ADUR
NATURE NOTES
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
 
 

July 2010

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

Pyramidal Orchid & Lady's Mantle
on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting
 

The downs were parched after a dry June

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

30 July 2010
On a cloudy day the first two brown female Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were spotted crawling amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the south-eastern bank of the Mill Hill Cutting where 25 males flew in this small garden-sized patch, and latterly another two, including a mating pair, were spotted on the transect 1.2 acre of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where an estimated hundred males were disturbed on a very dull middle of the day visit. Thirteen butterfly species were seen on an unfavourable day on a restricted outing. 
Butterfly & Moth Report
 

Chalkhill Blue
Volucella zonaria

Hoverflies were frequent on the southern part of the Buckingham Cutting with Myathropa florea visiting Hogweed flowers, a Scaeva species visiting the smaller meadow flowers and the large impressive Volucella zonaria choosing Brambles as its favourite flower. 

29 July 2010
On an overcast a very mixed bag of a day, the highlight was the sudden rise of a large light blue Emperor Dragonfly from the top part of McIntyres Field, the part of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve now included in the South Downs National Park. This dragonfly is scarce locally and not seen every year.
This was nearly usurped by two possible Dark Green Fritillaries over my head and then lost in the trees of Lancing Clump. If confirmed this would have been the first time I had seen this butterfly. The dewpond on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve was completely dry. 
 

Green Woodpecker on the Lancing Ring meadows
Purple Loosestrife at Lancing Dewpond

Other noteworthy occurences were the emergence of fresh Green-veined White Butterflies on the Adur Levels, notably over thirty seen over the set-aside field, west of Ladywells and seen from the Coombes Road. Over fifty of this white butterfly were seen during the day when a total of fifteen definite butterfly species were recorded and the one orange one unconfirmed. 
My first Volucella inanis hoverfly of the year was seen under the canopy of trees that is Lancing Clump
Lancing Ring Full Report (including the Full Butterfly Report)

28 July 2010
With three days before the peak emergence of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies on Mill Hill would be expected, the numbers are extremely poor with just 49 males recorded on the lower slopes transect on a cloudy day. The first second brood male Adonis Blue was noted on the lower slopes, with five Wall Browns amongst 17 species of butterfly seen on Mill Hill and its approaches. Male Common Blue Butterflies were almost as frequent as the Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and on the middle and upper slopes their numbers exceeded 200. Females of these three blue species were not noted, but the cloudy and breezy conditions were well below optimum. Ten Small Blue Butterflies still fluttered around on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting
 
A terrier dog barking attracted my attention to the Wasps Nest high in a tree at the top of Buckingham Park, Shoreham. It is the papery nest of the Tree Wasp, Dolichovespula media
 


It is a dark brown and yellow wasp, intermediate in size between the Common Wasp and German Wasp and the Hornet. It is a recent colonist of Britain, having spread across England since the mid 1980s.
Adur Bees & Wasps
 

It was on the crumble chalky bank of the Mill Hill Cutting that my first flowering
Carline Thistle of the year was spotted. 
Butterfly & Moth Report
Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill

25 July 2010
 

Gatekeeper (male)
Gatekeeper (female)

A clump of Marjoram on the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath between the first layby and Old Shoreham (going south) hosted a female Gatekeeper appreciably larger than her three male attendants and a Brown Argus, with a Meadow Brown visiting the clump occasionally. The photographs above show the relative sizes of each gender. 

23 July 2010
A Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, skittered into the undergrowth next to the northern steps amongst the Hawthorn scrub down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This was my first of the year. 
On a cloudy day, the meadow north of the upper car park on Mill Hill exploded in blue butterflies with ten male Common Blues in a square metre on about fifteen occasions and more blues and other butterflies over the rest of the meadows on Mill Hill giving total numbers seen in excess of 400. All were males and no females were spotted. Many more were hidden on a cool day. 
The Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes were not flying unless disturbed so only fifteen were seen on the 1.2 acre transect. Fifteen butterfly species were seen on a cool day.
Full Mill Hill Report
Adur Moths
Other Butterfly Reports
 

Comma
Large White
Meadow Brown
Gatekeeper
Red Admiral
Green-veined White
Speckled Wood
Common Blue
Ringlet
Brown Argus
Peacock
Chalkhill Blue
Brimstone
Marbled White
 Wall Brown
 
Small Purple-barred Moth
Silver Y Moth
Six-spotted Burnet Moth

My first confirmed impressive Volucella zonaria hoverfly of the year was seen on a clearing on the southern path of the Slonk Hill Cutting, north Shoreham. 

20 July 2010
My first Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, of the year put on an attractive display as it hovered/flitted around a clump of Greater Knapweed  in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the count of male Chalkhill Blues were still a mere seventeen. Although it is over a week to the peak period, it still looks like it will be another poor year for this downland butterfly. The top meadow (north of upper car park) on Mil Hill was noted for an explosion of male Common Blues with twenty of these bright blue butterflies all appearing at once. Over a hundred butterflies of fifteen species were seen on the day with Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers appearing almost everywhere. 
Butterfly & Moth Report
Abridged Mill Hill Report
 

Comma
Large White
Meadow Brown
Gatekeeper
Red Admiral
Small White
Small Skipper
Common Blue
Holly Blue
Brown Argus
Peacock
Chalkhill Blue
Small Heath
Marbled White
Speckled Wood
 
Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Silver Y Moth
Six-spotted Burnet Moth

An astonishing 22 butterfly species were seen on the Lancing Ring meadows over two days as follows:
 

Gatekeeper 
Meadow Brown 
Marbled White 
Large White 
Red Admiral 
Peacock 
Small Copper 
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper
Comma 
Common Blue 
Holly Blue 
Small Tortoiseshell 
Brimstone 
Small Heath 
Green-veined White 
Wall Brown 
 Dark Green Fritillary
Ringlet
Small White
Speckled Wood
Painted Lady
   

One small patch of Bramble was unusually attractive to butterflies today with no less than 13 species attracted to it in a 15 minute watch. This included a Dark Green Fritillary which gave me some very good close views and five Common Blues

Report by Mark Senior on Sussex Butterfly Reports


This is the first positive record of a Dark Green Fritillary on Lancing Ring on these Nature Notes pages. 

19 July 2010
Swallows swooped over Shoreham Beach
It was on a small grass verge next to the A27 dual carriageway in north Lancing (opposite of Lancing Manor) that I spotted my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year. Large Whites were frequently seen everywhere from around the Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach to the roads of gardens of Lancing as I cycled along. Eight butterfly species and one Burnet Moth were seen on a passage cycle ride from Shoreham Beach to Lancing. 
Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

18 July 2010
A slight break in the poor weather and there were plenty of flying insects around Shoreham, especially on the southern bank of the Buckingham Cutting where the first Common Darter (dragonfly) of the year was spotted in the hedgerow. In the same hedge, another first of the year was a Volucella hoverfly but I was not quite sure of the species. 
 

Common Blue
Volucella pellucens (hoverfly)

Butterflies stayed still enough for positive identification on a cloudy day and a few remained stationary long enough for a photograph before being blown about on the breeze. Ten butterfly species were seen on the small route along the southern path of the Slonk Hill Cutting, north Shoreham. 
Butterfly Report

11 July 2010
North of the top car park on the Mill Hill the first second brood Common Blue Butterflies appeared with four fresh males seen amongst in the long grass and herb meadow. Under the midday sun, I noted just the three male Chalkhill Blues on the lower slopes.
 

Chalkhill Blue
Round-headed Rampion

Round-headed Rampion was seen in flower for the first time this year with at least a dozen plants seen, but there would be many more on the short sward top slopes. 
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Extra Wild Flower Images and Reports

10 July 2010
At Shermanbury the freshwater reaches of the western River Adur are more like a large slow flowing stream, with plenty of vegetation including yellow Water Lilies. Shoals of Rudd with reddish fins could be seen in the surface waters with much smaller silvery fish fry. By far the most impressive sight was the appearance of frequent attractive male Banded Demoiselles which were everywhere and numbered in excess of thirty in a small area of river near the road bridge. A large brown dragonfly cruised repeatedly over the river, and it was much too large to be a Common Darter.
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2010
 

Silver-washed Fritillary

At Southwater Woods, I recorded White Admiral Butterflies and Silver-washed Fritillaries for the first time this year.
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Levels

The elusive White-letter Hairstreaks were discovered in Kingston Lane, Shoreham. Opposite the southern entrance to Shoreham Academy (formerly Kings Manor School) there is a long line of Elms on the east side of Kingston Lane (TQ 237 056). In the morning we saw two at the northern end of these Elms at about 10:00 am and then another about half way along. They spent the whole time flitting round the canopy though I did see one settled through binoculars. These are the first records of this butterfly on these web pages. Also a Small Tortoiseshell and then a first of the year Clouded Yellow in Phoenix Way, Southwick. 

Report by Paul & Bridget James on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

9 July 2010
An unprecedented number of over forty Ringlet Butterflies were seen on the Slonk Hill Cutting meadows in north Shoreham. 

Banded Demoiselle
A spectacular Banded Demoiselle (a damselfly), Calopteryx splendens, an Azure Damselfly, and a Small Red Damselfly all flew over the Annington Sewer near the Oak Tree
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2010

8 July 2010
On the Lancing Clump meadows, well over a hundred butterflies fluttered about; I recorded sixteen species on the day including very frequent Marble Whites, Meadow Browns and Small Skippers
 

Pyramidal Orchid
Marble White Butterfly

A female Sparrowhawk flew up into the trees (I saw its underside) by the Streamside Hut near the Ladywell's Stream on the Coombes Road. Azure Damselflies were mating above the small weir on the stream with two dragonflies flying and not settling. They seemed too small to be Broad-bodied Chasers compared to the two males seen over the Lancing Ring dewpond puddle. A Blue-tailed Damselfly was seen resting on vegetation by the Ladywell's Stream, and a Southern Hawker cruised over the Lancing Ring meadows and was later seen to the west of the dewpond
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Levels

5 July 2010
The first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year was recorded at 11.06 am on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Five Ringlet Butterflies were recorded on the top of Mill Hill for the first time and two were seen at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham. Butterflies were common (100+) of seventeen different species seen in a couple of hours; the most variety in a single day this year.
 

Musk Thistle
Large Skipper
Marbled White on
Greater Knapweed
Chalkhill Blue 1
Marbled White 36+
Meadow Brown 33+
Peacock 1
Small Heath 9
Gatekeeper 9+
Ringlet 7
Small Blue 2+
Small Skipper 2
Large Skipper 1
Comma 3
Speckled Wood 3
Large White 3+
Small White 3+
Green-veined White 1
Small Tortoiseshell 1+
Red Admiral 3
 
6-spotted Burnet Moth 3
Yellow Shell Moth 1

Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Wild Flower Report
Wild Flower Images from Mill Hill

4 July 2010
Like a falling leaf a Swallow-tailed Moth, Ourapteryx sambucaria, dropped out of the tree canopy on to the meadow on the verges of the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath midway between Old Shoreham and the Cement Works at Upper Beeding. 
 

Ringlet Butterfly
Swallow-tailed Moth

Nine species of butterfly were seen on the Adur Levels during the morning including frequent Ringlet Butterflies, three Wall Browns and three Comma Butterflies. 
Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Moths

3 July 2010
A Small Skipper stayed still enough for a photograph by the Steyning Road (footpath entrance) in Old Shoreham and a fresh Comma Butterfly fluttered along the Waterworks Road
Adur Skippers

2 July 2010
Three of the first Small Skippers of 2010 visited the clumps of Tufted Vetch and three strong flying Marbled White Butterflies were seen amongst the long grasses on the towpath from Old Shoreham to Beeding Cement Works.
 

Six-spotted Burnet Moth
Small Skipper

Gatekeeper Butterflies were seen frequently along the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath by the Cement Works at Upper Beeding where in the tall meadow verges of Hardheads and Melilot, a few Ringlet Butterflies were seen; both species for the first time this year. A first of the year Southern Hawker (dragonfly) cruised amongst the first flowering Buddleia in the same area. 
At Old Shoreham, one Six-spotted Burnet Moth was seen to have recently emerged from its cocoon on a Yarrow plant on the cyclepath south of the the old Toll Bridge
Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Adur Burnet Moths
Wild Flower Report

1 July 2010
On Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach, about a dozen Childing Pink, Petrorhagia nanteuilii, were in flower blowing about in the breeze, with one clear double-flower showing alongside the Kidney Vetch. Encroaching vegetation appears to be been cleared since by last visit in 2008
 
 

Childing Pink
Starry Clover

A small Field Grasshopper, Chorthippus brunneus, hopped amongst the late flowering patch of Starry Clover, Trifolium stellatum, near the Old Fort, where a Marbled White Butterfly flew over the long grass. To the west, on a garden wall of one of the houses backing on to the shingle beach, and adult intact Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skittered into shelter. 
Butterfly Report
 


 

July 2009
 


History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2010
 

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village
 

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.


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