Black-headed Gull in flight (Photograph by Ian Thirlwell)
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Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003

Valley and Flood Plain from of the River Adur


River Adur tidal reaches 


Sussex downland on both sides of the River Adur,
including Mill Hill Nature Reserve


Extensive urban area including the coastal towns of Shoreham, Southwick and Lancing, and the inland town of Steyning and countryside villages


Rich marine, seashore, shingle beach and lagoon habitats

Fungi of Lancing
Fungi of Shoreham
Adur Fruiting Bodies Database
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Lancing Clump Supplementary
Autumn 2004 
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Fungi Images on the Web (Index)
Spring Dyke next to the Miller's
 Stream (Adur Levels)
Waterworks Road
Mill Hill (Summer 2004)
Lower (Horseshoe Vetch) Slopes of Mill Hill
Lancing Ring and Meadows
Slonk Hill and 
Road Embankment
Widewater Lagoon 2004
Adur Insect Links:

Solitary Bees
Adur Bees, Wasps & Sawflies



June 2005

* If the grid references are not given they could be found on the 
Adur Wildlife database on the Adur eForum


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the images will reveal a larger photograph or a link to another page

European Lobster
Homarus gammarus


30 June 2005
The long dry spell ended with 2 mm of rain on an overcast day. 

29 June 2005
I was still unable to get close enough to get a clear view of a large dragonfly with a startlingly bright yellow banded abdomen that patrolled the Waterworks Road, north of Old Shoreham. The dragonfly was at least 75 mm in length. Its identity remains unknown. 
I did manage my first ever sighting of the bright blue abdomen of the Beautiful Demioselle, Calopteryx virgo, with its large dark wings which I could see as it settled underneath a Sycamore leaf four metres above the Stinging Nettles. 
Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies
Subsequent Report of the Dragonfly

With a noisy squawk a splendidly coloured Green Woodpecker was seen close up as it flew in a semi-circular flight over the Waterworks Road. Comma Butterflies were very prominent with eight butterflies seen and possibly more.
5-spot Burnet Moth
Five-spot Burnet Moth

The choices of species are:

Five-spot Burnet, Zygaena trifolii subsp. decreta

Five-spot Burnet, Zygaena trifolii subsp. palustrella

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Zygaena lonicerae subsp. latomarginata.

On the rough ground south of the Elm Corridor in New Monks Farm (west) a dozen of the first Burnet Moths of the year were first confirmed. They were most likely to have been the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth, Zygaena lonicerae.
Butterfly Report for the Day
Adur Burnet Moths

26-28 June 2005
The pair of Hedgehogs in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) have produced a litter of three piglets which are sheltering in a small cave area under a small dry stone wall beside the pond. The area is concealed by vegetation from the vigorous growth of Water Mint surrounding the pond. In the evening, after dark (after 9:30 pm)  the piglets which measure about 15 cm long are about a third the size of their parents. 

Young Hedgehog (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

The three young Hedgehogs are very active after dark making full use of the garden, exploring all the corners in search of a meal. We put out a tray of Pedigree dog food which was readily eaten by one of the adults but the young piglets did not find it appealing. 

Report and Photograph by Ray Hamblett on Lancing Nature Notes
Hedgehog Shelter (pic)
More Pictures and Information

24 June 2005
With the air temperatures of 28.7 ºC at 4:27 pm, it is the warmest day this year. Suddenly, thunder rumbled and lightning flashed and the rain started about 5:40 pm. 5.08 mm fell and it was all over by about 6:00 pm. The temperature was down to 20.8 ºC by midnight. 

Butterfly List for the Day

23 June 2005
Orangey Comma Butterflies were seen for the first time in their second brood, the first one at Cuckoo's Corner. I saw my first Marbled White and Brown Argus Butterflies on Lancing Ring meadows, (but Ray Hamblett had already seen these butterflies before this year). 
Nine species of butterfly were discovered on a brief visit to Lancing Ring with two species found elsewhere.
Butterfly List for the Day
The highest air temperature this year, so far, was 28.4 ºC at 5:16 pm to 5:40 pm, humidity 52 %.

Leap Frog
In Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden, an adult Common Frog covered a measured 300 cm in six leaps to reach the small pond. An unidentified medium-sized brown dragonfly was larger than a Common Darter. 

22 June 2005
45 Spiny Spider Crabs, Maja squinado, are found washed up dead on Southwick Beach. They were all very small specimens about 75 mm carapace width. 

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
NB:  This was the size of crab that I caught in my shrimp net on 13 June 2005.

High temperatures continued into the evening, recording 27.2 ºC at 8:45 pm. There was no wind, registering Calm (Force 0) on the anemometer. The temperature fell to 26.1 ºC by 9:00 pm. It fell further to 23.7 ºC by sunset at 9:18 pm. The temperature at midnight was 20.4 ºC.

The offshore sea surface temperature in the mid-English Channel was 14.2º C.
National Data Buoy Center (English Channel)

21 June 2005
Summer Solstice
6:36 am GMT  7:36 am BST

On Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach, Kidney Vetch has invaded and almost taken over the designated Childing Pink area, but these small mauve-pink flowers have spread to their preferred sandy habitat, an area between the Harbour Club and the river. They are not in double flower yet which is characteristic of this plant.
On Old Fort, a single Wall Lizard, Podarcis, poked his head out of a hole in the flint wall, for a fraction of a second on three occasions. Starry Clover, Trifolium stellatum, had already flowered. 
Adur Coastal 2005
Solitary Wasp (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) This wasp, maybe Ectemnius continuus visited the rotting log by the pond in my south Lancing garden at TQ 186 044.

Adur Bees and Wasps

Maximum temperature: 25.4 ºC at . The temperature was checked against my own thermometer in town and found to match exactly. 

20 June 2005
The air temperature reached 27.9 ºC at . Humidity was 62% at the time. Although the warmest day this year, it was not yet quite as hot as June 2004.

19 June 2005
White cirrus clouds and vapour trails crossed the azure blue sky as the air temperatures attained 27.7 ºC in a Gentle Breeze (Force 3) the warmest day of the year so far. Humidity fell to 50 %.
Butterfly List for the Day

18 June 2005
Adonis Blues still led the way with eight species of butterfly in an hour on Mill Hill (lower slopes). Sea Heath was flowering on the Widewater flood plain.
Butterfly List for the Day
At 26.6 ºC it was the warmest day of the year so far without a cloud in the blue sky. Humidity varied from 90% before dawn to 64% in the heat. 

17 June 2005
Hoverfly (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) This hoverfly was not recognised immediately. It is Volucella inflata

It was discovered in McIntyre's Field near Lancing Clump.

Report and Photograph by Ray Hamblett on Lancing Nature Notes
Adur Hoverflies

A strong flying yellow butterfly, see over the Slonk Hill Cutting (south bank) and another over the Coastal Link Cyclepath between the A27 Flyover and the first road lay-by I first thought it must be a Clouded Yellow, but the absence of black around the battered wing edges convinced me that this was Brimstone Butterfly. This was one of nine species of Butterfly and skipper in an hour on a day when I did not visit the downs
Full Butterfly Report for the Day

16 June 2005 
The Secret Lives of Garden Birds
Dominic Couzens presented an interesting talk at Lancing Parish Hall based on his recent book 'The Secret Lives of Garden Birds'. 
Dominic Couzens, is a professional ornithologist and regular contributor to Birdwatching Magazine.
The talk was arranged by Brighton RSPB.

14 June 2005
An hours ramble around a breezy Lancing Ring and its meadows produced only a few butterflies of five species but included the first Marbled White Butterfly recorded in Adur this year and one of the first in England this year. Other species included Speckled Woods 4, Common Blues 4, Red Admiral 1 and a Meadow Brown
My star find for the day was a single stem of Grass Vetchling, Lathyrus nissolia. I have only seen this elusive plant once before on the meadow.

Lancing Nature Notes
More Grass Vetchling Images
Butterfly Conservation First Sightings 2005
Lancing Butterfly Gallery (by Ray Hamblett)

The black and white bird I did not recognise immediately in the twitten between Ravensbourne Avenue and Buckingham Park, Shoreham, and it took me twenty seconds or so to realise this was a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker.

13 June 2005
Just the one Meadow Brown Butterfly made an brief show on the lower slopes of Mill Hill where the Horseshoe Vetch has faded so much that it can be no longer seen at a distance, although hundreds of  flowers can still be seen on the ground close-up. This male was the first of the year of this common butterfly
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005

Pyramidal Orchid
Bee Orchid
Spotted Orchid

Orchids in Shoreham

Bee Orchids were growing tall in the long grass verges with Red Clover at the junction of Mill Hill Road (leads to Mill Hill) and Mill Hill Close.

Original Orchid Report by Betty Bishop
Adur Orchids

Two damselflies were seen on the south bank of the Mill Hill Cutting. They were a Blue-tailed Damselfly and a confirmed identification of a Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum. The latter was the first of the year the former may have been as well. Some species are very close to one another and it is tricky to be sure of their identity

Hundreds of cuttlebones of the Common Cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, are washed up on the strandline along the shore as is normal in June when the adults die after spawning. In the shallow sea on a neap low tide, the push-net off Lancing Beach (off Golden Sands Caravan Park) failed to locate a single shrimp in over thirty minutes. The sand flats were barren except for an adult Weever, Echiichthys vipera, a soft recently moulted Spiny Spider Crab, Maja squinado, and one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis.
Adur Intertidal
BMLSS Crabs of the Seashore and Shallow Seas

12 June 2005
There were two adult Slow Worms underneath a piece of cardboard on the wild ground, mostly Hawthorn, between the A27 road embankment and the houses north of Buckingham Park. 

Full Report

10 June 2005
A young Fox scampered across the busy Ham Road in the centre of Shoreham town, mobbed by two Herring Gulls in broad daylight (5:45 pm) and went into the gardens of the Guildbourne House apartments, next to the Old Schoolhouse (near the Surry Street junction). 

8 June 2005
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around the Water Forget-me-not in my south Lancing garden pond.

Lancing Butterfly Picture Index (by Ray Hamblett)
NB: I have belatedly (5 July 2005) discovered this is the first record on the Nature Notes pages for a Holly Blue in June. 
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

7 June 2005
A lizard under the piece of broken fencing on the open part of the Pixie Path (SW of the bridge to Mill Hill) was bright green in colour and had lost its tail. Despite its dazzling appearance it was a Common Lizard, Lacerta viviparus.
Small Blue on Horseshoe Vetch Large Skipper
Small Blue
Large Skipper

Two species of butterfly made their first appearance of the year as the sun came out: Small Blue Butterflies (18+) and Large Skippers (4+) were recorded firstly on the south bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting. This area produced the first 24-spot Ladybird on these Nature Notes, but it has probably been overlooked before because of its small size. 
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the Horseshoe Vetch was rapidly fading and was less than a quarter of its glory a week ago. About forty Adonis Blue Butterflies fluttered strongly over the hill, almost all of them were the brilliant blue males. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Ladybirds

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

4 June 2005. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Adur World Oceans Day
Venue: Coronation Green, New Shoreham
Adur Festival Event
Marc Abraham (PETS) with the Octopus (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) Clouds collect over Adur World Oceans Day 2005 on Coronation Green, Shoreham, keeping visitors inside the marquee out of the near gale force winds (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Despite the overcast day and the near gales that battered the marquee, Adur World Oceans Day 2005 was a success with live animal displays of lobsters, crabs, aquarium displays of sandy shore and rocky shore fauna, the simulated rock pool, marine life photographs (all by the British Marine Life Study Society), the dolphin exhibit (Sea Watch Foundation and helpers), the Sussex Coastal Watch Project (Dee Christensen), strandline touch tables (West Sussex County Council Rural Strategy Unit), vegetated shingle of Shoreham Beach and Widewater Lagoon (Dave and Marion Wood) and the table of the Sussex Ornithological Society (Audrey Wende, with the photograph of the Gull-billed Tern in company of a Black-headed Gull, taken by Stanley Allen of the Shoreham & District Ornithological Society.)
Katherine and Hanna presented a simulated rock pool (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) Simulated Rock Pool at Adur World Oceans Day 2005

The attendance was greater than last year as well and there was a continual stream of visitors for six hours. 
Adur World Oceans Day 2005 Picture Portfolio (by Ray Hamblett)
Report with More Images
Shore Crab, Carcinus maenas, with its mate (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) Common Starfish with Bullhead

The exhibition was about the animals as well as people

British Marine Life Study Society: Len Nevell helped by Marc Abraham (Priory 
Emergency Treatment Service, PETS), Andy Horton, Peter Talbot-Elsden, Ray, Jan and Katherine Hamblett and Hannah Luff.
Steve Savage and Marc Baldwin with the Sea Watch Foundation Dolphin Display (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) Andy Horton with the Lobster in the tank (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Sea Watch Foundation: Steve Savage and his daughter Amber, with helpers including Marc Baldwin (independent).
Kathy Eels (WSCC) on the Touch Table David and Marion Wood's Seashore Flora Exhibition

WSCC Rural Strategy Unit: John Knight and Kathy Eels.
Administration assistance: Natalie Brahma-Pearl (Adur District Council and Adur Festival), Neil Mitchell (WSCC Rural Strategy Unit), David Steadman (Shoreham Town Partnership).

British Marine Life News 2005

1 - 4 June 2005
The Gull-billed Tern, Sterna nilotica, has been reported again on the River Adur estuary, although some long distance visitors have failed to spot it. It has been reported every day without since 26 May 2005.

2 June 2005
Looking even more splendidly colourful than even the illustrations in the books, it looks like there the two Bee-eaters were a pair as they flew around together and obliging settled in a tree near the path at the back of the west side gardens of Ravens Road, central Shoreham, (hereafter to be known as Bee-eater Twitten). They perched on branches high up in the tree and could be seen very clearly, but apparently not nearly close enough for a massive 600 mm camera lens. not mine, but with the contingent of birders. The Bee-eater has a long black beak which can be seen distinctly. I waited for ten minutes to see if one of them flew around and caught a bee, but it was more intent on preening. 
Birds of Sussex
in Shoreham

Photograph by
© Garry Bagnell

Bagnell's Bird List 
(Web Site)

This appeared to be the last day that the Bee-eaters are seen in Shoreham. 
Breeding Bee-eaters discovered in Herefordshire (July 2005)

1 June 2005
From 11.30 am and certainly still in the area at 4.15 pm were two Bee-eaters, Merops apiaster, in Shoreham in the area of Buckingham Road/Windlesham Road.

Report by John Hobson onthe Sussex Ornithological Society News

The Bee-eater is a rare but annual visitor to Britain, mainly to southern counties. It has even nested in East Sussex in 1955. A very difficult bird to see however, due to its habit of not staying long in any one place. Occasionally groups of more than one bird occur. It usually breeds in colonies.
Birdguides entry

This is the first known record for Shoreham, although there have been previous single records in Lancing. 
Sussex Ornithological Society (SOS) Bee-eater records
SOS Abbreviations Key

A Great Crested Grebe, Podiceps cristatus, in summer plumage with an elaborate crest, but a grey back, was on the flooded River Adur at mid-tide between Cuckoo's Corner and the A27 Flyover. The rare Gull-billed Tern, Sterna nilotica, was still present on the Adur estuary opposite the airport arriving on the falling tide about 9.30 am. 
Birds of Sussex
Earlier Tern Report

Adur Butterfly Flight Times

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005

December 2004 Reports
November 2004 Reports
October 2004 Reports
September 2004 Reports
August 2004 Reports
July 2004 Reports
June 2004 Reports
May 2004 Reports
April 2004 Reports

Mill Hill 2004 (with new map)
History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2004

Chalk Downs 2004
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea

Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to more detailed wildlife reports for January to March 2003
Link to the spring wildlife reports for 2003
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page

Adur Valley Nature Notes  January to March 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  April - June 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  July - September 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

Mill Hill, north of Shoreham


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