Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies, Larger Moths and other Arthropods 2013
Dragonflies & other Flying Insects of Note

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:


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
Adur Butterfly List 2011
Adur Butterfly List 2012
UK Butterflies & Moths (alphabetical order by common name)
Sussex Moth Group Sightings
Diapause (=hibernation)

  British Lepidoptera on  flickr


Adur Butterfly List 2014 (Link)

30 December 2013
A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen in Shoreham.

Report by Jan Charteris on facebook

1 December 2013
I looked into my outside shed and the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was still there, wings folded in diapause. This was my first record of this butterfly for December. I have not included it in the flight times worksheet because it has remained stationary.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

27 November 2013
A most unexpected discovery was a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly asleep on my bedroom wall. Without my spectacles on I thought it must have been a spider and I gave it a nudge. Sleepily, I cupped it in my hand as I did not recognise it as a butterfly at first. It was after I recognised what it was, I took the butterfly to my small empty plastic aquarium tank in my bathroom. Then the butterfly came to life and flew around the light bulb. I caught it again and by midday the butterfly is resting with its wings closed in the small aquarium. It looked worn but it did not appear to have any obvious damage.
Diapause (=hibernation)

13 November 2013
One sunny still day with hardly a breeze, a Red Admiral flew across a very crowded Adur Ferry Bridge and a short time after one flew across the River Adur adjacent to the very new bridge.

4 November 2013
In the warm sunshine there were Red Admirals and a Comma on fallen apples in the garden where I work north of Shoreham Airport and a Humming-bird Hawk-moth on Verbena bonariensis (TQ 196063). Later cycling home to Brighton a Red Admiral accompanied me some of the way along Basin Road South near Shoreham Power station despite it being almost dusk.

Report by Tessa Pawsey on Sussex Butterflies

A Common Darter (dragonfly) was seen over the Pixie Path and I immediately thought that it might be my total interest as winter seemed to have set in. Immediately afterwards a Red Admiral flew northwards from Frampton's Field in a few minutes of weak sunshine. I visited Mill Hill after the recent rain along muddy paths which were sticky but not treacherous. I was thinking it was hardly worth the trek to the lower slopes as there was hardly a plant in flower and nothing moving apart from the common birds.

Just as I was about to leave I spotted a flash of yellow out the corner of my eyes and it was not one of the many leaves that fluttered a bit like a butterfly in the gentle breeze. It was the first of three Clouded Yellow Butterflies, of which two appeared to be courting, despite the faintest chill (>9.8 °C) in the air after the warmest October in my memory. I disturbed the resting butterflies and they flew up rapidly over the steep slopes above the muddy path.
30 October 2013
Two Red Admirals were seen flying over Adur Recreation Ground, one of them near the Railway Viaduct

29 October 2013
Cloudy and relatively calm after the storm, two butterflies were disturbed out of hibernation/diapause, firstly a Red Admiral in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, and later a torporous Comma Butterfly on the Pixie Path.

26 October 2013
A Red Admiral flew or was blown over St. Mary's Road, central Shoreham.

Comma23 October 2013
After the over night rain deluge, the weather cleared and there was even a enough warmth for the surviving butterflies to be discovered in the breeze. Just three definite butterflies were actually seen: a flighty Red Admiral over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham; a resting Comma on the Pixie Path; and lastly a restless Clouded Yellow over the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  There was also a possible Small White and a possible Large White but both were caught in a gust and blown away too quickly to be sure.
Three definite butterflies

20 October 2013
There were no butterflies on a trip to Mill Hill via the Pixie Path. It was cloudy with no glimpse of sunshine and in the early afternoon it began to rain heavily. The temperature fell to 12.3 °C by the time I reached the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

15 October 2013
It was muddy underfoot but the sun shone intermittently through gaps in the clouds. I was surprised by a Red Admiral and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly flying over the Sea Aster at low tide over the River Adur estuary between Ropetackle and Old Shoreham. On the Pixie Path I added two Comma Butterflies, two Speckled Woods and another three Red Admirals. This made me anticipate more butterflies on Mill Hill. A Red Admiral was quickly seen over the road before (south of) the first cattle grid. Mill Hill was in both shade and sunshine, but the sunshine was very weak for the first twenty minutes when I failed to spot a single butterfly in flight. I was about to register a blank when my eye caught a very bright Clouded Yellow that was settled before it flew off rapidly. It was the first of two seen on the lower slopes. The sun could be felt for the first time and almost simultaneously I disturbed the first of seven Meadow Browns, and later just the one Small White Butterfly. There may be more butterflies in hiding as it was only warm enough for butterflies for about ten minutes. One Meadow Brown was disturbed into flight by the frequent grasshoppers.
Later in Shoreham, I noted another Small White Butterfly.
21 butterflies of six species
12 October 2013
A splendid study of an immigrant male Long-tailed Blue Butterfly is captured on the north bank of Southwick Canal (Shoreham Harbour) opposite the power station. A Speckled Wood Butterfly and a Small White were seen simultaneously on the Downs Link Cyclepath

10 October 2013
With a l cold north wind and a cloudy sky, the only butterfly seen was a Red Admiral on the outskirts of Lancing, on the verge of the main road opposite the Sussex Pad.

9 October 2013
Four Long-tailed Blue Butterfly (three males & a female) were seen on the north bank of Southwick Canal  (Shoreham Harbour) opposite the power station up until 12.30 pm when it clouded over. The best area for them seems to be by the small brick shelter next to the A259.

Report by Neil Hulme via Sussex Ornithological Society News

8 October 2013
Another pleasant day for a trip up the downs: on the way up to Mill Hill I noted a few Large Whites by the River Adur, a Small White in Old Shoreham, a Red Admiral in the the Butterfly Copse by the Waterworks Road, and a Comma at the top of the Pixie Path. This time the sun went behind a cloud as I descended to the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where it is was five minutes before the first of ten Meadow Browns made an appearance. All but two seen in the transect acre were at the northern end. One pair continued copulating in flight when disturbed. The northern end of the lower slopes was also attractive to a female Common Blue, a faded Small Copper (a different one from seen two days earlier) and a much brighter Clouded Yellow than seen before. On my return a Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill Road Bridge over the A27).
Nine butterfly species

7 October 2013
A peregrinating trip to Anchor Bottom and back via towpath and Downs Link Cyclepath produced a few Large Whites, at least one Small White, a Comma and a Speckled Wood. Shoreham town added a Red Admiral.
Five butterfly species

6 October 2013
A fresh male Long-tailed Blue Butterfly visited the large clump of Ivy outside Shoreham Cement Works, Upper Beeding  (TQ 199 086) between 11.35 am and 11.45 am. It then flew east, back over the fence into the Everlasting Peas within the Cement Works. This was the first record of this immigrant butterfly on these Nature Notes pages. The Ivy also hosted 3 Red Admiral and 2 Comma and nearby was a Small White and a Speckled Wood.

Report by Vince Massimo on Sussex Butterflies

Under a mixed cloudy sky, it was warm enough for the few remaining butterflies to come out in the sunshine. At least four Speckled Woods were seen in the shade of bushes and trees at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill Road Bridge over the A27). The sun then disappeared behind a cloud and did not reappear until I was on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Meadow Browns were the first butterflies to be seen and this trek I counted 19 in the one acre transect in about half an hour and more after I stopped counting. All but one of the butterflies were congregated at the northern end but other species were sparse in numbers with just two Small Heath Butterflies, a Large White, and two brown females, one each of Common Blue and Adonis Blue. Pride of place was given to a good condition Small Copper. A restless Clouded Yellow was the one exception as it fluttered continually the full length of the lower slopes and back. A Small White was noted as I returned by the winding path through the lower slopes.
Another Small White was seen in Shoreham and another Clouded Yellow by the Holmbush roundabout.
Eight butterfly species (my tally only)

2 October 2013
In Shoreham town there was a least one Small White Butterfly on an overcast day with brief spells if sunshine. The Pixie Path route to Mill Hill added a Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral. On Mill Hill Road , north of the bridge, I spied a Dark Bush Cricket by the hedge. Venturing down to the dry lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first of over a dozen Meadow Browns fluttered around more rapidly than usual. Even more restless was two sightings of a Clouded Yellow (a half an hour apart) which may have been the same butterfly. Of note was a large brown butterfly which I suspected was a female Adonis Blue. There was also a probable male Adonis Blue as well as a female Common Blue. The difficulty of identification was because the butterflies edges were tattered. The identification was made on size and brightness of the blue and on previous appearances.

 Meadow Brown
 Adonis Blue 
 Adonis Blue 

Comma on DogwoodMost butterflies were at the northern end by the Devils Bit Scabious, where a fresh Large White Butterfly fluttered around. There appeared to be a shortage of nectar plants. Meadow Browns used the Devils Bit Scabious and Bramble and made a fleeting visit to Wild Basil. There was also a an orange-brown moth that flew from the ground to hedgerow height and disappeared. I have seen these before in September and they have never been positively identified, although they could be Vapourer Moths?
Eight butterfly species

29 September 2013
When the sun came out so did a few of the more notable flying insects including at least seven Comma Butterflies and a few Speckled Woods in the shade, as well as a few Small White Butterflies and at least one Large White Butterfly on the Downs Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding. A Common Darter (dragonfly) was seen at Upper Beeding and a Southern Hawker at the southern edge of the Salting's Field at Bramber by the River Adur. A splendid large hoverfly Volucella zonaria, settled on a flowering Buddleia on the cyclepath by the Cement Works. There were a few small orange-brown moths which might be Vapourer Moths ??? but these were not seen close-up.

23 September 2013
A tattered female Common Blue was seen on the Widewater margins visiting a Yarrow flower, with a few Large Whites.
20 September 2013
After the rain and the near Gale, the day was fine, overcast with intermittent sunshine. Orb Spiders had spun a deadly trap of threads over the Brambles and there seemed hardly any refuge for the butterflies that remained. Large Whites were frequent enough and there were a few Small Whites as well. A Comma Butterfly was spotted resting on Brambles between the webs on the verge of the Waterworks Road. A Holly Blue was seen around the Ivy on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill with at least three Speckled Woods on the path and road to the downs. 
The lower slopes of Mill Hill were cast in shade as the clouds blocked out the rays of sun. There no butterflies at all for nearly five minutes, just hundreds of grasshoppers jumping everywhere I stood and scores of Crane-flies over the short vegetation. Meadow Browns were the first butterflies to appear, with about eight of them scattered over the first half half acre of the transect. A few Treble-bar Moths attracted my attention as I disturbed their resting place. A very tattered large brown butterfly was probably a female Adonis Blue. This was followed a smaller intact brown butterfly which I identified as a female Common Blue, followed by another female and blue male of the same species. 

The butterflies were not attracted to the Carline Thistle. However, at the northern end of the lower slopes there are three clumps of Devil's Bit Scabious growing close together and these provided a first class attraction for about 25 more Meadow Browns and about four Common Blues and a female Adonis Blue quarrelling over the available flowerheads. The dozen Large Whites over Mill Hill did not get a chance. And that seemed to be it, perhaps fo the year until a restless Clouded Yellow flew by without pausing. There were more Meadow Browns as I returned by the winding path through the lower slopes. 
Nine butterfly species and one macro-moth

Meadow Brown
16 September 2013
Under an overcast sky I spotted two Speckled Woods and a few Small Whites on the outskirts of Steyning. Earlier in the day I spotted Large Whites in the distance. A Southern Hawker, (dragonfly) flew about and then settled high up in the trees. 

13 September 2013
Just occasional Large Whites, at least two Small Whites and a Meadow Brown were seen in and around the urban streets of Shoreham, Shoreham Beach and Southwick. The sky was overcast and the non-flowering Buddleia was visited by flocks of Starlings, one flock counted at 66 strong.

12 September 2013
It was not warm enough for many butterflies and I only saw a few Large Whites on the outskirts of Shoreham and no butterflies at all on Mill Hill Cutting (SW). It was not in my plan in the late afternoon to visit the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but I thought I would record what could (probably not) be my last butterflies of the year. The idea was to see my last blue butterfly and then go home. In the event I had to quickly trek nearly the whole acre transect recording twenty Meadow Browns, ten Treble-bar Moths, one Small Heath Butterfly, before I saw my first Common Blue resting on Devil's Bit Scabious. It was only on the way back along the winding path that I saw a male Adonis Blue.
Five butterfly species and a macro-moth

Adonis Blue on Ox-eye Daisy11 September 2013
There were so many Sparrows and Starlings in the Buddleia bushes between Ropetackle and Old Shoreham, that I am surprised there were occasional Large White Butterflies and a few Small Whites that escaped their feeding attentions. I spotted a Red Admiral on the Buddleia by the Buffer Stop and a Holly Blue visiting Bramble flowers. The same pattern of the absence of butterflies was repeated on the Downs Link Cyclepath between Old Shoreham and the Cement Works, although the birds were not omnipresent. More Large Whites on Buddleia  and a few Speckled Woods on the leaves only were seen on the outgoing cycle journey. At Anchor Bottom (Dacre Gardens entrance) I added a half a dozen each of Meadow Browns and Adonis Blues and a few Common Blues. There was also a possible Peacock Butterfly over the cyclepath, but it might have been another Red Admiral.
Eight butterfly species (possibly nine)

9 September 2013
After the torrential rain in the previous day and on an overcast day I expected the butterflies to be diminished in numbers and variety and it was as expected in the same proportions as before. Speckled Woods (3) were the first appear on the steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill from the south. Adonis Blues showed quickly and tallied up to 24 in the transect acre. About half were females. Meadow Browns could be counted in the transect acre at 57 with females more than males.

Meadow Browns

Carline Thistle was not the attractant. Only Devil's Bit Scabious proved a major nectar source with a few Hardheads and a Dwarf Thistle attracting Meadow Browns. There were four Small Heaths behaving as usual. Common Blues were not counted but there were about a dozen on the lower slopes with a few Large Whites and a restless Clouded Yellow. Day flying moths were more than expected with a few Shaded Broad-bar (4), about eight Treble-bars, at least one pyralid moth Pyrausta purpuralis, and a Silver Y Moth.
I returned by the ridge route and spotted at least twenty Meadow Browns, another half a dozen or more Common Blues and Large Whites without trying.
Seven butterfly species and four day-flying moths

5 September 2013
On a very sunny afternoon under a blue sky, I cycled on the Downs Link Cyclepath northwards from Old Shoreham, noting the autumnal feel, with hundreds of grasshoppers on the meadow-like verges, and scores of Large White and Small White Butterflies attracted to the Buddleia. I spotted just the one Brimstone Butterfly. Speckled Woods (20+) were frequently seen in the shady spots with occasional Common Blues in the sun..
Although, it was not planned to decided to cycle to the Steyning Nature Trail west of the country town. I left my bike locked next to a gate and I walked up the hill seeing  more (about seven) Speckled Woods in the woods, and immediately spotting a Wall Brown followed by a Clouded Yellow in the second meadow past the second gate higher up the hill. These two were followed by a few Meadow Browns and higher up the hill near the third gate there were swathes of Devil's Bit Scabious which proved attractive to frequent Common Blues. There was also a few closed Yellow Wort flowers and at least one Carline Thistle so this may be on chalk. It looked a promising area but there were not many butterflies to be seen. Two Buzzards soared overhead. Returning down the footpath lined with hedges both side, all the flutterings were even more Speckled Woods.
Eight species of butterfly

3 September 2013

Speckled Woods in Buckingham Park

1 September 2013
An afternoon visit to Mill Hill on the the day of Shoreham Air Show was a little overcast by the afternoon.
The approaches to Mill Hill the from the Waterworks Road produced the inevitable Large White Butterflies and Small Whites with more than expected frequent Speckled Woods and occasional Holly Blues and Meadow Browns along the Pixie Path. Mill Hill Cutting (SW) hosted just two male and five female Chalkhill Blues seen although I expect there were more. There was a  female Adonis Blue but no males and a handful of Common Blues.

Click to link to the Slide Show with captions (flickr hosting).

The upper part of Mill Hill was crowded with picnickers so I only visited the lower slopes and it appears that this year I have missed the second brood peak of the Adonis Blues with a reduction from the last visit to 49 (35 males and 14 females). Chalkhill Blues were almost finished with just four males seen in the transect acre and a female. Wall Browns impressed with five seen, four of them in fine condition, and in addition there was an estimated 80 Meadow Browns, frequent Common Blues, occasionalSmall Heaths, a few Speckled Woods on the southern steps, occasional Large Whites and Small Whites, a few Treble-bar Moths, and at least one faded pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata. Autumn is here and the butterfly season was nearly over.
NB: On Mill Hill there was difficulty in separating the female Adonis Blues and Chalkhill Blues. There may be more female Chalkhill Blues than I first thought.
Nine butterfly species
Wall Brown on Devil's Bit Scabious 30 August 2013
My first trip up the downland to the west of Steyning in the midday sunshine produced hardly any butterflies in unfamiliar territory of conservation grazed cattle pasture of downland and woods on the hill above Steyning Bowls Club. I approached from the Mouse Lane north end and after a long walk of about half an hour or more, I spotted a Southern Hawker (dragonfly) and nothing at all of interest except a shiny black beetle the Bloody-nosed Beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa The two hour long climb and I saw under thirty butterflies of the species Large Whites, Small Whites, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Common Blues, occasional Small Heaths, one Wall Brown and a single Small Tortoiseshell. It was decidedly unpromising from start to finish. The variety of flora was exiguous although I did note my first Devil's Bit Scabious this year and three Harebells. A Green Woodpecker flew into a clear view on three occasions. The view had a novelty value and was reasonably attractive. 
Nine butterfly species
29 August 2013
On a warm breezy day, I made detour on the outskirts from Old Shoreham via the Waterworks Road on Footpath 3138 to Mill Hill Cutting (SW) and up the Pixie Path and back home through the Dovecote Estate. The butterflies seen were the frequent Large Whites and Small Whites, with a tattered Comma added on the edge of the Waterworks Road, with a few Speckled Woods. Frampton's Field and the path hosted Meadow Browns. Amongst the Ivy and Brambles there was a Holly Blue. On Mill Hill Cutting, there were at least seven Chalkhill Blues including at least two females, with one seeing depositing an egg, but alas, not on the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch. Common Blues fluttered around on the chalk embankment. A Red Admiral over and one was seen before in Shoreham. And then was the mystery brown butterfly photographed on the left which I have tentatively identified as a female Adonis Blue. There is a snag as no males were seen in the small area on the day and no females have been seen in the immediate area in previous years.
Eight butterfly species and one probable making nine

Adonis Blue (female)28 August 2013
There were many white butterflies, Large Whites and Small Whites, and a few Holly Blues in Shoreham.
I ambled over the parched upper part, top meadows and middle slopes of Mill Hill, without any special searching and I saw over a hundred Meadow Browns, many of them amorous, at least 39 (36+3) Adonis Blues including courting couples, double as many Common Blues, a handful of Chalkhill Blues with some fresh males, five Wall Browns, occasional Small Heaths, frequent Speckled Woods,  one Peacock and one restless Clouded Yellow. I declined to visit the lower slopes under the midday sun.
Twelve butterfly species

The small black fly is a Tanachid Fly
They are commonly referred to as íParasitic Fliesí because the larvae feed on the body tissues of immature or adult invertebrates. However, although we use the term parasite they are really parasitoids - the difference being that parasites (like tapeworms) donít kill their hosts, but parasitoids usually cause the death of the host in some way - either by killing them outright - or by weakening them so much that they die
More Information

Aplomya confinis and Phryxe vulgaris are known to parasitise blue butterflies as well as other species and moths.
Both have endoparasitoid larvae that live within and kill the live caterpillars. 

        Adonis Blue on Carline Thistle

27 August 2013
In the low hundreds of white butterflies, Large Whites and Small Whites, by the coast but nothing special, the only butterfly of note was a Painted Lady on Lancing Beach and a Small Tortoiseshell on some Buddleia between Old Shoreham and Ropetackle.

26 August 2013
An impromptu journey through the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill Cutting (SW) produced Large White Butterflies (frequently seen everywhere) a Red Admiral and a dozen or so Common Blues. Mill Hill Cutting immediately produced half a dozen male Chalkhill Blues in flight in a total of 12 males seen in two minutes, and I disturbed simultaneously a surprising 13 female Chalkhill Blues in amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves. The females were all seen in an area of four square metres and this is an unprecedented density locally for the females. The Pixie Path on the west-east section (running parallel with the A27) hosted three Wall Browns, a few Speckled Woods, a few Meadow Browns and Holly Blues.

Adonis Blue 
Adonis Blues on Bramble
Chalkhill Blue 

I ventured to the lower slopes of Mill Hill which was cast in shade from the few clouds on an otherwise sunny day. It was late afternoon and most of the butterflies were roosting, but they were easily disturbed in the short vegetation, and clouds of butterflies, a dozen and more rose into the air in patches. By far the most of them were Meadow Browns, but there were plenty of Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues and Adonis Blues. It was not possible to count the butterflies but in the one acre transect I actually saw an estimated over two hundred Meadow Browns and each of the blues in region of forty, but many were hiding. There were more female Chalkhill Blues than the very tattered males. Other species seen were Large Whites, a few Clouded Yellows (seven separate sightings but some may be duplicates), eight Wall Browns (one on the upper part) a few Small Heaths, a few Gatekeepers and one Small Tortoiseshell. A few pyralid moths were also seen.
Thirteen butterfly species

25 August 2013
After the rain, there were only small muddy puddles on the Downs Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham, where my first Southern Hawker, (dragonfly) of the year landed immediately in front of me on the clay path. The verges were distinguished by thousands of Meadow Grasshoppers instantly noted hopping about in the vegetation. When the sun made brief shine on an cloudy day, butterflies appeared on the Buddleia and amongst the verge flowers. Large White Butterflies were the most noticeable and frequently seen almost everywhere but there were more than a handful of Green-veined Whites definitely identified near the Cement Works and occasional Small Whites at the Shoreham end. Amongst the verge plants frequent Common Blues were seen from my bicycle but I if I walked amongst the tall verge plants many more of both genders were disturbed. The brown females were showing their alternate brown blue appearance in flight and thus indicated Common Blues. Close-up photographs of the underwing confirmed they were not the very similar Brown Argus. Other butterflies seen on the cyclepath and its Buddleia were about ten Brimstones, a few Peacock Butterflies, a few Small Tortoiseshells, Speckled Woods in the shade, a few Holly Blues, and only a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, with one or two faded Painted Ladies.
On Shoreham Beach Green I spotted a distant Clouded Yellow.
Thirteen butterfly species

23 August 2013
Warm and humid and overcast and the summer weather has not broken yet. I made a rather unusual trip on the outskirts of Shoreham, the full length of the footpath surrounding Frampton's Field, starting at the The Street entrance and ending at the top of Mill Hill Road without crossing the bridge over the A27. Large Whites were the most widespread of the butterflies found in Shoreham town, but this route added occasional Holly Blues by the Ivy, a Red Admiral basking on the wooden footpath sign by the Butterfly Copse (juxta the Waterworks Road), a Peacock Butterfly on the Buddleia, a few Meadow Browns on and around the path, frequent Common Blues on the path and in Frampton's Field, a Small Tortoiseshell with a bite out of its wing, and a few Speckled Woods at the top of the Pixie Path by the hedge.


Chalkhill Blues

At the north-west corner of Frampton's Field it was possible to fight my way through the Brambles on the route of the old footpath to Mill Hill on to an area which I have names Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where a Small White Butterfly opened and then closed its wings. In an area of about twenty square metres of bare chalk bank covered with clumps of Horseshoe Vetch, Cotoneaster and the leaves of Mouse-eared Hawkweed, there was a fabulous showing of too many Chalkhill Blues to count accurately as I lost count at thirty, but estimated to be forty including ten females (I gave up counting these at seven) plus occasional Common Blues of both genders to confuse the count. This count extrapolates to 800 Chalkhill Blues per acre which is the maximum density expected in a good year (and not seen on Mill Hill since 2003). Most of the Chalkhill Blues were rather worn and tattered with a few with just minor damage. The pairs were courting and the females were laying eggs. There were also frequent Silver Y Moths.
Ten butterfly species

22 August 2013
A partly tattered Small Blue Butterfly from Buckingham Cutting (south) was added to the list of the previous day, but despite having a close look at the Common Blues, I could not add a Brown Argus to the list. They were all female Common Blues. The list within the boundaries of Shoreham added Large Whites, Small Whites, Meadow Brown 1, Gatekeeper 1, Holly Blues, Speckled Woods only.

Small BlueCommon Blues 

Silver Y Moths were frequently seen in the undergrowth on the edge of town.
Eight butterfly species

21 August 2013
My impression was he number of butterflies were down from a week earlier, but there were still sufficient numbers to be omnipresent and enough variety to be interesting. There was also three or more times the density of butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill than on the on the Lancing Ring meadows.
The butterfly species recorded were:

Green-veined White  1 *
Large White  30+
Small White 10+
Clouded Yellow 2
Brimstone 2
Small Heath 20+
Meadow Brown 180+
Gatekeeper 15+
Speckled Wood  10+
Wall Brown 3
Small Tortoiseshell 12+
Red Admiral 1 
Peacock 4
Painted Lady 1 
Chalkhill Blue 58 (53+5) ~
Adonis Blue 74 ~
Common Blue  Est. 55+ ~
Brown Argus ?? (doubtful)
Holly Blue 1

The numbers are for the whole of Mill Hill except for the blue butterflies. These are for the one acre transect area on the lower slopes of Mill Hill only for the Chalkhill Blues and Adonis Blues with a counted tally and the Common Blues with an estimate. All other substantial numbers were estimated, with single digit numbers counted..

Southern part of Mill Hill
~  Lower slope transect area only (numbers)
Upper car park Buddleia bush only

Common Blue 
Chalkhill Blues
 Holly Blue
 Adonis Blue 

There were a handful more Chalkhill Blues over the middle slopes,. The Holly Blue was seen amongst the scrub. Common Blues were frequently seen over the middle  slopes and upper meadows of Mill Hill. The transect estimate for Meadow Browns was about 130. There were frequent female Common Blues and the photographs failed to discover if any Brown Argus were there.
There were more Large Whites and Holly Blues around Shoreham.
Mill Hill Report
Brown Argus & Female Common Blues ID chart
Eighteen species (possibly nineteen but no positive ID)

I started and finished my tour of local sites at Mill Hill, where I hoped to photograph the second brood Adonis Blues. My brief morning visit was an instant success; only ten metres from the car park I found a beautiful female opening her wings wide to the morning sun for the very first time. When I returned in the evening the patches of longer grass and herbs along the lower slopes of Mill Hill were crammed with roosting butterflies. Large communal roosts of Adonis Blues, Chalkhill  Blues and Common Blues were a joy to sift through in the calm conditions. The biggest and most welcome surprise of the day came just as I started to descend the steep scree slope at Mill Hill. At 6.10 pm most of the butterflies were already at roost ... but not the Silver-spotted Skipper which landed at my feet! County Recorder Colin Pratt can find no historic records of the species here, and it has certainly been absent since at least the 1930s. I was delighted, as this is the third new site for Silver-spotted Skipper I've found in the last few weeks.

Second Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies
20 August 2013
All three species of white butterflies were seen on a coastal cycle trip to Worthing; by far the most were the Large Whites around the Sea Kale followed by Small Whites with at least a few Green-veined Whites, at least two surprise Speckled Woods and a handful of Red Admirals.
 Small Tortoiseshell
Wall Brown

I made a rare visit to Lancing Ring Nature Reserve where there were more white butterflies, Speckled Woods in the shade and over a hundred butterfliesin the meadows. By far the most numerous of the meadow butterflies were over fifty Common Blues seen amongst the tall vegetation, almost all of them males, frequent Meadow Browns and frequent Gatekeepers. Wall Browns (25+) were all over the well used paths with a few in the meadows where three male Chalkhill Blues fluttered in the sunshine in the south-west corner.  There was at least one Red Admiral noted by the dewpond puddle and Silver Y Moths around. Overall, I must have seen in excess of a hundred Large Whites which were the butterflies seen mostly around the Buddleia.  I originally accepted the presence of the Brown Argus but the few photographs in focus turned out to be female Common Blues.
I had to wait until I got to Old Shoreham before I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on a Buddleia. I saw a few Holly Blues in Lancing.
Twelve species

19 August 2013
Mill Hill under a cloudy sky and many of the butterflies on the lower slopes were hiding and their numbers were less than could be expected when sunny. This was especially true of the 50+ Adonis Blues and sometimes I had to almost tread on them to see them in flight. Both Chalkhill Blues and Meadow Browns were in excess of fifty as well as I started counting them but then guessed the numbers as I did not cover the full acre transect as normal. Females were only 8% of the Chalkhill Blues and one fresh specimen was suspected of being a female Adonis Blue but it is almost impossible to separate the females of the two species by appearance. Common Blues were around the fifty mark on the lower slopes but Gatekeepers were slightly less, estimated at just under fifty.

Adonis Blues
 Small Copper
 Adonis Blues 
Chalkhill Blue 

Other butterflies seen were at least two Wall Browns amongst the longer Tor Grass, a handful of Small Heaths only when the sun came up briefly, one Peacock, four lively Clouded Yellows, occasional Large Whites, at least one Small White, and my first Small Copper of the year. A few Speckled Woods were seen by the southern steps. Treble-bar Moths were disturbed and these were not so lively. One faded pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata was spotted but I expect many more were in hiding in the early afternoon.
At the top of the hill by the hedge just north of the bridge, two Holly Blues fluttered around.
Two Red Admirals sparred over Shoreham-by-Sea railway crossing.
Fifteen butterfly species and one macro-moth
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

18 August 2013
A cursory look on the Downs Link Cyclepath Buddleia in the rain and there were Large Whites fluttering around but the only other butterflies were a single each of a Painted Lady (in the same area as three days ago) and a fresh looking Gatekeeper.
17 August 2013 
Garden Tiger Moth seen in a Lancing garden.  Adur Moths

Tiger Moths Recording & Information

15 August 2013
Large Whites, Green-veined Whites and Small Whites, were very easily seen on the Buddleia bordering the Downs Links Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to the Cement Works and back. All the other butterflies had to be looked for in the afternoon sunshine and the Buddleia proved attractive to the vanessids: occasionally seen Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and one Painted Lady. Brimstone Butterflies (not seen the previous day) visited the purple flowers of the Butterfly Bush. Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Common Blues. were seen in the meadow-like verges.

Large Whites

A few Holly Blues fluttered around the bushes and a half a dozen Speckled Woods congregated in the shade. Buddleia proved the most attractive for butterflies and the abundant Fleabane their second favourite. The total count of white butterflies was over a hundred in an hour and the cumulative count of the other butterflies seen was about sixty.
Fourteen species

14 August 2013
Fourteen species of butterfly were seen under the overcast sky, blown about in the breeze, and all before I reached Mill Hill, when four more were added making an impressive total of eighteen on a day that was so humid that I twice got caught in brief and warm rain showers. Flying in off the sea, a faded Painted Lady was seen on the cyclepath east of Worthing Pier, and a Clouded Yellow on the beach by Brooklands, east Worthing. I walked Path 3138 through the Waterworks Road and up the Pixie Path recording in order of first seen: Large White, Green-veined White, Small White, Holly Blue,Speckled Wood, Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, and Gatekeeper, all seen in a few minutes at the bottom of the path around the Butterfly Copse with its Buddleia and Stinging Nettles. Mill Hill Cutting (south) added about fifteen Chalkhill Blues and Frampton's Field occasional Meadow Browns and Common Blues.
Under the rain laden sky the southern top part of Mill Hill hosted frequent Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues and my first Wall Brown of the early afternoon. On the southern steps my second Clouded Yellow of the day was quickly seen with a few Speckled Woods. The rain seemed so imminent that I did not walk the transect and count the butterflies but just made notes in passing over the lower slopes. Estimated numbers of Meadow Browns was at 150 an acre, Gatekeepers and Chalkhill Blues just under a hundred an acre and Common Blues well over fifty. Small Heaths were occasionally spotted and I was surprised to seen a slightly damaged Marbled White. There was a few Large Whites, a Small White, a Peacock Butterfly, a Small Tortoiseshell at least two male Adonis Blues as it briefly started to rain. If there was just the one Clouded Yellow it flew the whole length of the lower slopes, where at the northern end a Silver Y Moth fluttered onto some Wild Privet. The Chalkhill Blues were mostly worn and in poor condition with just an estimated 15% of the males looking fresh and bright.

 Clouded Yellow
 Common Blue 
 Wall Brown
 Small Heath

I made a change from my normal route through Mill Hill Nature Reserve and did not climb up the steps through the scrub as the paths were too overgrown. Instead I trekked an easier passage (a more gradual gradient) to the middle slopes from the south. The Buddleia tree in the middle of the scrub hosted at least five Peacock Butterflies easily seen and a not so easy to spot Red Admiral. One Marjoram clump on the middle slopes hosted three Small Tortoiseshells and there were Gatekeepers everywhere and frequent Common Blues and occasional Chalkhill Blues.
When I arrived home at 4:00 pm, there was a Holly Blue fluttering around my Garden Privet.
Eighteen butterfly species and one macro-moth

13 August 2013
Breezy and overcast so the butterflies were resting in the afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. About twenty of the Chalkhill Blues were hiding. Meadow Browns were everywhere though and over a hundred were spotted with frequent Gatekeepers and occasional Small Heaths, three Wall Browns and at least two Common Blues. There was also the unexpected sight of a possible Silver-spotted Skipper which would be a first for Mill Hill.
By the Ham Road allotments over Eastern Avenue there were scores of Large Whites and I saw Speckled Woods and one Painted Lady on my travels.
Nine butterfly species (possibly ten)

9 August 2013
Large WhiteToo breezy and overcast to visit the downs, I did venture to the top of The Drive where there were a few Speckled Woods, and to Buckingham Cutting (south) where there was Common Blue but no Small Blues in the early evening when butterflies should be roosting. Green-veined Whites and both Large Whites and Small Whites were identified and a Red Admiral fluttered over. A Silver Y Moth flew out of the meadow vegetation. A few Holly Blues fluttered over the scrub/hedgerow, and I disturbed a few Meadow Browns, but no Ringlets, on the meadow-like road verges opposite Slonk Hill.
Eight butterfly species

8 August 2013
Hundreds of butterflies fluttered around the parched lower slopes of Mill Hill in an average year (but still less than a third of a tally in a good year). Chalkhill Blues were out in force with over two hundred seen. The one acre transect count was 131 (with an estimated 15 females). Both Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were everywhere with estimated numbers at about a hundred an acre for each. Common Blues were very noticeable with at least thirty seen mostly around the longer Tor Grass in the central part. Marbled Whites were still in flight which was a bit late for them. About ten were seen including two that seemed smaller than normal. There were some Large Whites that looked the size of Brimstones. The latter were not seen on the lower slopes. Both Green-veined Whites and Small Whites were also identified. Small Heaths had increased in number with fifteen or more. Speckled Woods were seen in the shady places around the southern steps and in the scrub at the northern end.

 Common Blues
 Chalkhill Blues
 Meadow Browns

A bright Painted Lady landed on a Stemless Thistle. A Peacock Butterfly was a colourful addition over the slopes. But the highlight of the day was a Dark Green Fritillary restlessly patrolling over the lower slopes by the bottom wayward hedge at about 12 mph. It landed just once for a second on a Hardhead. (The photograph was out of focus.) I went back to try a decent photograph and suddenly there was a flash of bright yellow in the sunshine from my second Clouded Yellow of the year. It ended up chasing the Dark Green Fritillary before it fluttered away rapidly. Butterflies were courting and three species were seen in mating sequences: Common Blues, Meadow Browns and Chalkhill Blues. At first I did not notice the brown female Chalkhill Blues but after I retraced my steps many more of mostly plain brown specimens were seen, as many as thirty five with one pair courting and another in copulation. It was then I had a closer look at the Common Blues and I found a handful of the larger male second brood Adonis Blues. The brown ones with orange wing fringe spots were almost certainly female Common Blues rather than a few Brown Argus. Moths made occasional appearances; the inevitable Six-spotted Burnet Moths, occasional Silver Y Moths, at least one Treble-bar Moth and a faded pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata. A Hornet Robber Fly settled on the winding path.
The top of the Pixie Path (the only part visited) hosted Speckled Woods, and Common Blues and Holly Blues sparring with each other. A Red Admiral was seen in Western Road, Shoreham town.
Seventeen butterfly species (three new species) and three macro moths

Chalkhill Blues

7 August 2013
On a cloudy day nine species of butterfly were seen on the outskirts of Shoreham including a Holly Blue and a Wall Brown not seen on the previous day.

 Chalkhill Blueson Carline Thistle
 Chalkhill Blue
Chalkhill Blues

I fought my way though the Brambles to the north-facing southern bank of the A27 verge which is Mill Hill Cutting (SW). Despite being overcast eight male Chalkhill Blues were seen immediately flying simultaneously. As conditions were good for photography, I stayed around in this garden-sized area and at one time I estimated fairly accurately that their were thirty males and two female Chalkhill Blues. The males did not seem to be chasing the females as much as quarrelling with each other.
A Painted Lady was seen by Middle Road allotments on the path than runs along the western fence.
Pixie Path & Mill Hill Cutting Report
Chalkhill Blues Notes
Ten butterfly species

6 August 2013
After the heavy rain of the previous day, I went straight to Mill Hill around midday.
Even before I left Corbyn Crescent, I recorded a Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and Large White simultaneously in the twitten to Adelaide Square. On the roads to Mill Hill there were more Large Whites and a few Small Whites. Under the shade of the trees/bushes at the top of Chanctonbury Drive on the north side there were at least two Speckled Woods.
On the southern part of Mill Hill, I noted scores of butterflies mostly Meadow Browns in excess of thirty, occasional Gatekeepers, Small Whites and Large Whites with a Peacock, Chalkhill Blue, a Small Skipper and another Speckled Wood all within a few minutes.

 Chalkhill Blues on Carline Thistle
 Meadow Brownon Carline Thistle 
Chalkhill Blues on Carline Thistle 

The object of the trip was to record the number of Chalkhill Blues in the one acre transect of the lower slopes. The tally was 115 (108 males and 7 females). Most of the transect walk was in the shade of a cloud, but when the sun came out, more of these blue butterflies appeared. The newly budding and flowering Carline Thistle was attractive to bees and butterflies. The other numbers were partly counts and estimates in the male Common Blues at 35+, or total estimates of the Meadow Browns at 230+ or double the number of Chalkhill Blues.  Other counts were Small Heaths (5+), one tattered yellow Brimstone, seven Marbled Whites (some sightings deducted to avoid duplicates), at least a dozen Large Whites, an estimated twenty or more Gatekeepers, two Treble-bar Moths and at least one Six-spotted Burnet Moth.
Walking through the scrub on MIll Hill, there were Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns everywhere. I even managed to spot a Ringlet by the gate to the Old Erringham pasture. On a large Buddleia surrounded by Stinging Nettles and Brambles on the overgrown middle slopes, there was score or more of butterflies, at least a dozen Red Admirals, four or more large Peacocks, one small Comma and the inevitable Meadow Browns and Large Whites.

Buddleia on Mill Hill

When the scrub opened out to the open glade on the middle slopes Marjoram was flowing abundantly and attracted butterflies on most of the clumps, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Peacocks (three on one clump), Painted Ladies (two on the same clump and one on another) and the first of a few Green-veined Whites and some of the 19 Chalkhill Blues. The half a dozen or so Common Blues did not seem to be particularly attracted to Marjoram like the other butterflies, and all of the nine Brimstone Butterflies fluttered rapidly between one Wild Basil flower and another.
Finally over the top of Mill Hill, Gatekeepers predominated with frequent Meadow Browns, three male Chalkhill Blues, one Small Skipper, a few Large Whites, at least one each of Painted Lady and Peacock, a few Six-spotted Burnet Moths and frequent Silver Y Moths.
Sixteen butterfly species and three macro-moths

4 August 2013
In the morning a Speckled Wood Butterfly visited by semi-wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. It stayed for a few minutes settling on a Garden Privet leaf. Down by the estuary the cyclepath in Old Shoreham were lined with purple Buddleia. It is aptly named the Butterfly Bush as it proved an attractive nectar source for a dozen or more vanessid butterflies seen on a couple of bushes next to the River Adur on a high neap tide.

Painted Lady

It seems there has been recent influx of the immigrant Painted Lady as the first seen and the most prevalent butterfly and found exclusively feeding on the Buddleia. It was accompanied by a few Red Admirals and at least one Peacock Butterfly. Nearby there were Green-veined Whites, Large Whites, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers in order of frequency. Later on in the afternoon, the Buddleia by the houseboats on the Riverbank attracted more Red Admirals, Peacock Butterflies, Large Whites and at least one Painted Lady. Small White Butterflies were seen in Shoreham town.
Nine butterfly species

2 August 2013
Flowering Buddleia adorned the hedgerows bordering both side of the cyclepath from Ropetackle to Upper Beeding (Dacre Gardens) and this proved to be an attraction to scores of Red Admirals (25+ actually seen). Most of the usual butterflies were fluttering around the verges. The most numerous were the Green-veined Whites (25+)  but there were frequent Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Common Blues, and Large Whites, with occasional Peacocks and Comma, and a few Speckled Woods and at least one Small Skipper. A Silver Y Moth was disturbed on the cyclepath verges. At Anchor Bottom I discovered  that all the Ragwort and Creeping Thistle on the bottom part had been mown, so I only stayed a few minutes, enough to see a few male Common Blues and after a few minutes a few Chalkhill Blues on the north-facing southern slopes. I disturbed a Small Tortoiseshell before I left.
A Small White was seen in Shoreham town.
Thirteen butterfly species

1 August 2013
I took a direct route to Mill Hill (through Buckingham Park and Buckingham Cutting (south) and the Dovecote Estate) with an object just to count the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies which it previous years had peaked at the turn of the month. In the one acre transect I counted eighty blue males that were very lively in the humid warm sunshine and there were many more all over the slopes. However, I did not spot even one of the brown females and I surmise that these blue butterflies have not peaked in numbers yet. The relative dearth of Chalkhill Blues was made up by my first ever definite Dark Green Fritillary in Shoreham, flying very strongly over the southern part of Mill Hill, over the Ragwort without settling. (It was only recognised as a fritillary and Dark Green is most probable because of the downs habitat.) Shortly afterwards, I nearly walked into a good condition bright Painted Lady. It had settled on a Ragwort until I got my camera out. Sixteen of the twenty species of butterfly seen on the day were seen on Mill Hill. Butterflies were common, with hundreds on the downs and far too many to count.
The Small Blue was seen on Buckingham Cutting (south). After leaving Mill Hill I went out of way just a little to increase the species tally: the Comma was seen in the Butterfly Copse by the Waterworks Road, the confirmed Green-veined White on the path (linear copse) than runs alongside the A27 opposite Slonk Hill through the trees, and lastly the Ringlet on the road verge opposite Slonk Hill.
It was the first record of a Ringlet Butterfly in the month of August.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Marbled White
Marbled White

Butterflies Outskirts Mill Hill lower Mill Hill scrub and upper
Large White 12+ 5+ 3+
Small White  7+ - -
Comma  2 - -
Gatekeeper  50+  50+ 50+
Speckled Wood 35+ - 8+
Meadow Brown 12+ 30+ 10 +
Red Admiral  4 - 2+
Holly Blue 14+ - -
Small Skipper 12+ 5+ 4+
Marbled White 10+ 12+  4+
Dark Green Fritillary - - 1
Peacock 3 8 2
Small Tortoiseshell 1 - 2
Brimstone Butterfly - 2 1
Chalkhill Blue - 80+ 10+
Painted Lady - - 1
Common Blue 5+ 2 5+
Green-veined White 1+ - ?
Small Blue 1 - -
Ringlet 1 - -
Silver Y Moth 10+ - 7+
Six-spotted Burnet Moth 12+ 12+ 35+

These totals were the butterflies actually seen and the double digit numbers were half counted and estimated except for the one acre count of the Chalkhill Blues. Gatekeepers were heavily understated as they were hiding everywhere in the hedgerows and scrub. But these understating of numbers applied to the Speckled Woods and almost all the others.
NB: I did not visit Mill Hill Cutting (SW) on the day.

Twenty species of butterfly and two macro-moths (highest butterfly species total this year and the second highest ever)

I completed my Mill Hill transect in the morning with the following results: Brimstone 4, Chalkhill Blue 110, Common Blue 2, Gatekeeper 16, Green-veined White 1, Large White 2, Marbled White 2, Meadow Brown 138, Peacock 11, Red Admiral 3, Small Copper 1, Small Heath 1, Small Skipper 1, Small White 1, Wall 1, misc. whites 9, also Silver Y 5. Chalkhill Blues, Meadow Browns and Peacocks have increased since last week, and this was the first second brood Wall on Mill Hill.

Report & Images by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards

27 July 2013
Hundreds of butterflies fluttered over the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. It was warm when the sun came out from behind the wispy clouds with hardly a breeze and this encouraged the butterflies of mainly four species with 78 Chalkhill Blues (76 males and 2 females) counted in one acre of the transect, with estimated counts of 60 Gatekeepers, 75 Meadow Browns, and 25 Marbled Whites, plus 15 Large Whites, two Red Admirals, one Peacock and a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly. Six-spotted Burnet Moths were frequently seen. I returned by the winding path route and as the sun and warmth became greater there were even more butterflies* all over the five acres of the lower slopes in about even distribution, with more on the upper part of the hill. The Marbled Whites were especially prevalent with another 25 seen around the winding path. Two tiny pyralid moths were spotted: Pyrausta nigrata and the colourful Pyrausta purpuralis. (* Estimated 350+ Chalkhill Blues on the total area of the lower slopes).
Small Skippers were frequently seen but it seemed that most of them were on the southern part of Mill Hill at the top amongst the Ragwort and Teasels. On the southern part there were the inevitable Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, as well as a Comma Butterfly, a few Chalkhill Blues, and more Marbled Whites and a brightly coloured Painted Lady.

Chalkhill Blue (male)
Chalkhill Blue 
 Meadow Brown 
Chalkhill Blue 

I travelled to Mill Hill via the Pixie Path and the butterflies seen here were Speckled Woods, the inevitable Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Small Skippers, two Holly Blues, a Red Admiral and occasional Large Whites. A dozen male Chalkhill Blues appeared on Mill Hill Cutting (south) before I reached Mill Hill.
Thirteen butterfly species (no new species not seen before this week)

26 July 2013
No new butterfly species could be added to list of the previous two days, although the usual ones were present of a cycle trip  to Cuckoo's Corner along the towpath and back along the Coombes Road: frequent Gatekeepers, Large Whites, Small Whites, occasional Meadow Browns, Small (or Essex) Skippers, a few each of Comma Butterflies, Speckled Woods, Red Admiral, and one Peacock Butterfly and one Marbled White.
Ten butterfly species

25 July 2013
In the afternoon the clouds cleared so I did my Mill Hill butterfly transect with the following result: Chalkhill Blue 63, Comma 1, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Gatekeeper 60, Green-veined White 1, Large White 1, Marbled White 16, Meadow Brown 116, Red Admiral, Small Heath 1, Small White 2, other Whites 8.
Gatekeepers and Chalkhill Blues continue to increase, but the big news was the Dark Green Fritillary which is the first I have recorded on Mill Hill. It settled a couple of times, then flew off strongly and left the area.
Eleven butterfly species

Report & Images by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Large Skipper
A half an hour passage trip along the southern bank of the A27 opposite Slonk Hill, resulted in three species of butterfly not recorded on the day before. I only spent about ten minutes looking for butterflies but it was enough to spot a Small Blue Butterfly immediately on Buckingham Cutting (south) as well as a Cinnabar Moth, two Large Skippers on the edges of the linear copse in an open area and lastly a Ringlet on the top part of the roadside verge at the eastern end.  Other butterflies seen on the brief trip included MeadowBrowns, Gatekeepers, Speckled Browns, one Holly Blue, one Comma, Large Whites, Small Whites and at least one Marbled White. A few Yellow Shell Moths were seen. Six-spotted Burnet Moths were occasionally seen as well as a few unidentified micro-moths. I was also fortunate enough to spot the first of the large hoverflies of the year. It was the attractive Volucella inanis.
Adur Skippers
Adur Burnet Moths
Eleven butterfly species and two macro-moths

24 July 2013
Marbled White
Butterflies Approaches to Mill Hill Mill Hill lower Mill Hill scrub and upper
Large White 5+ 5+ 3+
Small White  3 - -
Comma 4 1 1
Gatekeeper  12+ 18+ 10+
Speckled Wood 2 - 3
Meadow Brown 8+ 16+ 5+
Red Admiral  4 1 -
Holly Blue - -
Small Skipper 3+ 1+ 5+
Marbled White 3 5 3
Small Heath 1 - -
Peacock 1 2 2
Small Tortoiseshell 1 - 1
Brimstone Butterfly - 2 1
Chalkhill Blue - 28 2
Painted Lady - - 1
Yellow Shell Moth 2 - -
Six-spotted Burnet Moth - 5+ 50+
Silver Y Moth - - 3+

I was not an avid butterfly counter on the day and there may be many more butterflies I missed.
Sixteen butterfly species (the most in a day this year) and three macro-moths

21 July 2013
A short trip to the Adur Flyover and Boot Sale and back via the Downs Link Cyclepath recorded one Small Heath, occasionalSmall (or Essex) Skippers, a few Gatekeepers, occasional Meadow Browns, occasional Large Whites, two Small Whites, at least one Marbled White, and a few Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moths. Later a Small Tortoiseshell was seen next to Middle Road allotments.
Eight butterfly species and one macro-moth

19 July 2013
Warm early on in the morning (9:00 am) I again left it late (11:00 am) to take Footpath 3138 to Mill Hill, fighting my way through the Brambles at the Maple Copse entrance from the Steyning Road (at Old Shoreham) where a Small (or Essex) Skipper, a Red Admiral, a Gatekeeper and Large White made a simultaneous appearance. Such was the difficulty getting through it was two minutes before I made it to the Waterworks Road section of the footpath where a probable Green-veined White was recorded. A few minutes later the bright orange of at least one Comma Butterfly flashed by with another Red Admiral over the Pixie Path (by the steps from the Waterworks Road). The Pixie Path hosted occasional Small Skippers (5+), occasional Meadow Browns (3+), three Marbled Whites, and more Large Whites and Gatekeepers (7+). A Comma seen on the hedges on the side of Mill Hill road north of the bridge. By the time I reached Mill Hill I was suffering from fatigue in temperatures of 25.9 °C at midday. I only ventured down to the southern part of the lower slopes where Marbled Whites and male Chalkhill Blues were in the same numbers and with the same restlessness as my previous visit two days ago. There were frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Small Skippers, Meadow Browns and Large Whites, two Small Whites and at least one Small Heath and about ten Six-spotted Burnet Moths in flight. Surprisingly, no Small Tortoiseshells were discovered.
Ten species of butterfly and one day-flying moth

Brimstone Butterfly17 July 2013
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Shoreham town.
On the southern upper part of Mill Hill, butterflies appeared in under a minute, firstly a Meadow Brown, followed immediately by a Small Skipper amongst the long grasses, and a Small Tortoiseshell amongst the prevalent Ragwort. The Ragwort also hosted a Cinnabar Moth but I did not see any caterpillars. The meadows were full of Greater Knapweed now in flower. Amongst the dense meadows I disturbed a Silver Y Moth and watched about ten Six-spotted Burnet Moths in flight.
At last I spotted my first Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with 14 of the blue males counted in the one acre transect in the heat of the middle of the day. All these new butterflies were restless and none of them settled even for a second. The same restlessness applied to the Marbled Whites with 39 counted on Mill Hill (37 on the lower slopes). Gatekeepers (35+) were frequently seen amongst the scrub (including the hedgerow at the bottom of the lower slopes), two bright orange Comma Butterflies, two Speckled Woods, and a few Large Whites. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly skirted the hedgerow at the bottom of the lower slopes. I registered about five Small Heaths on the open slopes with frequent Meadow Browns (15+). I returned by the quickest ridge route where the Speckled Woods and most of the Gatekeeperswere seen. There was another Small Tortoiseshell by the Reservoir.
Twelve species of butterfly and three day-flying moths

16 July 2013
A passage trip to Worthing and back saw occasional Large Whites on the Sea Kale by Widewater, a Small White in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden and a Ringlet on the Airport road by Ricardo. Buddleia was flowering in Old Shoreham on the verges of the cyclepath but no butterflies were seen on these bushes. A Garden Tiger Moth caterpillar was seen in my small front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.

Marbled White Butterfly15 July 2013
In the late afternoon sunshine, I made a quick detour to Buckingham Cutting (south) where in under a minute the first of about ten Small Blue Butterflies appeared on the small wild flower rich meadow. There may have been many more of these tiny butterflies which were dwarfed by the arrival of three Marbled Whites. These Marbled Whites very rarely settled, but I spent some time chasing them vainly for decent photograph. During this time a Ringlet and a Meadow Brown appeared. I could have spent more team amongst the meadow amongst the Kidney Vetch, Lady's Bedstraw, Cleavers, Pyramidal Orchids, Greater Knapweed, Ox-eye Daisies, Restharrow etc., if wasn't for the noise of the relentless traffic on the A27. A Burnet Moth flew over the flower tops. Amongst the Brambles, the first of two Gatekeepers were positively seen along with a Red Admiral and two Large Whites. In the shade of the linear copse, I disturbed a Yellow Shell Moth.
On the verge to the east (Slonk Hill south), three more Ringlets were clearly seen and another Marbled White and a Large White.
Seven butterfly species and two macro-moths.

14 July 2013
On a warm sunny day, a short ride in the middle of the day along the busy Downs Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding produced moderate butterfly activity. The first appearance was a Small Skipper on the verges of the Steyning Road south of the Cement Works. Simultaneously, a restless Marbled White settled for a second on a Chicory flower amongst the long grasses. A few Meadow Browns were also seen on the verge on the same latitude as Old Erringham.
There were occasional flashes of orange on the Downs Link. These were a few pristine Comma Butterflies and later half a dozen bright Small Tortoiseshells. There was also a probable Ringlet amongst the Meadow Browns and another Marbled White. The Burnet Companion Moth (badly faded) was attracted to Marjoram on the Downs Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works.

 Small (or Essex) Skipper
 Painted Lady
 Cinnabar Moth caterpillars
  Burnet Companion Moth (badly faded)

As the cyclepath was too busy, I decided to visit the bottom part of Anchor Bottom. It looked very much like a rough cattle pasture with cow pats and swathes of Creeping Thistle and Ragwort with the occasional Spear Thistle. This proved popular with the butterflies and bees especially at the Dacre Garden end where the frequent Small Tortoiseshells (12+) settled on the Creeping Thistles and more MeadowBrowns (10+) which tended to be hidden. The bright red was a Cinnabar Moth and its caterpillars were seen on the Ragwort. I thought I saw a Dark Green Fritillary at first but it was not until five minutes had elapsed before at least two, possible four, were confirmed. It was restless, often inspecting Small Tortoiseshells for a mate and it could be seen that is wing span was appreciably larger. They were so restless that a photograph was impossible, but I chanced upon a Painted Lady and a Marbled White as I tried. One Small Heath was seen by the entrance gate. Large Whites were conspicuous everywhere but only about ten of them were seen. On my return along the Downs Link there were more Small Tortoiseshells and a pair of Speckled Woods.
Eleven species of butterfly and two day-flying moths

13 July 2013
A Red Admiral flew over my garden. I think it it actually got into my flat and I disturbed it.

12 July 2013
The Mill Hill transect produced my first Chalkhill Blue (1) and Gatekeeper (11) of the season, plus 2 very worn Adonis Blue, 2 Large Skipper, 13 Marbled White, 27 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 16 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Whites.

Chalkhill Blue Report by Colin Knight on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

A flash of orange and a very fresh Comma Butterfly opened its wings over the scrub on the sheer bank to the west of Footpath 3138 to Mill Hill. It is was on the Pixie Path that the first few Meadow Browns were seen. The third species was the first of frequent Small Tortoiseshells (15+) in the vicinity of the Stinging Nettles on the southern upper part of Mill Hill. On the steps down to the lower slopes, I spotted which I thought was a Small Skipper. Marbled Whites were the first butterflies to be seen flying persistently and not settling on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. There was at least ten of them on the lower slopes favouring the Tor Grass patch. All of them were in continual motion.  By the bottom hedgerow I thought I spotted by first Gatekeeper of the year amongst the frequent Meadow Browns. Small Heath Butterflies seemed to have declined in numbers since a week ago and only about ten were spotted in the one acre transect area. Just one worn male Common Blue visited a yellow Hawkweed on the lower slopes. A Large White was very distinctive and one of two on the hill. The disappointment was the absence of the first Chalkhill Blues this year. They were one week late already.

Six-spotted Burnet Moth
Speckled Wood
Marbled White

Amongst the scrub there were some more Small Tortoiseshells and a handful of Speckled Woods. I returned quickly along the overgrown paths through the scrub and over the middle slopes and upper plateau where a half a dozen more Marbled Whites were seen as well as the frequent Meadow Browns. It was the fifteenth Marbled White that was the only one to settle for a few seconds. In a top meadow I spotted a skipper, which was thought to be a Large Skipper, but it was too quick for a closer look. Amongst the longer grass at the top of the hill, I noted my first two Six-spotted Burnet Moths of the year visiting tall flowers amongst the grasses.
The highlight of the day was a dark blue damselfly over the top of Erringham Road in north Shoreham. I thought it was a male Beautiful Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, from my rather restricted view of the insect in flight. (It was possible it could have been a male Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens.)

Eleven butterfly species (three unconfirmed to species) and one moth

10 July 2013
From Steyning High Street, I followed the attractive Church Street in a south-westerly direction, past St. Andrews Church until the road terminated at the junction with Jarvis Lane. I followed this road east over the bridge over the old railway until the houses stopped and a stile and footpath took me over low lying cattle pasture to the banks of the River Adur. I crossed by a small metal bridge and followed the towpath past Salting's Field to Upper Beeding.
Meadow Browns (35+) and equally numerous Small Tortoiseshells (35+) fluttered around. A stream runs through Saltings Field and this proved of interest with small  unidentified blue damselflies (either Azure or Common Blue). The bright orange of a Comma Butterfly was definitely identified as it settled on a Bramble next to the stream. In an area of shade in Steyning, two Speckled Woods fluttered around. There was also a Large White seen by the river.
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Shoreham.
Six butterfly species

9 July 2013
Another warm day (24.9 °C) and the butterflies were both frequent and restless in the sunshine. My first Small Skipper (12+) of the year was seen on the Downs Link Cyclepath but like the frequent Meadow Browns (50+) and equally numerous Small Tortoiseshells (50+) they were not inclined to settle. A Green-veined White Butterfly was positively identified on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath (north of Old Shoreham) and there were a handful along the route to Annington Sewer (north of Botolphs) and back. Almost all the possible Ringlets turned out to be Meadow Browns, but two Ringlets were almost certainly seen near the stream adjacent to the cyclepath. The bright orange butterfly on the Downs Link Cyclepath was almost certainly a Comma. On the verges next to Annington Sewer, a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth visited a Pyramidal Orchid.

Small Tortoiseshell
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth
Dark Green Fritillary
Painted Lady

Highlight of the day was my first ever confirmed Dark Green Fritillary at the foot of Anchor Bottom (near Dacre Gardens). It was one of two or three of this large and very strong-flying butterfly. It was too fast and settled only briefly and was far too quick for me to get a photograph in focus. However, even the out of focus photographs showed the green patch on the underside of the wings very clearly. Further east along Anchor Bottom, there was at least one, probably two, very faded Painted Ladies by the pair of Elderflower trees. A Marbled White rose from the shade of the largest tree. A Large White Butterfly was seen near the gate over the Creeping Thistle and Ragwort (which also proved attractive to the Small Tortoiseshells and Meadow Browns on Anchor Bottom). A Small Heath Butterfly settled on the western side of the gate and a male Common Blue fluttered over the main road outside Dacre Gardens.
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Shoreham.
Thirteen species of butterfly (the most on one day this year)

7 July 2013
In the warmth (25.9 °C) of the midday sun, my first Meadow Brown Butterflies of the year, with the first day-flying Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moths and probably the first Ringlet Butterfly were seen over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath 100 metres south of the Cement Works. There was also a bright orange butterfly that was not recognised to species. Subsequent observations and observations at the time make this one almost certainly a Comma Butterfly. Occasional Small White Butterflies were seen over the outskirts of Shoreham.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Five butterfly species

5 July 2013
Late June (early July this year as the flora and fauna is three weeks late) is a latent period for butterflies with few new emergences and only straggling imagos from earlier metamorphoses. So I would not have been surprised if my tally on nearly a warm day (> 19.0 °C) was low in species and numbers. On the approaches to Mill Hill via the top of the Pixie Path, a worn Red Admiral made an over flight before settling out of camera range. This was only butterfly seen off the downs in the afternoon.
On the southern steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill, a female Common Blueimmediately landed on a Bird's Foot Trefoil. About half a dozen further Common Blues were seen on the lower slopes in the sunshine. Most of them were the blue males.

 Adonis Blue
 Small Tortoiseshells
Small Tortoiseshells

Small Heath Butterflies were everywhere and in excess of twenty were seen evenly spread over the lower slopes with one on the top part of the hill. A flash of brilliant blue and that was the first of about six fine condition male Adonis Blues. They were joined by a Large White. The Tor Grass on the lower slopes was growing taller than usual. I debated whether this would provide roosting conditions for butterflies when a very restless Marbled White was seen for the first time this year. In the humid energy sapping conditions, I returned by the quickest ridge route wHere two fresh Speckled Woods courted in the shade of the scrub. On the steep slopes below the top of the ridge a pair of courting Small Tortoiseshells visited Thyme and Self-heal before settling out of camera range. Altogether five Small Tortoiseshells were seen as another Large White arrived.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Eight species

1 July 2013
Two Large Skippers either fighting or courting over the overgrown path along the south bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting was the highlight of a brief detour on a humid late afternoon.

Blackneck Moth, Lygephila pastinum.
Large Skipper

Other butterflies on passage journey included a faded Red Admiral in the shade of Buckingham Cutting (south) and about twenty Small Blues actually seen amongst the flowering Kidney Vetch on the open road verge with many more hidden, and a Large White, plus a large fawn Blackneck Moth, Lygephila pastinum.
Adur Orchids
Adur Skippers
Adur Moths
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
30 June 2013
Two Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen over the verges of the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham (in the area where I thought I saw a Painted Lady a week earlier). A Small White Butterfly fluttered in the humid sunshine. 

27 June 2013
Breeze-blown amongst waist high and sometimes shoulder high grasses on the more fertile meadows at the top of Mill Hill, there was hardly anything moving except the long grasses swayed by the south-westerly (Force 4). A small Small Heath Butterfly was seen over the short turf and a faded Wall Brown Butterfly landed on the path leading north-east from the upper car park. Just I was debating the absence of Common Blues, a large fresh male opened its wings in the meadow north of the upper car park. But it was the only one seen as the sun went behind the many clouds.

Common BlueIt was never my intention to go to the lower slopes but just to have a quick peek at the condition of the flora, and not expecting many butterflies in the late-June lean period. Small Heaths(15+) were frequently as well as fresh blue male Adonis Blues (12+) and many tattered males and one worn female."A disappointing number of butterflies," commented Colin Knight. And then: "there is a Clouded Yellow, it has landed right in front of you!" By then I had put camera in the bag and I was heading for home. Colin spotted it first so it his prerogative to try and get first shot as I left him chasing the immigrant butterfly up the very steep bank. It was my first Clouded Yellow I had seen for several years. Some (at least 3) of the blue butterflies on the lower slopes were male Common Blues. At least one Treble-bar Moth was seen over the lower slopes.
On the way to the Mill Hill by footpath 3138 (which was blocked by branches) there were two Speckled Woods sparring over the Waterworks Road and a Green-veined White over Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.
Seven species of butterfly

23 June 2013
An orange butterfly was buffeted by the breeze, blown 20 metres one way and then the other so much I just got a single close enough glimpse and it looked as though the only species it could be was an immigrant Painted Lady. This butterfly, seen over the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath (just north north of the A27 Flyover) was the first one I have seen for several years. The only other butterfly seen on an unsuitable day for butterflies was a Large White.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
17 June 2013
Buffeted by a north-easterly Force 5, I felt I was nearly blown off the top of the Mill Hill after a struggle to cycle up. The top part of hill hosted many less butterflies than the current numbers on the lower slopes, notably five male Adonis Blues near the Reservoir,  followed by a few Small Heaths, one Green-veined White, two Large Whites, a handful of Dingy Skippers, four Wall Browns and about ten newly emergent Common Blues including at least one female. These bright blue males may be the advanced guard before the imminent main emergence. One of the Wall Browns had large chunks missing from its wings. It visited Meadow Buttercups and Bird's Foot Trefoil

Small Whites were seen in Shoreham.

Eight species

Common Blue 
16 June 2013
A sudden spell of sunshine in the late afternoon was unexpected after the morning rain.
With it came the butterflies, the first a Speckled Wood in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square (that posed for a photograph) followed by more than one Large White over Buckingham Park.

Small Blues
Common Blue 
Speckled Wood
Small Blue
Common Blue 
Holly Blue

Just before I entered the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting, I noted in the time it came to count them 15 Small Blue Butterflies roosting on grasses next to the Stinging Nettles and Brambles on the south side of the footpath approaching from the west. These tiny butterflies were fluttering all over the embankment and in excess of a hundred in a garden plot patch of about eight square metres. These were first I had seen this year. Also a first of the year was a female Common Blue perched on tall flower blowing in the breeze. This was followed by a male Common Blue and altogether I saw two of each gender. The only other butterfly around in my brief stay was a Red Admiral that landed on the path to be seen clearly. On the way home two Small Whites fluttered over Middle Road allotments and lastly a Holly Blue visited the Meadow Buttercups in my front garden.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Seven species of butterfly; only one species was seen two days earlier

14 June 2013
A sudden spell of sunshine after midday was unexpected after the recent poor weather.
My first definite Wall Brown Butterfly of the year was seen on the Pixie Path 3138 to Mill Hill. It was the first of three in the same area, two which ended up courting. I had already noted a few Holly Blues and as I fought my through the overgrown entrance to the footpath. One Wall Brown was pale as shown in the picture and this one was courting with a brightly coloured fresher looking butterfly. The third one was not so bright and showed signs of damage.

Adonis Blue 
Wall Brown

On the steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill from the southern end, the first male Adonis Blues were already easily seen their bright blue clear amongst the remaining Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. A Dingy Skipper was seen immediately I stepped on to the slopes, the first of only about ten in an hour. The 1.2 acre transect count of Adonis Blues added up to 113 (including 17 females). Female Adonis Blues received the attention of amorous males, and a mating pair was observed in flight. Other females crawled amongst the Horseshoe Vetch to lay their eggs. Other butterflies around in the sunshine included frequent (20+) Small Heaths, a bright yellow Brimstone, a definite Green-Veined White, as well as few Treble-bar Moths. On the top of the hill south of the Reservoir a Silver Y Moth fluttered amongst the tall herbs which was rather like a rough pasture than a meadow.
Seven species of butterfly

5 June 2013
With scarcely a cloud in the clear blue sky, the damsels and demoiselles were seen on the outskirts of Shoreham. Just three were seen of two different species most spectacularly a male Beautiful Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, on the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath just north of the Flyover, and two Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. As expected on a fine day, butterflies were to be seen fluttering in the he breeze, notable occasional Speckled Woods, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Large Whites and Holly Blues with one male Adonis Blue (on the southern upper part of Mill Hill). This was all in under an hour.

3 June 2013
Although not as luxuriant as the best years, the expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was flowering at its peak on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, (north of Old Shoreham). The yellow patches could be seen from a distance across the the other side of the wide valley. In the intermittent sunshine under the fluffy Cumulus clouds, butterflies fluttered amongst the yellow flowers, notably the male Adonis Blues in their first of two broods. In the UK. this medium-sized butterfly is only found on the chalk hills in the south-east of England. I counted 79 in the 1.2 acre transect on Mill Hill in half an hour, all the bright blue males apart from three of the chocolate brown females. One mating pair was spotted in less than ideal weather. Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve is nationally renowned for its blue butterflies which comes alive with the flutterings in the warmer months with at least 24 different species to be seen during the year.

Adonis Blue 
Adonis Blue
On this early June day, the Dingy Skippers were frequently seen in the short chalkhill vegetation on the infertile Rabbit cropped steeper slopes. There were also the Large Whites, the large bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly and the inconspicuous Grizzled Skipper. The tiny flash of orange was the Small Heath Butterfly.
There were many more butterflies outside of the transect area including the female Adonis Blue (photographed above) as well as a Treble-bar Moth.

There were no Small Blues to be seen on Buckingham Cutting (verge of the A27 Cutting) but there was a Green-veined White and a Speckled Wood. At least one Holly Blue Butterfly flew around the hedges in Shoreham town.

Eight species

Dingy Skipper

31 May 2013
The first local Small Blue Butterfly of the year was spotted and photographed on the north side of the A27 near Shoreham.
Given the success of my visit to the chalk cuttings on the A27 between Brighton and Lewes, I decided to walk along the same road to reach the chalk cuttings to the east of Mill Hill. I have to say that more than once did I question my sanity for doing so because the traffic was racing past, very dangerously. However, I wore my yellow high vis jacket and checked out each of the three cuttings in turn. In all cases no chalk downland butterflies were seen at any height above road level. The nearest one to the Mill Hill entrance (TQ 21309 06603) yielded a Dingy Skipper, a Common Blue and a Small Blue. All were very hard to see because of the turbulence made by the traffic and the noise was deafening to. Where possible I avoided being too close to the road's edge and at the next location (TQ 21491 06627) I watched a female Brimstone flitter around a piece of scrub, in a mess of bramble. It was only when I got up close that I realised that it was some Buckthorn that was attracting her attention and I was delighted to watch her litter the shrub with eggs. I also saw a Green-veined White and two Peacocks here.
The next chalk cutting (TQ 21971 06637) gave up a couple of Small Blues, two Common Blues and a Brown Argus (hovering around the tiniest clump of Geranium). The final cutting (TQ 22438 06608) volunteered a single Common Blue. I have to say that I was very surprised that so few butterflies where seen (beyond the ubiquitous Small Whites and Large Whites). The banks were densely covered with Horseshoe Vetch but not a single Adonis Blue was seen. Having said that no Kidney Vetch was observed but the sites still yielded Small Blues? The banks didn't have much else on them apart from the Horseshoe Vetch and Cotoneaster bushes. So if you want to see what bounty chalk cuttings can give, go to the one west of the Jet garage on the A27 between Brighton & Lewes. There are some good butterflies there and more to the point the site is separated from the road by a pavement, making it infinitely more safe than the sites I described above. I would not recommend anybody else repeating the exercise I undertook.

Report & Photograph by Dan Danahar on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

27 May 2013
With the sun came the butterflies. On the approaches to Mill Hill there were frequent Holly Blues and occasional Speckled Woods and a few Small Whites. I also spotted my first of the small blue damselflies on the Pixie Path but I was disturbed and I could not identify it to species. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were  covered in a 50% flowering of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, but it was still a minute before the first of about 20 Small Heaths showed. This butterfly does not open its wings (visible to the human eye) but settled with wings closed aligned to the sun. A few pairs were amorous. After two minutes my first male Adonis Blue of the year fluttered energetically around the yellow flowers without settling. It was one of 14 counted. Dingy Skippers were slightly more prevalent than the Adonis Blues but I did not count them.

Small Heath
Adonis Blue
Grizzled Skipper (faded)

Two Grizzled Skippers were spotted and these were both extensively damaged and faded like most of the other few seen this year. In contrast the handful of Brimstone Butterflies were bright and lively. There was also a probable Wall Butterfly but I did not get a close look, so it cannot go down as my first of the year.
Nine butterfly species

26 May 2013
Butterflies around Shoreham and Lancing and the outskirts were Large Whites, Small Whites, Green-veined Whitesand Holly Blues.
I was pleased to see hundreds of the red Yellow Meadow Ants, Lasius flavus, amongst the Common Vetch. These ants can play a useful part in the life cycle of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly. "Like many other Lycaenid larvae, the Chalkhill Blue has a Newcomer's gland on the 7th segment, the secretions from which are highly attractive to ants which then afford the larvae some protection against predators. The larval stage lasts between 9 and 10 weeks."
UK Butterflies: Chalkhill Blue
23 May 2013
Five Green-veined Whites and one male Orange-tip were spotted on the Waterworks Road. Then it started raining (which stopped my visit to Mill Hill).
Green-veined White

22 May 2013
I visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Although the weather was overcast with a cold wind, there were occasional sunny intervals .I saw the first Adonis Blue of the season, but only one around. Others seen were Grizzled Skipper (1), Dingy Skipper (3), Small Heath (5), Green-veined White (3).

Report by Simon Quin on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
19 May 2013
The first Wall Brown of the year was seen on Mill Hill in very overcast & intermittently drizzly weather.
Report by Kelly Westlake on Sussex Butterflies

A Speckled Wood Butterfly visited my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. Large Whites were frequently seen in Shoreham with a courting pair of Speckled Woods and two Holly Blues as I cycled by.

17 May 2013
On an overcast afternoon I visited Mill Hill but virtually all the butterflies on the lower slopes were hiding. I managed to see my first Small Heath Butterfly of 2013, a damaged pale Grizzled Skipper, and I disturbed my first Dingy Skipper and Cinnabar Moth of the year.


The pyralid moths were frequently seen especially Pyrausta nigrata but only one definite of the colourful Pyrausta purpuralis. I also spotted an occasional even tinier Violet Comet Moth,Pancalia leuwenhoekella.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

11 May 2013
A Speckled Wood Butterfly visited my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.

7 May 2013
Green-veined White Butterflies were confirmed for the first time this year sparring with male Orange-tips on the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Speckled Wood6 May 2013
The sunshine brought out the bumblebees and butterflies. Holly Blue Butterflies and Small Whites fluttered over town gardens. On the outskirts of Shoreham I recorded my first Speckled Woods, courting over the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill Road Bridge over the A27). It was not until the first week of May that I noted a handful of the yellow flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, (when this important caterpillar plant would be expected to flower beginning in the middle to late April). The late flowering is likely to be responsible for the dearth of butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I did manage to spot a pair of amorous Grizzled Skippers for the first time this year, as well as more Speckled Woods, the inevitable Peacock Butterflies, one wandering male Orange-tip and a probable Red Admiral.
A few tiny pyralid moths were spotted, one each definitely of Pyrausta nigrata and the colourful Pyrausta purpuralis.
Seven butterfly species
NB: The flowering times of wild plants and shrubs, and the appearance of the first butterflies seems to be three weeks behind an average year.

On the warmest day of the year so far so I headed to Mill Hill to do my butterfly transect in optimistic mood. It started well with a Small Tortoiseshell crossing my path as soon as I started my walk. I recorded several firsts for the year: 1 Green Hairstreak, 4 Grizzled Skippers and 1 Dingy Skipper, plus 3 male Brimstones, several whites, including a Large White, a male Orange-tip, a Red Admiral, 6 Peacocks and 2 Speckled Woods. I spotted a few micro moths: Pyrausta nigrata, a Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria and a tiny Pancalia leuwenhoekella.

Second Report & Images by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards

3 May 2013
Hardly a cloud in blue sky, and the bees and butterflies were out in the weak sunshine. A flutter of a restless Holly Blue was the first butterfly to be seen over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. This was quickly followed by my first definite of the year Large Whites followed by a male Orange-tip. A Peacock Butterfly flew over the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham. A Small White was seen in Shoreham town and the photographs revealed the small whites on the Waterworks Road to be these as well and not Green-veined Whites.
Five definite species
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

1 May 2013
A few firsts of the year were recorded as the sun came out. The first of a few Holly Blue Butterflies were seen over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham followed by a Small Tortoiseshell on Footpath 3138 Pixie Path to Mill Hill. At the top by the bridge over the A27 I spotted my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were covered in scattered clumps of Dog Violets visited by Peacock Butterflies and a patrolling Brimstone Butterfly one Small Tortoiseshell and a single Comma at the northern end. I looked for but could not find a single Horseshoe Vetch flower which means they are late this year. White butterflies were occasionally seen and were too far away to decide if they were Small Whites, Green-veined Whites or Large Whites and possibly all three.
Six to eight butterfly species

Robin Lord reported (and photographed) the first Grizzled Skipper of 2013 on the lower slopes of Mill Hill but I saw no sign of it.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

25 April 2013
I did my butterfly transect at Mill Hill and was surprised that the Dingy Skipper was still not out. It is now a month late compared with last year. There were plenty of Peacocks fighting at the bottom of the hill, plus some Small Tortoiseshells and male and female Brimstones (first of the year) and a Comma.

Report & Images by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
22 April 2013
At least two Comma Butterflies were seen over the Waterworks Road.

21 April 2013
Butterflies were seen in double figures for the first time this year: ten Peacock Butterflies (seven over the lower slopes of Mill Hill and the others amongst the scrub), three Comma Butterflies over the lower slopes, and one Red Admiral under the cover of the copse at the top of the hill, were seen in about an hour. One tiny pyralid moth was spotted, probably Pyrausta despicata.

20 April 2013
A Small White Butterfly flew over Corbyn Crescent in residential Shoreham.

19 April 2013
My first confirmed hoverfly of the year was a Drone Fly, Eristalis, but I have missed a few in the last few days. Over the Curlews (a close in Shoreham near Hamm Road Allotments) I spotted a white butterfly fluttering in the distance and it was almost certainly a Small White Butterfly.

15 April 2013
A second day of weak sunshine and a few insects were buzzing around:  they were recognised as the first Comma Butterflies seen this year over the Waterworks Road. (The footpath was still fenced off). These will be new emergences.

Peacock Butterfly

On the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge another butterfly flew rapidly in the breeze. This settled as well and was discovered to be a Peacock Butterfly which would have come out of winter hibernation. In the afternoon, three Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen over the Middle Road Allotments from the track that runs along the western boundary.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

2 April 2013
A Small Tortoiseshell on Lancing Manor Allotments late this afternoon.

Report by Ray Hamblett on facebook Lancing & Sompting

For just a few minutes I felt he brief and weak warmth of the sun from between the white clouds, as I was battered by a chill north-east breeze (Force 5 gusting to Force 6).
A few spring flowers were noted for the first time. And late in the afternoon I spotted only my second butterfly of the year, a slightly tatty Small Tortoiseshell on Stinging Nettles on the path to the west of Middle Road Allotments, Shoreham.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

18 February 2013
I was surprised to see my first butterfly of the year. A fine Peacock Butterfly rose from the path* amongst the scrub on Mill Hill and away over the Old Man's Beard. (*Path on the continuation north from the lower slopes.)
Mill Hill Report

10 January 2013
We were amazed to see a Painted Lady Butterfly flying north past Shoreham Old Fort while out birding; our first butterfly of 2013.

Report by Peter Gibbs on Sussex Butterfly Reports

1 January 2013
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen in flight in the afternoon sun at the south west corner of the Adur Recreation ground, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Report by Steve Gilbert on Sussex Butterfly Reports

Adur Butterfly 2012 Reports
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Violets

Butterfly & Large Moth List 2011
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

Chalkhill Blue Larval Stages

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):


ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
COMMON 100-500
FREQUENT 10 - 50
RARE = ONLY 1  or

Scarce 4-10 per year
Very Scarce 1-3 per year
Rare   less one than every year
Very Rare   1-3 records in total since 2000

Condition of Butterflies
Fine: good condition
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



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