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July 2006


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

Six-spot Burnet Moth on Field Scabious in the middle area of Mill Hill

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



30 July 2006
Chalkhill Blue Butterflies showed just an average year on Mill Hill with just 243 recorded in the sunshine, with equates with an estimated day record on the wing of about 650 on Mill Hill. The day total number of butterfly species was 17 which equals the best ever. 

Chalkhill Blue on Mill Hill in its habitat with its larval food plant Horseshoe Vetch
Common Blue Butterflies (95+) and Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were very frequently seen, Small Whites and Red Admirals were frequent enough, but the rest of the list; Small Blue (1), Holly Blue (2), Large Whites (4+), Green-veined Whites (3+), Speckled Wood (7+), Small/Essex Skipper (3+), Marbled White (10+), Comma (1), Wall Brown (1), Small Heath (1), Painted Lady (2) came in dribs and drabs in the space of one and a half hours. 
Butterfly Report

On the southern part of Mill Hill, a Hornet Robber Fly settled on the path and another one landed briefly on the Pixie Path
Adur Flies

29 July 2006
A female Stag Beetle was flying around in our lounge in Mill Hill Close (south of Mill Hill) after darkness. This is number five we have seen. They were surprisingly nimble in flight but very noisy.

Adur Beetles

The bird on the river26 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. It was about the size of an Oystercatcher.

24 July 2006

Every summer Grass Snakes visit our garden in West Way at the western end of the Hasler Estate in south Lancing. The snake visited our garden pond in our garden that backs onto open low-lying scrub land. This scrub is traversed by a freshwater stream with reed beds. 

Report by Wendy Dowse
Photograph by John Dowse
The Adur Levels provide a different mixture of butterflies from the downs, although many of the same species are recorded. A Clouded Yellow Butterfly seen near the South Downs Way Bridge over the River Adur accounted for an increase to 16 butterflies for the day (the most species seen this year). The other species of butterfly seen were Common Blues (40+), Gatekeeper (20+), Meadow Brown (52+), Small/Essex Skipper (20+), Marbled White (2), Large White (20+), Small White (2), Green-veined White (3+), Red Admiral (20+), Painted Lady (4), Comma (3), Holly Blue (31+), Speckled Wood (7), Peacock (1) and Chalkhill Blues (2). The Chalkhill Blues were seen at Anchor Bottom
Butterfly Report
A single male Ruddy Darter (dragonfly) was seen on Spring Dyke (next to Miller's Stream) but the field was too overgrown to enter with Hogweed up to two metres high. 
Adur Dragonflies 2006

23 July 2006
It was cooler and just about tolerable to observe 15 species of butterfly during one and a half hours of the morning on Slonk Hill and mostly on Mill Hill. Chalkhill Blue Butterflies led the way with over 163 seen and 136 of these seen within 20 minutes on the short herb sward of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The other species of butterfly seen were Gatekeeper (80+), Common Blue (3 to 20+), Meadow Brown (55+), Small/Essex Skipper (25+), Large Skipper (1), Marbled White (24), Large White (12+), Red Admiral (12+), Painted Lady (5), Comma (4), Holly Blue (2), Green-veined White (3), Ringlet (1) and Speckled Wood (3).

Silver Y Moth Male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly

However, in the long grass meadows and wasteland, this number of Chalkhill Blues was probably exceeded by Silver Y Moths in the undergrowth during a period of an hour when several hundred would have been disturbed or spotted. 

The first of the spectacular hoverflies Volucella zonaria of the year was spotted on the south side of the Buckingham Cutting. Two small black and yellow flying insects were sawflies.
The first juicy Blackberries were fruiting. 

Butterfly Report
Adur Moths
Adur Hoverflies
Adur Bees, Wasps and Sawflies

The black and yellow Soldier Fly, Stratiomys potamida, made a short appearance in my south Lancing garden, (TQ 185 046). It may have hatched from the garden pond as this fly had done the previous year

Adur Flies 2006

21 July 2006
At 27.9 ºC and 60 % humidity it was far too warm to go to the downs to see butterflies, but I was surprised to see a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly near the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. Fresh Peacock Butterflies appear to have emerged with one good condition butterfly seen. Ten species of butterfly were seen in and around Shoreham.
Butterfly Report

19 July 2006
At 1:22 pm, the highest ever temperature of 30.7 ºC was recorded at Shoreham.
This rose to 31.0 ºC at 1:36 pm. The wind direction was East
The local inshore sea temperature was 19.8 °C. However, in the central English Channel the surface sea temperature measured 16.8°C.
Surface Sea Temperatures (Link)
July Weather Summary

18 July 2006
A Banded Agrion Damselfly passed through my south Lancing garden at fence height without pausing to explore. 

Adur Damselflies 2006

17 July 2006
At 3:58 pm it became HOT as the temperature attained 30.0 ºC. The highest temperature attained during the day was 30.3 ºC at 4:15 and 4:30 pm, with a wind speed of 2 mph. It was the warmest morning of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.6 ºC at 11:39 am.

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

NB: A recent historic look at the records, I find a Shoreham Beach record air temperature of 30.6 °C on 5 August 2003.

15 July 2006
Flying Ants about to take-off from Connaught Avenue, Shoreham.
Photograph by 
Garry Finch

A young healthy looking Fox was caught in the car headlights in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, at the eastern junction with Corbyn Crescent, just before midnight.

13 July 2006

Southern Migrant Hawker (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
A splendid Southern Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis, and both male and female Ruddy Darters were captured on camera. They were discovered on the Adur Levels about a half mile north of the A27 Flyover. The dragonflies were seen in the narrow area of the drainage ditches and pastures between the cyclepath and the River Adur. (TQ 202 075). The Southern Migrant Hawker is a rare immigrant dragonfly and the last one was discovered in Kent in 1952. 
Identification by David Appleton Report with Images
Adur Dragonflies 2006
UK Dragonflies Yahoo Group
A quick look at Shoreham beach seemed to show a reduction in the numbers of Childing Pink flowers as somebody had cut the vegetation on the sand outside the Harbour Club, and only one of the frequent flowers blowing in the breeze was doubled. Childing Pink
11 July 2006
Round-headed Rampion is seen in flower for the first time this year on Mill Hill Chalkhill Blue visiting a Stemless Thistle

A Red Admiral Butterfly outside my front door in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was an auspicious start to a day of weak sunshine in which a brief sortie to on Slonk Hill south and Mill Hill produced about 250 butterflies of eleven species with Gatekeepers 80+ leading the way from Small Skippers 60+ and Meadow Browns at about 45. 14 Comma Butterflies were seen, most of them on Mill Hill. It is still too early for the Chalkhill Blues with only four seen.
Butterfly Report

9 July 2006
My first confirmed 3+ Small Skippers (a butterfly) of the year were seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, south of the Toll Bridge. A Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly) distracted my attention so much that I missed a fleeting glimpse of a Comma Butterfly in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

7 July 2006
On an overcast day with at least three predatory Southern Hawker Dragonflies actively patrolling the Waterworks Road, it was not surprising that the only butterflies seen were a Meadow Brown and two Red Admirals which could have been the same one. 
Adur Butterfly List 2006

Meadow Brown with the Double Spick3 July 2006
Three species of butterfly were seen for the first time this year; two Ringlets on the southern grass embankment of the Slonk Hill Cutting, a Gatekeeper first seen on the south part of the Buckingham Cutting and a surprise very early couple of Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In the midday sunshine I was unable to chase the skippers around to discover what they were. There could have been my first Small Skipper of the year.
Overall, butterflies were common for the first time this year with over a hundred seen in the first hour and a half. Marbled Whites led the way and fifty were counted, all but one on Mill Hill. The tally of butterfly and skipper species was just eleven definites. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

2 July 2006
Tottington Wood between Small Dole and Edburton produced an excellent count of 56 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 White Admirals, 3 Ringlets, Red Admiral, a Green-veined White plus plenty of Large Skippers.  In the garden in Edburton the first of the summer brood of Comma and Small Tortoiseshell were seen.

Report by Tony Wilson on Sussex Butterflies

It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.8 ºC  at 4:16 pm. This was the warmest temperature that I have ever recorded. 
It was a surprise to see the first Hummingbird Hawk-moth of the year whirring around my uncut Garden Privet hedge before flying on. This was much earlier in the year than their normal first appearance. 
Adur Moths

1 July 2006
A young healthy looking Fox was caught in the car headlights in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, just before midnight when the air temperature was an astonishing 24.1 ºC. During the day it was the warmest of the year so far as the air temperature measured 29.2 ºC at 4:01 pm.
Shoreham Town & Gardens
Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

Swimming amongst large numbers of Moon Jellyfish just inside the lock gates at Shoreham Harbour, was an impressive large 150 cm (5 ft) Conger Eel that seemed quite keen to reach the open sea.

Southwick Nature

July Weather Summary

Adur Butterfly List 2006
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

British Marine Life Study Society



Mill Hill News Reports 2006

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
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 2006 web pages
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Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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