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If you find one or more dead swans, ducks or geese, more than three dead birds of the same species - or more than five dead birds of different species, in the same place, you should contact the Defra helpline on 08459 33 55 77. 



 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 bridgesbefore 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.

Sea Purslane on the estuarine margins 
south of Cuckoo's Corner
Four Egrets feeding together south of the Cement Works

Adur Estuary

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

Link to the Adur Estuary Reports 2009

21 December 2008

There were thousands of birds on the River Adur at low tide, notably thousands of Lapwings, thousands of medium-sized gulls, mainly Common Gulls, hundreds of Dunlins, Redshanks, occasional Grey Plover, a few Cormorants and Mute Swans, scores of Great Black-backed Gulls andhundreds of Black-headed Gulls all noted in the area between the Railway Viaduct and Cuckoo's Corner. Thousands of Common Gulls settled on the ploughed field north of Cuckoo's Corner. 

5 December 2008
A Little Grebe dived under the surface at high tide just north of the the Toll Bridge

3 December 2008
A Little Grebe dived under the surface at mid-tide in the main part of the river near Cuckoo's Corner

27 October 2008
At high tide, it seems that there was a particular large number of Lapwings in the air over the River Adur and Shoreham Airport, perhaps as many as two thousand in several flocks. 

22 October 2008
An adult Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina, was hauled out on the bank of the River Adur bank near the Shoreham Airport, at 3.00 pm. A passer by said they saw the seal swim further up the estuary. The sighting occurred about an hour before high tide


10 October 2008
At low tide on the mud flats opposite Coronation Green in Shoreham town, a handful of Grey Plovers were feeding on the southern bank in the middle of the River Adur, before a Redshank and a band of about ten Turnstones appeared on the near bank, constantly on the move, literally turning over the small stones in search of morsels. A Cormorant, a Little Egret, a few Dunlins and immature Herring Gulls were noted. A pair of Mute Swans flew overhead calling loudly. 

Further up the estuary on the main part of the river in the vicinity of Cuckoo's Corner there were about three hundred gulls, which were mainly Common Gulls, but contained other species including Great Black-backed Gulls. A Cow wandered down to the exposed mud flats and began to drink from the tidal river. 

26 September 2008
There were over two hundred Common Gulls on the ploughed field north of Cuckoo's Corner

24 September 2008

Mute Swan Cygnets near the Railway Viaduct
19 September 2008
A couple of Whimbrel were feeding along the water's edge on the River Adur at low tide on the east side mud half way between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct. Through borrowed 12 x 40 Nikon binoculars, I saw the down-curved beak of one of the birds pick up a small crab. The identification was confirmed by a birdwatcher. 

9 September 2008
Scores (over a hundred) of Lapwings rested on the mud at low tide, north of the refurbished Toll Bridge. This was my first note of them returning to roost in the winter months. 

1 September 2008
I spotted a Common Sandpiper from a scope located on the reopened Toll Bridge. It trotted over the mud into the cover of Sea Purslane by the towpath to the north-west. This was my first positive sighting of this relatively common bird, which I had seen before and not recognised it to species. 

31 August 2008
Three small birds with distinctive white bellies, disturbed from amongst the Sea Purslane on the River Adur bank near Cuckoo's Corner, were later identified as Common Sandpipers

17 August 2008

The Toll Bridge was reopened for foot, cycle and horse traffic

24 July 2008
Hundreds of grasshoppers were stridulating in the Sea Purslane on the eastern estuarine bank of the River Adur opposite Cuckoo's Corner. Provisional identification was to the species called the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper, Chorthippus albomarginatus.

Sea Spurrey (intertidal River Adur Sea Purslane bank)

3 July 2008
Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree, Lycium, was observed growing in extensive straggly amounts from the edge of the estuarine river bed by Ropetackle. This is another alien species that is a new addition to the Shoreham flora
Previous Report

15 June 2008
A seal is spotted in the River Adur lower estuary, first of all on the Sussex Wharf side of the river in the early evening from 8:30 pm. It then swam over to the scrapyard side (east of Monteum, where the fishing boats moor up and unload fish) and was seen for 45 minutes chasing after the fish in the river. The most likely species is the Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina. The tide height at 8:30 pm was 4.4 metres. 

Report by Lisa Weller

14 June 2008

Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
Admission: FREE
Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, as part of the Adur Festival
Two unusual bumblebee-sized insects flew over Coronation Green in the afternoon. I think these may have been Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moths, Hemaris tityus
Adur Moths

8 May 2008
On the River Adur by Shoreham airport in the evening: 3 Grey Plover (1 in almost full summer-plumage), Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit (winter-plumaged bird) and 2 Common Sandpipers on the shore while a Hobby flew over and a Sedge Warbler was singing in a ditch nearby. 

Report by Richard Fairbank on Sussex Ornithological News

I surprised two Ruff feeding in the Sea Purslane shallows midway between the Cuckoo's Corner inlet and the Cement Works. 

20 April 2008
Four Little Egrets were spotted feeding together south of the Cement Works.

31 March 2008
There were at least two Little Grebes diving under the water at low tide in the River Adur under the small bridge over the channel leading to the overflow pond south-west of Adur Recreation Ground.

11 February 2008
There were two Cormorants fishing south of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and a few isolated Little Grebes diving under on a high spring tide, mostly north of the Toll Bridge and at least one Little Egret wading in the shallows amongst the Sea Purslane south of Cuckoo's Corner

8 February 2008
Of the two hundred or so gulls resting on the mud banks of the River Adur between Cuckoo's Corner and the Cement Works, most of them were Common Gulls but they included frequent Black-backed Gulls (Lesser or Greater not determined) and occasional Black-headed Gulls

3 February 2008
There were at least three Little Grebes diving under the water at low tide in the main part of the River Adur by Cuckoo's Corner

13 January 2008
A Little Grebe dived in a choppy River Adur near the Railway Viaduct on a high spring tide swollen by the recent rain. 

7 January 2008
A Red-breasted Merganser dived in the shallow channel of water in the River Adur at low tide on the estuarine side of the overflow pond by the houseboats.

5 January 2008
There was a few Teals, perhaps as many as five birds, in the River Adur at low tide on the estuarine side of the overflow pond (west of Adur Recreation Ground) by the houseboats. 

Adur Estuary Wildlife 2007


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 2007

Adur Nature Notes 2008:   Index Page

Adur Valley
Adur Nature Notes 2007