Adur Valley Wildlife
Butterflies, Larger Moths and other Arthropods 2019
Dragonflies & other 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)

UK Leps Taxonomic Butterfly List

  British Lepidoptera on  flickr


Adur Butterfly List 2020

11 November 2019
A Red Admiral was seen by Widewater.

Report and Photograph by Dawn Jayne Anthony-Unsted
on Adur Valley & Downs facebook
22 October 2019
A Red Admiral fluttered over Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach.

19 October 2019
A Red Admiral fluttered over Shoreham High Street.

10 October 2019
After a week of inclement weather, there was a Red Admiral blown about in the breeze at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham (SE of Mill Hill Road bridge). There were no butterflies seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

1 October 2019

Wall Brown Butterfly

After four days of inclement weather, I was pleased to see a fresh Wall Brown Butterfly over the verges just south of the cyclepath crossroads at Old Shoreham. It made a one second visit to a yellow Bristly Ox-tongue flower, about the only nectar available

20 September 2019

Meadow Brown on Wild Basil

There was a show of about fifty butterflies of eleven species with some, especially the Small Copper and the one tatty and one worn Adonis Blue likely to be the same butterflies seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill four days ago. There were a handful of male Common Blues, two brighter Brown Argus, frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Small Heaths and Small Whites with one fleeting glimpse of a Wall Brown on the lower slopes. A bright Clouded Yellow was seen in the distance. A probable brown female Adonis Blue crawled amongst the undergrowth. A Red Admiral or two were seen on the middle part of Mill Hill and a Speckled Wood in the top copse. On the parched hill there were few nectar plants: Devil's Bit Scabious was a clear favourite but on the middle part Wild Basil and Hoary Ragwort were seen used.
Eleven species of butterfly

17 September 2019

Brown Argus
Shoreham Harbour,  Southwick Canal (north bank)

16 September 2019

Chalkhill Blue,  Large White
Meadow Brown, Small White

Butterflies were frequently disturbed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill under a cloudy sky. Most of them were a the northern end where the Devil's Bit Scabious was in flower.  Variety was favoured over sheer numbers where Large Whites (10+) led the way in frequency and activity. A closer look identified some Small Whites but I am not sure how many. Most of the other butterflies were resting until I disturbed them. A Red Admiral rose from the ground in front of me in the middle section of the lower slopes. Small Heaths and Meadow Browns put in an occasional appearance, despite the lack of any sun shining through the clouds. A faded Brown Argus sparred with a worn male Common Blue. Simultaneously, I caught a glimpse of the small or brightly coloured Small Copper Butterfly and the first of two male Chalkhill Blues in remarkably good condition. I did not see any brown females but a worn male Adonis Blue or two quarrelled with the other blues. A spectacularly bright Clouded Yellow was unmistakable out of camera range. There were about forty butterflies of eleven species on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Small Copper, Small Heath, Brown Argus
Adonis Blue

There was over a dozen nests and scores of Ivy Bees, Colletes hederae, where the soil was exposed on the west facing lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon. Ivy was seen in flower as I returned by the uneventful ridge route in humid conditions.
Eleven species of butterfly

10 September 2019

Green-veined White

The top part of Mill Hill failed to produce anything noteworthy, although I did see the following butterflies: Specked Wood (1), Green-veined White (1), Small Whites (FQ), Large Whites, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral.
Seven species of butterfly

8 September 2019
A completely unplanned cycle ride produced unexpected results when the sun shined briefly. The first inkling was a Painted Lady Butterfly over the crowded Flyover Boot Sale on a field beneath Mill Hill in the late morning. White butterflies were frequently seen.

Brown Hairstreak (TQ 18355 10651)

Castle Lane Park pond at Bramber was initially a hive of notable activity, a patrolling bright blue patterned dragonfly which I assumed was a Southern Hawker, a handful of Common Darters, a distinctive Volucella inanis hoverfly, a Red Admiral and a Comma Butterfly all within the first five minutes. I was surprised by a fast fluttering small orange butterfly which turned out to be a worn and slightly ragged Brown Hairstreak. I did not know what else it could be so it was not unexpected, but it was still a scarce and unusual discovery. This elusive butterfly disappeared after a minute. It was the first one I had seen in the month of September. A Holly Blue Butterfly appeared later.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Six or seven species of butterfly

5 September 2019

Red Admiral

30 August 2019

Common Blue, Buddleia with a visiting Clouded Yellow, Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue on Devil's Bit Scabious, Chalkhill Blue or Adonis Blue
Mill Hill

In the late afternoon the sun came out and I made a hurried visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where I spotted my first two restless Clouded Yellow Butterflies of the year, with frequent Meadow Browns, frequent Small Heaths, frequent Adonis Blues, occasional Chalkhill Blues, occasional Common Blues, a few Small Whites and Large Whites, one faded Painted Lady and occasional moths including brief glimpses of Treble-bar Moths.
There were half a dozen female blue butterflies in a chocolate brown livery crawling amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. I managed a good look at five of them but I was unable to discern whether they were Chalkhill Blue or Adonis Blue from their appearance. One was amorous, flirting with a male Adonis Blue so this is favourite. However, the blue scales were absent on the hindwings which indicates Chalkhill Blue.
An ambush predator, the Kite-tailed Robberfly, Tolmerus atricapillus, waited on a Bramble leaf on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
On a Buddleia near the lower car park on Mill Hill Nature Reserve there were another half a dozen or many more Painted Ladies.
Nine butterfly species

28 August 2019
I got caught in a rain shower on a cloudy breezy Mill Hill. Painted Ladies 7+, Red Admiral 1+, occasional Meadow Browns, a few Small Whites and Large Whites, at least one Speckled Wood on the middle slopes only.
Six butterfly species

22 August 2019

Painted Lady

On a breezy Mill Hill upper and middle north. List: frequent Painted Ladies, Large Whites, Adonis Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Heaths, occasional Small Whites, Brimstones, Common Blues, at least one each of Red Admiral, Chalkhill Blue.
Eleven butterfly species

20 August 2019

Holly Blue
Downs Link Cyclepath, Old Shoreham

17 August 2019
There was a perfect Painted Lady on the vegetated part of Shoreham-by-Sea railway station, north side.

A Small Copper Butterfly was seen on the Mayweed by the cyclepath in Old Shoreham.

Illustrated Report by Rob Finch  flickr
9 August 2019

Adonis Blues
Aberrant on the left

Mill Hill lower slopes and ridge only. List: frequent Chalkhill Blues 50+ (half transect northern), frequent Gatekeepers estimated 30+, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies estimated 35+, frequent Adonis Blues 25+ (including one aberrant), occasional Large Whites, at least one female Brimstone,  occasional Small Heaths, four Speckled Woods (scrub and southern steps), and one Treble-bar Moth. Fresh Breeze steady, blustery (Force 5).
Eight butterfly species and one macro-moth

5 August 2019
After the morning rain the clouds dissipated by the afternoon. Fresh Breeze (Force 5).

Mill Hill List: frequent Chalkhill Blues 35+ (quarter transect northern, a few smaller than normal females, one aberrant), occasional Gatekeepers estimated 16+, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies estimated 50+, about seven Adonis Blues (all damaged males), occasional Common Blues, occasional Large Whites, one male Brimstone, nine Wall Browns, occasional Small Heaths, two Speckled Woods (copse and scrub), occasional Red Admirals, occasional Painted Ladies, one Brown Argus, one Six-spotted Burnet Moth, one Treble-bar Moth and a few pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. A predatory Hornet Robber Fly, Asilus crabroniformis, landed on the middle slopes of Mill Hill.
Thirteen butterfly species and two macro-moths

A Plumed Fanfoot Moth, Pechipogo plumigeralis, was seen in my kitchen and another one inside by my front door.

1 August 2019
On a cloudy afternoon, again I parked my ebike by the Reservoir and chose the short route down by the ridge path to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In the early afternoon and it was warm (20° C) and very humid (75%) but overcast so the butterflies were not overly active. A dozen butterflies were attracted to the Marjoram on the northern part of the lower slopes but the others I nearly had to tread on, or were disturbed by their insect quarrels.

Lower slopes transect (one acre): Chalkhill Blues 94 (93 males, one female the 94th seen), Gatekeepers estimated 75+, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies, 10+ Adonis Blues (mostly fresh, first of the second brood), a handful of Common Blues, a few Large Whites, one Brimstone, two Wall Browns, a few Small Heaths, one Speckled Wood (southern steps), occasional Six-spotted Burnet Moths, one Treble-bar Moth and a few pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. 75% of the butterflies were seen at the northern end of the lower slopes.

Chalkhill Blues

Above the ridge: Chalkhill Blues 13, Gatekeepers estimated 15+, occasional  Meadow Browns, and a few Large Whites.

Ten butterfly species and two macro-moths

29 July 2019
Mill Hill (near the Upper Car Park): very frequent Gatekeepers, frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues, Brimstone Butterflies, Large Whites, Six-spotted Burnet Moths, a few Small Heaths, two Small Skippers, one Wall Brown. Copse: Speckled Wood.

Brimstone Butterflies

The pale female Brimstones actually look white in flight with pale green undersides seen on the rare occasions when they settle or visit flowers. This in contrast to the brighter yellow of the males.

Mill Hill Cutting (SW): a Small White, five Chalkhill Blues and a few Common Blues and a few Meadow Browns. Cirrus cloudy and sunny.
Ten butterfly species and one macro-moth

28 July 2019
On a cloudy afternoon, I parked my ebike by the Reservoir and chose a short route down by the ridge path to the lower slopes of Mill Hill where the grasses and flowers were blown about in the breeze. Wild Basil was attractive to the butterflies with frequent Gatekeepers, 15 good condition male Chalkhill Blues, three pristine Brimstone Butterflies, occasional Large Whites and occasional Six-spotted Burnet Moths.

By the time I reached the lower slopes the breeze had picked up and the weather was decidedly dull and the butterflies were all resting. I managed to disturb 38 male Chalkhill Blues in a third of an acre. All were fresh bar one very worn and tatty specimen. They were also accompanied by five Peacock Butterflies, at least one Small Heath Butterfly, and occasional Meadow Brown Butterflies and Gatekeepers. A fresh male Common Blue Butterfly was noticeable because of its differing quality of blue and smaller size.
Seven butterfly species and one macro-moth

24 July 2019
Downs Link Cyclepath at Old Shoreham just north of the Flyover: a few Large Whites, a bright Comma, a few Gatekeepers. Sunny, warm.

21 July 2019
Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and Botolphs on passage: a few each of  Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Large Whites. Cloudy.

17 July 2019
Buckingham Park on passage: Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 1
Buckingham Cutting South:  Meadow Brown 5+, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeepers 3, Marbled White 1, Ringlet 1. (15 minutes). Cloudy.
Six butterfly species

16 July 2019
It is remarkable that in the middle of July a different set of flowers become dominant on the levels and Mill Hill.

Chalkhill Blue, Peacock
Large Skipper, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper
Mill Hill

WIth the new flowers came the butterflies: frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies, frequent Marbled Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Small Skippers, Large Whites, Red Admirals, Peacocks, on the top and middle slopes of Mill Hill. There were plentiful nectar plants but only the Large Whites had an inkling to visit the Marjoram and Peacocks found on the Buddleia. Six-spotted Burnet Moths were frequently found on purple flowers. Amongst the scrub there were two Speckled Woods, one definite  Ringlet, and a Large Skipper in the clearing where the first Chalkhill Blue flew over. Over the northern part of the lower slopes a second male Chalkhill Blue quickly appeared followed by a few Small Heath Butterflies, and a Brimstone Butterfly. in the late afternoon, more Chalkhill Blues first emerged and after a few seconds flew off rapidly, one chased by a Brown Argus. About ten Chalkhill Blues were all seen at one time. On the return over the middle slopes a further tatty Brown Argus was seen, but under a blue sky the number of butterflies was spasmodic. WIth the prevalent Marjoram, there were not as many as seen in previous years. The ambush predator, the Kite-tailed Robberfly, Tolmerus atricapillus, waited on a Bramble leaf.
Thirteen butterfly species and one macro-moth

14 July 2019
A stunning male Banded Demoiselle (a damselfly), Calopteryx splendens, fluttered (like a butterfly) over the Chicory road verge at Erringham Gap. It stopped five times amongst the long grass and tall vegetation for less than a second each time and then disappeared.

6-spotted Burnet Moths, Small Skipper
Ringlet Butterfly
Erringham Road Verge

On the road side verge the demioselle was accompanied by a few Ringlet Butterflies, a few Small Skippers, a few Marbled Whites, a few 6-spotted Burnet Moths, at least one Meadow Brown and a Shaded Broad-bar Moth, Scotopteryx chenopodiata. The Buddleia was extensively in flower, but it only attracted two Large Whites near the Cement Works. Off the beaten track in fields/meadow next to the Downs Link Cyclepath there were frequent Marbled Whites, frequent Meadow Browns and occasional Gatekeepers.
Adur Dragons and Damsels 2019
Six butterfly species and two macro moths

10 July 2019
Buddleia was extensively in flower and probably at its peak on the Downs Link Cyclepath between Ropetackle North and Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding. However, not a single butterfly was seen on the "butterfly plant" and there were not too many butterflies around in the cloudy late afternoon. A few Small Skippers were seen at Old Shoreham, frequent Meadow Browns needing to be disturbed, including some large females, occasional active Marbled Whites, and a sprinkling of Gatekeepers, Large Whites and one Ringlet. Two Burnet Moths whirred into view.

9 July 2019

Chalkhill Blue Butterfly

A first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the summer flew around the lower slopes of Mill Hill, in the afternoon when the cloud allowed the sun to shine. All the couple of hundred butterflies seen on Mill Hill Nature Reserve were restless, with over a hundred Meadow Brown Butterflies mostly disturbed, over fifty hidden or restless Marbled Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Large Whites, Small Heath Butterflies, and Red Admirals, a few each of Brimstone Butterflies, Peacocks, Small Skippers (top meadow only and hiding), Small Whites and one tatty and faded Painted Lady, and a Yellow Shell Moth.
Twelve butterfly species and one macro-moth

6 July 2019

Ringlet Butterfly
Buckingham Cutting (south)

4 July 2019
There were about eight restless Ringlet Butterflies, four Meadow Browns, two Large Whites and a restless Marbled White over the road verges at Buckingham Cutting (south). There was a single Kidney Vetch plant but no Small Blue Butterflies.

3 July 2019

Marbled White
Cinnabar Moths and caterpillars, Meadow Brown

Butterflies were common on the upper part of Mill Hill with scores of restless Marbled Whites and scores of hidden Meadow Brown Butterflies disturbed on a sunny afternoon (with a few clouds), occasional Small Heath Butterflies, my first three Small Skippers of 2019 and a faded Painted Lady in the Bramble-covered meadow north of the top car park, occasional Large Whites, at least one Small White, occasional Gatekeepers, a faded and worn Small Tortoiseshell, and a few Cinnabar Moths and caterpillars. Most of butterflies inhabited the areas of mixed long grasses, Bedstraws and Greater Knapweed.
Adur Skippers
Nine butterfly species and one macro-moth

2 July 2019
I recorded my first two Gatekeepers of the summer amongst the scrub on Mill Hill, with frequent restless Marble Whites, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies disturbed on a sunny afternoon (with a few clouds), frequent Small Heath Butterflies, one Brimstone Butterfly and a Red Admiral, a few Large Whites, one faded Painted Lady and a few Cinnabar Moths.  I visited the lower slopes but curtailed my impromptu visit to the middle slopes after my camera battery ran out (wrong spare by mistake, and TG-4 spare camera had malfunctioned). On the way back a blue butterfly was spotted by its underwing on the tarmac road, most likely a Common Blue? (but it could have been a Brown Argus or an early Chalkhill Blue?)
Nine butterfly species (one unidentified) and one macro-moth

29 June 2019
On a very warm afternoon, on the few garden flowers of Ropetackle near the Viaduct, a faded Painted Lady Butterfly and a pristine Peacock Butterfly briefly settled.

27 June 2019

Painted Lady, Ringlet, Marbled White
Downs Link Cyclepath between Ropetackle and Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding)

On a sunny breezy afternoon I leisurely cycled from Ropetackle along the Downs Link Cyclepath spotting my first (of two) faded Painted Lady as the path turned past the new development at Ropetackle North. A tatty Red Admiral landed on the tarmac immediately in front of me. Over the cyclepath verges between Old Shoreham and Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding) I caught a glimpse of a fresh orange Comma Butterfly, and there were frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies, occasional languid flying first of the year Ringlet Butterflies, at least two restless Marbled Whites.
Six butterfly species

26 June 2019
Viper's Bugloss had taken over as the dominant plant on the shingle above the high tide ridge on Shoreham Beach West, its blue spikes exceeding all the other vegetation by mass. On a humid breezy afternoon, on the Widewater flood plain, one spike was visited by my first definite Painted Lady Butterfly of the year.

24 June 2019

Marbled White

It was cloudy and the overcast southern road verge of Slonk Hill Cutting was shaded by the trees. What remained of the open grass meadow was scattered with Ox-eye Daisies, Common Spotted Orchids and Rough Hawkbits. There were no purple flowers for the few active Marbled Whites Butterflies to visit. Male Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently disturbed and I also caught a fleeting glimpse of a probable Painted Lady.

23 June 2019

Meadow Browns, Small hoverfly on Creeping Cinquefoil
Cinnabar Moth
Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works

I spotted my first definite Marbled White Butterfly of the year over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works. Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently seen with one Small Heath Butterfly and two Cinnabar Moths.

21 June 2019
There were scores of Meadow Brown Butterflies disturbed on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works in the late afternoon.

19 June 2019

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth, Meadow Brown on Greater Knapweed
Large Skipper
Upper Mill Hill

It was too cool for active butterflies and they had to be disturbed from their shelter in the afternoon on the upper part of Mill Hill. Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently dislodged, as were occasional Small Heath Butterflies, one Brimstone Butterfly and a Red Admiral. A few Cinnabar Moths fluttered on to the underside of leaves and a Silver Y Moth was seen amongst the leaves of Greater Knapweed. The fawn/yellow underside of a moth was probably a Burnet Companion Moth amongst the long grasses and Greater Knapweed south of the Reservoir. I spotted the whirring of a Burnet Moth before one landed on a Greater Knapweed flower. Most of the Greater Knapweed was yet to flower and the open heads were frequent, but sparsely distributed. The moth had five red spots on each wing and this was a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth. The Bramble-covered meadow north of the upper car park hosted my first skipper of the year: a Large Skipper which was a find I was pleased about as they have tended to be infrequent in recent years. There was another one on the middle slopes immediately to the west of the upper copse.
Five butterfly species and four macro moths

17 June 2019
"Mare's Tails" (cloud types) hung in the blue sky to the south with Cumulus and vapour trails looking north over Mill Hill. I cycled up to the upper car park where the northern meadow was now a large bramble patch. On the top part of the hill, Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently disturbed, as were Small Heath Butterflies, occasional 6+ Cinnabar Moths, occasional 5+ Brimstone Butterflies, a Red Admiral and a Yellow Shell Moth. In the fading light there was two possible Marbled Whites but it was too dark under the clouds to be sure.

9 June 2019
On the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works on a cloudy midday, I spotted one each of the following: Red Admiral, Common Blue Butterfly, Meadow Brown Butterfly, Speckled Wood, and a Cinnabar Moth.

3 June 2019
Just one or two Common Blue Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill Cutting (south) on a breezy afternoon, with at least one Speckled Wood, one Holly Blue Butterfly on the PIxie Path to Mill Hill, plus a Red Admiral visiting a flower on a fully grown Dogwood Tree. On the southernmost end of Mill Hill top plateau (the only area visited for five minutes) there were a handful of Small Heath Butterflies and a pair of Adonis Blues.
Six butterfly species without trying

2 June 2019
Common Blue Butterflies were first seen on the shadier verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath on a sunny midday, but only a few actually seen. A first of the summer Meadow Brown Butterfly was clearly spotted on the sunnier verge of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the disused Cement Works. A definite Green-veined White visited the abundant Ox-eye Daisies on the cyclepath verges north of the Tollbridge. A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around my tiny front garden in Shoreham.

1 June 2019
A few Brimstone Butterflies on patrol and a Holly Blue fluttered over a north Lancing garden near the Lancing Ring meadows.

30 May 2019
On a Fresh Breeze (Force 5) afternoon, about forty Adonis Blues fluttered around the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with a few male Common Blues, with occasional Brimstone Butterflies on patrol, frequent 20+ Small Heaths, a Cinnabar Moth, and a Yellow Belle Moth, Aspitates ochrearia. Some of the Adonis Blues were as tatty as the fading Horseshoe Vetch. No skippers were searched out. There was a Speckled Wood amongst the scrub.
Adur Moths 2019

28 May 2019
I disturbed a closed Speckled Wood Butterfly into flight in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square on a cloudy day.

22 May 2019
The hoverfly Volucella bombylans var. plumata was spotted on a new looking wooden fence at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham. There were two Holly Blue Butterflies over Buckingham Cutting (south), landing on the Cotoneaster.

21 May 2019

Adonis Blues
Grizzled Skipper

White fluffy Cumulus clouds allowed intermittent sunshine brought frequent butterflies out on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. About three-quarters were lively Adonis Blues (38+7=45 in the transect acre, more over the slopes) over the swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, frequent Small Heaths (20+), patrolling Brimstone Butterflies (10+), a few Large Whites, a fresh Grizzled Skipper, a fresh Dingy Skipper, a Wall Brown (on the southern steps), a very fast flying Peacock Butterfly, at least two each of Burnet Companion Moths, Cinnabar Moths and Treble-bar Moths. Two pairs of Adonis Blues were mating. Grasshoppers were stridulating at the northern end of the lower slopes and small movements were thought to be nymphs.
Eight butterfly species and three macro-moths
Adur Skippers

20 May 2019
Rain curtailed my early afternoon visit to Mill Hill, on a day not bright enough to make the butterflies active, although I disturbed five male Adonis Blues, one Brimstone Butterfly, and a Cinnabar Moth in a leisurely fifteen minute of less than half the one acre transect on the lower slopes. A Small White Butterfly fluttered over Dolphin Road, Shoreham.

18 May 2019
A tiny 14-spot Ladybird, Propylea quattuordecimpunctata, landed on me near the Tollbridge. There were also three butterflies, a white one, a blue one and a medium-sized brown one, all flighty and not identified to species.
Adur Ladybirds

14 May 2019
A Buzzard flapped its wings and then glided in the turquoise blue sky over Anchor Bottom. A single male Adonis Blue Butterfly fluttered over central south-facing bank area and a Small Heath Butterfly was seen amongst the hundreds of cow pats. A Red Admiral was seen on the South Downs Way near the Steyning road.

13 May 2019

Common Blue, Treble-bar Moth, Adonis Blue
Brown Argus, Speckled Wood, Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue,  Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper
Lower slopes of Mill Hill

On a sunny afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill Hill produced scores of restless butterflies fluttering around the early swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, There were well over a hundred per acre of nine species and all of them were very active and I had to wait for over an hour for any to settle nearby. Dingy Skippers were the most frequent with over forty seen, but Grizzled Skippers were old and much harder to find only a handful including an amorous or sparring pair. The only one that settled for a second was slightly frayed at the edges. Twenty or so male Adonis Blues were very lively until they came across a few females. Small Heaths (12+) were frequently seen often chasing each other and sparring with other species including occasional Common Blues (10+). Brimstone Butterflies patrolled incessantly without pausing, occasionally bumping into the whiter females and both a Large White and a Green-veined White. A flash of grey was a disturbed Treble-bar Moth, and a pretty Mother Shipton Moth was recognised when it settled. A Speckled Wood patrolled the southern steps and a fresh Brown Argus was seen clearly by the winding path, near some Wayfaring Tree shrubs.
Adur Moths 2019

10 May 2019
On a cloudy afternoon I spotted a Green-veined White on the verges of the cyclepath at Old Shoreham and two very active male Orange-tips near Ladywells on the Coombes Road.

2 May 2019

Dingy Skipper with Horseshoe Vetch

A flutter of brilliant blue over the lower slopes of Mill Hill heralded the beginning of summer on the downs with the first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year. It was unmistakable even though seen in the middle distance for 15 seconds at most; too far away to follow it for a photograph. Under a dark cloudy sky with the first spots of rain, it was too cool for many butterflies. It was only after nearly an hour did I manage to disturb the first of half a dozen Dingy Skippers, followed soon after by a Small Heath, a Green-veined White and a probable Peacock Butterfly. If I had not delayed my return I would missed the Adonis Blue and a probable Wall Brown. A Cinnabar Moth was seen clearly but it quickly disappeared into shelter.
Six butterfly species

1 May 2019

Green-veined White Butterfly

Alas, the auto-focus on my camera would not work on the whites of the Green-veined White Butterfly on the southern part of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, (which doubles up as a Footpath 3138 and was once public land in living memory, part of Mill Hill and the walking access route to the downs). The prime photograph was far from sharp as I would have liked and once disturbed the two white butterflies would not settle again. Instead, I was distracted by insect activity a dozen Squash Bugs, Coreus, including two mating pairs, my first Large Red Damselfly of the year, a Red Admiral Butterfly, first of the year hoverfllies, the distinctive Rhingia campestris and the usually obliging Myathropa florea. Lastly, the orange vanessid butterfly that flew over the Waterworks Road was probably a Comma.

30 April 2019

Orange-tip Butterfly 

A female Orange-tip Butterfly near Coombes was ample reward for a cycle ride which originally going too be a brief afternoon jaunt to Cuckoo's Corner, but I cycled further up the Coombes Road. It was fortunate as I caught a glimpse of a white butterfly and I just wanted to see if it was a Small White or Green-veined White seen earlier visiting the opportunistic plants on the tidal defence new embankment (on the realigned Pill Box Way) next to the Airport. I did glimpse a small brown butterfly or moth on Adur Recreation Ground near the Railway Viaduct, but this was a too much of a fleeting look for identification. I also spotted the target butterfly, a strong-flying male Orange-tip, on the short incline from Cuckoo's Corner to the junction to Applesham Farm.

29 April 2019
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered across the railway level crossing at Brunswick Road, Shoreham. This is the first positive record of the year.

23 April 2019
With the first Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, appearing in bud on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, more butterflies were seen than expected on as hazy afternoon.

A variety of ten butterfly species was more apparent than sheer numbers with Speckled Wood (one over the southern steps), Brimstone 3+, Small White 1+, the first of the year Small Tortoiseshell (southern, top), the first of the year pair of Dingy Skippers, 2+ Grizzled Skippers, 1+ male Orange Tips, another first of the year fresh Small Copper, at least one Peacock Butterfly, occasional Small Heaths 4+, and two Treble-bar Moths. Micro moths were frequently seen and ones recognised were the pyralids Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata as well as an even smaller Pancalia. A small bee was occasionally seen, small and rather distinctive in yellow and black barring: I think this was a Nomada species, most likely Nomada goodeniana. There was another skulking one which could have been Nomada fucata ?

22 April 2019
A colourful moth amongst the Red Deadnettle and other dense vegetation on the Widewater flood plain was identified as my first ever Ruby Tiger Moth, Phragmatobia fuliginosa. It was strongly inclined to hide and I could not get a photograph. I underestimated the Brown-tailed Moth nests before and I counted at least twenty on the Blackthorn.

19 April 2019
A motorised trip to Woods Mill produced  a few restless butterflies in the sun including my first male Orange-tips of the year, a tatty Peacock and a very lively Brimstone Butterfly. One Orange-tip stopped on a Cuckoo Flower for just a second.
Tottington Wood filtered the sunlight through the tree tops making photographing the ground flora very tricky which was not helped by the woody debris Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen as I walked through the wood.

18 April 2019
Plenty of butterflies out in the warm sun on Mill Hill this afternoon: at least five male Orange Tips, loads of Brimstone and Peacock, couple of Small Tortoiseshell and a single Green Veined White. Possible Grizzled Skipper but only a fleeting glimpse. Bird wise, Whitethroats and Blackcaps were there, along with the Chiff Chaffs. A few Swallows were passing through.

Report by Nick Carpmael on Mill Hill Nature Reserve  facebook

By the Widewater car park, the Blackthorn showed no trace of flowers or leaves and the adjacent Hawthorn was in leaf and budding. It was on the Blackthorn mostly that the Brown-tailed Moths had built about a dozen nests housing scores of caterpillars which will feed on the interlocking Hawthorn.
Illustrated Moth Nest Report

17 April 2019
On the middle of the lower slopes of Mill Hill I spotted just a single Grizzled Skipper, followed by the small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata, and later a Small White Butterfly and a strong flying Peacock Butterfly, and on my return journey a Speckled Wood fluttered around the southern steps.

11 April 2019

Red Admiral

A Red Admiral rose from the Daisy-covered lawn at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham (SE of Mill Hill Road bridge). On a afternoon when the sun came out unexpectedly, I quickly spotted my first two Grizzled Skippers of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, now decorated with Dog Violets, but much more sparsely than normal. My first Brimstone Butterfly of the year fluttered past. The first of three Peacock Butterflies landed intermittently. No more skippers were seen.
Most of the observed action occurred amongst the dense interlocking leaves on the lower slopes where a brigade of working mutualistic red ants, Myrmica sabuleti, were attracted by sugary secretions of the green and yellow caterpillars of the Adonis Blue Butterfly.
Mill Hill Picture Report

8 April 2019
I spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.

30 March 2019
I stopped in at Mill Hill and managed to find a Grizzled Skipper, the first of the year reported in Sussex.

Report by Jonathan Crawford on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Skippers

29 March 2019
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.

Report by Tony Gardner on Adur Valley & Downs facebook
A Red Admiral rose from the airport road near the traffic lights in the afternoon.

28 March 2019
A Red Admiral rose from the Alexander-covered steps to Mill Hill (=Butterfly Copse) near the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.

25 March 2019
A Common Bee-fly visited the first few Cowslips on the the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works. Two Peacock Butterflies sparred, or courted, over the same path, a half mile, or so, further south. Three common species of hoverflywere attracted to Alexanders: notably Syrphus, Eristalis.

22 March 2019

Peacock Butterfly

It was too cool (9.2 °C) for a Peacock Butterfly to open its wings naturally as it was discovered with it wings firmly closed in the gutter of Buckingham Road, Shoreham, in the late afternoon. It was likely enticed from hibernation into a brief flight earlier to enable me to record my first butterfly of the year.

20 March 2019
A Brimstone Butterfly was seen by the River Adur.

Report by Tracy
14 January 2019
My first Red Admiral Butterfly of the year, basked on south facing white wall in Lancing during the brief spell of sunshine at lunchtime.
Report by Ray Hamblett
Wildlife & Conservation of Lancing, Sompting & Surrounds facebook
Adur Butterflies 2018

29 December 2018
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered under the canopy of Shoreham-by-Sea railway station.

15 March 2018
In the weak sunshine I spotted my first butterfly of the year; a Red Admiral over Mill Hill Road at the southern end of the bridge over the A27.

Adur Butterfly Flight Times

Adur Flight Times

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

Adur Nature Notes 2015

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):

TBI: To be identified


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
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