Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 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 2007


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.

Little Egret

Adur Estuary
June - July 2007

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

Adur Estuary Wildlife 2008

26 December 2007
A Little Grebe dived under the water and a Kingfisher arrowed its flight under the Railway Viaduct. A Little Egret was seen actively just north of the A27 Flyover bridge. It was seen to catch a swallow a small fish, almost certainly a first year Bass

20 December 2007
There were at least three Little Grebes diving under the water, around the bend in the River Adur by Cuckoo's Corner, on a low neap tide

12 December 2007
There were occasional Redshanks on the bank of the river from Old Shoreham to the Cement Works, the Canada Goose with two Mute Swans and one Little Grebe was seen diving at high tide

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 mud there were over a hundred mixed gulls and frequent Lapwings

22 November 2007
A Rock Pipit seen perched on Sea Purslane at low tide on the east side of the Adur estuary south of Old Shoreham Tollbridge and it remained in view, but elusively out of reach for a photograph, for at least two minutes and long enough to be sure of my identification (and that it was not the very similar Meadow Pipit). Further up the river, I spotted two Little Grebes on the surface and diving under between Cuckoo's Corner and the Cement Works.

15 November 2007
Three Oystercatchers fed along the water's edge by the Adur Riverside industrial estate north of Ropetackle at medium tide

9 November 2007
A tidal surge threatened the east coast of England. Low pressure and strong winds caused the surge and put at least 60 cm on the forecasted high tide in the River Adur.

4 November 2007
In the afternoon, on a low water neap tide, I spotted two pairs of Little Grebes on the surface and diving under between Cuckoo's Corner and the Cement Works.

2 November 2007
At low tide (neap, 2 metre low) a score or more of Ringed Plovers and at least two squabbling Grey Plovers were noticeable south of the Toll Bridge. There was a procession of at least a dozen Redshanks on the bank of the river evenly spaced in their territories at least as far as the Cement Works, with three Little Grebes diving in the river around the bend north of Cuckoo's Corner. All these birds as well as the inevitable Little Egret and scores of gulls would be expected at this time of the year. There were a few Lapwings, but the large flocks were not on the mudbanks. 

31 October 2007
A Kingfisher fanned its attractive turquoise wings in a semi-circular flight at the eastern end of the Toll Bridge

25 October 2007
On a high flood tide (6.5 metres) a dozen Meadow Pipits flew around the towpath on the Airport side of the Adur estuary. They were in fine plumage and could easily be recognised by their white tail feathers. There were a few other equally sized birds without the white tail feathers that perched on one metre high plants and these may be Reed Buntings? A few Pied Wagtails rose from the wooden sides of the Toll Bridge and flew upwards and away over the river. A single Little Grebe was seen fishing nearer the eastern side by the Adur Riverbank Industrial estate diving and rising nearer the centre of the river after each dive. 

16 October 2007
I spotted a flash of turquoise and brown on a dull day as a Kingfisher flew in a semi-circular flight from a perch near the freshwater Annington Sewer (directly north of Cuckoo's Corner) and then flew along the tidal river bank. Further north along the bank before the river winds past the Cement Works, there were a dozen Pied Wagtails, with their characteristic dipping flight, on the western bank. Amongst of Hawthorn and other trees on the western bank opposite the Cement Works, the green-yellow belly of a Yellowhammer was most noticeable amongst the rather dull broken trees. 

12 October 2007
Four Turnstones foraged at the medium tideline amongst the rubble and stones by Ropetackle, Shoreham. They used their beaks to turn small stones. 

7 October 2007
Students of the Landscape Studies advanced education course by the University of Sussex were surveying the riverbank around the high tide mark (at low tide) for flora upriver from Cuckoo's Corner. I was able to identify Spear-leaved Orache amongst the Sea Couch Grass. I also saw my first Grey Plover of the autumn south of the Toll Bridge. I have probably overlooked them before. 

1 October 2007
A Shelduck swam in the Adur estuary south of the Toll Bridge at medium low tide

25 September 2007
A Kingfisher flew westwards like an arrow parallel with the Railway Viaduct

23 September 2007
A couple of Little Egret, a Grey Heron and a Cormorant were all seen fishing in the River Adur north of the Toll Bridge at medium low tide and near Cuckoo's Corner

4 September 2007
A young male Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, called "George" followed a boat into the River Adur and stayed for most of the day until coaxed back out to sea by Shoreham inshore lifeboat before it could stranded on the low neap tide
This particular Bottle-nosed Dolphin habitually enters English Channel harbours, but for all of last year was found around the French coast. 

Marine Life off Sussex
BMLSS Cetacea
Whales & Dolphins around the British Isles
3 August 2007
A Canada Goose followed a Mute Swan at high tide by Ropetackle in Shoreham town

22 July 2007
A Grey Heron fished in the river south of Cuckoo's Corner and there were two Little Egrets as usual. 

5 July 2007
A Little Egret was actively fishing by the Toll Bridge at low tide and nearer Cuckoo's Corner a Grey Heron took off after being disturbed fishing. 

Lesser Sea-spurrey, Spergularia marina11 June 2007
The tiny flowers of the Lesser Sea-spurrey, Spergularia marina, were seen on the edge of the Sea Purslane and the towpath north of Cuckoo's Corner

3 June 2007
At last I was able to get out in the recent sunshine where I took the towpath on the western side of the river north of Cuckoo's Corner (a rare route in recent years), where I unexpectedly noticed a pair of Oystercatchers by the earth bank at high tide, plus three Pied Wagtails rising from the earth bank on the waterside of the cattle pasture. 

Thick-lipped Grey Mullet, Chelon labrosus, were swimming upstream in the Adur estuary at least as far as the Cement Works where Mick the angler caught one and released it back into the river immediately, at high tide. I lost count of the Mute Swans at 41 on the river by the Cement Works. One Little Egret waded along the thin strip of mud (at high tide) north of the South Downs Way Bridge.

22 May 2007
A Grey Heron fished at low tide as the River Adur flows west-east south of Cuckoo's Corner

6 May 2007
A Greenshank was seen on the River Adur estuary at Old Shoreham on the south side of the Toll Bridge at 3:00 pm.

Report by Chris Corrigan on Sussex Ornithological News

11 April 2007
My first immigrant Wheatear was spotted on the towpath approaches to the south of Cuckoo's Corner; it landed on a pole but quickly flew off. Although unmistakably a Wheatear, this bird seemed to have more black than usual noticed in the white tail region.

24 March 2007
A northerly (NNW) breeze (Force 4) blew across the flooded estuary at high tide south of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge, with a Cormorantfishing and another one on a pole and five  Oystercatchers or a small patch of vegetation in the river. 

21 March 2007
A Shelduck swam on the flooded River Adur estuary, on an equinoctial spring high tide, south of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge.

13 March 2007
An Iceland Gull still in its first winter plumage was seen in the morning between 8:40 and 9:30am on the River Adur estuary between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct. At low tide the gull frequented the mud/sand bars in the river and generally loafed with a large gathering of mixed gulls. 

Report by Bernie Forbes & Dave Smith 
on the Birds of Sussex Yahoo Group

12 March 2007

Five Little Grebes swam and dived on the River Adur south of Cuckoo's Corner

7 March 2007
On the estuary just north of the viaduct, a Little Grebe dived under water at high tide.

19 February 2007
On the Adur mud flats outside the Waterside Inn at half tide there a dozen Ringed Plovers darting about on the mud with at least one Redshank wading close to the shore and a Grey Plover bathed in a pool left by the receding high spring tide.

11 February 2007
On Shoreham airfield there were at least 1,500 Lapwing hunkered down in the wind and rain and around the houseboats on the River Adur estuary there was a flock of 65 Teal, the most we have seen here for a few years.
Report by Dave & Penny Green on the Sussex Ornithological Society News

15 January 2007
Huddled close together on the edge of the mud and water between Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct about a hundred Ringed Plovers all faced west and had their grey backs to me viewing from the east bank of the Adur estuary. This number is unrecorded before on these Nature Notes pages and this could be because they have been missed previously. A black Brent Goose swam in mid-stream at low tide. There weres scores of Dunlins and a Grey Plover was noted. North of the Toll Bridge there were several hundred Common Gulls on the mud flats and at one time they all rose in flight as a hundred Lapwings flew over as though they were about to descend. So the whole air space was covered in birds in two bands of Common Gulls topped by the higher flying Lapwings. I noted Redshanks and a diving Cormorant and a few Crows. There were two Oystercatchers pecking around the shallow pools by Ropetackle and a Pied Wagtail landed on the mud. 

Adur Estuary Wildlife 2006

27 October 2006


These are Sea Purslane and 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 2007