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

Shoreham Beach Weather provided by Softwair Publishing

Great Black-backed Gull on the supports near the Footbridge on 4 April 2005


 River Adur


Click to enlargeThe River Adur rises four miles south of Horsham and runs south-east skirting Coolham, Shipley and West Grinstead before meeting the eastern tributary midway between Ashurst to the west and Henfield to the east. The eastern tributary rises in two tributaries south of Haywards Heath, and south of Burgess Hill that meet at Twineham. 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.

A hulk at high tide (23 October 2006) Dog Rose (23 October 2006)

The tidal range where the River Adur, now at Kingston Buci (part of Shoreham-by-Sea), meets the sea through the entrance to Shoreham Harbour, is up to 7 metres above Chart Datum on an equinoctial spring tide.

The mud flats (TQ 208 056) including the RSPB Reserve has been notified from 1987 as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under Section 28 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

Wildlife Reports

Estuary Reports 2007

17 December 2006
Add three Oystercatchers to the list below on the Adur estuary before an optimum low tide, before the Lapwings had descended.

13 December 2006
There were well over two thousand birds on the mud at low tide and a quick scan with my binoculars between Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and the new town Footbridge and I noted the following species: hundreds of Lapwings, hundreds of gulls mostly Black-headed Gulls, and Common Gulls, with Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls, a dozen or so Grey Plovers, scores of Dunlins, 18+ Mallards, occasional Redshanks, two Grey Herons (by the housboats), a few Crows, a Little Grebe (1), Cormorant (1+), Little Egret (1+), and a few Meadow Pipits around the Sea Purslane on the banks. The Little Egret was feeding in a shallow pool by the slipway from Adur Recreation Ground and I remember noting its very distinctive yellow feet as it flew a short distance. The Mallards were on the mud flats near the Footbridge. My binoculars were not powerful enough to have a close scrutiny on the distant mud flats and a scope is advised to pick out all the waders. 

30 November 2006
There several hundred Common Gulls on the mud flats north of the Toll Bridge. The sky was filled simultaneously with over a thousand Lapwings and also an estimated several hundred Starlings. Three Cormorants were on station, but the tide was too far out to discern the waders and gulls clearly in the poor light. The Great Black-backed Gulls were present as usual. 

29 November 2006
Between Shoreham Toll Bridge and the town Footbridge, there were seven Mute Swans, 53 Teal, 31 Mallard, seven Little Grebes, three Cormorants, two Little Egrets, five Grey Herons, five Oystercatchers, 106 Ringed Plover, 16 Grey Plover, 558 Lapwing, 322 Dunlin, six Snipe, 42 Redshank, 39 Turnstone, 385 Black-headed Gulls, 150 Common Gulls, 51 Herring Gulls, three Great Black-backed Gulls and two Kingfishers.

Report by Keith Noble (RSPB) on the Sussex Ornithological Society News

27 November 2006
Four Oystercatchers were feeding on the mud at mid-tide by the houseboats (at the west end by the small bridge) and another one was seen with three Cormorants on the sandy water's edge  south of the Toll Bridge

15 November 2006
This was the first time this autumn I had noticed a flock of Lapwings on the sandbanks north of Toll Bridge. An Oystercatcher waded along the water's edge. 

2 November 2006
An Oystercatcher picked along the water's edge at low tide by Ropetackle, as the river winds through Shoreham town centre. 

30 October 2006
One of the two Cormorants diving under the water in the shallows at mid-tide just south of the Toll Bridge, caught a silvery fish and swallowed it quickly. It was almost certainly a first year Bass.


27 October 2006
Four Oystercatchers and a Little Egret were feeding just south of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham at high tide. I watched them for five minutes and then it seemed something spooked them and the four wading birds flew off in unison, calling, and they flew at low level skimming the calm river and underneath the Railway Viaduct, where they disappeared out of view.

23 October 2006
The Adur estuary opposite Shoreham Airport was as calm as a mill pond at a high (5.9 metres) spring tide after the recent gales. 
As usual, a Little Egret waded and fed in the shallows.

18 October 2006
At least seven Grey Herons and two Little Egrets stood staturesque on the mud flats (at low tide) amongst the Sea Purslane and vegetation north of the houseboats on the River Adur estuary. 

An extraordinary white variety of the Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen by the Ricardo Engineering Works and it settled briefly on the edge of the towpath at the west end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. I think it was most likely to have been Colias croceus f. helice.
Detailed Butterfly Report

16 October 2006
Four Little Egrets fed in the shallows at low tide under the Railway Viaduct with three Turnstones and a Redshank, as well as a mixed dozen or so gulls.

11 September 2006
I was surprised to see a Guillemot swimming in the water just west of the Footbridge, off Coronation Green on the high spring tide about 2:00 pm. It drifted upstream, hassled by Black-headed Gulls, before diving down for a few minutes and popping up only a few metres in front of me. Thought it might be a grebe at first, but the size (same as Black-headed Gulls) and white belly gave it away. From the Collins bird guide it looks like adult northern.Europe variety (white throat and ear-coverts separated by a thin black band), or possibly 1st summer. 
It was definitely not a Cormorant or Razorbill

Report by Malcolm Ward
Adur Estuary 2006

The high equinoctial spring tide lapped against the banks near the Toll Bridge.

4 September 2006
A woman was collecting the young shoots of Glasswort (Marsh Samphire) in the mud on the west side of the Toll Bridge at low tide. 

26 July 2006
There was either a Whimbrel or a Curlew on the water's edge of the Adur estuary at low tide between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct. I did not have my binoculars, but is long down-curved beak was unmistakable even at a distance. This bird is unusual on this part of the river. The bird did not seen unduly perturbed by a nearby helicopter as well as bait diggers.  It was about the size of an Oystercatcher.

24 July 2006
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 with a bulge in its neck. It was a hand-sized fish and probably a Flounder

12 July 2006
Two large Grey Mullet nibbled at bread in the shallows at high tide by Coronation Green, Shoreham. The Grey Mullet appear every year so it is only their first appearance that is newsworthy. 

9 & 13 June 2006
A pair of Mute Swans with seven cygnets arrived at Dolphin Hard (next to Coronation Green) in the morning at high tide. Later, a woman fed them white bread in pieces. This arrival looks like a regular event as the Mute Swans pair with seven cygnets were also seen on the high spring tide on the 13th.

8 May 2006
A Whimbrel showed beautifully on the muddy banks of the Adur in Shoreham as the light faded in early evening. 

28 April 2006
The first Ragwort of the year in Shoreham was seen in flower actually growing on the Footbridge from cracks in the structure at the southern end.

26 April 2006
A Shelduck swam slowly down the Adur estuary from the Toll Bridge towards the Railway Viaduct. I did not recognise it at first because I had left my binoculars at home. It was one of very few birds on the half tide river. 

19 April 2006
There were two (a pair had been seen copulating earlier in the year, but I did not make a note of the date) of Oystercatchers on the mussel beds on a rising tide.

4 April 2006
On the receding tide, I noticed two Oystercatchers energetically probing for food on the exiguous of muddy margins south of the Toll Bridge. There seems to remarkably less than normal Mute Swans on the lower stretches of the River Adur in Shoreham this year. Only a handful were present.

28 February 2006
There was Little Grebe diving under the water at low tide just west of the Footbridge.

26 February 2006
Under the cold north-easterly breeze a hundred or so Common Gulls with a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls rested on the mud in the bend of the river on the northern side as the Adur winds its way towards the sea south of Cuckoo's Corner. There were at least four Little Grebes diving under the water. All these birds are usual in February. Redshanks were all along the bank at regular intervals. 

1 February 2006
On the flood tide, the colourful turquoise arrow of a Kingfisher flew out like a dart over the tidal river from the green banks of the River Adur by the disused petrol pump storage area next to the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of Ropetackle). 

31 January 2006
There were five Little Grebes (=Dabchicks) diving under the River Adur in the bend of the river at mid-tide, south of Cuckoo's Corner. One of these small birds was seen with a small fish in its beak.

20 January 2006
About a thousand Common Gulls packed together on the mud north of the Toll Bridge on the River Adur estuary, seen on a rising tide with 600+ Lapwings

The gull flocks which included other species as well, were a contrasting white patch on the brown mud banks under a blue cirrus sky. The other gulls were Herring Gulls, Black-backed Gulls and Black-headed Gulls but there were only a handful of each noted. The tide height (measured at Shoreham Harbour, WX Tides) would be 4.5 metres. 

9 January 2006
I estimated the Lapwing flock on a low neap tide opposite Shoreham Airport (between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct) at about 2500 birds. 

"Passing the time in Shoreham Airport Control Tower on 7 January 2005 because of the grotty weather I counted around 1700 Lapwings on the airfield at one point. There were more and they tend to favour the eastern side of the field (near the river). A single Golden Plover was seen as well."

3 January 2006
A solitary Little Grebe dived repeatedly under a flood high spring tide on the River Adur south of the Toll Bridge.

Adur Estuary Wildlife 2005

A hulk at high tide (23 October 2006)


These are Sea Purslaneand Glasswort with Sea Aster further upstream
and a lesser amount of Seablite
and a small pocket of Cord Grass


Mud Flats
River Adur Estuary Wildlife 2004

Adur Nature Notes 2006:   Index Page

Adur Valley
Adur Nature Notes 2006