South Downs Coastal Link Cyclepath
near Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham             2004
Supplementary photographs and text for an area with a wide variety of birds and butterflies, including migrants
South-east of Toll Bridge up until April 2004, south-east and north-east from May 2004

Link to the Coastal Link Cyclepath 2005 web page

10 November 2004
Along the Coastal Link cyclepath, Common Mallow, Tufted Vetch, Sow Thistles were seen in flower, with the occasional Bramble flower, a small clump of Gorse, red Rosehips and abundant Haws.
There looked like some washed out Mucilago crustacea (a slime mould) which even at its best looks like scrambled egg (the plasmodium which matures as minute dry fruiting bodies enclosing a powdery spore mass) over the grass and vegetation.
Mucilago Discussion on UK Wildlife

8 November 2004
In the late afternoon the droplets of rain were still attached to the Dog Rose thorns.

The wind was a Light Breeze. 


22 October 2004
A solitary and rather old mushroom arose from some mixed plants next (between the path and river) to the cyclepath south-east of the Toll Bridge.

The stem of the mushroom was measured at 10 cm high. The cap diameter was not measured, but this was estimated at 5 cm.
Fungi of Shoreham

5 October 2004
With anything fluttering in the breeze likely to be a falling leaf, there were just two butterflies seen, both good condition Red Admirals. The large bright blue banded dragonflies that I had unfounded doubts over their identity were Emperor Dragonflies as one was persistently preying on small insects at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. It stayed around around long enough to recognise its markings. A handful of Common Darters were seen.
A few plants of Viper's Bugloss were still in flower to attract the Common Carder bumblebees.
Fungi again appeared on the rotten log by the road layby Fungi again appeared on the rotten log by the road layby

Fungi again appeared on the rotten log by the road layby. The suggested species is Agrocybe aegerita (= A. cylindracea). They looked decidedly unappetising. The mushrooms had a stalk growing out of the wood up to 100 mm long and a cap diameter of up to 110 mm.
Previous Report and Images

27 September 2004
There was one of these lighter blue dragonflies by the Toll Bridge. The blue seems too light in colour for a Migrant Hawker and the dragonfly is slightly larger but still too small for an Emperor. I Have confirmed these as Emperor Dragonflies by susbsequent observations. The species often flies at head height, which is lower than most Migrant Hawkers.

19 September 2004
A lone Wheatear flew around Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of the railway line, north of Ropetackle) and later landed on the concrete slabs and rocks in the River Adur as the high tide receded a bit. It must be about to embark on its long migration south to Africa.
On the cyclepath on the old railway line south-east of the Toll Bridge the mangy Fox that was seen on 16 September 2004 made another daytime appearance, turning its head before casually ambling off in the undergrowth that backs on to the houses in Brighton Road, Shoreham.
The same dragonflies seen earlier in the month flew rapidly, a large dragonfly, probably a male Emperor Dragonfly, one or two Migrant Hawkers and a few Common Darters.
There were one or two Common White Butterflies, but on the overcast day butterflies were not expected, despite a dozen or so flowers in bloom, notably Viper's Bugloss, Common Toadflax, Rosebay Willowherb, and very small isolated flowers of White and Red Clover, clumps of Scentless Mayweed and one small Gorse bush, presumably on patch of clay amongst the chalk. A common skulking insect, the distinctive and easily recognisable Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera, was seen in the long grass and wild plants.
Extra Images

8 September 2004
The Coastal Link cyclepath north of Old Shoreham hosted a few Red Admiral Butterflies, scores of Small White Butterflies, one Painted Lady; just the three species of butterfly. South-east of the Toll Bridge there were more of the same, a Red Admiral defended its territory near the railway buffer, and losing out temporarily to an immigrant Painted Lady. A new addition to the day list was just one Common Blue Butterfly.
Dragonflies were the highlight of the cycle path, in quick succession a male Emperor Dragonfly, a large dragonfly, possibly a female Emperor or Southern Hawker, a few Migrant Hawkers and the inevitable Common Darters.

3 September 2004
Dog Rose SE of the Toll BridgeOn the Coastal Link cyclepath north of Old Shoreham, a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly, (first local record for September), fluttered around the Buddleia. Small Whites were the commonest butterflies around, with a few Speckled Woods in the shaded bits, a few Red Admirals over a widespread area, and at least eight Painted Ladies were prominent on the cyclepath south-east of the Toll Bridge. No blue butterflies of any species were actually chanced upon, but they were probably present if searched for.  Somewhere during my cycle ride on the Coastal Link cycle ride to Botolphs and back via the Coombes road, I remember the handsome dark blue of a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly. Common Darters were seen frequently, with one red one.
Small hoverfly taken somewhere along the path This small hoverfly was photographed along the cyclepath. Click on the image for a close-up picture. 

Dasysyrphys albostriatus

ID by Paul Beuk on UK Hoverflies.

John Knight (West Sussex CC Ranger) spotted a brown-blue butterfly in the long grasses just south of the Cement Works. I think from the description that this is one of the colourful female Common Blues that I have seen around recently on Mill Hill, but so far failed to obtain a recent photograph.
An air temperature at 24.1 ºC  at 1:10 pm seems to indicate an Indian summer, with blackberriers working holiday time in the pleasant sunshine with scarcely a breeze.

Adur Levels 2004
Adur Butterfly and Large Moth List 2004

28 August 2004
On the cyclepath and towpath south-east of the Toll Bridge near the railway buffer stop there was just a few butterflies on an overcast day, and although the temperature was recorded at 22.2 ºC it was not pleasant sunny weather. A handful of Common Blues were worn, there was two Painted Ladies, one Red Admiral and a handful of Small White Butterflies.

19 August 2004
A flock of over twenty Goldfinches brightened up an overcast day on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works.
A few brighter Red Admirals and a Painted Lady were around in a year that has seen very few migrant butterflies.
Adur Butterfly and Large Moth List 2004

Red Admiral (slightly faded)18 August 2004
Very few butterflies this year: just three old Red Admirals amongst the Buddleia and Brambles near the railway buffer stop south-east of the Toll Bridge with at least two Holly Blue Butterflies.

16 August 2004
It began to feel like autumn already, and by 5 o'clock in the afternoon, only the Goldfinches flitted colourfully from bush to tree. A solitary Comma Butterfly was disturbed at the extreme southern end of the footpath near where it comes to an abrupt halt by the demolished bridge with just one dark and worn Red Admiral and a handful of male Common Blue Butterflies with one or two Meadow Browns.

c. 4 August 2004
There were 16 Glow-worms recorded on the Coastal Link cyclepath by the flyover.

Report by John Knight (WSCC Rural Strategy Unit)

23 July 2004
Chased by a Small White Butterfly, the Marbled White only 150 metres by the cyclepath north of the Fly-over was the first ever for this area (the other records were further north along the cyclepath). The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly near the Toll Bridge was so battered, faded and worn I was surprised that it could fly at all. The most prevalent butterflies around were Large Whites and Gatekeepers.
Adur Butterfly List 2004

There was a dozen Goldfinches seen simultaneously, one feeding on the heads and seeds of the Creeping Thistle, all close to a stream adjacent to the cyclepath about 200 metres south of the disused Cement Works at Upper Beeding. The Hawthorn and other trees and bushes in this area supported a variety of small birds.
Hollyhocks are naturalising on the cyclepath verges north of Old Shoreham.

22 July 2004
Infuriatingly, two successive butterflies near the Cement Works at Upper Beeding, refused to be recognised. They flew upwards with a strange lopping* flight into the higher branches which is not characteristic of the Meadow Brown, which was the most likely candidate. The choice of escape route was more like that of the Holly Blue seen a same time. These could be a Ringlet, but are more likely not, almost certainly a high-flying Meadow Brown. (* Like lopping or inundating over the crests of the waves in the sea, but branches instead.)


21 July 2004
A Comma Butterfly fluttered amongst the brambles just south of the layby next to the flowery verges of the cyclepath. My impression of how exceptionally bright and patterned this butterfly was as I disturbed it.
I counted thirteen Goldfinches without trying on this part of the cyclepath south of the Cement Works.
Adur Butterflies
Adur Butterfly Database (17-31 July 2004)

19 July 2004
The large accumulation of fungi on a rotten log on the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham, by the road layby, was a surprise inasmuch a visit four days earlier must have overlooked this event. The suggested species is Agrocybe.

Suggested ID by Jean J Wuilebaut on Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)


Pairs of Goldfinches were again noticed in the same area, very colourful, quite close, but very quick to fly off out of camera range.

12 July 2004
Late Afternoon
A possible flying Ringlet Butterfly, was rejected as I could not get a proper look, amongst the omnipresent Meadow Browns by a stream adjacent to the cyclepath just south of the disused Cement Works at Upper Beeding. The butterfly rose and flew away into the Hawthorn hedges that were virtually trees. Both sexes of Meadow Brown were present and flirting.
Male Meadow Brown Small Skipper

There was a Small Skipper in this area and a Large White Butterfly flew over the towpath by the river drained of tidal water on a low neap. There was also at least one unidentified, but frequently encountered brown moth.
There was one very dark Red Admiral Butterfly that rose from the path as I cycled along under the clouds.
Goldfinches were noticed in three different places in the hedges bordering the cyclepath.

9 July 2004
On the banks of the river south-east of the Toll Bridge the attractive pink flowers are from an alien invader shrub called Broad-leaved Everasting-pea, Lathyrus latifolius.

5 July 2004
There first butterfly for three overcast and showery days was a Red Admiral Butterfly on the cyclepath south of Toll Bridge. Over the dead end path, south of where a narrow path veers off by the eroded chalk riverbank, south of the railway buffer, through the arch of Buddleia, as it opened up into a wild meadow of Kidney Vetch and other wasteland flora (mixed with colonisers from nearby gardens), at least two Meadow Brown Butterflies fluttered around in the late afternoon weak sunshine as the clouds dispersed.

Nettle-leaved Bellflower
29 June 2004

Between 4 and 7 (some may have been counted twice) Marbled White Butterflies fluttered lazily around on the verges off the cyclepath just south of the Cement Works at Upper Beeding. This is the first record from this area on the Nature Notes pages.
I also recorded one example of the Nettle-leaved Bellflower, Campanula trachelium, and it seems this is the fourth species of bellflower that is naturalised locally, and they all may be garden escapes. However, this species is listed as a local plant. It struggled to make a show amongst a conglomeration of the commoner plants.
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
21 June 2004

On the Adur Levels (cyclepath) there were a handful of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and one Small White Butterfly.
Rosebay Willowherb and Ox-eye Daisies on the cyclepath verges
Other common plants and insects of the verges (Link)
14 June 2004
On the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham there were a handful of Common Blue Butterflies, plus one or two Painted Ladies, two Red Admirals, at least one Small Tortoiseshell.
Linnets were noticed twittering amongst the hedgerows.
9 June 2004
On the cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge, just one faded Painted Lady Butterfly was seen in a brief visit. There were large clumps of Bird's Foot Trefoil on the grass verges and an array of Ox-eye Daisies. Also, a single Azure Damselfly, Coenagrion puella, south-east of the Toll Bridge.
22 May 2004
Perched on the top of a Hawthorn, the colourful red breast of a Linnet was a pleasing change from the omnipresent House Sparrows on the path South-east of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. Northward, between the Toll Bridge and A27 Flyover, the first four male Orange Tip Butterflies fluttered rapidly out of photographic range. There was a single Azure Damselfly, Coenagrion puella, and at least one Holly Blue Butterfly and there were probably many more of both species of butterfly. Another Sedge Warbler was seen flying between a gap in the blossoming Hawthorn that surrounds both sides of the path like a hedgerow.

on the verge next to the cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge

A handful of House Martins flew overhead.
19 May 2004
On the cyclepath to the north of  the flyover, I spotted the colourful orange wing tips of the male Orange Tip Butterfly twice in quick succession. The attendant whites were thought to be their suitors. This is the first time this species of butterfly has been recorded in this area.
Adur Butterflies

Warblers were warbling (there seems to be at least two different calls) in the shrubbery next to the cyclepath. According to experienced birdwatcher Alan, there were both Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers. I noticed a pretty bird with a reddish hue fly rapidly (directly like a Wren) through a clearing in the bushes and this I have put down as my first tick for a Sedge Warbler.

South-east of Old Shoreham Tollbridge

15 April 2004
It is in spring with Blackthorn (=Sloethorn) blossom.

31 March 2004
I saw my first Small White Butterfly of the year, south-east of the Toll Bridge, in the sunshine by the eroded chalk riverbank and my first bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner. The Small Tortoiseshells were more a deep orange today by the Toll Bridge and one at Cuckoo's Corner. This are is a breeding area for House Sparrows.
Adur Levels 2004

30 March 2004
The Common (or Viviparous) Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, inhabits the flint walls south-east of the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham.
Adur Coastal Fringe 2004
About 40 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies settled on the bare chalk south-east of the Toll Bridge and these butterflies had  a tendency towards redness in colour.
Adur Butterfly List 2004

17 March 2004
On the Adur mud flats south of the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham, the usual gulls and other birds of two days ago were present with a one in a thousand Mediterranean Gull, Larus melanocephalus,  distinguished by the experienced birdwatcher and pointed out to me through the telescope by Stanley Allen (Shoreham District Ornithological Society). It is the white tail feathers (complete absence of black on the tail area)  that is the distinguishing feature when compared to a Black-headed Gull.
Adur Estuary 2004

For all records prior to March 2004, please try the web pages below:

Adur Levels 2004
Adur Levels > 2003

Adur Estuary 2004
Adur Estuary > 2003