2 July 2009
The brilliant sky blue of the first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year rose from the lower slopes of Mill Hill just before 11:00 am in the humid sunshine.
 

Marbled White on Greater Knapweed
Chalkhill Blue
Small Tortoiseshell

 
Species Buckingham Cutting (south) Pixie Path & Frampton's Field + Waterworks Road Mill Hill Plateau and southern top section Lower Slopes of Mill Hill Scrub, Middle Slopes & Copse on Mill Hill TOTAL
Large White
2
4 3   5 14
Speckled Wood
2
       1 3
Gatekeeper 5 2 4 1 2 14
Small Blue 1         1
Marbled White 3 3 5 3 18 32
Small Skipper 1 1     2 4
Meadow Brown 1 10 3   12 26
Small Heath     1 1   2
Painted Lady     1     1
Chalkhill Blue       1   1
Comma    1     2 3
Small Tortoiseshell   3   1   4
Red Admiral         2 2
Large Skipper         1 1
             
Burnet Moth (unidentified to species)       2  1 3
Cinnabar Moth          1 1
Silver Y Moth 1        1 1
Pyrausta purpuralis       3+   3+
Pyrausta nigrata       1+    1+

 Fourteen butterfly species, the equal most in a day this year, plus three day-flying larger moths


Large White
Small Blue
Meadow Brown
Chalkhill Blue
Red Admiral
Common Blue
Speckled Wood
Marbled White
Small Heath
Comma
Large Skipper
Ringlet
Gatekeeper
Small Skipper
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Small White
 

Seventeen species of butterflies were recorded in the first two days of July 2009

1 July 2009
 

Narrow-bordered 
Five-spot Burnet Moth
Ringlet Butterfly
Six-spotted Burnet Moth

 
Species Holmbush Close Field Bridlepath to Southwick Hill Southwick Hill (part) Bridlepath going west to Stonechat Junction Bridlepath going south to Slonk Hill Farm Slonk Hill Cutting (south & Buckingham Cutting (south) TOTAL
Small White
1
         
1
Meadow Brown
32
4
15
23
6
14
94
Marbled White
32
6
6
1
 
1
45
Gatekeeper
11
1
1
 
2
2
17
Small Heath
 3
         
 3
Large White  
6
7
1
   
14
Small Skipper  
 1
1
1
   
3
Painted Lady    
2
3
1
 
6
Common Blue      
1
   
1
Comma      
2
   
2
Small Tortoiseshell        
7
 
7
Speckled Wood          
3
3
Ringlet          
5
5
Small Blue          
2
2
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth
4
         
4
Six-spotted Burnet Moth          
 1
1
Silver Y Moth          
1
1
Burnet Companion Moth
4
         
4
Cinnabar Moth
3
1
       
4

203 butterflies in the afternoon of fourteen butterfly species, the most in a day this year, plus five day-flying larger moths

Addenda: I went out in the early evening down by the River Adur and saw occasional Meadow Browns and a few Large Whites and Speckled Woods, and at east one tattered Painted Lady and a Marbled White.

30 June 2009
The first Brimstone Moth of the year was seen in Worthing Town Centre (Chatsworth Road). The first Holly Blue since 14 June 2009 was seen fluttering over Ray Hamblett's back garden in south Lancing, with frequent Large Whites, two Comma Butterflies, one Small White (over the Sea Purslane at low tide), one Large Skipper (Waterworks Road), two Gatekeepers and occasional Meadow Browns seen on the outskirts of Shoreham and passage through Lancing.
Seven species

Gatekeeper (male)29 June 2009
I suspected that the small brown butterflies blown about in the breeze of the last few days were Gatekeepers, but one settled for confirmation. And it was a female which appear after the first males. There were a few Painted Ladies on the outskirts of Shoreham, notably on the towpath to Cuckoo's Corner where a faded Small Tortoiseshell was spotted on the path by the Broad Bean field north of the car park. The path hosted frequent Meadow Browns and a few first of the year Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moths, Zygaena lonicerae, visited Tufted Vetch. A Comma Butterfly was seen on Stinging Nettles on the other side of the road from Ladywells on the Coombes Road. Large Whites were seen occasionally everywhere. A fine condition Small Tortoiseshell was seen on the Pixie Path and a Marbled White fluttered over Frampton's Field. A Red Admiral rose from the lawn at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, south-east of Mill Hill (which was not visited) in the sunshine of the late afternoon.
Adur Burnet Moths
Eight species

28 June 2009
Female Meadow BrownThere was still a Speckled Wood to be seen at the top of Buckingham Park, Shoreham, but I had to wait a few minutes for one to appear. On the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting there were the usual frequent Small Blues, a few Meadow Browns (including the first female noted), one Marbled White, just my second Small Skipper of the year, plus a Large White. On pasture below (west of) Mill HIll hosting a car boot sale, a Burnet Moth flew over the stalls. There were more Meadow Browns over the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath but I only made a passage trip a short way along to the entrance where the Steyning Road curves around on the same latitude as Old Erringham. A Painted Lady settled on the wasteland on the embankment near the Buffer Stop, which was the old railway track by the Riverside Business Centre. The small brown butterflies were later identified as the first Gatekeepers of the year.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eight species

27 June 2009
A Speckled Wood was seen under shade at Buckingham Cutting (south) with occasional Small Blues, a Large White and a Meadow Brown seen in the flowery cutting. A Comma Butterfly fluttered out from the undergrowth dividing Frampton's Field from the top of The Street, Old Shoreham. In the early evening a Painted Lady flew up Ravens Road in Shoreham town. At dusk a Red Admiral flew over Middle Road Allotments, Shoreham.
Seven species

26 June 2009
A Privet Hawkmoth was photographed on Shoreham Beach.

 Report by John Maskell on Sussex Butterflies


A cycle ride from Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding and Dacre Gardens along the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath produced frequent butterflies including frequent Meadow Browns, one Large White, one Ringlet, at least one Speckled Wood, two Painted Ladies, a Large Skipper and at least one 6-spot Burnet Moth. There was at least one Small White Butterfly fluttering around Shoreham town.
Eight butterfly species

25 June 2009
There were occasional Small White Butterflies seen around the Sea Kale on Shoreham beach and other butterflies seen during the day were a few Large Whites on the outskirts of town and a Comma Butterfly on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath
south-east of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. At least three 6-spot Burnet Moths were seen by the Old Fort in the late afternoon.
Three butterfly species

24 June 2009
A pristine Red Admiral flew up Victoria Road, Shoreham, over the junction near Victoria Road junior school.

23 June 2009
A passage trip by bicycle to Worthing along the seafront route revealed frequent Painted Ladies, at least one Small White and a few Large Whites.

22 June 2009
A cycle ride from Old Shoreham to Annington Sewer along the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath produced frequent butterflies including at least two of my first Ringlet Butterflies of the year. They were very flighty and took five minutes to settle for a few seconds. On the flowery verges I spotted one Cinnabar Moth, frequent Six-spot Burnet Moths, a few Burnet Companion Moths, frequent Meadow Browns, one Large White, occasional (about eight) Marbled Whites, about five Large Skippers, at least three Comma Butterflies and north of the South Days Way bridge there were two Small Tortoiseshells.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

Ringlet Butterfly
Cinnabar Moth
Comma Butterfly

Seven butterfly species and two day-flying moths

21 June 2009
A Marbled White Butterfly, a Meadow Brown and an attractive Burnet Companion Moth were seen on the Slonk Hill Cutting southern bank on a morning passage, plus frequent Small Blue Butterflies on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting. There were two Painted Ladies and a Yellow Shell Moth on the Pixie Path.
 

Male Meadow Brown
Marbled White Butterfly
Small Blue Butterflies

On Mill Hill there were three Meadow Browns on the grassy flat area south of the Reservoir. There were only occasional butterflies on the lower slopes and return by a quick route over the top spotting Small Heath Butterflies, a few more Meadow Browns, and a handful of Marbled Whites and a few more Painted Ladies. One tatty female Common Blue settled on a Hawthorn sapling on the northern end of the Privet inundated lower slopes. Small pyralid micro-moths mostly Pyrausta purpuralis were frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with a few Pyrausta nigrata and at least one Pyrausta despicata and one of the larger Treble-bar Moths. A Large White Butterfly fluttered over Shoreham town.
Seven butterfly species

19 June 2009
A summer Comma Butterfly hid amongst the Stinging Nettles in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road on a sunny day with butterflies spread widely. The next one seen was a Large White at the western end of the Toll Bridge, followed on a trip up the bridlepath from the Sussex Pad to Lancing Ring by three Speckled Woods, two Meadow Browns, three more Large Whites (including a courting pair) and a 6-spot Burnet Moth on a Greater Knapweed flower. The Chalk Pit area of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve hosted a Small White, two more Meadow Browns, a Marbled White and a Large Skipper, the last three amongst the long grasses.
 

Marbled White
Large Skipper
Marbled White
Large Skipper
Small Skipper

In the eastern car park area of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve a Comma Butterfly flew rapidly up and away as well as another Meadow Brown. In the long grass and herb meadows, there was over five Large Skippers in a prime spot, my first Small Skipper of the year, (only identified later by a photograph) one male Common Blue, two Marbled Whites and two more Meadow Browns. The clump wooded area added a Large White, two Meadow Browns, two Speckled Woods, two faded Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral. My return trip took me east along the same bridlepath disturbing three Meadow Browns, a very tatty faded Small Tortoiseshell, and another Painted Lady, and in the central Hawthorn scrub area of the meadow section, I noted another Speckled Wood. McIntyres Field hosted another Red Admiral, a Large White, three Meadow Browns, a Painted Lady, and a male Common Blue.
(* not 100% certain)
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Twelve butterfly species

15 June 2009
A late afternoon foray to Buckingham Park recorded just two Speckled Woods on passage, and to Buckingham Cutting south found the usual fifty or so Small Blue Butterflies, a few male Common Blues and one Speckled Wood. A Red Admiral fluttered rapidly in the breeze over the top section of the Pixie Path.
Four species

14 June 2009
The first butterfly on a sunny (19.1 °C at midday) morning was a Holly Blue over the top part of the Pixie Path (the Pixie Path route was avoided on the day) followed by a Meadow Brown on Mil Hill south of the Reservoir. The lower slopes had relatively few butterflies: occasional Meadow Browns, occasional Common Blues, occasional Small Heath Butterflies, one Marbled White Butterfly, and a large white butterfly that relentlessly patrolled the hedgerow in the manner of a female Brimstone Butterfly. Finally, amongst the undergrowth as I returned by the path on the lower slopes I was surprised by what appeared at first to be an unfamiliar butterfly, but when it finally settled it was revealed as a worn Small Tortoiseshell. The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta purpuralis was frequently seen on the lower slopes with a few Pyrausta nigrata. I am not sure where I recorded my first Painted Lady of the day, but it was most likely to be on the Adur Levels. A Large White was seen over the car boot sale field to the west and below Mill Hill.
Wasp leaving the nest in a hole in the chalkOver the Riverbank towpath by the houseboats, I observed two Small Whites and a Red Admiral. On the flowering Shoreham Beach south of Winterton Way, there were two more Small Whites and a Painted Lady, and at least three more Painted Ladies were seen flying over the beach.

Privet was flowering in profusion and intruding on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in a damaging way (damaging to the long term prospects of the butterflies). Another noteworthy observation was a nest of the Common Wasp, Vespula vulgaris, in a small hole and scores of wasps were seen entering and leaving in a few minutes, until I felt it was too dangerous to stay around. I debated about the significance of such a large congregation of predators on the caterpillars of the butterflies?

Ten butterfly species (including a further two not seen in the previous two days)

13 June 2009
Large SkipperA good condition Red Admiral settled on the wooden towpath on Ropetackle near the Railway Viaduct, followed by a Large White on the Downs Link Cyclepath (previously the Coastal Link Cyclepath) just south of the Toll Bridge, and on the footpath on the southern border of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, a Painted Lady, another Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood were observed. A Holly Blue fluttered over The Driveway in north Shoreham. On a humid warm Saturday, I detoured a route that took me from the Buckingham Cutting along the linear path on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting I spotted my first three Large Skippers of the year, 100+ Small Blue Butterflies, at least two tatty male Common Blues and a few male Meadow Browns.
Adur Skippers
Nine species of butterfly (including two not seen the previous day)

12 June 2009
On the Coastal Link Cyclepath just south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, the flying insect fluttering and being blown about in the breeze was not a butterfly but a Banded Demoiselle (a damselfly).

Adur Dragonflies and Damsels 2009
 

Meadow Brown Butterfly
Small Blue Butterfly
on a Burnet cocoon on Anchor Bottom
Six-spotted Burnet Moth

I recorded my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of 2009 over the Coastal Link Cyclepath on a cycle ride to Botolphs. It was a male with its all brown markings. There were about eight seen as I cycled past with one Painted Lady, two Large Whites, a handful of Speckled Woods and a few male Common Blues.
Small Heath ButterflyMy first of the year Six-spotted Burnet Moth was one of two on Creeping Thistle at the back of Dacre Gardens next to Anchor Bottom. Wild Mignonette hosted a dozen Small Blue Butterflies and one male Common Blue in the same area. There were more Small Blues on Anchor Bottom itself, at least another six with two of them on a medium-dry cow pat, and occasional Meadow Browns and one tattered Cinnabar Moth. On the bottom of the fading Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, patch amongst the long grass there were two tattered male Adonis Blues and about eight Small Heath Butterflies courting and looking very lively. An undetermined white butterfly flew over. I have no idea which species out of three it could be?
Adur Moths
Adur Burnet Moths
Eight species of butterfly

8 June 2009
An afternoon outing on an overcast day produced a faded Painted Lady flying low over Buckingham Park, Shoreham, plus another four, including two on Mill Hill. There were over a dozen fresh looking Speckled Woods in a small path in the north-west of Buckingham Park with a good condition Red Admiral. On the southern side of Buckingham Cutting, the small blue butterflies amongst the Brambles were all Small Blues and the estimate was 75+ in this small area. My first Marbled White Butterfly of the year made a sudden appearance. This was the earliest date recorded for this butterfly, three days earlier than 2008. A Treble-bar Moth was noted on the Mill Hill Cutting south-west. Mill Hill was cloudy without any rays of sunshine and I only managed to disturb two male Adonis Blues and one dark Common Blue on the lower slopes, plus a ragged female Adonis Blue. On the middle slopes a Wall Brown briefly settled. At least one small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata in a brown colour was noted amongst the remnants of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, with a Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria.
Eight butterfly species
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

7 June 2009
A few Large Whites and Painted Ladies, one Speckled Wood plus one male Common Blue were seen in Shoreham, the latter on the verges of Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham.

4 June 2009
Having finished work early I called into Mill Hill. There were still plenty of Adonis Blues flying with most males past their best, however the females were still looking good as were a few males. Several were courting and one pair were found mating. Also there were two fresh Small Tortoiseshells. Other butterflies seen were Small Heath, five Wall Browns, Common Blues, my first Meadow Brown of the year, one Large Skipper (first of the year) and ten Painted Ladies.

Report by Bob Eade on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers

2 June 2009
Frequent Painted Lady Butterflies were seen regularly throughout the day almost everywhere on Shoreham Beach, in town and on the outskirts of Shoreham and Adur Levels. Over the footpath south of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, a good condition Red Admiral rose from the bed of Stinging Nettles. Large Whites and Small Whites were seen occasionally and there may have been a Green-veined White over the Waterworks Road, but it could not be confirmed. There was a definite Cinnabar Moth that visited a Green Alkanet flower for a second. Cycling along the Coastal Link Cyclepath north from Old Shoreham I spotted frequent Speckled Woods and more Painted Ladies, and at Upper Beeding there was a worn Peacock Butterfly.
Six definite species of butterfly and one possible and one day-flying moth

31 May 2009
The approaches to Mill Hill yielded the following butterflies and moths: two Speckled Woods in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, plus another, about twenty lively Small Blues on the southern side of the Buckingham Cutting, where a male Common Blue was spotted, a probable Wall Brown and a Silver Y Moth and my first Burnet Companion Moth of the year. There was a Treble-bar Moth on the Mill Hill Cutting (south-west), and a Holly Blue in amongst the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.
Mill Hill added approximately 22 Common Blue Butterflies, 14 Adonis Blues, a few Brimstone Butterflies, five immigrant Painted Lady Butterflies plus two elsewhere, and two resident Small Heath Butterflies. Two Green-veined White Butterflies were seen over the lower slopes with a Yellow Shell, Mother Shipton and a Cinnabar Moth. There were three more Speckled Woods in the scrub.
Other butterflies seen in Shoreham town included both Large Whites, Small Whites and a dark vanessid (a Red Admiral or Peacock).
Mill Hill Report
Twelve species of butterflies (eleven identified), plus a probable, and five medium-sized day-flying moths.

I saw my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the summer in the morning at Beeding Hill. I also saw a number of Six-spot Burnet Moths flying. This actually the first May report for this butterfly on the last day of the month. This was the first record of the year for Sussex in a location where early Meadow Browns are seen.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

29 May 2009
There were frequent Painted Lady Butterflies around Shoreham town and over Shoreham Beach and one even fluttered around my head when I was shrimping along the edge of the shallow sea at low tide. A few Large White Butterflies were noticed as well, including one over the Sea Kale.

27 May 2009
The Painted Lady Butterflies were not as numerous as the previous day and one every minute was seen along the western towpath from the Toll Bridge to Cuckoo's Corner. They visited Hardheads, and Red and White Clovers. There were a few white butterflies as well and they could have been Green-veined or Small Whites or both.

Painted Lady on a Hardhead26 May 2009
The mass immigration of Painted Lady Butterflies was astonishing, throughout the morning over east Shoreham, Southwick and Portslade the Painted Ladies exceeded two a minute for an hour and were over one a minute the rest of the time, with large numbers (100+) in Portslade Cemetery and on the main road that traversed Hove Cemetery, the butterflies flew across the road at over 30 every minute for five minutes in passing. The conservative estimate was at least 500 seen as I cycled along the urban roads. Their estimated speed was 8 mph although some seemed to have lost their sense of steady northerly migration. Occasionally a Large White Butterfly was spotted.
Painted Lady Influx on UK Butterflies

25 May 2009
A Painted Lady Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, at 7:30 am, so I suspect a large influx all along coastal Sussex.

24 May 2009
An influx of Painted Lady Butterflies occurred although the evidence was only the first one seen flying over Buckingham Cutting south and in the early afternoon sunshine two more were seen in Buckingham Road, Shoreham. The small verge area at Buckingham Cutting on the southern side produced a dozen or so Small Blues scattered over a larger area than the three days ago plus a male Common Blue a few Treble-bar Moths and a Silver Y Moth.
 

Silver Y Moth
Male Common Blue Butterfly
Painted Lady Mother Shipton Moth
Silver Y Moth
Male Common Blue
Painted Lady
Mother Shipton Moth

The lower slopes of Mill Hill hosted 41 Adonis Blues (including two females) in a 20 minute saunter over the one acre transect, one Brimstone Butterfly, one male Common Blue (and another two on the return by the ridge route), and what at first glance appeared to be Grizzled Skippers, but close inspection revealed these to be three of the attractive Mother Shipton Moths. There was at least one Silver Y Moth over the fading Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes. Both Small Whites and Large Whites were seen in town and on the outskirts and a few Specked Woods and a Wall Brown flew over the top part of the Pixie Path and over the Mill Hill Cutting south-west of the bridge over the A27. A Holly Blue and a few Speckled Woods flew at the top of Buckingham Park, north Shoreham.
In the early evening a further three Painted Ladies flew rapidly (about 8 mph) by me, one flying in off the sea.
Ten butterfly species and three day-flying moths

22 May 2009
An evening walk along Mill Hill produced plenty of Adonis Blues, many of them in pristine condition. At a rough guess I reckon I saw between 15 and 20 males (5 or 6 of them high up on the brow of the hill) and 2 or 3 females, the latter hugging the ground lower on the hill. One small patch of low bramble and Tor Grass held at least 6 males all clustered together, it was quite a sight as they all suddenly flew up in the air only to settle back down again almost immediately. Other species included one Small Heath, two Dingy Skippers and one Cinnabar Moth. I looked for Wall Browns on the brow of the hill but did not see any. It was very windy up there which may be a factor but, on the other hand, I could have been looking in the wrong place!

Report by Sherie New on Sussex Butterflies


21 May 2009
A leisurely cycle trip in the sunshine along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding recorded occasional Large Whites, a few Small Whites and Green-veined Whites, about three Common Blues noticed, one or more Brimstone Butterflies, occasional vanessids including a few worn Peacocks and a good condition Red Admiral (no vanessids were recorded the previous day), two Wall Browns and a few Speckled Woods. The pale female Brimstone fluttered from one Common Vetch flower to another.
Anchor Bottom produced occasional (at least five) Small Heaths, about five Common Blues on the western bottom area, and by the bed of Stinging Nettles there were a couple of Cinnabar Moths. The south-facing patch of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa and Sainfoin hosted occasional (at least ten) male Adonis Blues.
 

Small Blue Butterflies
Female Common Blue Butterfly
Small Blue Butterflies
Small Blue Butterfly
Female Common Blue Butterfly

In the late afternoon there were about twenty Small Blues in a three square metre patch of Buckingham Cutting south all fluttering about before they settled down to roost. Some of them were fluttering around the Bramble where I would expect to see Holly Blues, and one noticeably larger blue butterfly of this species was seen flying over the hedgerow. There was also a Red Admiral and a female Common Blue.
Small Blue Butterfly in Sussex
Thirteen species, the equal most in a day this year

20 May 2009
The Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was more spectacular than three days earlier on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Many of the flowers (> 5%) were seen already to be withering. The count of Adonis Blue Butterflies was 52 males and 8 females, of which 39 males and 7 females were in the one acre transect and one of each gender was recorded on the upper part of Mill Hill. Other butterflies were two good condition Grizzled Skippers, one on the lower slopes and one on the upper plateau, at least two poor condition Dingy Skippers on the lower slopes, just a single first of the year male Common Blue Butterfly on the lower slopes, just the one Small Heath Butterfly, a male Brimstone Butterfly skirting the western straggly hedgerow to the lower slopes and another on in the Hawthorn scrub, a Speckled Wood and a Holly Blue in the scrub and another one on the Pixie Path, a poor condition Green-veined White Butterfly resting on the steps amongst the scrub, and a Small White flying over the Alexanders on the southern part of Mill Hill. There was a Treble Bar Moth and my first Silver Y Moth of the year, but the small pyralid moths were not seen.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

Small Blue Butterfly (faded)
Female Adonis Blue
Small Blue Butterfly (faded)
Female Adonis Blue
Wall Brown Butterflies
copulating

But the highlight of an early afternoon were two pairs of copulating Wall Browns (which I had never seen before mating) in the clearing to the west of the copse and another pair in the meadow to the north of the upper car park. A Large White Butterfly was seen over the verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham.
In the early evening I ventured up to Buckingham Cutting south and I immediately spotted a handful of my first Small Blue Butterflies of the year. None of them were pristine and a few were faded so they must have been out for a few days, probably at least a week.
Thirteen species, the most in a day this year

19 May 2009
On another blustery day, the only butterfly seen in Shoreham and the immediate outskirts was a Wall Brown on the Coastal Link Cyclepath just north of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham.

17 May 2009
Male Adonis BlueOn the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was at its peak on a blustery (Force 5 gusting to Force 6) late morning but the Privet could be seen to be making serious inroads compared to previous years. Because of the breezy conditions on an cloudy day, the butterflies were not as many as would be expected on a sunny day. On the one acre transect the count of Adonis Blues was 26 males and three females. Some of the males were ragged around the edges. Dingy Skippers were recorded at five positively identified, with one Small Heath and my first Painted Lady of the year. The Painted Lady was far from pristine. I did not notice any of the micro-moths in my brief visit. Because of limited time, I returned quickly by the ridge route where no further butterflies were seen.
The Pixie Path produced a Speckled Wood and my first Red Admiral since 20 April 2009. Two Large Whites and a Holly Blue were recorded during passage along the footpath section of the Waterworks Road. Another Red Admiral was blown about just north of Ropetackle.
Flowering Dates of Horseshoe Vetch
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eight species

16 May 2009
On Mill Hill we saw one Cinnabar Moth, one Painted Lady, one Brimstone, two Peacock Butterflies, at least ten Dingy Skippers, one Green Hairstreak and around 70 Adonis Blues. On our riverside walk opposite the old cement works in Upper Beeding we saw one Wall Brown.

Report by Nick Linazasoro on Sussex Butterflies


Around Shoreham I recorded just the one Holly Blue in the breeze, one Small White and a few Large Whites.

14 May 2009
In a cycle ride around Shoreham that took about an hour, I spotted just two Holly Blues and a few Large Whites.

11 May 2009
A Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen over the Waterworks Road, a species not recorded the previous day. Large Whites were occasionally see in Shoreham town.

10 May 2009
A luxuriant expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, covered the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the sunshine. Adonis Blues were courting and mating and there were too many to count (I gave up at 21) and there were about thirty in the acre transect and over forty seen on the lower slopes, with occasional Dingy Skippers including a mating pair, and at least one pristine Grizzled Skipper, and a few Brimstones and at least one Peacock Butterfly. My first Cinnabar Moth of the year took flight showing its distinct red underwing at the same time as my camera malfunctioned.
 

Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill (Lower Slopes)
Male Adonis Blue
Small Purple-barred Moth
Lower Slopes of Mill Hill
Male Adonis Blue
Small Purple-barred Moth

The visit was interrupted (as far as counting was concerned) by the arrival of Brianne Reeve and a party of butterfly watchers. On the breeze-blown top of Mill Hill I encountered a Wall Brown near the Reservoir, and a definite Green-veined White on the side of the road near the southern cattle grid. In Shoreham town and outskirts there were frequent Large White Butterflies and at least one Holly Blue seen. A Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria, landed on a Horseshoe Vetch flower.
Dingy Skippers mating (photographs)
Nine species of butterfly

9 May 2009
Three Holly Blue Butterflies were recorded whilst cycling through Shoreham, with occasional Large Whites in town and on the outskirts, a few confirmed Green-veined Whites in Old Shoreham, as well as a few Speckled Woods over the Pixie Path.
Four species

7 May 2009
In the overcast late morning two Holly Blues were blown about in the breeze in Shoreham town, and in the early afternoon when the sun shined, there were a few Speckled Woods, one male Orange Tip, one Green-veined White, occasional Peacocks, frequent Large Whites on the outskirts and one Brimstone Butterfly just north of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham.
Then I changed my mind and visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon where eight male Adonis Blues visited the now luxurious Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and there were frequent Grizzly Skippers and Dingy Skippers, three Brimstones, two Peacocks and a Large White. There was also a mystery butterfly that almost certainly a female Adonis Blue. Returning by the shortest ridge route added four Wall Browns to one seen earlier on the southern upper part of Mill Hill. On the way to Mill Hill through the Dovecote Estate I saw more Peacocks and a Holly Blue.
Eleven species of butterfly, equal best day total of species this year

6 May 2009
On a cloudy day when few butterflies would be expected I saw my first female all-white Orange Tip of the year flying over and settling briefly on some Stinging Nettles on the verges of the Coombes Road between Cuckoo's Corner and Ladywells. Over the verge of Red Campion, Cow Parsley and Garlic Mustard at Ladywells there was a male Orange Tip chasing a Green-veined White around and a Speckled Wood. At Cuckoo's Corner a Large White Butterfly flew over.
Four species

4 May 2009
It was too cloudy and not warm enough for butterflies to be in flight and a 20 minute visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill only showed a Wall Brown over the southern steps and five Dingy Skippers were disturbed and counted.

The first Adonis Blue of 20093 May 2009
Two species of butterfly were seen for the first time this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Just before midday the first male Adonis Blue was spotted settled with its wings folded and 25 minutes later my first definite Small Heath Butterfly was identified as it settled with its wings closed. At least five Brimstone Butterflies were very active over the lower slopes with frequent Dingy Skippers, probably in excess of thirty over the one acre transect but only a handful of Grizzled Skippers were seen on a day when the sun only shined through the haze for a few minutes. Danny McEvoy confirmed the frequency of the Dingy Skippers. The pyralid micro-moths were less in numbers seen, frequent (40+) Pyrausta nigrata, and occasionalPyrausta despicata. I only visited the lower slopes with the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, now flowering in appreciable amounts but only about 20% of its peak coverage.
In Shoreham town I spotted a few Large Whites and on the outskirts there were two Speckled Woods.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Seven species of butterfly, including skippers

2 May 2009
A very productive two hours on the lower slopes of Mill Hill around lunchtime. Only one Grizzled Skipper but 30-40 Dingy Skippers, three or four Peacock, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Wall Brown, two Holly Blues, six to eight Brimstonesincluding two females and one fresh male, a Common Blue at the northern end, one absolutely pristine male Adonis Blue at the extreme south corner - a stunning sight.

Report by Mark Senior on Sussex Butterflies


This report of the Adonis Blue and Common Blue preceded my sightings. (I have not amended the first sightings chart though.)

At Mill Hill in the afternoon there were at least two Wall Brown alongside four Grizzled Skippers, twenty plus Dingy Skippers, three  Brimstone, three Peacock and single Small Tortoiseshell, Large White and Small White. In our moth trap near Mill Hill we have had our first Chocolate-tip and Chinese Characterin the last few days and Shuttle-shaped Dart are now making an appearance.

Report by Pen and Dave Green on Sussex Butterflies


1 May 2009
After work today I took an hour out and headed up to Mill Hill where I saw at least 20 Dingy Skippers and at least 20 Grizzled Skippers and my first of the year Treble-bar Moth.

 Report by Nick Linazasoro on Sussex Butterflies

29 April 2009
Mike Parsons and his two colleagues from Butterfly Conservation in Dorset were bashing the Privet on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in an unsuccessful attempt to find the caterpillars of the Barred Tooth-striped Moth, Trichopteryx polycommata. Mike identified for me a Green Carpet Moth, Colostygia pectinataria. I had always realised that some of the Carpet Moths seen on Mill Hill were different in colour from the ones seen in Shoreham town and I have probably misidentified them before as the Common Carpet Moth, Epirrhoe alternata. The micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata was very common on the lower slopes as in the previous week.
Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers were frequently seen with about 25 of each in the one acre transect, with four Brimstone Butterflies in the sunshine, two Peacocks, and two Speckled Woods over the lower slopes. The Hawthorn scrub area added a further Speckled Wood, a confirmed Green-veined White and a Large White. There were a further two Speckled Woods, one in the copse at the top and one on the windswept upper part of Mill Hill.
Other butterflies on the day included two male Orange-tips over the Waterworks Road and two Holly Blues nearby.
Adur Moths
Eight species of butterfly

Brimstone Butterfly on Mill Hill26 April 2009
A hurried visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill was timed: it took 14 minutes for a trek over the 1.2 acre transect with three stops. The expected frequent Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers were estimated at about twenty of each, plus three Brimstone Butterflies, including one pale female. I returned by the same path. A Holly Blue and a Large White were seen at the top of Buckingham Park in Shoreham. In the trees top of The Drive there was a Small White, Speckled Wood and a Peacock Butterfly. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill), there were a pair of Speckled Woods, three Large Whites, a Holly Blue and a Peacock. In Shoreham town another Holly Blue and Speckled Wood were noted. There were two further Speckled Woods over the Waterworks Road and a small white butterfly that would not settle for identification. Over Spring Dyke (Adur Levels) there was a definite Green-veined White that settled amongst the plentiful Stinging Nettles, plus a Peacock and a Brimstone. On the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Annington Sewer there were hardly any butterflies to be be seen so a single Holly Blue was notable.
Nine species

25 April 2009
A passage visit via the Waterworks Road produced an instant and tatty Peacock Butterfly (missing yesterday) on Ground Ivy, a Small White, two Large Whites and a few Speckled Woods. On the outskirts of Shoreham, there were more Speckled Woods, the most prevalent butterfly with over a dozen in under an hour of cycling around. A Holly Blue flew over the path at the southern end of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.
Five species

24 April 2009
The sun was out again although there was a Moderate Breeze (Force 4) from the ESE which meant that the south-west facing slopes of Mill Hill were sheltered. There was one Speckled Wood on the steps down to the lower slopes from the south, the expected frequent Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers on the lower slopes extending their range above the ridge on the middle slopes, with a Brimstone Butterfly and a Large White also seen. The three local downs species of Pyrausta moths were there in profusion and Pyrausta nigrata seemed to be everywhere on the lower slopes with estimates exceeding 200 an acre.
The Waterworks Road hosted one Green-veined White, two Small Whites, a Large White and one or two male Orange-tips. On the outskirts of Shoreham, there were occasional Speckled Woods, and more Large and Small Whites. A Holly Blue flew over the path at the southern end of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.
Nine species

23 April 2009
 
Green Hairstreak on Horseshoe Vetch Green-veined White and Orange-tip

My first ever confirmed Green Hairstreak Butterfly was discovered on Mill Hill in the central area of the lower slopes by the path. I had suspected sightings in the same area before and this butterfly had been reported by other visitors. My first Wall Brown Butterfly of 2009 was seen over the path approach to the copse from the north-west in an area this butterfly had been seen regularly in previous years. This was the first Wall Brown recorded in the month of April.
On a slightly duller day, the estimate for Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers was about twenty each in the one acre transect. There was a Speckled Wood on the steps down to the lower slopes and other butterflies on Mill Hill included a Small White amongst the Hawthorn scrub, a handful of Speckled Woods under the copse at the top and more in the scrub in excess of a dozen altogether, a Peacock on the steps in the north-west, and a Large White amongst the scrub.
Over the verges of the Waterworks Road there was a further Large White, two male Orange-tips, a definite Green-veined White, with another Peacock on the steps in the nearby Butterfly Copse. There was a handful of Small Whites at Cuckoo's Corner, and on the verges near Ladywells just to the north a Comma Butterfly flew amongst the diseased Elms, and a Green-veined White waited on a flowering Garlic Mustard and attracted an amorous male Orange-tip. There was also a another Speckled Brown in Shoreham town in Adelaide Square next to Middle Road allotments.
Eleven species of butterfly, the most species seen in a single day this year, despite two expected species (Holly Blue & Brimstone) being absent because of the short observation period
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

22 April 2009
I was not in the mood for recording butterflies but the sun was out on the warmest day so far this year, and the Alexanders in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, were hosting scores of hoverflies and bees, and the occasional Holly Blue, Small White and Speckled Wood Butterflies. A visit to Mill Hill added Peacock, Orange-tip and Brimstone Butterflies on the upper part with more Speckled Woods. The lower slopes hosted at least seven Grizzled Skippers, a conservative count of 22 Dingy Skippers, a few Orange Tips, a few Brimstones, a few Peacocks, at least an estimated 150 Pyrausta nigrata, frequent Pyrausta despicata and at least one Pyrausta purpuralis of the pyralid micro-moths.
 
Green-veined White on Green Alkanet Orange Tip Buttefly on Green Alkanet

The Pixie Path and Waterworks Road added more Speckled Woods, a Holly Blue, another Orange Tip and a confirmed Green-veined White Butterfly. The Orange-tip flitted rapidly between nectar plants that included Green Alkanet, Ground Ivy and Bluebells. The Green-veined White was even more active visiting Green Alkanet and Ground Ivy.
Nine butterfly species

21 April 2009
A small and colourful pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta purpuralisamongst the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a first of the year. All the smaller white butterflies that settled proved to be Small Whites rather than Green-veined Whites. The most prevalent butterflies on a trip to Mill Hill and Adur Levels were Brimstones with nine on the downs and Speckled Woods with a total of 17 mostly seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
Adur Moths
 

Pyrausta despicata
Pyrausta purpuralis
Pyrausta nigrata

Pyrausta (fire-winged) Micro-moths


Species Waterworks Road & Pixie Path Mill Hill Adur Levels &
Shoreham Town
TOTAL
Peacock 1 4 2  7
Speckled Wood 4 3 10 17
Small White 2   6  8
Large White   1    1
Comma 1      1
Holly Blue 2      2
Brimstone   9    9
Orange Tip 1 3 1  5
Grizzled Skipper   7    7
Dingy Skipper   6    6
TOTAL     10 11 33 19 63
Pyrausta nigrata    17   17
Pyrausta despicata   6    6
Pyrausta purpuralis   1    1

 63 butterflies of ten species, the most species in a single day this year

20 April 2009
A visit to the overgrown Mash Barn Lane, Lancing, recorded easily 20 Speckled Woods, some mating, around five Holly Blue, a female Orange Tip, a Comma, two Small Tortoiseshell, a Brimstone, at least one Small White, two or more Peacock, all seen in a small area and in around 15 minutes watching time. Eight species.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK Leps Yahoo Group


Three Brimstone Butterflies, and Orange Tip and a few Small Whites were seen near the Toll Bridge.

Report by John Knight


A Speckled Wood fluttered over my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham-by-Sea. On the outskirts of Shoreham the tally was one Brimstone, a few Small Whites and a Red Admiral. Four Large Whites were noted over the short sward and Dandelions of McIntyre's Field, Lancing Ring Nature Reserve. The other butterflies on Lancing Ring and the approaches were eleven Speckled Woods, one Holly Blue, one Red Admiral, and one Comma.
Personal tally of seven species

Dingy Skipper19 April 2009
A morning visit to Mill Hill on a dull day produced just a smattering of butterflies: a handful (about five) of Grizzled Skippers, my first Dingy Skipper of the year, two whites probably Small Whites, and two good condition Peacock Butterflies and a  Treble-bar Moth (that landed on me) on the lower slopes. The scrub produced two more whites including a Large White and three Speckled Woods.  The most representative feature of the lower slopes were the frequency (15+) of the small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata plus at least one Pyrausta despicata.
Six butterfly species

16 April 2009
I visited Mill Hill and saw 25+ Grizzled Skipper, 15+ Dingy Skipper, six Brimstone, one Speckled Wood, four  Large Whites, three Orange-tips, two Red Admirals, a  Small Tortoiseshell and numerous Peacocks, plus a  Treble-bar Moth.

Report by Jacob J Everitt on Sussex Butterflies


15 April 2009
We visited Mill Hill where we met Neil Hulme and saw between 20 and 30 Grizzled Skippers and newly emerged Dingy Skippers. (first of the year).

Report by Bob and Matt Eade on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers

In the late afternoon the butterfly count was a mere two Red Admirals, one in Gordon Road, Shoreham, and one over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

14 April 2009
Two small day-flying in moths put in their first appearance of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Old Shoreham): these were the pyralids, three Pyrausta despicata and two Pyrausta nigrata. Two Grizzled Skippers were recorded.
The first yellow Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowers appear on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, hosting small black pollen beetles, Meligethes erichsoni.
This report was incomplete because of a computer failure.

13 April 2009
In the late afternoon, my first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year was seen fluttering over a garden overlooking the Waterworks Road. Two or three male Orange-tip Butterflies were seen over the Waterworks Road with a few Speckled Woods and one yellow Brimstone Butterfly in the distance. Two Large White Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town and a Small White Butterfly and another Speckled Wood on the Pixie Path. A Red Admiral flew over the Red Lion public house and another one was seen at at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, Shoreham, near Mill Hill.
Seven species
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Cabbage Whites under Threat (Message on UK Wildlife Yahoo Group)

9 April 2009
There were plenty of Grizzled Skipperaction on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Shoreham)  (TQ 210 073) . At least twelve were actively 'turf-hopping' as they constantly sought out nectar from the violet flowers. After about an hour I saw my first female of the year, probably on her maiden flight. As soon as she appeared she was accosted by an amorous male, and after a brief courtship (he crash-landing beside her and 'trying it on' several times) they copulated. I was soon joined by David Dancy, who was first to spot a Small Copper (first of 2009) at the northern end of the site. Other butterflies included six Peacock, two Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Brimstone and a Small White.
Seven species

Report by Neil and Eric Hulme on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
 
8 April 2009
The first nest of the Brown-tailed Moth of the year was discovered on the Slonk Hill Cutting south in the overgrown clearing alongside the path.

Adur Moths

7 April 2009
A Speckled Wood flew over the bridlepath near the entrance road to Lancing College to Lancing Ring. Another one was seen under  the clump at the top, and a Peacock Butterfly over the bridlepath as it passed the chalkpit and another one over the chalkpit itself. McIntyres Field produced two Small Whites and three Green-veined Whites on a downhill passage journey.

6 April 2009
Two further butterflies put in their first appearances of the year: a single Speckled Wood in the copse on top of Mill Hill, and a male Orange-tip Butterfly over the verges of Waterworks Road. My first trek was to the lower slopes of Mill Hill where five Peacock Butterflies were seen, and one, possibly two Grizzled Skippers at the northern end. A Large White Butterfly flew over the Dovecote Estate, north Shoreham, and a few Small Whites were seen in town. In the early afternoon, I made a passage visit to the Waterworks Road, where a handful of Green-veined White Butterflies were seen immediately together with a Brimstone Butterflyand a Comma Butterfly as well as the already mentioned Orange-tip. Further Peacock Butterflies were seen during the day on the outskirts of Shoreham.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Nine species

5 April 2009
The first of the year Lancing Ring Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was spotted.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the new Friends of Lancing Ring web pages


The first four confirmed Green-veined White Butterflies of the year were seen on the verges of Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, with a Brimstone Butterfly, and a Peacock Butterfly sparring with a Comma Butterfly. Other butterflies seen in town were a few Small Whites and a few Peacocks, and on a round trip to Botolphs and back there a few Comma Butterflies, occasional Peacocks, and a few indeterminate Whites. There was a suspected Speckled Wood flying rapidly over the Coombes Road near the Rectory Cottage, Coombes.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Five confirmed species

4 April 2009 Evening
A search of the Privet bushes on Mill Hill did not produce the desired Barred Tooth-striped Moth, Trichopteryx polycommata,
but we did find three Pale Flat-body, Agonopterix pallorella, micro-moths on the lower slopes.

Report by Pen and Dave Green on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

4 April 2009
A Small White Butterfly flew over a garden in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, the same one as before.

2 April 2009
Two Comma Butterflies were spotted, one in the Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road and the other on the south-north section of the Pixie Path. In the late afternoon a Peacock Butterfly was seen on the steps of the Butterfly Copse on another  passing visit.

1 April 2009
A Small White Butterfly flew over a garden in Dolphin Road, Shoreham.
 
An interesting encounter with a butterfly occurred earlier in the evening. Opening the front door in south Lancing  to go out we discovered a Large White Butterfly had attached itself to the green painted south facing door and settled for a doze on the warm surface.
I was able to fetch the camera and take several photographs without so much as a flicker from the insect. At 8:00 pmand just had a look to see it still there sound asleep !
 
Report & Photograph by Ray Hamblett
on the UK Leps Yahoo Group


Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

31 March 2009
A large white Brimstone Butterfly* was seen on my travels through Southwick as well as a Small White Butterfly. (* It could have been a Large White?)

30 March 2009
The first Grizzled Skipper of the year seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a great surprise and the first one recorded in March. I also recorded my first Small Tortoiseshell of 2009 with two of them visiting the violets in the same location, as well as my first Small White Butterfly of 2009 in Adur Avenue, north Shoreham. The frequent Peacock Butterflies were the most plentiful on the day which included four Brimstone Butterflies mostly on the outskirts of Shoreham and one Comma Butterfly on a fleeting visit to the Waterworks Road.
24 butterflies  of seven species of were recorded in the sunshine including a Red Admiral at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, near Mill Hill.

 
Grizzled Skipper Brimstone Butterfly on the verges of the Waterworks Road
Count: Peacock 15, Brimstone 4, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Grizzled Skipper 1, Small White 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1.

Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers

22 March 2009
A white butterfly appeared over my Lancing garden in the afternoon. I think it was a Large White*. Also a Comma settled close to my feet.

Report by Ray Hamblett on the UK Leps Yahoo Group


*NB. I have put this down as a white Brimstone Butterfly. Large Whites have not been recorded locally in March. But it is still a possible?
 
 

At least three Peacock Butterflies visited the Sweet Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. One characteristic of the violetson this original chalkhill although there were tens of thousands scattered over the main transect area, the leaves were exiguous compared to violets growing in more fertile soil. A Comma Butterfly landed on the northern part of Frampton's Field, and another Comma landed on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

21 March 2009
A Red Admiral flew across Ray Hamblett's garden in south Lancing.

20 March 2009
Spring has definitely sprung at Mill Hill with a minimum of four Small Tortoiseshell and seven Peacock Butterflies feeding amongst the profusion of violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This is the first report of a Small Tortoiseshell in 2009.

Report by Pen and Dave Green on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

A Brimstone Butterfly settled for a fraction of a second on a solitary Dandelion flower on the verges of the Waterworks Road (footpath section) but otherwise flew strongly to and fro along the hedgerow, to the west, without settling. Between six to eight Comma Butterflies were seen in scattered locations, most of them on the Coastal Link Cyclepath at the Upper Beeding end, where two Peacock Butterflies flew past as I cycled to Botolphs and back.

18 March 2009
 

A Comma Butterfly and a Peacock Butterfly sparred over the meadow immediately to the west of the copse to the west of the eastern car park of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve. On a walk around the the main ring of trees at least two more Comma Butterflies and three or more Peacock Butterflies were also seen on a sunny day.

17 March 2009
A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly flew rapidly over Manor Hall Road, Southwick at the Portslade end (near the Gardener Arms) and later a paler almost white Brimstone Butterfly was seen flying over Portslade Cemetery.

16 March 2009
Three Comma Butterflies were recorded, one on the Coombes Road, literally, north of Ladywells, one in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, and the third one over the top of Mill Lane in Shoreham. None of them settled long enough for a photograph.

15 March 2009
My second butterfly of the year was an unidentified vanessid that flew from the western end of Rosslyn Road, Shoreham town over Buckingham Road just after midday in the weak sunshine (13.5 °C). A Comma Butterfly north of Old Shoreham on the western end of the Field Maple footpath to the Waterworks Road surprised me, and another surprise came with a Peacock Butterfly resting on the steps of the Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road. There were two further vanessids, probably Commas nearby. I was even more surprised by a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly over the Pixie Path at the northern end by the north east part of Frampton's filed, but skirting the chestnut fencing that separates the path from Mill Hill Cutting. These were all firsts of the year. There was a Red Admiral  over the grass and the edges of the copse at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, and probably the same one that was seen a week earlier. There were five Peacock Butterflies over Mill Hill, two on the lower slopes and three amongst the scrub as I returned without visiting the upper part of the hill.
12 butterflies of four species
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Levels 2009

8 March 2009
My first butterfly seen this year was a Red Admiral induced out of hibernation by the weak sunshine over the grass and the edges of the copse at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, south-east of the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill.

3 January 2009
Our first moth of 2009 was, unexpectedly, a Double-striped Pug, Gymnoscelis rufifasciata, that we found in our kitchen (Mill Hill, Shoreham).

Report by Pen and Dave Green on Sussex Butterflies
 Butterfly & Large Moth List 2008
 
 
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

Etymology of the word "butterfly"
 

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 2008



 

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)Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages

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 2009 web pages

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