Cyclepath (renamed the Downs Link)
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
is tidal for 17.9 km (11.1 miles) from the mouth to Bines Bridge on 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
Dyke next to the Miller's Stream 2006
Adur Estuary 2006
path has now been renamed the Downs Link
and the reports for 2007 can be found on
close look at a white butterfly fluttering around the occasional Buddleia
Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the
Bridge revealed a Small White Butterfly.
Five Red Admirals
were seen as I weaved my way through the puddles.
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.
the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C,
a half an hour detour on the edge of Shoreham I saw 21
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
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).
Weather Reports 2006
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
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
Bugloss and Common
Toadflax the common to frequent plants
in flower with the occasional Ox-eye Daisy,
Ragwort, Dandelion, Autumn Hawkbit and
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
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
(dragonflies) were down to a handful.
discovered an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar,
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.
middle of the day trip along the Coastal
Link Cyclepath to
Beeding and back resulted in about twenty
Admiral Butterflies attracted to Ivy and
one Comma Butterfly,
at least eight Speckled Woods
attracted mostly to the Buddleia,
Yellow flying steadily north at about
8 mph, two unidentified Whites
and four Meadow
was in Dacre Gardens).
was a hoverfly Rhingia
campestris, seen on the Buddleia
leaf next to the cyclepath north of the Cement Works. Common
(dragonflies) were very frequently seen
rising from the clay path as I cycled along.
Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the buffer stop at the extreme southern
end in worth a look late in the year with the Marjoram,
still in flower. Common Blue Butterflies
fluttered around the Ivy and herbs despite the lack of sunshine.
first Hummingbird Hawk-moth since
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.
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
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
not be confirmed because they would not open their wings under the clouds.
Ear was noticed in flower.
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.
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.
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
Butterfly & Moth List 2006
large Southern Hawker
buzzed me by the stream at the northern edge of the Saltings Field near
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.
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
Levels were Small Whites (100+),
Admirals (75+), Common Blues (60+), Meadow
(30+), Painted Lady (15+), Comma (8+), Speckled
Wood (7+), Gatekeeper (6+),
Yellow 3,Holly Blues (6+), Peacock
(2), Large White (1+), Small/Essex
Skipper (1) and Wall
Brown (1 ?).
& Dragons Report
Damsels and Dragonflies
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.
other species of butterfly seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath were
Blues (20+), Gatekeeper
(12+), Small/Essex Skipper (20+), Marbled
White (2), Large
White (20+), Red
Admiral (20+), Painted Lady (3), Comma (2),
(1) and Speckled
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.
ºC and 60
% humidity it was far too warm to go to the
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
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.
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.
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,
Skippers, occasional Comma
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
Burnet Moths and a few Silver
Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis,
and both male and female Ruddy
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
(TQ 202 075). (This is very close
to where I visited the day before.) The
Migrant Hawker is a rare immigrant dragonfly
and the last one was discovered in Kent in 1952.
by David Appleton
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,
Admirals were all frequent, plus four
and a Comma
Butterfly List 2006
verges north of the lay-by and south of the Cement Works are like a restored
species of butterfly were seen quickly without even stopping.
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
all very common to abundant (ACFOR)
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.
most of the day a Strong Breeze (Force
6) gusting to Gales was blowing so any
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.
Butterfly First Flight Times
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
Skipper which did not settle for confirmation.
Butterfly & Large Moths 2006
burst into life in the last week including Common
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.
Coastal Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works produced half a dozen Common
Butterflies including at least one female
and there were probably many more. There was another dark
vanessid that could not be identified.
Foot Trefoil, one or two Common
Spotted Orchids, Fairy Flax,
White Campions and
other plants including Sainfoin
flowering. A single Water Crowfoot
flower was seen in a stream.
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.
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
Report (all sites)
Daisies, and Red
and White Campion
were beginning to flower on the verges of the Coastal Link Cyclepath north
of the Toll Bridge.
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
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
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
Report and List
Butterfly Flight Times
Butterfly First Flight Times
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.
Damsels & Dragonflies 2006
and drizzly conditions did not promise much for insect life.
in flower included the occasional Blackthorn
north of the A27,
a few areas of Ground Ivy,
and clumps of Cowslips.
clump of Forget-me-Nots
were noted in flower next to the path south of the Toll
common plant is noted for the date of flowering.
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.
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.