Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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December 2007


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

18 December 2007
These are probably autocumulus clouds in the mid and late afternoon.
Full Report
Adur Weather 2007

Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature


30 December 2007
A probable Red Admiral Butterfly was seen flying in a warm sheltered area of South Lancing

Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

Female Stonechat24 December 2007
On a late afternoon passage trip by Widewater Lagoon I spotted a couple of Stonechats, one male with the darker head and red breast by the bridge and a female in the bushes near the Tamarisk island. 

12 - 23 December 2007
A Little Auk is photographed in Shoreham Harbour Canal (Southwick).

23 December 2007
A male Peregrine Falcon flew over Shoreham Harbour from north-west of the Power Station and circuited the whole building before landing on its nest box hidden from view on the south side of the chimney.

11 - 23 December 2007
A first winter male Glaucous Gull was regularly seen in Shoreham Harbour around the numerous fishing vessels and originally discovered by Paul James.

Southwick Wildlife (including Shoreham Harbour Canal)

21 December 2007
The temperature was recorded at -2 ºC at 8:00 am, the lowest temperature so far this millennium.
Frost was present on sheltered areas for the whole of the day. The temperature fell to zero ºC at 7:00 pm
Shoreham Weather
Met Office Shoreham Latest

20 December 2007
On McIntyres Field, east of Lancing Ring, a Mistle Thrush took control of the territory at the intersection of the mowed pathways. A familiar sight at this time of year and possibly a migrant from Scandinavia or Northern Europe, it is not seen during the summer

Lancing Ring 2007

The South Downs Conservation Board reintroduce cattle gazing with a few beef cattle on the upper slopes of Mill Hill. This is detrimental to the chalkhill flora, possibly serious damaging and confers no advantages. The cattle were seen from the Adur valley
List of Butterfly Articles

19 December 2007
A couple of Long-tailed Tits visited my south Lancing town garden. Blackbirds were the principal feeders on the remaining Hawthorn berries on the large tree at the bottom of the garden. 

Report by Ray Hamblett

18 December 2007
A Jay visited a garden stone bird table and took a sip of the collected water in the open front gardens at the junction of Middle Road and St. Julian's Lane in Kingston Buci in east Shoreham.
It looks like in the photograph the Jay was about to bury an acorn in the garden. 

Shoreham Town & Gardens

In the afternoon the sky was filled with distinctive autocumulus clouds.
Shoreham Weather Report

14 December 2007
A Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushroom was recorded from the ridge of Mill Hill, the first time this mushroom as been recorded from Mill Hill Nature Reserve

11 December 2007
Seven Red-breasted Mergansers paddled on the surface of a flooded Widewater Lagoon, one pair and another male with five drakes. At least one Little Grebe dived under the water at the shallow part of the western end. An expected Little Egret stood waiting my the inlet pipe on a high spring tide

> 7 December 2007
I was extremely disappointed to discover that the extreme southern end of the Downs Link Cyclepath had been trashed for its wildlife interest (the railway company had previous sold off the land at auction to a private owner). 
Brown Argus on Fleabane

Wild MarjoramThe area has featured frequently on Adur Nature Notes and it was noteworthy for Brown Argus and Common Blue Butterflies with Grass Snakes occasionally recorded in the vicinity. The Small Blue Butterfly was recorded here on at least one occasion, only one of two locations in Shoreham where it has been seen and at least one Large Skipper, Small Skippers, Holly Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Peacock Butterflies, Comma, Clouded Yellows, Large Whites, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites and Speckled Woods were regularly seen during their flight periods. It was only known area in Shoreham and the downs north of the town where Wild Marjoram grew in profusion. Wild Marjoram is an important nectar plant for butterflies. Wild Thyme, Hemp Agrimony, Fleabane, Meadow Vetchling, Bird's Foot Trefoil and Kidney Vetch also grew there. 
The area also attracted most of the local damselflies and dragonflies during their flight season. 
Google Search on Nature Notes for some Wildlife Entries for this area
Adur Levels 2007
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterfly Notes on Local Species & Habitats
7 December 2007
The first Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushroom seen this autumn was spotted on the wood chippings on Ropetackle in Shoreham town by the River Adur

This may be a Field Blewits, Lepista saeva. 

Wood Blewit

4 December 2007
Psammechinus miliaris (live specimen)On the strandline of Shoreham Beach, I discovered an intact shell (=test) of the Purple-tipped Shore Urchin, Psammechinus miliaris, on the strandline. Discoveries are unusual because this urchin is scarce intertidally and because the test is very fragile and gets quickly bashed to bits. The sharp spines had all broken off. 
BMLSS Echinoderms

A chirm of over 30 Goldfinches that flew into a single bare Hawthorn on Adur Recreation Ground (near the Railway Viaduct) was larger than normal (usually the chirms are about 20 strong). 
Adur Levels 2007

3 December 2007
A Kestrel hovered over the Sea Purslane at low tide south of Old Shoreham Tollbridge and then descended. The target prey was not determined. On the estuarine mud there were over a hundred mixed gulls and frequent Lapwings.
About five hoverflies of three species visited the Ivy on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. 
Mushroom, possibly Conocybe, from Mill Hill
Pale Wax Cap

As the mid-morning sun cast long shadows, there was little to be seen moving on the downs. Two species of mushrooms included a few Pale Wax Cap, Hygrocybe pratensis var pallida were discovered on the exposed upper slopes of Mill Hill where the grasses were short like bowling green turf. 

1 December 2007
The shrieks of mating Foxes alerted me to their presence at around 3:00 am in the  morning. On looking out into the moonlit darkness we could see that our front garden in North Farm Road, Lancing, was the focus of activity.




Chalk Downs 2007
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea (List)
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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