Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages

 Adur Flood Plain
 Chalk Downs
 Coastal Fringe
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 Lancing Nature Blogspot
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon
 Garden Bird List 2006
 Adur World Oceans Day 2006



Coastal Link Cyclepath (renamed the Downs Link)


The River Adur reaches the sea at Shoreham-by-Sea where the mouth has been deflected two miles to the east by the longshore drift. Going upstream with the incoming tide through the centre of New Shoreham under seven bridges before the tide reaches the village of Bramber after 6.4 km (4 miles). The river then passes about one mile east of the town of Steyning. The estuary is tidal for 17.9 km (11.1 miles) from the mouth to Bines Bridge on the B.2135.

The flood plain or levels refer to the stretch south of Bramber, where the tidal rivers meanders towards the sea, with low lying fields on each side. Public access is by the towpath each side of the river, and on the Coastal Link cyclepath following the disused railway line. The Coastal Link Cyclepath connects to the South Downs Way Route just north of Beeding Cement Works. 

Meadow-like verges just south of the Cement Works (July 2006) Southern Migrant Hawker (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Spring Dyke next to the Miller's Stream 2006
River Adur Estuary 2006

Wildlife Reports

This path has now been renamed the Downs Link and the reports for 2007 can be found on
Adur Levels 2007

20 October 2006
A close look at a white butterfly fluttering around the occasional Buddleia the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge revealed a Small White Butterfly. Five Red Admirals were seen as I weaved my way through the puddles. 

Peacock Butterfly15 October 2006
The afternoon count was of about 25 Red Admirals in Shoreham town, but mostly on the wasteland on the Adur Levels. The best location was the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge. The path and bushes north of Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate hosted a worn Large White Butterfly and a large Painted Lady. A Peacock Butterfly fluttered around the Buddleia and Ivy near the buffer stop. 
Full Butterfly Report

13 October 2006
In the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C, a half an hour detour on the edge of Shoreham I saw 21 Red Admirals, with the first four flying steadily south but most of them were flying in random directions, around Ivy mostly but also seen on the dead flowers of Buddleia and Stinging Nettles.The best location was the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge which did not record any the day before. At the extreme southern dead end of the Coastal Link Cyclepath (south of the tunnel of shrubs) I saw a slightly worn Peacock Butterfly with half a dozen Red Admirals on the Ivy on the eastern side of the path, and a Silver Y Moth fluttering amongst the ground vegetation (mostly now devoid of any flowers). 
Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

12 October 2006
The distinctive white tail of a Wheatear was noticed as it flew low level down (towards the south) the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham,

10 October 2006
A few birds flew around the bordering hedgerows and Crows showed both noisily and visibly in the late afternoon, but overall, the path north of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham, had an aura of impeding winter with Smooth Sow Thistle, Viper's Bugloss and Common Toadflax the common to frequent plants in flower with the occasional Ox-eye Daisy, Ragwort, Dandelion, Autumn Hawkbit and Common Mallow noted in passing. At least a dozen plants of Chicory were in prominent flower on the verges of the Steyning Road (south of the Cement Works).

27 September 2006
On an overcast day hardly anything moved at all on an afternoon round trip from Old Shoreham to Botolphs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath and back via the Coombes Road. At most there were a handful of Red Admiral Butterflies south of the Toll Bridge, and a couple north of Old Shoreham. The number of Common Darters (dragonflies) were down to a handful. 

22 September 2006
I  discovered an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar, Deilephila elpenor, on the footpath on the bank of the River Adur up near the South Downs way footbridge. It was damp with loads of big slugs out, but one of them wasn't a slug but this magnificent large caterpillar.

Report by Helen Dwyer
Adur Moths

18 September 2006
A middle of the day trip along the Coastal Link Cyclepath to Upper Beeding and back resulted in about twenty Red Admiral Butterflies attracted to Ivy and Buddleia, one Comma Butterfly, at least eight Speckled Woods attracted mostly to the Buddleia, one Clouded Yellow flying steadily north at about 8 mph, two unidentified Whites and four Meadow Browns(one was in Dacre Gardens). 

Rhingia campestris, seen on the Buddleia leaf next to the cyclepath north  of the Cement Works

There was a hoverfly Rhingia campestris, seen on the Buddleia leaf next to the cyclepath north of the Cement Works. Common Darters (dragonflies) were very frequently seen rising from the clay path as I cycled along. 

21 August 2006 
The Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the buffer stop at the extreme southern end in worth a look late in the year with the Marjoram, Fleabaneand Buddleia still in flower. Common Blue Butterflies fluttered around the Ivy and herbs despite the lack of sunshine.
My first Hummingbird Hawk-moth since 2 July 2006 and only my second of the year flew around the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath just south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham
Cat's Ear Common Blue on Viper's Bugloss

Anyrate, the rain did not seem to be imminent so I decided to cycle north up the Coastal Link Cyclepath towards Upper Beeding where Common Blue Butterflies and Meadow Browns were frequent, a couple of Comma Butterflies, two Painted Ladies and occasional Red Admirals left the path on were spotted again on the Buddleia. There were two possible butterflies on the cyclepath as well: a Small White and a Brown Argus could not be confirmed because they would not open their wings under the clouds.

A Cat's Ear was noticed in flower. A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) was on patrol as the cyclepath winds its way through the Buddleia by the Cement Works, where a Shrew scutled across the path in a place where I have seen one before. There were no butterflies on show in this area. 

Butterfly Report
Adur Levels

5 August 2006
An unprecedented 23 Painted Lady Butterflies were seen on and around of the Buddleia on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. They were seen in about five minutes and not counted twice, 22 were counted as I cycled south south to the demolished bridge and 21 separate butterflies (the same ones) seen as I retraced my steps back and two more seen nearer the Toll Bridge.

Painted Ladies
A Clouded Yellow Buttefly fluttered over the gravel path by the seat, There were at least four Red Admirals, at least two Meadow Browns, three Holly Blues and frequent Small Whites and Common Blues and occasional Silver Y Moths
Adur Butterfly & Moth List 2006

2 August 2006
A large Southern Hawker buzzed me by the stream at the northern edge of the Saltings Field near Botolphs. This was the first of these spectacular insects I had seen for over a year. A male Ruddy Darter and a handful of Blue-tailed Damselflies were also seen. 
Small Copper Common Blue (male)

In a field just north of Old Shoreham, I also spotted my first Small Copper Butterfly seen this year and the first ever seen in August. It was seen resting underneath the Fleabane. There were more of them over the Saltings Field near Botolphs, but I am not sure how many, perhaps eight? These others were seen visiting White Clover. The other species of butterfly seen on the Adur Levels were Small Whites (100+), Red Admirals (75+), Common Blues (60+), Meadow Browns (30+), Painted Lady (15+), Comma (8+), Speckled Wood (7+), Gatekeeper (6+), Clouded Yellow 3,Holly Blues (6+), Peacock (2), Large White (1+), Small/Essex Skipper (1) and Wall Brown (1 ?).
Damsels & Dragons Report
Adur Damsels and Dragonflies
Butterfly Report

24 July 2006
The Adur Levels provide a different mixture of butterflies from the downs, although many of the same species are recorded. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly seen near the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur. The other species of butterfly seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath  were Common Blues (20+), Gatekeeper (20+), Meadow Brown (12+), Small/Essex Skipper (20+), Marbled White (2), Large White (20+), Red Admiral (20+), Painted Lady (3), Comma (2), Holly Blue (15+), Peacock (1) and Speckled Wood (7)
Butterfly Report

There were three Cormorants in the flooded river by the Cement Works. Two of them were observed juggling with a fish in their beaks. One was observed closely adjusting the position of a flatfish and then swallowing it whole with a bulge in its neck. It was a hand-sized fish and probably a Flounder

21 July 2006
At 27.9 ºC and 60 % humidity it was far too warm to go to the downs to see butterflies, but I was surprised to see a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham; 2500 metres in a direct flight line from their breeding area on Mill Hill. There were Large White Butterflies, Small Skippers, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns seen along the verges of the cyclepath as I passed by and these four species were frequently seen in half an hour.
Butterfly Report

14 July 2006
I thought I would like to see some dragonflies myself, but blown along by a Fresh Breeze (Force 5) in 22.7 ºC sunshine, the best I could manage was a Broad-bodied Chaser east of Botolphs (on the Cyclepath north of the South Downs Bridge over the Adur) and a dozen Blue-tailed Damselflies on the same drainage ditch next to the Saltings Field 100 metres further north. The observation of the damselflies rather inferred that the larger predatory dragonflies were not on patrol. In a drainage ditch south of the Cement Works, a shoal of a hundred Sticklebackswas seen in a small patch of open water as a Water Boatman paddled in the surface water. 

The selection of ten or eleven of the common butterflies were about in the sunshine on the Adur Levels: very frequent Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, frequent Large Whites, Red Admirals and Small Skippers, occasional Comma Butterflies, Speckled Woods, at least two Painted Ladies and Marbled Whites (5+) plus one worn Common Blue, and an unconfirmed Small Tortoiseshell, north of the South Downs bridge. There were orgies of the very frequent Six-spot Burnet Moths and a few Silver Y Moths
Adur Butterfly List

13 July 2006

Southern Migrant Hawker (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
A splendid Southern Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis, and both male and female Ruddy Darters were captured on camera. They were discovered on the Adur Levels about a half mile north of the A27 Flyover. The dragonflies were seen in the narrow area of the drainage ditches and pastures between the cyclepath and the River Adur. (TQ 202 075). (This is very close to where I visited the day before.) The Southern Migrant Hawker is a rare immigrant dragonfly and the last one was discovered in Kent in 1952. 
Identification by David Appleton Report with Images
Adur Dragonflies 2006
Local Flight Times

12 July 2006
The Coastal Link Cyclepath, from 200 metres south of the Cement Works (southern boundary)  Shoreham, without an inkling to take photographs or count butterflies, but nevertheless Small/Essex Skippers,  Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites and Red Admirals were all frequent, plus four Marbled Whites and a Comma Butterfly
Adur Butterfly List 2006
The verges north of the lay-by and south of the Cement Works are like a restored meadow.

Seven species of butterfly were seen quickly without even stopping.

The verges of the path contained meadow flowers and Greater Knapweed, Lesser Knapweed, (=Hardheads), Creeping Thistle, Lady's Bedstraw, Rosebay Willowherb, Ox-eyed Daisies and Perforate St. John's Wort, Wild Carrot, were all very common to abundant (ACFOR) with Ragwort very frequent, Greater Willowherb frequent, Field Scabious and Wild Marjoram just occasional and Fleabane only just coming into flower. Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea was recorded from the verges of the path. 

9 July 2006
For most of the day a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gales was blowing so any butterflies were a bonus: two Red Admirals, three of my first confirmed Small Skippers of the year on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge, where one Gatekeeper was also seen.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

12 June 2006
A handful of both Speckled Wood Butterflies and Red Admirals, including one courting pair, were seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the the Toll Bridge with a small dark blue Common Blue male near the Cement Works, and there were probably more in the later afternoon.  At the extreme southern end of the path near the demolished railway bridge there was a probable Large Skipper which did not settle for confirmation. 
Adur Butterfly & Large Moths 2006

New flowers burst into life in the last week including Common Mallow, Biting Stonecrop, White Stonecrop, Red Valerian, Dog Rose, Rosebay Willowherb, Viper's Bugloss, Creeping Cinquefoiland others. A handful of Pyramidal Orchids were starting to flower. Kidney Vetch was flowering at the extreme southern end of the path. 

4 June 2006
The Coastal Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works produced half a dozen Common Blue Butterflies including at least one female and there were probably many more. There was another dark vanessid that could not be identified. Ox-eye Daisies, Bird's Foot Trefoil, one or two Common Spotted Orchids, Fairy Flax, Red and White Campions and other plants including Sainfoin were flowering. A single Water Crowfoot flower was seen in a stream.

28 May 2006
A splendid sight of a Sparrowhawk gliding over the path just south of the Toll Bridge was exceptional and unexpected. This area is usually the haunt of a male Kestrel and this female hawk was a much bigger bird. 
There was a Peacock Butterfly that settled near the Toll Bridge, and on the path south of the bridge, I passed a Holly Blue Butterfly and a Small White Butterfly.
Butterfly Report (all sites)

26 May 2006
Ox-eye Daisies, and Red and White Campion were beginning to flower on the verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge

18 May 2006
My second Painted Lady Butterfly of the year and over a dozen Red Admirals and a handful of Holly Blue Butterflies graced the muddy path, with puddles, under an overcast sky. This was north of the Toll Bridge where two pairs of Goldfinches were seen. 
Butterfly Report

10 May 2006
Two unusually patterned Clouded Yellow Butterflies framed on the upperside wings by a broad brown border fluttered amongst the shortish grass and herbs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, adjacent to the southern part of the Cement Works. They were discovered to be the first Clouded Yellow Butterflies seen in Sussex year. They were also the first ever recorded in the month of May. They behaved more like natives, not so restless as immigrants. Orange Tip Butterflies were out in force with a dozen (six males) seen on the Waterworks Road
Butterfly Report and List
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Clouded Yellow Red Damsels

Six pairs of Large Red-tailed Damselflies were mating on the surface vegetation the stream by the Oak tree, north of Botolphs. There was a very large patch of Ground Ivy under another tree. 
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2006

25 April 2006
Overcast and drizzly conditions did not promise much for insect life.
Last of the Coltsfoot Cowslips

Flora in flower included the occasional Blackthorn and Gorse north of the A27, a few areas of Ground Ivy, Dandelions and clumps of Cowslips. The Coltsfoot had ended.

Coltsfoot: Harbinger of Spring15 April 2006
One clump of Forget-me-Nots were noted in flower next to the path south of the Toll Bridge. This common plant is noted for the date of flowering. 

23 March 2006
Along the Coastal Link Cyclepath 750 metres north of the A27 Flyover, the usual small patch of just over a dozen yellow Coltsfoot plants were seen in flower. 
Adur Levels 2006

6 January 2006

Old Man's Beard, Clematis vitalba straggled (or adorned) the bushes next to the Coastal Link Cyclepath. This climbing plant has alternative colloquial names. I like to think that it is known as Traveller's Joy when it is in flower, but at this time of the year the long white hairs are what are seen. Clematis is very common over scrub on wasteland and the downs including Mill Hill, but it is absent or less frequent in some areas. 
Clematis in flower

Adur Levels 2006

Coastal Link 2005
Adur Levels 2005

Adur Valley
Adur Nature Notes 2006