Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies and the Larger Moths 2011 
Link to the Mill Hill web page for 2008All observations by Andy Horton, unless stated otherwise.
It would be tedious to list all sightings on the main pages,  but for flight times purposes the following butterflies and moths include ones not recorded on the main Nature Notes pages:

BUTTERFLY LISTS   2010
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009


Sussex Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
UK Butterflies: Sightings
Adur Butterfly Species
Adur Moths
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Adur Nature Notes 2011
Adur Butterfly List 2010

  British Lepidoptera on  flickr

WILDLIFE REPORTS
(Narrative):
 

Butterfly & Large Moth List 2012
 

10 December 2011
A Red Admiral was enjoying the sun in our Shoreham garden.

Report by Helen Corrigan on Sussex Butterflies
15 November 2011
A vanessid fluttered over the southern part of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, high up too high to recognise it by species, but it was probably a Red Admiral. Later, in the early afternoon, a Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered north to south over the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

12 November 2011
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered over the crossroads of the paths in St. Mary de Haura churchyard in the middle of New Shoreham, less than an hour before midday on Farmer's Market Day.

1 November 2011
Two Red Admirals caroused amorously under an Evergreen Oak next to Downsway (the road) on the Dovecote Estate, north Shoreham. The only butterfly seen on Mill Hill was a Red Admiral under the Copse at the top.

23 October 2011
On a dry, breezy overcast (Cumulus - Cirrocumulus) midday, three lanced Meadow Brown Butterflies searched out nectar plants on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, one frequently returning to the one remaining Wild Basil seen. On the middle slopes, a Red Admiral landed on the path immediately south of the Copse on the top of the hill.
Two species

22 October 2011
A good condition Red Admiral landed on a dead Buddleia flower on the riverside edge of the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge under a virtually cloudless sky (with just a few fluffy patches of Cirrus exceeded in quantity by a few vapour trails, air temperature 12.3 °C). A Speckled Wood fluttered in the garden of the Holy Family Catholic Church Hall at Monks Farmhouse in North Road, Lancing.
Two species

17 October 2011
Spotting a break in the clouds, I made a quick visit to Mill Hill in the afternoon, where a Red Admiral left the shorn vegetation south of the Reservoir and another one was seen blown about in the breeze over the Clematis-adorned scrub. Nectar plants were now sparse on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with diminutive ground-hugging Hardheads, Stemless Thistle and Hawkbits the most prevalent. Three Meadow Browns were disturbed in temperatures too cool for active butterflies and then the darker clouds came over and I hurried home after the first few spots of rain.
Two species

16 October 2011
I visited Mill Hill again hoping the Clouded Yellow would still be around. No sightings but there were some Brown Argus, Meadow Browns and Common Blues.

Report & Photographs by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
We also saw a second Brown Argus scrapping with a Common Blue, three Meadow Browns and a Wall Brown.
Additional Report by Chris Corrigan on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

15 October 2011
The first absolutely positive Clouded Yellow Butterfly of the year in the Adur area was seen on Mill Hill and photographed visiting a Hawkbit. It was a bit tatty, but it was my first of the year and made my day! There were also some Common Blues, Meadow Browns and a Red Admiral.

Report & Photograph by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
and on Sussex Butterflies
Previous Report

9 October 2011
I did not expect any butterflies on Mill Hill, until I immediately stumbled across a Speckled Wood followed a few seconds later by a Red Admiral, both south of the Reservoir. Eight Meadow Browns were seen all on the lower slopes and two of them in flight and copulating. A single male Common Blue was lively over the lower slopes and a Peacock Butterfly was seen on the Triangle part of the middle slopes. It did not feel warm but the the Shoreham Meteorological Office recorded an air temperature of 20.1 °C, but the breeze directly from the west on the exposed westerly slopes was a steady Force 4 (15 mph) at 2:00 pm.
Five species

3 October 2011
Red Admirals were frequently seen all over the place, but not on all the Ivy as some of this (notably by the Pixie Path) was dominated by wasps. Speckled Woods were also frequent in shady spots.  On Mill Hill, 16 Meadow Browns (11 on the lower slopes around midday) were counted on the open downs, and one Large White on the lower slopes. A few Speckled Woods were seen amongst the scrub and half a dozen Red Admirals flew around the large hedge bordering the road north of the bridge. Most  of the Red Admirals seen during the day were fluttering around the Ivy, but one around Lancing Railway Station flew all over the place but southwards across the railway line, whereas one seen from Old Shoreham Toll Bridge was seen flying strongly north, at a height of 15 metres, over the River Adur. A dirty looking Small White Butterfly was seen over Dolphin Road, Shoreham, earlier in the day.
Five species

2 October 2011
Three crimson-brown medium-large moths flew distinctly in three different locations, the first by the hedgerow bordering the railway line in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, the second on the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. and the the third on on the Adur Levels beneath Mill Hill, in the pasture used as a car book sale location on summer Sundays. I have identified these moths as most probably the day-flying male Vapourer Moth, Orgyia antiqua, based on past experience, but I have never been able to look at one of these moths settled. A Speckled Wood Butterfly, fluttered over the southern part of Southdown Road (just north of the railway bridge), central Shoreham.
Adur Moths (Vapourer Report)

28 September 2011
On a warm (>20.6 °C) sunny day, the frequent butterflies were in the shade, at least 25 Speckled Woods fluttering amongst the scrub on the outskirts of Shoreham and amongst the scrub on Mill Hill. There were occasional Red Admirals, occasional Large Whites, one Brimstone Butterfly (Mill Hill Cutting) and Speckled Woods on the approaches to Mill Hill. On Mill Hill, the weather was warm enough but the the count was a mere eleven Meadow Browns (eight on the lower slopes), at least two Small Heath Butterflies (on the lower slopes), another Brimstone, a few Large Whites, Red Admirals on the Ivy and Speckled Woods anywhere shady. A passage walk over the open top part of the hill did not reveal any butterflies just after midday.
Six species

26 September 2011
The forecasted sun did not appear in the morning, but by midday I noted a Speckled Wood fluttering over Lancing town centre and by the time I reached the River Adur on a flood tide, there was a Red Admiral flying strongly northwards over the Toll Bridge. Large Whites were also noted in residential Shoreham.

25 September 2011
At least one Speckled Wood, at least one Red Admiral and some Large Whites were noted on a sunny day.

24 September 2011
A Speckled Wood was seen over the Riverbank towpath by the houseboats, Shoreham Beach.

16 September 2011
More overcast than the previous day, but there were brief snatches of sunshine through the gaps in the clouds (>18.7 °C): the approaches to Mill Hill (Waterworks Road - Pixie Path) yielded a probable Green-veined White, at least one Speckled Wood, a worn Peacock (NW corner of Frampton's Field), a Comma (entrance to the Mill Hill Cutting, SW), few Large Whites and about a dozen Red Admirals (mostly on the Ivy at the top part of the Pixie Path).
 

Small Copper
Small Copper
Red Admiral

The flowers on Mill Hill were swayed in the Gentle Breeze (Force 3) from the south-east. At first there were hardly any butterflies on the lower slopes but after about four minutes, the first of an estimated 60 Meadow Browns (about 35 on the lower slopes) appeared with a few couples mating (Meadow Browns tend to fly off even if copulating), an estimated 12 Small Heaths (10 on the lower slopes) and two male Common Blues. Stemless Thistle, Hardheads and Devil's Bit Scabious were the most visited flowers for nectar. The Hawthorn scrub hosted frequent Meadow Browns, three Comma and a few Red Admirals (both on the Ivy near the NW gate), plus at least one Speckled Wood. The Triangle area of the middle slopes hosted more Meadow Browns and just the one flighty Small Copper. I saw a Small White Butterfly in Shoreham.
Mill Hill Full Report
Eleven species

15 September 2011
On a pleasant day under a blue sky (>17.2 °C), the outskirts of Shoreham (Waterworks Road - Pixie Path - Chanctonbury Drive, passage trek) hosted nine Speckled Woods, about a dozen Red Admirals (mostly on the Ivy in the NW part of the Pixie Path), a handful of Large Whites, a Holly Blue (entrance to the Mill Hill Cutting, SW) a worn Peacock (NW corner of Frampton's Field) and a Small White.
Six species

11 September 2011
An appreciable breeze (Force 5 gusting to 6) made conditions inimical to watching butterflies on a cloudy, nearly warm (> 19.1 °C) day. Over the vegetation at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham, two Large White Butterflies were noted and a Speckled Wood amongst the greenery. On Mill Hill (lower slopes returning by the quickest ridge route) I recorded 60 Meadow Browns (48 on the lower slopes), ten male Adonis Blues, ten Small Heath Butterflies, four Large Whites, one male and one female Common Blues, and one Small White. All species except the Meadow Browns were seen entirely in the one acre transect area.
Ivy attracted the bees and the butterflies (especially on the Ivy on the Pixie Path near the north-west corner of Frampton's Field) notably 10 Red Admirals, two Comma Butterflies and two Speckled Woods. On Mill Hill Cutting (SW) there were three more good condition Red Admirals and unidentified large bright blue butterfly which was thought to be a Holly Blue. Another half a dozen Red Admirals, one Comma and few more Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns and Large Whites, and one Small White were seen on the Adur Levels.
Mill Hill Report
Ten species

10 September 2011
After some poor weather, my weekly butterfly transect on a cloudy dull day at Mill Hill recorded five Adonis Blue, two Chalkhill Blue, 52 Meadow Browns, one Small Copper, and ten Small Heaths.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


9 September 2011
Small White Butterflies were frequently seen everywhere from Lancing to Worthing, with a few Large Whites and one Red Admiral on a flowering Buddleia. In Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden, there was a pair of courting Speckled Browns in the late afternoon, with a Holly Blue, and a Small White on the Verbena flowers.
Five species

2 September 2011
Suddenly there has been an explosion of Small White Butterflies frequently seen everywhere in Shoreham, with the Large Whites still as frequent as in the previous month. One Speckled Wood was spotted. A Red Admiral flew over the River Adur in a northerly direction at Old Shoreham, and a Comma Butterfly flew across the Downs-Coast Link Cyclepath south of Upper Beeding.
Four species

29 August 2011
Large White Butterflies were frequently seen over the gardens and allotments in Shoreham. On a cool breezy and cloudy Mill Hill, a pristine Comma Butterfly was the first butterfly to be seen followed by 100+ (partially counted) Meadow Browns, twenty tattered male Adonis Blues and eight Chalkhill Blues were disturbed with two females, an estimated 28+ Small Heaths, occasional Common Blues and frequent 28+ pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis.
Mill Hill Full Report
Seven butterfly species

22 August 2011
Under an overcast sky without the penetrating warmth of the sun's rays, nevertheless it was a pleasant (18.6 °C SSE Force 2) autumn midday, and on Mill Hill about 200 butterflies fluttered around, 90% on the lower slopes. The complete count for Mill Hill recorded an estimated 90+ Meadow Browns, a counted 19 Chalkhill Blues, 66 Adonis Blues (including four females*), about 20 Common Blues (including about five females), an estimated 16+ Small Heaths, one (perhaps the last of the year) faded but intact Gatekeeper, one (possibly three) Brimstones, a few Large Whites, and a Speckled Wood (in the scrub).
 

 
 
 Chalkhill Blue 
 Common Blues
 Adonis Blue on Carline Thistle

The lower slope 1.2 acre transect numbers were: 60+ Meadow Browns, a counted 19 Chalkhill Blues, 65 Adonis Blues (including four females*), about 5 Common Blues, an estimated 16+ Small Heaths, one (perhaps the last of the year) faded but mostly intact Gatekeeper, one (possibly three) Brimstones, and occasional (6+) faded pyralid moths Pyrausta purpuralis. *One faded female could have been a Chalkhill Blue as its was visited very briefly by a male. The female Adonis Blues were mostly in very good condition.
The Common Blues were mostly scattered over the middle and upper meadows. There was breeze that made photographing the butterflies on plantain a little tricky as the long stems swayed. Meadow Browns on the upper part of  Mill Hill were the most prevalent butterfly with over thirty seen. On the plateau just north of the Reservoir, a male Adonis Blue was disturbed.
Mill Hill Full Report
Brown Argus and female Common Blues ID Images
Nine butterfly species

19 August 2011
The bottom of Mill Hill was covered in Adonis Blues and Meadow Browns. My transect count was 74 Adonis Blues, 9 Chalkhill Blue, 1 Common Blue, 16 Gatekeeper, 68 Meadow Browns and 17 Small Heath.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Butterflies


17 August 2011
We saw a scary caterpillar (Val spotted it first): it puffed itself up and showed us a couple of threatening "eyes". We think it was a Small Elephant Hawkmoth, putting its life at risk by crossing the Downslink Cyclepath, just north of the A27 Flyover. In the overcast conditions, there were few butterflies out despite it being warm  the most interesting was a Common Blue deep in Shoreham at the very start of the Downslink path.

Report and Photograph by John A Heys on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

15 August 2011
The Lancing Ring meadows in the afternoon (after 2:30 pm) were disappointing for butterflies. An estimated 60+ Meadow Browns were the most prevalent species, with 12+ Gatekeepers, occasional 8+ Small Heaths, occasional 9+ Common Blues and just the one male Chalkhill Blue. The Chalkhill Blue was conspicuous and was spotted before it landed on a Hardhead. The think some butterflies may have already been roosting and a search could have revealed more. A pair of Six-spotted Burnet Moths mated on one of the remaining Greater Knapweed flowers (most showed just their silver discs). Hemp Agrimony is attractive to butterflies but the stands on the southern border of the meadows only attracted a few Meadow Browns and one of two Red Admirals. One Wall Brown visited a Hardhead on the edge of the path. Speckled Woods were frequently seen in the shade. Later, (after 3:00 pm) McIntyre's Field (east of Lancing Ring) meadow was completely devoid of butterflies, although I disturbed a Silver Y Moth.
Lancing Beach hosted frequent Large Whites. There was a Green-veined White at Cuckoo's Corner.
Ten butterfly species and two Macro-moths

Adonis Blue14 August 2011
On a overcast but pleasant (19.1 °C SW Force 4) autumn late morning was bracing for a walk but inimical for butterflies which were 50% hiding. On Mill Hill, I recorded an estimated 100+ Meadow Browns, 66 Adonis Blues, 37 Chalkhill Blues, 30+ Common Blues, 35+ Small Heaths, a few of the last Gatekeepers, one Small Copper, one female Brimstone Butterfly, one Wall Brown, 15+ Speckled Woods and one Large White.
Mill Hill Full Report
Eleven species

 
 
 

 
 
11 August 2011
Hornet Robber Fly preying on a Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on Mill Hill
  Adur Flies

5 August 2011
In a late afternoon cycle ride to Botolphs and back I noted a Green-veined (or Small White) Butterfly on the western towpath by the A27 Flyover, but late in the day there were only occasional butterflies disturbed, at least one Speckled Wood, and six Red Admirals on the Downs-Coast Link Cyclepath south of Upper Beeding.
Three species

3 August 2011
A slow amble over the middle slopes of Mill Hill in the post-midday sunshine (22.8 °C) saw me venture in glades and thorn off my usual path, noting that Kidney Vetch was frequently seen in a small area (south of the Triangle) when only occasional flowers had been seen before. It was amongst abundant Wild Basil and clumps of Marjoram and this area attracted four male Chalkhill Blues and a pair of courting second brood Dingy Skippers (of five seen in under an hour). Common Blues were the most frequent butterfly with over 70 blue males seen. Other butterflies were frequent Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, a few Large Whites, a few Wall Browns, one Peacock, one Comma, and a few Six-spotted Burnet Moths. Under the shade there were frequent Speckled Woods.
Unusually, I rapidly (>15 minutes) traversed the transect acre of the lower slopes, counting 42 Chalkhill Blues (just one female) two male Adonis Blues, one Marbled White, and the usual Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Heaths and one Treble-bar Moth..
At the top (the only part visited) of the Pixie Path there was a Small/Essex Skipper amongst the Ivy.
Thirteen butterfly species and two macro-moths.

On Lancing Ring Nature Reserve, I spotted plenty of butterflies but the meadows very disappointing. There were hardly any blues seen just two Common Blues and one Chalkhill Blue which was in one of the chalkpits at the far eastern end. One Dark Green Fritillary was seen on the path leading to the chalkpits from Mill Road . It was  clearly very old with a large chunk missing from the left wing. I glimpsed two others in the trees up the clump and also three Purple Hairstreaks in one of the rides.

Lancing Report by Mark Senior by EMail
NB: these were first of the year reports for the Dark Green Fritillary and the first ever Lancing report of Purple Hairstreaks.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

2 August 2011
On a warm sticky day, I made a brief visit to Mill Hill Cutting (SW) from the Waterworks Road direction seeing on-route occasional Large Whites, one Comma Butterfly, a few Meadow Browns, frequent Gatekeepers. On arrival I immediately counted 15 male Chalkhill Blues all in flight at the same time and two females within a couple of minutes. There was a Speckled Wood in Shoreham town.
Six species

1 August 2011
As I was not happy with my one acre transect count on Mill Hill the previous day, I went to the lower slopes and made a fresh count in very good conditions (humid, weak sunshine, 20.2 °C, ESE Force 4) and in the 20 minutes (timed) it took me to amble along the transect, I counted 58 Chalkhill Blues (including six females). The count included one mating pair. Although this has been typical of the last couple of years, it was only a tenth the total of a good year and below par even for poor years. The first of three second brood male Adonis Blues showed, and without trying half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, including courting pairs, fluttered into view. This was more that usual years when only a few are seen. There were the expected frequent Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Common Blues and Small Heaths, a few Large Whites and one yellow Brimstone Butterfly. The Brimstone was seen patrolling the bottom hedgerow. I sat down above the winding path (the transect are is south of the path) and watched a further 20 Chalkhill Blues including a mating pair that flew close enough to be photographed. Amongst the Brambles next to the path at the northern end of the lower slopes there was an unidentified butterfly that could conceivably have been a Brown Hairstreak.
 

 Dingy Skipper
 Chalkhill Blues

I returned by the quickest ridge route and noted on the top part of the hill two male Chalkhill Blues, enough Common Blues to indicate they must be common in the top meadows.  A Wall Brown fluttered over me. A Brown Argus on the southern part of the Mill Hill was unusual in the location it was spotted.
Eleven species

The first Clouded Yellow of the year was seen patrolling the bottom slopes of Mill Hill right by the boundary hedge and was one of 19 species in the afternoon including 60 Chalkhill Blues, six Adonis Blues and five Wall Browns.
Full Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Clouded Yellow Report by Mark Senior on UK Butterflies (August 2011 Sightings)


31 July 2011
At the usual peak date for Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill I went directly to the lower slopes in the late morning recording 37 (including four females) on the transect before 11.20 am and an estimated 35 mostly males in the following 15 minutes. This was still a poor total of 72 on the lower slopes and two elsewhere on the hill.
Without making more than a cursory attempt to search, I discovered at least half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, five on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and one whilst looking for a Brown Argus on the middle slopes in the the Triangle area amongst the Wild Basil. The other species on MIll Hill were Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Wall Browns, Small Heaths, Common Blues, Brimstone, Brown Argus, Large Whites, one Peacock, Speckled Woods and a few Sixspotted Burnet Moths.
Mill Hill Report
Adur Skippers

On the way home I made a quick detour down the Pixie Path where I added a Red Admiral and a Holly Blue to the list. On the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) there were over twenty lively Chalkhill Blues including at least one female. There was a male Chalkhill Blue visiting Greater Knapweed in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field. Speckled Woods were courting at the top of Chanctonbury Drive.
Fourteen butterfly species and one macro-moth

28 July 2011
A targeted search of the slopes and upper glades of Mill Hill produced 12 Dingy Skippers, this being by far the strongest second brood showing I have ever seen. The knock-on effects of the unusually warm spring may yet produce more unexpected events in the late summer and autumn butterfly calendar.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Skippers

The sun was out and frequent Large Whites, Red Admirals (3) and a few Meadow Browns were seen in Shoreham town.

Common Blue (female)27 July 2011
Approaching Mill Hill from the south-west on an cloudy day (with the sun behind the clouds) the following butterfly species were noted: Gatekeeper (5), frequent Large Whites, Red Admiral (3), Comma (4), Speckled Wood (5+), Meadow Brown (1), Holly Blue (2). By the time I arrived at the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) it was decidedly cool, and no butterflies were in flight. On a small clump of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves, three male Chalkhill Blues fitted in the camera lens with their wings open, but they all flew off before I could press the shutter. A Six-spotted Burnet Moth rested on a Greater Knapweed flower.
Mill HIll was very poor but with the following species added to the list for the day: Wall Brown, Brimstone Butterfly, Common Blues and Marbled White.
Mill Hill Report
Twelve species

24 July 2011
Occasionally the sun shone through the gaps in the clouds, but it was too cool for most butterflies. The detailed butterfly reports on the individual pages.
The approaches to Mill Hill via the Slonk Hill Cutting route recorded frequent Speckled Woods, ten Meadow Browns, my only Marbled White of the day, Large Whites and a Small White Butterfly, three Green-veined Whites and four Holly Blues It was decidedly cool and breezy by the time I cycled down the A27 to the south-west part of the MIll Hill Cutting where I immediately disturbed a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly as I left the road. It was one of four males which were too lively to photograph except for one that settled with its wings closed.  I recorded my first female Chalkhill Blue of the year visiting a Bird's Foot Trefoil flower, where there was also a female Common Blue amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves. On the Pixie Path I spotted my first Gatekeeper of the day.
 

Common Blue 
Chalkhill Blue 

It was a few minutes before I spotted my first butterfly on Mill Hill: a second brood Wall Brown briefly visited a Violet. Perhaps, the most notable observation were six Brimstone Butterflies, three of each gender over the central area of Wild Basil and St. John's Wort. In the transect acre, I disturbed just nine male Chalkhill Blues as the sun had gone behind the clouds, with at least three Meadow Browns, one Gatekeeper, two Large Whites, one Comma, and at least one pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata amongst the jumping grasshoppers. In the Hawthorn scrub, I noted a few Speckled Woods and a larger than normal Red Admiral settled. Typically, flitting from one stem head to another my first pristine Brown Argus of the year showed amongst the Marjoram to the north of the Triangle area of the middle slopes of Mill Hill Nature Reserve. It was accompanied by a fresh male Common Blue. The top part of Mill Hill was now very scrubby and as I hurriedly crossed there were very few butterflies: a Large White, nine Gatekeepers (five around one Ragwort flower), six Meadow Browns and a Speckled Wood.
Brown Argus and female Common Blues ID Images
Fifteen butterfly species (equal the most in a day this year)

22 July 2011
I headed off to Mill Hill to get my weekly butterfly transect done while the sun was shining. More Chalkhill Blues emerged, including some large specimens. There was a second brood of Adonis Blue. A big surprise was second brood Dingy Skippers.
The count was 5 Adonis Blue, 1 Brimstone, 1 Brown Argus, 9 Chalkhill Blue, 1 Comma, 1 Common Blue, 2 Dingy Skipper, 6 Gatekeeper, 1 Large White, 2 Marbled White, 7 Meadow Brown, 8 Peacock, 7 Red Admiral, 2 Small Heath, 4 Wall Brown.
14 species

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


19 July 2011
The rain had stopped for the first time in three days. In Shoreham and Lancing town, Small Whites were frequently seen with at least one of the following: Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Peacock and Comma.
Six species on passage

15 July 2011
A blue sky but a rather cool day for July, 19.2 °C at midday: so this meant the blue butterflies were not actively flying, although there were frequent Large White Butterflies over Shoreham town with the first Meadow Brown in Park Drive, and the first of the frequent Speckled Woods at the top of Buckingham Park. Around the Buckingham Cutting (south) there were a few Red Admirals and Holly Blues amongst the Brambles, and a few Six-spotted Burnet Moths and at least one Silver Y Moth on the roadside meadow. The first male Chalkhill Blue was disturbed on the south-western bank of Mill Hill Cutting. It flew over the Brambles and nearly got sucked into the slipstream of the passing traffic. Gatekeepers were everywhere there were Brambles. A Carpet Moth landed on a Bramble leaf.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the weather still was not warm enough for actively flying butterflies, but Gatekeepers were frequent (over 40) and amorously lively, just two male Chalkhill Blues were disturbed, and there were two definite male Common Blues which looked appreciably smaller, one resting Treble-bar Moth, a few Meadow Browns, one Marbled White, and four Peacock Butterflies. I returned by one of the quicker routes noting only more Gatekeepers.
Ten butterfly species and four macro-moths

13 July 2011
A few (at least three) Red Admirals were seen in Shoreham town flying distinctly south to north as though they had flown in off the sea. The few Large Whites flew about randomly in all directions on a cool day.

11 July 2011
A Gatekeeper Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham at the entrance of the twitten to Adelaide Square.
At least three Ringlet Butterflies in the meadow on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting were rather belated first of year additions for this species. They were amongst Meadow Browns and I had to follow them until they settled to make sure. There were also a few Silver Y Moths fluttering amongst the meadow plants. Large Whites occurred and were frequent in Shoreham town. Other butterflies on the meadow were one Marbled White and in the linear copse there were occasional Speckled Woods.

On the southern meadow bank of the Buckingham Cutting, I encountered a bright blue butterfly fluttering from one flower to another especially the Melilot and when settled this was discovered to be a Holly Blue. After a few minutes I finally noticed a single Small Blue on a Kidney Vetch. I disturbed two Red Admirals in the hedgerow.
In the early evening I added a Green-veined White, at Old Shoreham, to the species list for the day.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Ten species, two not seen the previous day.
 
 
 

Chalkhill Blue (male)10 July 2011
On a cloudy day, Large White Butterflies were frequently seen everywhere, with frequent Red Admirals appearing around the Buddleia on the outskirts of Shoreham.
On the approaches to Mill Hill from the south-west, I noted frequent Green-veined Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Speckled Woods, one Holly Blue Butterfly, one Marbled White, one Comma, and a few Yellow Shell Moths.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year flew about quickly noted only landing briefly on the yellow flowers of Bird's Foot Trefoil and hiding amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch. Other butterflies on the lower part of Mill Hill were occasional Gatekeepers, Large Whites, and Green-veined Whites, one Red Admiral, a few Meadow Browns, one flying Burnet Moth, a few Yellow Shell Moths and one Brimstone Butterfly. The three pyralid moths were also seen: Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eleven butterfly species

4 July 2011
On a very pleasant sunny day (18.0 °C) with a slight breeze, and a frequent butterflies were in flight with Large Whites, Red Admirals and Speckled Woods in Buckingham Park, north Shoreham. On the Buckingham Cutting (south) frequent Speckled Woods were courting, more Large Whites and Red Admirals, a definite Green-veined White visited a Bramble showing a large lump out of one wing, a Marbled White on Greater Knapweed, and just the one Small Blue landed on a Kidney Vetch. In Frampton's Field there were two more Marbled Whites, the first few Meadow Browns, a Small Skipper, and more Large Whites.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, there was no sign of the first Chalkhill Blues, just the occasional Marbled Whites, frequent Small Heaths and Meadow Browns. The three pyralid moths were also seen: Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata.
Nine butterfly species

2 July 2011
It has still not warmed up with the air temperature only reaching 17.3 °C at 1:00 pm feeling warmer when the sun pierced the cloud cover. And on the lower slope of Mill Hill, the first Chalkhill Blue was yet to appear (the first one had been seen elsewhere in Sussex). There were frequent Marbled White Butterflies, frequent Small Heaths, occasional Meadow Browns, occasional Large Whites and one worn Peacock Butterfly on the lower slopes. In the scrub there was frequent Meadow Browns, occasional fresh Red Admirals, occasional Gatekeepers and at least three Comma Butterflies. On the top of the hill, there were a few more Small Heaths, Red Admirals, Marbled Whites and Large Whites.
The only location of note for butterflies was the Stinging Nettle lined path that runs from the Waterworks Road to the top of The Street, Old Shoreham. On passage I disturbed numerous vanessids, which promptly flew over Frampton's Field, but noted to be at least one Comma, at least three each of Red Admirals and dark orange good condition Small Tortoiseshells, as well as a few Meadow Browns and a Gatekeeper.
Nine species

1 July 2011
As the sun shined intermittently through the clouds, I spotted my first Gatekeeper of the year on the cyclepath at Old Shoreham, followed by my first Small Skipper (possibly an Essex Skipper?) on the River Adur eastern towpath at the same latitude as Mill Hill (south of the upper car park) (TQ 202 073). Marbled White Butterflies were very frequent in the long grass by the towpath with at least 24 counted and there were probably over 60 present. Others on the towpath was another Gatekeeper, at least three Meadow Browns, at least three Large Whites, one worn Peacock Butterfly, an old Small Tortoiseshell, a Burnet Moth and a Carpet Moth.
 

Marbled White Butterflies
Small Skipper

In the late afternoon, the butterflies on the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge seemed to be mostly resting, but I spotted or disturbed four old Red Admirals, three new Comma Butterflies, another three Small Skippers, at least seven Meadow Browns, two more Marbled Whites, at least six additional Large Whites, and a definite pristine Small White. South of Old Shoreham, the one white butterfly was probably a Green-veined White.
Eleven butterfly species, two new ones, plus two identified macro-moths

Adur Butterflies: First Dates

30 June 2011
On an overcast afternoon, I visited Mill Hill in the off chance that I would see my first Chalkhill Blue recorded in June (as the flowers were about one week earlier than 2010). None were seen and as an aside, I did note six Marbled Whites, two Small Heaths, two Meadow Browns and a few Large Whites on the lower slopes. There were also pyralid moths seen occasionally flitting over the herbage, with Pyrausta despicata occasionally seen and at least one Pyrausta nigrata. My first of the year Cinnabar Moth caterpillar was seen on a budding Ragwort plant.
Four butterfly species

29 June 2011
A brief afternoon visit under an overcast sky to the southern part of the the Slonk Hill Cutting was even poorer than expected with a Large White rising from the roadside meadow at the eastern end, a Yellow Shell Moth fluttering in to me in the linear wood, and finally a clearly seen Peacock Butterfly blown about so strongly in the breeze that it failed in its attempts to fly northwards. On the Buckingham Cutting there were so sign of the Small Blues. On the meadows I did not see any Meadow Browns or Ringlets, even though I made a cursory search. The conditions were cool and the missing species may very well have been resting.
Two species, but one not seen in the previous two days

28 June 2011
Large White Butterflies were frequently emerging new the Oil Seed Rape fields on the western side of the River Adur north of the Toll Bridge, with a few Green-veined Whites south of Old Shoreham. There was a Small Tortoiseshell near the Flyover and a Red Admiral off the road to Lancing College. On the path towards Hoe Cottages there were at least two Meadow Browns and a Speckled Wood.
Six species. three not seen on the previous day

Small Heath Butterfly27 June 2011
On a hot and humid morning, I noticed the first Humming-bird Hawkmoth of the year flying energetically around the vegetation at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham. The lower slopes of Mill Hill hosted 15+ Marbled White Butterflies, 12+ Small Heaths, two Large Whites, at least four Meadow Browns, one Comma, one Burnet Moth and two Red Admirals (the latter at the southern steps). I only visited the lower slopes, but on the southern part of Mill Hill there were two more Marbled Whites, another Small Heath, a Yellow Shell Moth and a Cinnabar Moth. There were more sightings of Marbled Whites, but these were excluded as they were thought to be the same butterfly seen twice.
Six butterfly species and four macro-moths
Adur Moths

Marbled White24 June 2011
On an overcast day, the sun shone briefly and the breeze was still a Force 5. Predictably, butterflies were hiding. On the southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting the first appearance on the roadside meadow was a Marbled White followed by five Meadow Browns and a Yellow Shell Moth. On the Buckingham Cutting (south) a Small White was clearly seen with at least seven Small Blues in breezy conditions. On the Mill Hill Cutting, a pristine Comma Butterfly put in an instant appearance, followed by two Common Blues, one definite Small Blue and two Meadow Browns. The Pixie Path was exceptionally breezy and a Marbled White was blown rather than fluttering about and last seen resting with its wings closed on the barbed wire fence.  A pyralid moth Pyrausta despicata landed on the path and another Yellow Shell Moth flitted into the vegetation. There was also two Meadow Browns over Frampton's Field.
A Red Admiral rose from the southern part of Mill Hill. On the wind swept lower slopes, I recorded nine Small Heaths, two Meadow Browns, one Marbled White and a Common Blue. In the Hawthorn scrub, there was a Large White, two Meadow Browns and a Comma. Battered by gusts on the top another Large White, another Marbled White and a Yellow Shell Moth showed. Over Frampton's Field, viewed from the southern path, two Small Tortoiseshells were seen fluttering around together. In the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) there was another Comma.
The Adur Levels produced another Comma on the road to Old Erringham. The Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath added two confirmed Green-Veined Whites, a Red Admiral, two more Small Tortoiseshells and at least 13 Meadow Browns.
Eleven butterfly species

22 June 2011
When will the wind die down? It was blowing Force 6 (gusting to Gale Force 8) from the WSW and it was much too blowy for Mill Hill or any butterflies in town, although I did spot a Small Blue Butterfly on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting.

21 June 2011
I finally found a sunny window in the morning to do my weekly butterfly transect at Mill Hill with the following result: two Common Blue females, two Green-veined White, one Large Skipper, three Marbled White, four Meadow Brown, seven Small Heath, one Small Tortoiseshell, and one Small White.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


20 June 2011
Approaching the middle of summer and it was just too dull and overcast for butterflies, although a Large White flew across Gordon Road, Shoreham, not far from the Hamm Road allotments.

19 June 2011
Just when I was thinking it was too windy (Force 4) for butterflies a pristine Red Admiral landed on a Bramble leaf at head height in front of me along the edge of the overgrown path on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. Almost immediately a pristine Large White Butterfly landed on a flower. There were no butterflies on the open meadow (Spotted Orchid section) on the eastern part of the cutting. A few minutes later a Large Skipper fluttered away on the central overgrown bit where the Brambles were less. And a few minutes after that an older Red Admiral fluttered or was blown by. Still buffeted by the Moderate Breeze about thirty Small Blue Butterflies flitted amongst the Kidney Vetch and the more sheltered Brambles on the southern side of the Buckingham Cutting.
Four species

18 June 2011
Blown up the downs by a  WSW Force 6 Strong Breeze (28 mph) gusting to Fresh Gale (Force 8) which  nearly blew me off my feet, the conditions were far from optimum for butterflies and I would not have been surprised if I had not seen any at all. Wild Thyme was notable on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and this may have also attracted a good condition Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. It flew away because I was there. The first of two Yellow Shell Moths on the transect flew amongst the Brambles. Small Heath Butterflies were amorous with 15 counted and ten on them seen simultaneously in the middle of the lower slopes beneath the path. It was here I saw my only Marbled White Butterfly and my first of the year. Pyralid moths were occasionally seen flitting over the herbage, with Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified. Self-heal and Wild Basil were noted in flower for the first time this year. I returned by the ridge route because of the adverse weather conditions and noted five more Yellow Shell Moths.
Three butterfly species

15 June 2011
A pristine Red Admiral was seen on an Elderflower on the side of the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge. It was the only butterfly on an overcast day before the rain started.

14 June 2011
With the sun out for a change and the wind had died down to a manageable breeze, a few Large White Butterflies were out, a Small Tortoiseshell flew across Adur Recreation Ground and a Cinnabar Moth was seen amongst the tall grasses next to the towpath on the western side of the River Adur adjacent to Shoreham Airport.

11 June 2011
At Mill Hill, I saw and photographed my first Marbled White Butterfly of the year.  I also spotted a Common Heath Moth, Ematurga atomaria.

Butterfly Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

4 June 2011
It was warm and blustery, the warmest day of the year so far recorded at 25.8 °C at 3:00 pm, but again spoilt by steady Strong Breeze (Force 6) from the north-east gusting to Gale Force 7 all through the day. It was much too blustery for butterflies but I had my lost my front bicycle lamp so I retraced the previous day's route along the linear copse path of the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. Twelve Small Blue Butterflies were all to be found sheltered amongst the Brambles, with two male Common Blues, and one Red Admiral. There was a Large White at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham. The only other place where butterflies made an appearance was the Waterworks Road: one Large White, one Speckled Wood and a pristine Small Tortoiseshell on passage. Yellow Shell Moths were seen on at least two occasions.
Six butterfly species

3 June 2011
It was an almost perfect blue sky with a few streaks of wispy Cirrus clouds and a pleasant 23.5 °C which was the the warmest day of the year so far, spoilt by steady Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gale Force 7 in the afternoon. The strong wind made it unpleasant to be out in the open and thirty plus Small Blue Butterflies were all to be found sheltered amongst the Brambles, with my first three or more Large Skippers of the year on the linear copse path of the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. There was a Large White at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Three species

1 June 2011
Despite the weak sunshine and the wind dying down to a Force 3, the day was notable for its dearth of butterflies. The were no butterflies seen on a cycle ride to Worthing along the beach route and back through Lancing. There were two Large Whites, an unidentified brown or vanessid over the Oil Seed Rape field north of Cuckoo's Corner and a male Common Blue nearby, plus a Speckled Wood over the Waterworks Road and that was all. A Large White flew over my back  garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
Three identified butterfly species plus one other

31 May 2011
On a day most noted for its cloud formations, I spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttering under the trees at the top of Buckingham Park, north Shoreham. Immediately I entered the Bramble-bordered path that opening up in the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting, five Small Blues fluttered around, but it was too wind-swept on the open cutting, where I spotted a male Common Blue on a still flowering Horseshoe Vetch.
Despite the poor conditions there were still butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with 14 shredded and tatty Adonis Blues (with two good condition females) were disturbed, and a probable Meadow Brown which I am satisfied it was my first of the year. Eight Small Heaths were seen on the transect and a pristine Small Tortoiseshell. By the time I reached the Hawthorn scrub and middles slopes I hurried in the intermittent drizzle and did not see any more butterflies.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Six definite butterfly species and one probable

29 May 2011
Overcast, breezy (Force 5 gusting to Force 7) and cool (14 °C) and not conditions where any butterflies at all were expected to be seen, but I was surprised by a very dark Speckled Wood that landed on the sandy-coloured cyclepath by the lay-by south of the Cement Works.

26 May 2011
A Gale Force 8 gust blew the vanessid butterfly about like a fallen leaf over Shoreham-by-Sea railway station. It was hard to identify it as a butterfly, but I think it was probably a Peacock.

25 May 2011
A Brimstone Moth flew across the town centre in Lancing, but there were few butterflies on a passage cycle ride, a Peacock near the Withy Gap and two Large Whites on the outskirts of Shoreham.

21 May 2011
In amongst the Brambles on a shady area behind the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting, there were three Speckled Woods, one Holly Blue and a Large White Butterfly. On the open bank about eight Small Blue Butterflies flitted about in the mid-afternoon sunshine with one male Common Blue Butterfly was seen visiting a still flowering Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. The small moth with long antennae on the side of the linear copse on the southern bank of the Slonk Hill cutting was Nemophora degeerella.
Five butterfly species
Adur Moths

20 May 2011
The first butterfly of the day was a male Common Blue on the southern part of Mill Hill. A weak sun shone through the clouds for the 20 minutes it took me to complete the 1.2 acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill recording 46 Adonis Blues (including seven females and one pair attempting to mate), four Small Heaths, one male Brimstone Butterfly, one confirmed Large White as it settled on a Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flower, one tattered Peacock Butterfly, and one Green Hairstreak. All the butterflies were reasonably lively in the afternoon, buffeted by a Force 5 from the south-west, and there were a handful more Adonis Blues off transect. There was a Wall Brown and two Speckled Woods in the Hawthorn scrub, but the sun had gone behind the cloud by I had reached the top of the hill and all the butterflies were now hidden although I caught sight of another Peacock before it disappeared under a Bramble leaf.
At the top of Chanctonbury Drive (near Mill Hill) there was a Red Admiral and another Speckled Wood.
 

Small Blue Butterfly
 Nemophora degeerella
Speckled Wood
 Small Blue
 Small Blue

I found two roosting Small Blue Butterflies for the first time this year on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting and I noted the first Kidney Vetch in flower. There was another Speckled Wood resting on a Bramble in the middle of the afternoon under a cloudy sky.
Eleven butterfly species

16 May 2011
Because I omitted to visit the upper part of Mill Hill the previous day, I trekked up in identical cool and breezy conditions and wandered over the middle slopes and the former meadows near the top car park and recorded 37 Common Blue Butterflies (33 males 4 females), my first Cinnabar Moth of the year, one Small Heath Butterfly, a flying Wall Brown, two Speckled Yellow Moths and a few of the tiny pyralid moths Pyrausta nigrata. The Common Blues were resting when first seen but after being disturbed they would not stay still in camera range. A Holly Blue fluttered around the hedge at the top of the Pixie Path.
Four butterfly species and two macro-moths

15 May 2011
On a cool (>15.1 °C) cloudy day I visited Mill Hill and despite being buffeted about by a WNW Moderate Breeze (Force 4) the first butterflies to attract my attention were a couple of courting Holly Blues by a hedge to the south-west of the bridge over the A27 (top of the Pixie Path). On the southern part of Mill Hill, a handful of new male Common Blue Butterflies were the first I had seen this year. Going to to the steps to the lower slopes from the southern end, the north-westerly direction of the wind made conditions poor for butterflies on the exposed slope. Almost all of them were hiding or resting, and on the 1.2 acre transect I disturbed exactly 100 Adonis Blues (88 males and 12 females) in 25 minutes. None of them was flying until I arrived. One Small Heath was seen out of the corner of my eye, one Green-veined White was actively fluttering around but disappeared for five minutes, and the five Dingy Skippers were seen in flight, three of them at eye level. I also disturbed two Yellow Shell Moths and one Treble-bar Moth. There were occasional micro-moths but none of the normal pyralids were observed. Because of energy sapping wind and the first spots of rain I did not wander around Mill Hill as usual but remained on the lower slopes for half an hour noting almost as many more (estimated an extra 60 seen) Adonis Blues on the steeper slopes above the winding path, including 15 more females, two courting pairs, but none of them were seen mating. Two females seem to discourage the amorous advances of the now worn and damaged blue males and crawled over the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch looking to lay their eggs.
By early afternoon the conditions had been so inimical to butterflies that a visit to the Buckingham Cutting (south) to see if the Small Blues were around was a waste of time.
Six species on an overcast day

13 May 2011
I visited Mill Hill to do my weekly butterfly transect. It was a warm day with cloud and sun pushing through and I recorded: 182 Adonis Blues, two Brimstone Butterflies, six Dingy Skippers, four Green Hairstreaks, two Grizzled Skippers, three Holly Blues, and two Large Whites. The Adonis Blues were mating all over the lower part of the hill.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


Just I was about to make a mention of the scarcity of butterflies a surprise Wall Brown Butterfly visited an Ox-eye Daisy on the Downs-Coast Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge where I do not think one has been recorded before. The only other butterfly in the same area was a Large White. On the coastal route to Lancing I did not make a note of any butterflies, not even whites were seen amongst the now flowering Sea Kale. A Green-veined White fluttered by at the extreme western end of the Withy Gap lay-by in Lancing. (This was just a passage trip to Lancing and back in the afternoon.)
Three species

10 May 2011
We had an evening stroll after work up to Mill Hill, Shoreham, to see what delights awaited us. We were not disappointed. We found one Dingy Skipper, two Grizzled Skipper, two Cinnabar Moths (the first of the year), about ten Small Heath and about fifty Adonis Blues.

Report by Nick Linazasoro & Martin Fuller on Sussex Butterflies


9 May 2011
On a passage trip to Lancing I noted the white butterflies over the flowering Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach, not seeing them still so I did not recognise them to species although I thought that at least some of them must have been Small Whites because of their small size and lack of black seen in flight. A quick detour along the Coombes Road in the weak sunshine saw a single male Orange-tip flirting or sparring with a male Large White and Green-veined Whites, but no female Orange-tips. All these three whites visited Red Campion. A Red Admiral was quickly seen at Cuckoo's Corner.
NB: Both the Orange-tip and the Green-veined White use Garlic Mustard as a larval food plant.
Four species

8 May 2011
Adonis Blue (male)On a cool (13.6 °C) and cloudy day, there was a Gentle Breeze (Force 3) but no gaps in the clouds for the sun to shine. There was just one Dingy Skipper seen in active flight on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but I disturbed 41 male Adonis Blues in 20 minutes, invisible amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, until I almost trod on them and I also spotted seven more resting with their wings open before fluttering off at my approach. Previous estimates that in these conditions that there will be three times as many Adonis Blues resting and unseen and one male Adonis Blue was seen resting with its wings closed unusually on a small Privet and it was not about to fly away even if approached to 100 mm with a camera. So the 1.2 acre transect the estimate (3 x 41 + 7=) was 130 Adonis Blues extrapolated over the five acres by three times to 390 on Mill Hill. The first glimpse of fluttering on the lower slopes was my first of the year Yellow Shell Moth, and first of two seen, and also one of the Treble-bar Moths. After it began to spit with rain, I avoided the scrub and wandered over the middle slopes where I notes my first two Silver Y Moths of the year. I disturbed a Peacock Butterfly on the southern part of Mill Hill on the verges of the road.
In the late afternoon, a Large White Butterfly flew strongly over my back garden.
Three butterfly and three macro-moth species

We took advantage of the late sunny afternoon to visit Lancing Ring LNR for the first time. In over two and half hours from 2 :00 pm until 4:30 pm we spotted seven Red Admirals, one Peacock, four Brimstones, six Holly Blues, one Wall, one Speckled Wood, ten Small Heath, one Small Copper, 15 unspecified Whites (probably Large Whites), five Small Blues, 28 Common Blues (of which four were females), and five Brown Argus.

Lancing Ring Report by Colin & Lucia Knaggs on Sussex Butterflies
NB: The Small Blues and Common Blues were first of the year records.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

7 May 2011
I did my weekly transect at Mill Hill in the morning and counted one Holly Blue, two Brimstone Butterflies, seven Small Heath, 23 Dingy Skipper, 112 Adonis Blue. Most of these were at the bottom of the hill, though I did see Dingy Skippers and Adonis Blue by the top car park. The hill was covered by Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa and I saw a Green Hairstreak, two Small Coppers, two Grizzled Skippers and a Red Admiral.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
4 May 2011
A trip out for fresh air rather than butterflies found the usual Large Whites, Green-veined Whites, and Holly Blues in Shoreham and the outskirts with male Orange-tips and Speckled Woods added on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. Near Cuckoo's Corner there was a Small Heath (on the towpath), one Red Admiral, and two Peacock Butterflies and a Comma next to the field to the north. There were more male only Orange-tips and Green-veined Whites around the fading Garlic Mustard near Ladywells.
Nine species

2 May 2011
The first Brown Argus Butterfly of the year in the Adur District was seen at Sompting Abotts.

Report and Photograph by Ray Hamblett on the Lancing Nature Blogspot

1 May 2011
On a cool breezy day, the Adonis Blues were emerging from the herbs as I strolled along my 1.2 acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In 25 minutes I recorded 31 (including four females) and as I waited about eight minutes for the Small Copper to appear, another nine fluttered by. The other butterflies recorded on the transect were one male Orange-tip, six Brimstones, 21 Dingy Skippers, eight Grizzled Skippers, six Green-veined Whites,  two Green Hairstreaks (the most I have seen in a day, and the first in the month of May), three Peacocks, five Small Heaths, and two Wall Browns at the southern end. A half a dozen Treble-bar Moths were counted, some of them hiding amongst the new growths of Privet. On the rest of Mill Hill, I recorded four Holly Blues, two more Dingy Skippers, two strong flying Brimstones, two more Wall Browns leaving Mill Hill and fluttering over Old Erringham pasture, five Speckled Woods in amongst the Hawthorn, a courting pair of Adonis Blues, two Green-veined Whites that obliged me by remaining still for a few seconds each, and one Red Admiral.
Fourteen butterfly species on Mill Hill
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
 
Orange-tip 
Small Copper
Green-veined White
Grizzled Skipper

On the approach and return routes to Mill Hill, I added four Large Whites, two Red Admirals, seven Holly Blues, and one Wall Brown on the Pixie Path. Passage via the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, added two male Orange-tips, but there were no females, only five Green-veined Whites to contend with. There were at least two Speckled Woods and a vanessid that left the road surface. I could not identify this but I fancied it to be a Peacock rather than a Comma I had seen a couple of days earlier.
15 butterfly species (equal the most in a day this year)

29 April 2011
Speckled Woods were occasionally seen in residential Shoreham and as a butterflies of woods and shaded areas the prevalence was noteworthy, as was a Brimstone Butterfly flying strongly down Dolphin Road by the railway line. Other butterflies of the town and outskirts (approaches to Mill Hill) were frequent Green-veined Whites, frequent Holly Blues, occasional Large Whites, occasional male Orange-tips, two Red Admirals, and one Comma.
 

Adonis Blue 
Small Copper
Dingy Skipper
Brimstone Butterflies

My first of a handful of male Adonis Blues were seen this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, together with my first of frequent Small Heaths, my first dainty Small Copper at the northern end of the lower slopes, my second Green Hairstreak of the year on Brambles in the same area, 27+ Dingy Skippers, two Grizzled Skippers and a notable record of Brimstone Butterflies mating. There were also occasional male Orange-tips, a Wall Brown, more Brimstones, frequent Green-veined Whites, occasional Large Whites, Speckled Woods and Holly Blues, (both genders), on Mill Hill. The pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen but I did not note any of the other small moths. A larger medium-sized Treble-bar Moth was noted.
15 butterfly species (the most in a day this year)

28 April 2011
On cool, breezy and clear day, a visit to the Waterworks Road and then a trip up the western towpath to Cuckoo's Corner produced frequent butterflies, 15+ Green-veined Whites, 12+ male Orange-tips, one Large White, occasional Speckled Woods, two Peacocks, occasional Holly Blues, and one Red Admiral.
 

Green-veined White
Orange-tip 
Orange-tip 

The streamside (east) stretch of the road between Ladywells and Cuckoo's Corner was covered (about 20%) in Garlic Mustard (main larval food plant of the Orange-tip Butterfly) and Cow Parsley, but all the white-coloured butterflies were Green-veined Whites. In the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road) one Holly Blue was perched on a grass stem just like a Common Blue.
Seven species
Adur Levels

27 April 2011
Under a clear blue sky with only a whisper of cumulus clouds in the east, the highlight of the day was the immediate appearance of two sparring female Orange-tips over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham in the late afternoon. The Garlic Mustard has all been mown down so they had to settle for Hoary Cress but they only visited the flowerheads for a second, and they were very restless in the afternoon sun (>16.5 °C). Later a half a dozen male Orange-tips flew past but they did not meet up with the females.
 

Female Orange-tips

The Force 4 Breeze blew both the blossom and the butterflies about and in half an hour on passage through the outskirts of Old Shoreham occasional Speckled Woods, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Large Whites and Holly Blues were seen with one rapid flying Peacock and a Red Admiral.
Eight species
 

The Sussex Butterflies web pages contain further reports and photographs of butterflies from the Adur area

26 April 2011
I visited Mill Hill in the afternoon and saw scores of Dingy Skippers, on the lower slopes it seemed as if there was one every few feet! Also a fair number of Grizzled Skippers, Small Heaths (including one mating pair) and a few Brimstones and Peacocks. The male Adonis Blues (first of the year) are just starting to emerge and I got a photo of a nice pristine specimen. Also one Small Copper (first of the year) and one Wall Brown. But alas no Green Hairstreaks!

Report by John Williams on Sussex Butterflies


On a breezy (Force 4 to 5) cool (>16.0 °C ) day, I made a quick visit to Mill Hill, with the west-facing lower slopes partially sheltered from the northerly wind. An early Wall Brown Butterfly (my first of the year) was seen fluttering over the everlasting cow pats of what was recently a wild flower meadow, now a Bramble-covered pasture on Mill Hill, NW of the upper car park.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

   Approaches to Mill Hill:
 
Butterfly Species Chanctonbury Drive (upper) Pixie Path Butterfly Copse Waterworks Road Total
Large White
-
-
1
1
2
Green-veined White
1
-
-
6
7
Orange-tip
1
-
-
4
5
Speckled Wood
5
3
1
5
14
Red Admiral
-
-
1
-
1
Holly Blue
3
6
1
2
12

 

Brimstone
Holly Blue
Speckled Wood
Orange-tip

  Mill Hill:
 
Butterfly Species Lower Slopes Scrub Middle Slopes 
(mixed scrub and grassland)
Upper Meadows Total
Large White
-
-
1
1
2
Green-veined White
-
-
-
2
2
Wall Brown
-
-
-
1
1
Speckled Wood
-
1
-
-
1
Brimstone
1
-
1
-
2
Holly Blue
-
1
-
-
1
Grizzled Skipper
3
-
-
-
3
Dingy Skipper
21
1
3
-
25

A few Burnet Companion Moths were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. A Common Carpet Moth was seen amongst Bramble on the Middle Slopes. Small White Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town and a Holly Blue and a Speckled Wood in north Shoreham.
11 species

24 April 2011
The first Small Heath Butterfly of the year was seen on Mill Hill. The slope was covered in Dingy Skippers. I spotted Brimstones, Peacocks, Orange-tips, Large Whites, a Speckled Wood, and three Grizzled Skippers. Two Holly Blues were seen in a woodland path at the top. A Burnet Companion Moth was spotted.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

21 April 2011
Two Speckled Woods fluttered over St. Mary de Haura Churchyard in the centre of New Shoreham. The white butterflies were hard to identify in flight. At least one was thought to be a Large White and others were Small Whites.

19 April 2011
Small Whites, one Large White, Orange-tips, Speckled Woods and one Comma Butterfly were all seen in Shoreham and its outskirts before I cycled to Annington Sewer and back adding a Peacock, more Orange-tips, another Comma, Green-veined Whites and a single Holly Butterfly.
Eight species

17 April 2011
Spring arrived on a sunny day (14.5 °C). Two Small White Butterflies were seen over Hamm Road Allotments in the middle of Shoreham. The next butterflies seen were over the grass (with Dandelions and Daisies) at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham (Dovecote Estate, SE of the Mill Hill Bridge) where my my first Large White Butterfly of the year settled with its wings open and was easily identified, followed almost immediately by three Speckled Woods and two unexpected male Orange-tips.
 

Green Hairstreak
Green-veined White
Small Tortoiseshells
Green Hairstreak

On Mill Hill the first flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, appeared on the lower slopes. Brimstone Butterflies flew strongly over all parts of Mill Hill, with at least 15 recorded of both genders. Peacock Butterflies were similarly widespread with at least six counted but I think there were more. On the lower slopes the skippers were occasionally seen both Dingy Skippers (including a courting pair) and Grizzly Skippers, plus a Green-veined White. Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths were  frequently seen flitting about and the tiny Violet Cosmet Moths, Pancalia leuwenhoekella, were frequently seen on Daisies.
A fluttering amongst the bramble on the middle part of Mill Hill was recognised as the locally scarce Green Hairstreak Butterfly. On the carpet of dried cattle excrement which was once a meadow on the upper part of Mill Hill, I noted a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.
A return trip via the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham added a further eight male Orange-tips, a Comma Butterfly, two settled Green-veined Whites and a blue butterfly flying low over the gravel road and this must have been my first Holly Blue of the year.
On Spring Dyke (Adur Levels) there were three Peacock Butterflies and four Small Tortoiseshells including a pair about to mate.
On the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath, I added a further three Orange-tips, including an all-white female.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
13 species (the most in a day this year)

12 April 2011
A fluttering of butterflies on the outskirts of Shoreham were two Green-veined Whites and a male Orange-tip on a passage journey along the short footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, at least two Speckled Woods in the nearby 'Butterfly Copse' , the first Peacock and two more unidentified whites along the Pixie Path. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive (Dovecote Estate NW), two more Speckled Woods courted together in a spiralling fashion, plus two amorous pristine Red Admirals. Passage across the southern part of Mill Hill found a Peacock and a another Speckled Wood.
 

Orange-tip Butterfly visiting a Dog Violet (early afternoon)
Grizzled Skipper
Orange-tip Butterfly
Grizzled Skipper
Violet Cosmet Moths
Dingy Skipper

I spent over an hour on the lower slopes mostly looking for snakes. I also discovered the first of at least six Dingy Skippers and at least nine Grizzled Skippers, two Green-veined Whites, a few Peacocks, and as I was leaving a male Orange-tip made hurried visits to the abundant Dog Violets. Pyralid moths were also frequently (30+ actually noted) seen flitting over the herbage, with frequent Pyrausta nigrata, a few Pyrausta purpuralis, and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified. The tiny Violet Cosmet Moths, Pancalia leuwenhoekella, were frequently seen on Daisies.
Seven butterfly species (including two skippers).

11 April 2011
There were just a few Dingy Skippers and 10 Grizzled Skippers which were nectaring on Dandelions.

Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


10 April 2011
I called in at Mill Hill again. There was a 'flutter' of butterfly enthusiasts: John, Chris, Neil Hulme, Richard, Dan and Cherie plus a gentleman from Scotland. The Grizzled Skippers were joined by an equal number of Dingy Skippers. Peak flight time was 2 to 3 pm. The Dingy Skippers were involved in aerial combats with themselves and Peacocks.

Report and Photograph by  Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Two Speckled Woods were courting over the Middle Road Open Ground car park, Shoreham.
Mill Hill Report

9 April 2011
The first butterfly of the afternoon was a Peacock flying over the River Adur seen from the western towpath north of the A27 Flyover, followed by three Small Tortoiseshells over the nettle patch south of Cuckoo's Corner. A new Speckled Wood was seen at Cuckoo's Corner. My first male Orange-tip Butterfly of the year flew by Ladywell's Stream as it runs parallel with the Coombes Road north of Cuckoo's Corner. On my second return visit to Cuckoo's Corner there was another male Orange-tip and a Green-veined White.
Five species

8 April 2011
In the roadside (A27) spinney at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham, the first few Speckled Wood Butterflies of the year emerged and tried out their wings amongst the remaining leaf litter. It was a passage journey and I would not spotted them if I was not delayed by a dog walker.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, Peacock Butterflies were frequent, with occasional Brimstone Butterflies, including a mating pair. I nearly fell over my first Grizzled Skipper visiting a Dandelion. Colin Knight spotted and photographed a Dingy Skipper and this may be the first report of this small butterfly in England this year. Pyralid moths were also frequently (25+ actually noted) seen flitting over the herbage, with Pyrausta nigrata and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified. The tiny dark insects on Common Daisies were Violet Cosmet Moths, Pancalia leuwenhoekella. There were probably scores of them, but I only noted a few.
Later, Colin Knight reported a Burnet Companion Moth. He also saw a Comma on the upper part of the hill.
Skippers on Mill Hill (by Colin Knight)
Adur Skippers

Over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, the first three Green-veined White Butterflies of the year flew steadily south, stopping briefly on Dandelions.
In Shoreham town Small White Butterflies were occasionally seen and on the outskirts I noted two more Peacock Butterflies.
Frequent butterflies of six species (personal tally) plus two species guest reports

7 April 2011
I was surprised by the number of Peacock Butterflies we saw all over Mill Hill, a total of 22. There was plenty of aerial fisticuffs, including one bunch of five flying together in a ball. We had a male and female Brimstone, two Small Tortoiseshells and one Grizzled Skipper at the bottom of the hill at 1:45 pm. Later I saw an Orange Tip flying west to east at the bottom of the hill following the shrub line, with two brief stops.

Report by  Colin Knight on Sussex Butterflies
A Small White Butterfly fluttered around Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham.

3 April 2011
A pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen on straw on the southern part of Mill Hill and at least two more were seen on the lower slopes, again choosing straw as favoured landing spots. A few Peacock Butterflies (at least two) visited Dog Violets which were now the dominant species. A Brimstone Butterfly skirted the hedgerow at the bottom of the lower slopes. The small Pyrausta nigrata pyralid micro-moths were frequently seen (about a dozen actually observed) and one very faded Pyrausta purpuralis. This was the earliest in the year that they have been recorded.
Three butterfly species

2 April 2011
On Mill Hill I found my first Grizzled Skipper of the year, plus a couple of Peacock Butterflies.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


My first Small White Butterfly of the year fluttered over the small front garden of the Holy Family Catholic Church Hall at Monks Farmhouse in North Road, Lancing.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 

29 March 2011
The first appearance of the tiny pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta despicata at Mill Hill (Shoreham) has always provided a good guide to the timing of subsequent springtime emergences. I saw a couple of these  together with a very early Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria.
 Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


A careful examination of the Pancalia micro-moths on the lower slopes of Mill Hill revealed some (17) to be the Scarce Violet Cosmet, Pancalia schwarzella, (ID confirmed by Tony Davis, and the first Sussex records since 1931) rather than the common species Violet Cosmet, Pancalia leuwenhoekella. The latter species has a white band on its antennae. Pancalia larvae feed on violets.

Full Report by Graeme Lyons on The Lyon's Den

25 March 2011
In the evening we lugged a generator and MV trap down to the bottom of Mill Hill to survey for the Barred Tooth-stripe Moth (BTS) and see what else was around. Although one Barred Tooth-stripe flew to the light at 7:30, this was the only one that the MV attracted this time, whereas on previous visits good number have come to the trap. Between the trap and wandering around with nets we managed to record 14 moth species including 1 Oak Beauty, 8 Clouded Drab, 1 Red Chestnut and a few micros including a very pretty one with raised scales on its wings that we have tentatively identified as Acleris cristana. In addition to the BTS that visited our trap we found 21 resting on privet, 1 resting on a grass stem and a final moth that landed on Penny as we were walking back up to the car with the trap. If anyone else goes to hunt for them, they were very obvious on the Privet about 20 meters above the northern end of the lower path, a couple of hours after sunset.
Report by Dave and Penny Green and Judith and Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies


23 March 2011
Two Comma Butterflies settled on the Waterworks Road, until prompted to move by my shadow.

22 March 2011
It was my second butterfly sighting of the year but I suspect that the Peacock Butterfly at the footpath entrance to the Waterworks Road by the Steyning Road was the same one seen two days ago. A minute later a Comma Butterfly was seen at rest on the verge of the Waterworks Road.
 

Comma Butterfly
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Brimstone Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly

With a spell of sunshine I visited Mill Hill for the first time since January. A Brimstone Butterfly flew rapidly over the shorn southern part of Mill Hill Nature Reserve and over the lower slopes before disturbing another Peacock Butterfly on a Sweet Violet. The lower slopes were covered in abundant Sweet Violets visited by a few Honey Bees and occasional Peacock (at least 6) and Brimstone Butterflies (at least 3). One faded and damaged Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was spotted over the slopes cleared of Privet by the conservation workers. There may have been more.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
About a dozen butterflies of four species

Another sunny day here in Shoreham, in our garden in Mill Hill we saw one Brimstone, one Comma one Red Admiral and lot of ladybirds, then we did an afternoon walk with the dogs across Mill Hill Nature Reserve and spotted two Comma, one Brimstone and my first Peacock Butterfly of the year.

Report by Alec Trusler on Sussex Butterflies


20 March 2011
A spell of brief sunshine brought a Peacock Butterfly out of hibernation, flighty and in good condition, my first butterfly of the year visited Sweet Violets on the verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

A Brimstone Butterfly was seen on Lancing Ring.

Brimstone Report by Friends of Lancing Ring
8 March 2011
My first butterfly of the year was a Comma found basking on a warm south facing fence in south Lancing.
Report by Jan Hamblett on the Lancing Villager.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
 

Butterfly & Large Moth List 2010
 
 
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

Adur Butterflies 2010



 

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 pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 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 2011 web pages


SquinancywortLady's BedstrawVervainEyebrightWild BasilLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
 

 JANUARY
 FEBRUARY
 MARCH
 APRIL
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUGUST
 SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
 NOVEMBER
 DECEMBER

 

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