Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
UK Butterflies: Sightings
Adur Butterfly Species
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
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
Adur Butterfly List 2017
I cycled to Shoreham Harbour (northern canal bank at Southwick & Fishersgate) in the late aftenoon but I failed to see any butterflies.
- 11 November 2016
No doubt the same individuals that both I and Trevor have seen during the passed few days at Southwick but never the less good seeing them surviving at this time of year, although both are now beginning to show their age a bit. The Common Blue sharing some warm sunshine with a hoverfly and the Clouded Yellow just before the 'heavens' opened and we all got drenched in the afternoon.
2 November 2016
chill under the clear blue sky in the morning
but by midday the sun shone on
the steep embankment of Shoreham Harbour opposite
Shoreham Power Station. With the sun came some late butterflies,
at least three male Common Blues,
at least two of them fresh and intact amongst the longer grass and nectaring
on Hawkweed Ox-tongue.
of the photographs indicated there were many more than three.
After five minutes a Clouded Yellow flew past and although I only saw one at a time, I thought there could be at least three of them. Last but not least, a Peacock Butterfly flew rapidly up the steep bank by the steps as I was about to leave. At least I thought it would be the last butterfly (possibly the last of the year?) until another Clouded Yellow fluttered by.
Three butterfly species
Two, possibly three, near pristine male Common Blues seen at Shoreham Harbour in the morning.
A Red Admiral fluttered past the Civic Centre in Shoreham.
Two Red Admirals were seen in Shoreham town, one over Shoreham Railway Station
No butterflies were seen on Mill Hill in the afternoon and scarcely anything wild that moved.
A fabulous visit to Shoreham Harbour today, 10 Clouded Yellows, a Painted Lady, male and female Common Blue, and a Small White
"A very odd garden find in Cross Road Southwick: a Small Copper Butterfly, sadly almost dead."
Report & Photograph by Nick Carpmael
I was already looking for the last butterfly of the year: a Red Admiral was seen over Riverbank by the houseboats around midday in very weak sunshine between the gaps in the clouds. .
No butterflies on Mill Hill and no butterflies anywhere in the afternoon, but it was cloudy and not butterflies weather.
A Small White Butterfly was seen in Shoreham town near Dunelem.
A Red Admiral was seen amongst the dead heads of the Buddleia (one spike of flowers remained) just north of the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham.
A Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen on Brambles on the verge of the Downs Link Cyclepath, south of the Cement Works. A Small White Butterfly visited a Dandelion near Dunelem, Shoreham town.
A white butterfly was seen on the other side of Upper Shoreham Road by Southlands Hospital, north Shoreham.
Sunshine shined weakly in the afternoon. Six Red Admirals led the way with five probable (seen at a distance only) Small Whites on the outskirts of town. I only ventured to the southern steps leading down to the lower slopes on Mill Hill and spotted a good condition female Meadow Brown. No butterflies were seen on the Devil's Bit Scabious, but on my return two Wall Browns squabbled over the two Greater Knapweeds with drooping flowers on the steps. Lastly, I saw a Speckled Wood on the chalky grass patch at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham.
At the time of the Autumn Equinox the subdued colours of autumn were evident with falling leaves exceeding fluttering butterflies of which three Red Admirals blown about on the breeze was the day total from the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham.
Small White Butterflies were seen occasionally with the first of four Clouded Yellows, the first over the top of the hill and the first of a few Common Blue Butterflies seen in the afternoon. Silver Y Moths fluttered amongst the taller vegetation with a few Meadow Browns anda few Small Heath Butterflies. Amongst the scrub there were seven Red Admirals, a Speckled Wood and a dark Comma Butterfly. On the lower slopes two tattered male Adonis Blues chased after two females, one in fine fettle. Meadow Browns were frequently seen with occasional Small Heaths and two more Clouded Yellows. Devil's Bit Scabious wasflowering in a large clump on the west side of winding path below the Holly Tree. This attracted more worn Adonis Blues bringing the total to eleven including five females.
species of butterfly and two macro moths
In the autumn sunshine there were frequent butterflies and they were almost all Small Whites, with some of them Large Whites, with a few Red Admirals, and at Anchor Bottom there was a Small Heath and a couple of Meadow Browns.
Left: Small White Butterfly on Ragwort
In the area of Lancing Ring I saw an amazing 77 Red Admiral, mostly nectaring on Ivy. 57 of them were in the chalk pit. 13 species altogether including a female Brown Hairstreak, 2 Small Copper, 7 Comma, 2 Painted Lady and 2 Humming-bird Hawk-moths. Fantastic warm sunny day. Deep joy!
Blue Text Report by Lindsay Morris on Sussex Butterfly Sightings
There was a very autumnal look to the downs with wild flowers going to seed and the first berries. Large Whites, Small Whites, and definite Green-veined Whites were all identified in five minutes at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham with amorous Speckled Woods. There were no butterflies at all on Mill Hill Cutting (SW) despite the weak sunshine. A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) cruised over the Pixie Path (NW of Frampton's Field) where I recorded a Holly Blue amongst the Ivy and Holly, Ten minutes later, a Red Admiral settled on the chestnut fencing right in front of me.
Butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were appreciably less than at the beginning of the month in overall numbers and with the same variety, with 24 Meadow Browns, 14 Adonis Blues (including four females), an estimated 12 Small Heaths, a few more Large Whites*, two Clouded Yellows, a few Treble Bar Moths, at least one Common Carpet Moth, and occasional faded pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata, on the incomplete (75%) transect walk. On the middle slopes and top I counted a dozen Common Blues, more Meadow Browns, more Large Whites, four more Clouded Yellows, two more Red Admirals, a few Silver Y Moths, and a Common Darter (dragonfly).
(* PS some of these could have been female Small Whites?)
Eleven butterfly species, three macro moths and two dragonflies
Large Whites, Small Whites, and definite Green-veined Whites were all seen for sure on the towpath by the houseboats in the morning.
A few Meadow Browns were seen at Anchor Bottom before rain curtailed my visit.
1 September 2016
A Red Admiral Butterfly flew over the St. Mary de Haura church yard in the centre of Shoreham. (This was another species not seen four days ago.)
29 August 2016
On a cloudy overcast day scores of white butterflies were seen in flight, mostly Large Whites and Small Whites, but I saw at least two definite Green-veined Whites (not positively seen three days before). Most were seen over Adur Recreation Ground where a Southern Hawker (dragonfly) cruised by. A male Common Blue was seen at the entrance to the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. PS: On examining the photographs there were butterflies that I identified as Large Whites in the field that turned out to be Green-veined Whites (so I expect they were overlooked three days ago).
A brief lunchtime visit to Mill Hill - sightings included at least 3 Clouded Yellow, many Adonis & many Small Heath plus the star of the show for me - my first (and maybe only!) Silver-spotted Skipper of the year.
I made a morning visit to Mill Hill to avoid the humid warmth of the midday sun. Specked Woods sparred in the shade at the top of Chanctonbury Drive on the way. The first Meadow Browns were seen on the top of Mill Hill near the covered Reservoir, where a Painted Lady visited one of the minority Greater Knapweed remaining in flower. The sun was behind a cloud for most of the one acre transect count and the butterflies appeared immediately but were lacking in variety and numbers at first. An old and tattered male Chalkhill Blue visited a Carline Thistle flower, the first butterfly on the lower slopes and only the first of two males. This followed quickly by the first of 104 fresh male Adonis Blues in the lower slopes transect area, with about the same or even more Meadow Browns, frequent 25+ Small Heaths, and frequently seen both Large Whites and Small Whites, eight Common Blues (including two females), definitely two strong flying Clouded Yellows, one Brimstone Butterfly and frequent bright fresh and faded pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and at least one Pyrausta nigrata. A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) cruised by. Carline Thistle was the usual popular nectar flower, but there did not seem to be as many live plants as usual. The Clouded Yellows fluttered rapidly from one Basilflower to another and made a visit to a Dwarf Thistle for at least three seconds. As I sat down on the bank after finishing my one acre transect count my first female Adonis Blue (probable ID) landed next to me.
on Mill Hill
Meadow Brown, Clouded Yellow, Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow
Despite the warmth, I decided to ascend the steep slopes which were now covered in more fluttering Adonis Blues in the sunshine, at least another two dozen. There were three more fresh Chalkhill Blues one which visited a brown female but it did not stay long enough to be sure it was the same species. Common Blues increased in frequency near the top of the steeper slopes. I clambered up the steeper slopes at its lowest climb and then it opens up into ridged middle slopes of largely grasses and Ragwort which I was relatively unfamiliar with this area. Three more Clouded Yellows were seen simultaneously including two sparring in the sunshine. There were frequent Large Whites and Small White Butterflies, at least another ten Small Heaths, frequent Meadow Browns, a probable Holly Blue, two Treble-bar Moths, and more micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. The top of the hill added many more of the butterflies already mentioned as well a Common Carpet Moth and a Silver Y Moth.
Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Clouded Yellow, Small Heath
Chalkhill Blue, Green-veined White, Adonis Blue, Clouded Yellow
Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Speckled Wood
the late afternoon I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell
in Old Shoreham by the river.
Thirteen species of butterfly identified plus one probable another one. Three macro moths.
Mill Hill Report
Ring. I was extremely thrilled to be in the
lovely sunshine looking at a female Brown
Hairstreak climbing down a Blackthorn
whip and later posing higher in the hedge. A first for me at this sight,
hence the excitement!
Also-rans included a Clouded Yellow, 3 Wall and 10 Holly Blue.
Occasional Speckled Woods, Holly Blues and Large Whites in Shoreham in the sunshine.
22 August 2016
Hill Cutting (SW)
Common Blue & Chalkhill Blue (? ID)
On a breezy warm day I cycled straight to Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where there were occasional butterflies fluttering around: three male Common Blues, three male, three male Chalkhill Blues, and a brown female of undetermined identity, illustrated above. On the Pixie Path I noted occasional Large White Butterflies and one Meadow Brown.
My Mill Hill transect provided some pleasant surprises: Adonis Blue 27, Chalkhill Blue 5, Clouded Yellow 2, Common Blue 8, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown 73, Small Heath 16, Whites 3, moths: Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella), Silver Y, Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Treble-bar (Aplocera plagiata), Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata). The Clouded Yellows had a brief battle at one point.
On a cloudy day the butterflies on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath from the Erringham Gap to Old Shoreham only fluttered around when disturbed, with a few Large Whites, two definite Green-veined Whites, a Painted Lady and a Meadow Brown.
Large Whites were everywhere on Lancing Beach. A Holly Blue and the Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata, were seen in a south Lancing garden and a Red Admiral in Shoreham.
Around the hedge bordering the twitten between Gordon Avenue and Rosslyn Avenue I spotted a Holly Blue. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive there was at least one Speckled Wood.
Painted Lady, Chalkhill Blue Common Blue (might be a Chalkhill?)
Brown Butterfly danced around the southern
steps to the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Then I chased my first Clouded Yellow Butterfly
of 2016 up the
steeper slopes of Mill Hill amongst nearly
two hundred butterflies
including my first Brown Argus
of the year on the lower slopes on a sunny afternoon. The lower slopes
hosted very frequent Meadow Browns,
about fifty (partially transect counted to
five females), six Common
five Adonis Blues,
about ten Small Heath Butterflies,
and a selection of large and small moths.
The middle and upper part of Mill Hill hosted frequent Common
and Meadow Browns
everywhere with a few Large Whites.
On the Hemp Agrimony
there was also at least one Peacock,
three Painted Ladies
and occasional Small Tortoiseshells. I
spotted a few small white butterflies,
but I could not confirm their identity.
Moths:Treble-bar, Common Carpet Moths, Silver Y, plus pyralid micro-moths were seen including frequent bright fresh Pyrausta purpuralis and occasional Pyrausta despicata.
Fifteen species of butterfly identified plus one probable another one. Three macro moths.
11 August 2016
A large brown dragonfly patrolled the large pond at Wood's Mill, Small Dole, and I think this is most likely to be a Hairy Dragonfly which appeared double the size of a Common Darter seen at the same time. In the shaded wooded area, a faded Silver-washed Fritillary and a dark Speckled Wood Butterfly settled briefly.
A steep trek up to Lancing Ring meadows was disappointing with Melilot and Dogwood dominating the overgrown meadows and the Hemp Agrimony not even hosting any vanessid butterflies. A Red Admiral was spotted In Lancing on the way up the hill. The first of three Wall Brown Butterflies landed on the path in front of me, followed by occasional dark Speckled Woods in the shade, frequent Meadow Browns, one Large White Butterfly, one Small White Butterfly, surprisingly few Gatekeepers and that was the lot. I did walk amongst the long grass and managed to disturb a Silver Y Moth in McIntyres Field but nothing apart from a few Meadow Grasshopper nymphs in the main meadows. There were a variety of bumblebees and Honey Bees on the Hemp Agrimony.
The day started out promising but in the end was slightly disappointing.
the way to Mill Hill: Comma,
Blue (3), Speckled
Wood (5), Small
White, Large Whites, Red Admiral. Common
The southern steps of Mill Hill hosted about a score of a tiny micro-moths Yellow-spot Twist, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana.
Mill Hill lower slopes: Meadow Browns (74), Chalkhill Blue (17), Gatekeepers (FQ), Adonis Blue, Common Blue, a few Green-veined Whites and at least one 6-spotted Burnet Moths and two Treble-Bar Moths. The pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta purpuralis was conspicuous and the handful seen probably many less than were present. Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were spotted copulating.
Mill Hill middle slopes: the Marjoram and Hemp Agrimony proved attractive to over dozen each of Red Admirals, Meadow Browns, Peacocks,one Small Tortoiseshell, three Painted Ladies, occasional Gatekeepers. The shadier areas host at least two Speckled Woods. Two female brown-coloured blue butterflieswere seen on a patch of Horseshoe Vetch.
Mill Hill top of the hill: the copse at the top hosted Speckled Woods, otherwise frequent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, a Common Blue, at least one Brimstone (nearly missed and mistaken for Large White as it was very pale.).
Sixteen butterfly species (most in day this year) and two large moths
Plumed Fanfoot, a rare immigrant/resident
Migrant Lepidoptera (GB & Ireland) facebook
The appearance match is much better for the first named rarer (in England) species.
5 August 2016
Gatekeeper, Dingy Footman, Small Tortoiseshell, Chalkhill Blue
Painted Lady, Pyrausta despicata, Peacock
Wall Brown, Pyrausta purpuralis, Green-veined White, Adonis Blue
so lucky on Mill as two
days ago. Just
11 species on the downs with only 30 male
Blues, over fifty Meadow
Browns, Wall Brown (4), Peacocks,
Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted
Lady, Adonis Blue, Green-veined
Whites, Gatekeepers, Large
Whites and a Common
Mill Hill Report (with moths)
Eleven butterfly species
A Small White Butterfly was being blown about in by my Garden Privet in my Shoreham front garden. It was worth a mention as this butterfly was not seen the day before. Still windy.
At least it was not raining, although overcast with the breeze turning into a steady Gale Force 7 (gusting to Force 8) in the afternoon, it was just the type of day not to record. A flash of colour under the overcast sky was a large Painted Lady (only my second this year) that fluttered around over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, so I decided to make a note of the butterflies even if the wind made photography difficult. Meadow Browns were very frequently seen, their numbers well in excess of 28 male Chalkhill Blues, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Large Whites, probable Green-veined Whites, three Wall Browns, occasional Red Admirals and Small Heaths, at least one Peacock Butterfly, and occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths all on the lower slopes. The flash of blue was the first of the second brood male Adonis Blue (which seemed very early: 11 days earlier than 2015). A few pyralid micro-moths were seen including a very bright fresh Pyrausta purpuralis and a few fresh looking Pyrausta despicata. At least one Robber Fly, Machimus atricapillus, landed on the southern steps in front of me.
the Pixie Path there was a Small
Skipper to add to the list and a Yellow
Shell Moth which hid in a Wayfaring
On Mill Hill Cutting (south) nine Chalkhill Blues were in active flight, and one female was spotted crawling over the Cotoneaster and Horseshoe Vetch leaves. Three male Common Blues danced in the breeze.
PS: After examining the photographs at home, I discovered my first ever Silver-spotted Skipper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the corner of an image, not seen at the time.
Thirteen butterfly species (most in day this year) and two large moths
1 August 2016
The small wasp on the right is the predatory species Cerceris rybyensis.
Too cool for butterflies to be active, they were commonly disturbed but only 14 male Chalkhill Blues, and an estimated 40 each of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, two Wall Browns, two Peacocks, one Small White, one Marbled White all on the lower slopes restricted transect. A Small Skipper fluttered amongst the Greater Knapweed on the southern part of Mill Hill. The 6-spotted Burnet Moths did not fly at all but could be found easily on purpleflowers, especially the plentiful Dwarf Thistle. A Treble-bar Moth was disturbed, easily seen because of its pale colour. A few pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta nigrata were seen and a few Panorpa flies. The visit to Mill Hill was curtailed after less than an hour because of light rain.
Eight butterfly species and two large moths
I made a cursory and extremely brief 20 minute visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill in case there was an explosion of butterflies (last seen in 2003): there wasn't. In a half acre transect Meadow Browns were very frequent (50+) with an estimated thirty Chalkhill Blues. Two female Chalkhill Blues were noted. Ten species of butterfly were seen including frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Large Whites at least one each of Green-veined White, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Heath, Speckled Wood (on the southern steps) and occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths.
Ten butterfly species and one large moth
On a cloudy and breezy afternoon inimical for butterflies I cycled to the Mill Hill Cutting (south) via the Pixie Path (from the west). On the small chalk bank I observed one Peacock Butterfly that settled for an instant, a Large White and eight male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies in almost constant flight. On the Pixie Path (northern section ) I added one Red Admiral, occasional Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers, one Small Skipper, one male Chalkhill Blue, and one male Common Blue. A Shaded Broad-bar Moth, Scotopteryx chenopodiata, was also spotted on the path.
by the blues
I made a brief (30 minutes) casual visit to Mill
in my first Wall Brown Butterfly
of the year immediately as I stepped on the southern steps to the lower
slopes where I spotted my first female Chalkhill
Blue Butterfly of 2016.
Male Chalkhill Blues
were frequently seen. Other butterflies on the
lower slopes were frequent Meadow Browns,
one Small Tortoiseshell,
and 6-spotted Burnet Moths and
a few pyralid
At the top I was buffeted around by the breeze to distraction and soon headed home. I did spot a male Chalkhill Blue on the top though.
Ten butterfly species and one large moth
It is not always best to visit Mill Hill in the mornings, but the doubts I had over the identification of Peacock Butterflies over the lower slopes five days ago were put to bed as two were positively sighted on Ragwort on the southern end of the lower slopes. Peacock Butterflies were frequently seen (15+) later on plentiful flowering Marjoram and Hemp Agrimony on the middle slopes.
the cloudy breezy day, butterflieswere
all over Mill Hill, with frequent Meadow
Browns on the lower slopes but Gatekeepers
(as befitting their name) were more prevalent and frequently seen on the
upper semi-scrub parts of the hill, but the meagre total of nine male Chalkhill
Blues were only found on the lower slopes.
Occasional Red Admirals
(8+) were no longer the dominant vanessid.
Three Small Skippers
were quickly spotted as I parked my bicycle amongst the meadows of Greater
Knapweed south of the reservoir. Other butterflies
of few numbers each fluttered over the lower and upper Mill Hill and these
were the whites
with Marbled Whites, Green-veined Whites
and Small Whites
all positively identified. Frequent 6-spotted
Burnet Moths whirred around. A Dusky
Sallow Moth, Eremobia
ochroleuca, rested on a Greater
Knapweed flower . A Common
Carpet Moth was disturbed amongst the
At the start of the day, Large White Butterflies were seen over Ham Road Allotments.
Nine butterfly species and three large moths
Mill Hill Report
A male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly was seen amongst the long grass in the north-east corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.
Thistle Ermine Moth, Dwarf Thistle with Pyrausta purpuralis, Chalkhill Blue
and a bit of an afternoon breeze was welcome after the two day heat wave.
the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the male
Blue Butterflies (36) were numerous and
settled enough for a photograph. They were joined in lesser numbers by
Admirals and Meadow
Whites, unidentified whites,
two possible Peacock Butterflies,
and Silver Y,
Shell and 6-spotted
Burnet Moths. There were also two
possible Peacock Butterflies over
Mill Hill. There was at least one micro-moth
Thistle Ermine, Myelois
circumvoluta, and a few pyralid
Moth caterpillars were frequently seen
munching on Ragwort
which was more prevalent than in any previous years.
At least six (possibly nine) butterfly species and three large moths
A probable (brief look only) Peacock Butterfly flew off my Garden Privet hedge as I opened the gate in the sunshine. At the top of Buclingham Park there were two Speckled Woods, and on Buckingham Cutting (south) there were two more in the shade and on the open verge there were a few Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers, and at least one Small/Essex Skipper and at least one Red Admiraland at least one6-spotted Burnet Moth.Large Whitesand Small Whites were everywhere in the sunshine. The first impressive Volucella zonaria hoverfly of the year was seen on Buckingham Cutting (south).
Eight butterfly species and one large moth
A Ringlet Butterfly was photographed on Mill Hill.
19 July 2016
Lucky a breeze (Force 4) was blowing as it was very warm > 26.8° C. A round trip to Annington Sewer via the Coombes and back along the Downs Link Cyclepath in the middle of the day to early afternoon. And butterflies were common for the first time this year, led by 50+ Red Admirals, the same number of mixed whites, Large Whites, Green-veined Whites, Small Whites, frequent Small/Essex Skippers, frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Gatekeepers, and a few 6-spotted Burnet Moths.
Seven butterfly species and one large moth
On the first warm day (>25.3° C) of the year, the male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (16) finally emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill when I visited in the middle of the day. They were all flighty and once in flight they rarely stopped. They were noted making visits of less than a second on Bird's Foot Trefoil and longer on a Bramble flower. Other frequent butterflies were Marbled Whites, frequent Meadow Browns, a few Red Admirals, occasional Green-veined Whites, a few Large Whites, occasional Gatekeepers, large moths: Cinnabar Moths, frequent 6-spotted Burnet Moths, a Silver Y Moth, aYellow Shell Moth,pyralid micro-mothsPyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis, and Cinnabar Moth caterpillars
In Shoreham town there were scores more Large Whites and at least one Holly Blue seen.
Eight butterfly species and four large moth species
On a very sticky humid day, I cycled on my Pashley to the Sunday morning car boot sale in Miller's Field, (north of Old Shoreham), and by road along to Erringham Gap and back along the Downs Link Cyclepath to Shoreham. A passage journey recorded Marbled Whites, Green-veined Whites, Large Whites, Small Whites, Red Admirals, Meadow Browns, Small Skippers and 6-spotted Burnet Moths.
Six butterfly species and one large moth
To the west of Applesham Farm North Lancing there is a line of Elms by the footpath - some dying, some dead, but quite a few healthy. In the canopy I was excited to see a handful of White-letter Hairstreaks. It was a case of third year lucky for me at this site, as I have had no definite sightings before.
sun appeared from behind the white clouds in a blue sky,
but, alas, there still was no sign of the Chalkhill
Blues around the middle of the day on Mill
Hill. Butterflies were about, frequent
Marbled Whites, frequent Meadow
Browns, a dozen Red
Admirals, occasional Green-veined
Whites, a few Large
Whites, two Small
(or Essex) Skippers, two Gatekeepers,
one Small Heath Butterfly,
a Silver Y Moth,
a Cinnabar Moth
and occasional pyralid
Pyrausta purpuralis. A Cinnabar
Moth caterpillar was seen on the leaves
of a Ragwort plant.
A few Robber Flies, Machimus
atricapillus, were seen, and plenty of
and other organisms.
Eight butterfly species and two macro moths
After ten minutes on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, rain interrupted play and I left before the hour was up, not before I had seen 35+ Marbled Whites, 20+ Meadow Browns, a few Small Heaths, my first three Gatekeepers of the year, at least two Large Whites and one vanessid thought to be a Red Admiral. About ten of the Marbled Whites and two of the Gatekeepers were at the top part of Mill Hill in the thicker vegetation by the underground Reservoir.
Six butterfly species
12 July 2016
Meadow Brown, Green-veined White, 6-spotted Burnet Moth
Marbled White, Small Skipper
of small grasshoppers were easily disturbed
in the verges of the Steyning Line Cyclepath
(from Old Shoreham to just north of the Erringham Gap). A score or more
White Butterflies (confirmed by photographs)
were disturbed and were fluttering about but the other butterflies
were reluctant to take flight. A variety were seen and they were one Small
Skipper, occasional Meadow
Browns, a few Ringlets,
at least two Red Admirals
and a Marbled White.
Two of the first 6-spotted Burnet Moths
of the year were spotted, the first settled on a Pyramidal
Orchid. The second one on Tufted
Vetch was only discovered in a photograph.
Early in the afternoon I detoured to Buckingham
Cutting (south) and added another Meadow
Brown, two or three Marbled
Whites, one Red
Admiral, one Small
at least one slow flying Ringlet.
Later in Shoreham (in the twitten between Adelaide Square and Corbyn Crescent)
a Small Tortoiseshell landed
briefly in front of me.
Seven butterfly species and one large moth
Blown about in the Moderate Breeze (Force 4), with gusts, three Comma Butterflies showed, at least two by the Waterworks Road and another over the Footpath 3140 to The Street, followed by a Large White. Two Meadow Browns were blown into view between Old Shoreham and Ropetackle on the verges of the tarmac path.
Three butterfly species
6 July 2016
The afternoon sunshine persuaded a few butterfliesinto flight: the first of a handful of Large Whites and a Red Admiral in the residential part of Shoreham. The first of frequent Marbled Whites was seen in Mill Hill Road, south of the bridge. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were visited for the first time for a month. The one acre transect butterfly count recorded 23 Marbled Whites, 5 Small Heaths, 3 Meadow Browns, at least one Small Skipper, two Large Whites, one probable male Common Blue, one Cinnabar Moth and a few Silver Y Moths. The small pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen. Passage through the scrub and over the middle slopes recorded just one more Marbled White, but the top part of the hill added two Small Tortoiseshells, a Large White, a Small White, ten more Marbled Whites and seven more Meadow Browns. Late in the afternoon I detoured to Buckingham Cutting (south) and added another Meadow Brown, another Marbled White and a slow flying Ringlet.
Ten butterfly species (the most so far this year) and two Large Moths
5 July 2016
least a day without rain and even in the very late afternoon there was
as brief spell of sunshine and the breeze had died down. The
meadow-like verges of the Steyning Line Cyclepath
had grown higher than normal. The late sunshine
cast long shadows but brought the butterflies
out: one fresh Comma*,
four Red Admirals,
and few Large Whites,
my first handful of Small Skippers
of the year, at least two Marbled Whites,
occasional Meadow Browns, about
ten Ringlets and
occasional Silver Y Moths.
Seven butterfly species and one macro moth
Still cloudy and overcast and too breezy for the open downs, I made a detour to Buckingham Cutting (south) where I stayed long enough for a few butterflies to be disturbed. The first a lively Meadow Brown of several males only, followed by a languid flight of the first of a handful of Ringlets of both genders, followed by the lively flight of about the same number Marbled Whites and lastly two Small Blues.
Meadow Brown, Marbled White
Small Blue, Ringlet
Finally some butterflies and moths are appearing on Lancing Ring. Photographs showed Marbled Whites,Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, (Narrow-bordered?) 5-spotted Burnet Moth.
An unplanned trip to Lancing Ring on an overcast and breezy day was a bit of a struggle up on very muddy paths after the recent rain, some of which collected in the dewpond. By the dewpond I spotted a Meadow Brown followed by a Ringlet Butterfly, and later a Red Admiral over the eastern car park.
A Speckled Wood flew at the top of Buckingham Park.
24 June 2016
impromptu to Mill Hill was rewarded by
the first Marbled White Butterflies
of the year. I disturbed over 25 but rarely would they settle in view for
more than a few seconds. The colourful Cinnabar
Moths were even quicker to hide and were
only out in the open for a second or two. The intermittently cloudy day
meant that most butterflies
were in hiding, although I managed to spot frequent (12+) Meadow
Browns, at least half a dozen tattered
were so tattered they could have been Common
Blues, and they visited Bird's Foot Trefoil),
a handful of Small Heath Butterflies,
frequent (15+) Silver Y Moths,
a few smaller moths,
two sightings of a Red Admiral (it
may have been the same butterfly?) and one Small
Tortoiseshell all over the lower slopes
on a humid afternoon. Of considerable interest was a colony of Yellow
Meadow Ants, Lasius
The small brown moth (illustrated above) has been identified as Pyrausta despicata. A smaller pyralid moth Pyrausta purpuralis was also seen.
Yellow Meadow Ants can hide the caterpillars of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly protecting them from predation.
The brown butterfly on the right was thought most likely to be a Common Blue, but it crawled amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch suggesting it was an Adonis Blue.
Mill Hill Report
Between the thunderstorms, an immigrant Silver Y Moth, Autographa gamma, landed in front of me in my garden amongst the Buttercup leaves.
Still cloudy and wet from the over night rain, but still worth a detour to the Slonk Hill Cutting (south bank) where the languid fluttering of my first Ringlet Butterfly of the year was soon followed by a more energetic first and fresh male Meadow Brown.
A flash of blue was identified as a Holly Blue Butterfly. This butterfly was followed until it settled.
Slonk Hill & Buckingham Cutting (south)
The caterpillar is one of the Burnet Moths. The tiny butterfly (not illustrated) was a Small Blue.
More butterflies appeared in the sunshine, a Peacock Butterfly on the Car Boot Sale pasture north of the Flyover (south of Old Erringham). a few Common Blues at the Old Shoreham end (south of the Flyover) of the Steyning Line Cyclepath, where my first possible* (but unlikely) Small Skipper of the year appeared as an orange flash and was gone, and a fleeting but definite view of my first Wall Brown of the year, with Large Whites and Small Whites and other unidentified brownish butterflies blown about too rapidly on the breeze. A Speckled Wood was also spotted in flight.
*NB: The Small Skipper is too early? It might have been a Small Heath? (not previously seen in Old Shoreham though.)
Seven butterfly species
On breezy humid afternoon, I spotted my first Painted Lady Butterfly on Shoreham Beach 20 metres west of the carnot wall of ShorehamFort. This immigrant butterfly was very restless and settled for a second at most.
an afterthought I looked out the meadow-like road verge at Buckingham
Cutting (south) where after a little bit of exploring my eyes keyed
into my first Small Blue Butterflies
of the year.
Small White Butterflies were frequent amongst the flowering Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach with an occasional Large White, and later when the sun came out I spotted at least one male Common Blue Butterfly on Cocksfoot.
missing a few days with rain and thunderstorms, it was still cloudy and
breezy along the Steyning
Line Cyclepath on the same latitude as Old Erringham where my
first Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata,
of the year landed on an Ox-eye Daisy.
was blown about in the breeze.
On Sunday my Mill Hill transect produced Adonis Blue 14 (females 3, males 11), Brimstone, Common Blue 3, Dingy Skipper 2, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood, moths: Yellow Shell, Camptogramma bilineata 3, Grass Rivulet (Perizoma albulata) 2, Silver Y, Autographa gamma, and Hook-streak Grass-veneer, Crambus lathoniellus.
A good condition Speckled Wood was seen over Buckingham Park on a cloudy day.
day on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill was too cool for butterflies to
be in active flight. I disturbed a Red
Admiral by the Stinging Nettles on the
partially cleared slopes on the southern part, a Speckled
Wood on the southern steps, spotted a
Butterfly amongst the decent covering
of Horseshoe Vetch,Hippocrepis
comosa, on the lower slopes, followed
by a handful of Small Heath Butterflies
and best of all eight
including a female. There were no skippers
to be seen. I did not spot any of the smaller moths
which can be common.
Five species of butterfly
A Red Admiral Butterfly and a Small White were seen on a breezy cool afternoon.
the early afternoon on a breezy intermittently
cloudy and sunny
day, a flash of blue on the
southern upper part of Mill Hill was my first male
Blue Butterfly of the year. followed by
a Small Heath Butterfly
and at the top of the southern steps a restless Speckled
of yellow of the Horseshoe Vetch,
comosa, at its peak, covered the lower
slopes of Mill Hill. But there were large patches where this flowering
herb was absent whereas it was abundant a decade ago. I clambered down
during a period of brief sunshine
and for fifteen minutes the slopes were alive with butterflies,
occasional Grizzled Skippers,
frequent Dingy Skippers,
a pair of patrolling Brimstone Butterflies,
a Peacock Butterfly,
frequent Small Heaths,
four more bright blue Common Blues.
I looked carefully to identify the blue butterflies and none were Adonis
Blues, until I found a male decrepit Adonis
Blue that couldn't fly. By
that time the sun had disappeared behind a cloud.
A strong flying
landed nearby and immediately took off again. Tracing my steps over the
lower slopes I managed to spot my first Green Hairstreak of the
year on a Horseshoe Vetch flower.
The flash of crimson was the first of two Cinnabar
Moths I disturbed. There was one pyralid
micro-moth of the species Pyrausta nigrata.
Nine butterfly species
Sunny and breezy in the late afternoon, there were just two butterflies seen at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, a confirmed Green-veined White (visiting Herb Robert) and a Red Admiral.
Late in the afternoon when the rain stopped and the sun came out there was a Small White and a Comma Butterfly at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, and a Large White Butterfly over the Red Lion in Old Shoreham.
10 May 2016
Too cool for butterflies although I did disturb a very fresh Speckled Wood near the upper copse on Mill Hill, and another one on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.
on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the yellow
of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis
comosa, was abundantly in flower,
but nowhere near is best showing. The small orange flutterers were a bit
of a puzzle a first until one settled and then I recognised the first Small
Heath Butterflies (7) of the year. The
afternoon was a bit duller than expected and the one and only Grizzled
Skipper landed on a Dandelion,
followed by eight Dingy Skippers
that did not settle within camera range. At first there was a glimpse of
the sun and five Brimstone Butterflies
flew along the bottom hedge, and a pair of Peacock
Butterflies were courting. Then the clouds
blotted out the sun leaving a Small White
Butterfly, and after the first spots of
rain, a good condition Red Admiral.
of two downs species: Pyrausta nigrata
despicata were noted. An even smaller
simpliciella was photographed on Germander
Seven butterfly species
A Red Admiral Butterfly landed on the towpath at the western end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. Near Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road I spotted (as expected) my second and third Orange Tip Butterflies of the year. There was an orange male butterfly and a white female, and a definite Green-veined Butterfly interfering with their courting over Garlic Mustard in the sunshine on the warmest day of the year. Because the butterflies were out of range and flighty and because of the busy road traffic I was unable to get a decent photograph. So I decided to cycle further north in search to Bramber in search of more butterflies. There were occasional whites of an undetermined species (thought most likely to be Green-veined Whites) on the cycle ride along the Coombes Road to Botolphs and by cyclepath to Bramber. I also spotted my first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year on the outward ride and another one over the Steyning Line Cyclepath on the way back.
Four butterfly species (all different species from the previous report)
my first Speckled Wood Butterfly
of the year in the shade of the linear copse by Buckingham
Cutting (south). On Mill Hill, the
Vetch was now beginning and the flowers were
already common on the lower slopes with equally common Dog
Violets. The violets
visited by at least two Grizzled Skippers
and I also saw my first two Dingy Skippers
of 2016. A few
Butterflies patrolled the bottom hedgerow,
and a Small White
and a handful of Peacock Butterflies,
and frequent Pyrausta
of the three downs species: Pyrausta
nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and
despicata seen very clearly. The even
micro-moths were also spotted on Daisies.
Six butterfly species
A probable Green-veined White Butterfly flew around the Alexanders next to the tarmac cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. My first male Orange-tip Butterfly of the year was a pristine butterfly that made a fleeting visit to Three Cornered Garlic and Green Alkanet at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, where a dark Peacock Butterfly rose from gravel road.
A Green-veined White Butterfly settled on a Garlic Mustard flower south of Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road. A dark Peacock Butterfly rose from the vicinity of clump of White Deadnettle in a field just north of Cuckoo's Corner on a day of a cool wind chill (below 4°C) from the westerly breeze (recorded at Gale Force 7 gusting to Force 8).
Dog Violets were scattered and abundant all over the lower slopes of Mill Hill and were visited by frequent (12+) Peacock Butterflies, but very little else was spotted on the sunny afternoon. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered by the at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill) followed by a worn Red Admiral. On Mill Hill proper there were no butterflies or anything moving on the southern upper part. On the lower slopes a white butterfly fluttered past, too quickly to be identified although it did look like what would have been my first Green-veined White Butterfly of the year. Small moths flitted about. These were the pyralid micro-moths of the species Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata seen very clearly and all three species definitely identified. The first and only Grizzled Skipper landed in front of me. A pair of faded Small Tortoiseshells danced together and another was seen later. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered by. There were hearsay reports of three more Grizzled Skippers, a Dingy Skipper and a Green Hairstreak.
Six species of butterfly (personal tally)
At least two Peacock Butterflies were spotted near Cuckoo's Corner.
A Small White Butterfly fluttered over Eastern Avenue from the adjacent allotments.
Peacock Butterflies danced over the lower
slopes of Mill Hill. They were very easy
to spot gliding down to feed on the abundant
Violets. There were a few Brimstone
Butterflies of both genders, that patrolled
over the lower slopes and two of my first
Tortoiseshells of the year that visited
the Dog Violets.
A Small White Butterfly
fluttered by. Spring seemed to have awakened the early insects, including
Bumblebees also attracted to the violets,
major, were frequently seen. And two Treblebar
Moths and the pyralid
Pyrausta nigrata and
despicata. Small spiders
of the genus Alopecosa
the herb growth. (These spiders could be one
of at least two species.) Not nearly so easy
to spot were the first few Grizzled Skippersof
the year that appeared about 2:15 pm.
They also visited the violets.
Subsequent perusal of the blurry photographs showed one of the Bee-flies had dotted wings indicating the scarce Dotted Bee-fly, Bombylius discolor.
Five species of butterfly
Fluffy white Cumulus clouds sped across a blue sky and the sun shone briefly though the gaps. These brief spells encouraged butterflies to flutter around in search of nectar on an otherwise cool day (> 10.4°C). On the southern top part of Mill Hill, I spotted my first bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly of the year in the distance. On the violet scattered lower slopes pairs (7 in total) of Peacock Butterflies danced over the thorn, and were joined by my first Small White Butterfly of 2016. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill) a damaged Red Admiral made an appearance and again this was a first of the year. It was joined by two further Brimstone Butterflies. A Comma Butterfly appeared on the verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. It was probably the same butterfly seen six days before.
the verges of the Steyning Line (Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding) there was
another Peacock Butterfly
in the afternoon, bringing the day total of this colourful vanessid
to at least nine. Bee-flies
visited the catkins of Pussy Willow,
but mostly high in the canopy.
Five species of butterfly
31 March 2016
The sun shined briefly and my first Comma Butterfly of the year made a fleeting appearance at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, followed by a Peacock Butterfly over Frampton's Field (south-west).
Two sightings today of Brimstone Butterflies, first butterflies of the year for us in our garden in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham.
17 March 2016
Just after midday a Peacock Butterfly briefly landed in front of me on the larger pebbles by Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach. It was my first butterfly of the year. Later in the afternoon I had two further sightings of Peacock Butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill HIll. On all three occasions the butterfly only settled for about second in the feeble sun.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen on the Riverbank (by the houseboats) by Dave Mason (one) and another one in a garden of the Dovecote Estate (near Mill Hill) by Rosalyn Hamblett.
13 March 2016
A Brimstone Butterfly was spotted by Chris Servante in the West Lane, Lancing, cemetery.
29 February 2016
An inclement month drew to a close with a brief spell of weak sunshine with my first bumblebee of the year, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee visited Lesser Celandine on a verge outside the Health Centre in Steyning. It was joined by a male drone Honey Bee.
Butterfly Sightings Summary
Butterfly Flight Times (best site)
Butterfly Conservation: First Sightings
UK Butterflies Discussion Board
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham
NEW ACFOR SYSTEM OF ABUNDANCE OVER A SPECIFIED AREA:
= 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
VERY FREQUENT = 50-100
FREQUENT 10 - 50
RARE = ONLY 1 or
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
MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs
British Lepidoptera on flickr