Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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June 2006


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

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



30 June 2006
It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 26.5 ºC  at 4:42 pm.

28 June 2006
A walk around Edburton early evening was quite productive with three White Admiral Butterflies along the sunny side of a small wood called South Furze Field near my house + 2 Marbled Whites, 20 Large Skippers.  In the garden the first Small Skipper of the year.

Report by Tony Wilson on Sussex Butterflies
This is the first record of White Admirals on these Nature Notes.
Adur Butterflies

At least half a dozen attractive Broad-bodied Chasers (dragonflies) patrolled the reeds and shallow water of Lancing Ring Dewpond in the early afternoon sunshine. A handful of the first Burnet Moths of the year were seen on Lancing Ring meadows and around the dewpond.
In Shoreham town the first two "woolly bear" caterpillars of the Garden Tiger Moth crawled into the open.
Adur Moths

23 & 27 June 2006

A small hoverfly was seen hovering in the Slonk Hill Cutting mixed meadow. I have identified it as Xanthogramma pedissequum
Adur Hoverflies

24 June 2006
A female Stag Beetle was spotted slowly running around my garden in Mill Hill Close (south of Mill Hill) in the early evening.

Adur Beetles 2006
Stag Beetle Helpline

I took at walk around Tottington Wood, Edburton and I was pleased to see at least 15Silver-washed Fritillaries on the wing.  Not much else, there just a few Large Skippers, Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns.

Report by Tony Wilson on Sussex Butterflies

This is the  first record of Silver-washed Fritillary Butterflies on these Nature Notes.
In the weekend sunshine the following plants were noted in flower for the first time on Shoreham Beach (although they would have been in flower for at least a week); Childing Pink, only single flowers so far, on Silver Sands, and Tree Mallow, Silver Ragwort and White Stonecrop just to the west of the Old Fort. 

23 June 2006
Neoscona adianta Pyramidal Orchid

The small spider Neoscona adianta was spotted on Kidney Vetch on the Buckingham Cutting. There were Small Blue Butterflies on the same group of flowers and scores of Pyramidal Orchids.

Adur Spiders
Butterfly List

20 June 2006 
The first Marbled White Butterfly of the year fluttered strongly over the lower slopes of Mill Hill where the Horseshoe Vetch flowers had almost disappeared and the corkscrew-like seed pods could be discovered if searched amongst the emerging herbs and new flowers. The largest yellow patches on Mill Hill were now Bird's Foot TrefoilButterflies were frequent (about 50), but not common. The most prevalent on Mill Hill were now Common Blues and Small Heath Butterflies with about 15 each. However, thirteen species in an hour were recorded which was the equal largest number this year. 
Butterfly Report & List
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

18 June 2006
The remains of three Stag Beetles were seen on a woodland path at Lancing Ring. Some predator must have eaten the juicy bits.

Adur Beetles
The dead flowerhead twitched and moved, and it turned out to be a large moth, the Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata, discovered in a Southwick garden. 

Report by Sharon Penfold

Adur Moths

It looks like there was a Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, towering above the other vegetation on the Malthouse Meadows, Sompting. 

Adur Hogweeds
There were three Gull chicks perched on the roof of the new apartment block at the junction of Dolphin Road and Eastern Avenue, near the railway crossing gates. The large grey bundles of fur could not be identified, but they were almost certainly the young of the Herring Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Navelwort looked like it was about to flower in the flint wall of St. Julian's Church, Kington Buci. 

16 June 2006
The Edible Crab Cancer pagurus, Spiny Spider Crabs Maja squinado, and Velvet Swimming Crabs Necora puber, collected for Adur World Oceans Day were returned to Kingston Beach as the spring tide came in. 
Spiny Spider Crab
Velvet Swimming Crab
Edible Crab

The shore was inhabitated by scores of juvenile Blennies, Lipophrys pholis, that were common (over a hundred) under rocks. There were also hundreds of Shore Crabs Carcinus maenas, as expected and a 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela, and a small Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, under a rock. One miniature brittlestar was discovered and this was a surprise. 

British Marine Life Study Society

15 June 2006
With wild flowers bursting into flower everywhere, the highlight was about a hundred Bee Orchids in Mill Hill Drive, north Shoreham. 
Adur Orchids
Bee Orchid

Bee Orchids 

About half of the 25 Adonis Blue Butterflies on Mill Hill showed signs of raggedness and age, whereas the Common Blues appeared fresher. I spotted my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year on the lower slopes, where I was surprised at a settled late Grizzled Skipper and I had a better look at a Large Skipper. There were eleven different species in an hour.
Full Butterfly Report

The River Walks TV company with Charlie Dimmick filmed on Lancing beach (at the Shoreham end near Widewater), referred to as Shoreham-by-Sea, featured shrimping with Peter Talbot-Elsden (British Marine Life Study Society).

The documentary focuses on the River Adur and will be broadcast on 22 February 2007

12 June 2006
The first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year was seen on Mill Hill. This was the first one recorded in Sussex.

Report by Andrew Burns on Sussex Butterflies
Full Report
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 26.4 ºC at 5:03 pm

11 June 2006
Thousands of Grass Vetchling were seen growing in the lower half of McIntyres Field on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.

As on the lower slopes of Mill Hill the massive yellow covering of Horseshoe Vetch has now disappeared and the long grasses in the pasture of Old Erringham has also obscured the field of Bulbous Buttercups, but many of the other wild plants,  appeared on wasteland, the Adur Levels, and the shingle beach. Dropwort, Kidney Vetch, Yellow Wort and at least one early single Field Scabious were now flowering on the downs.
Wild Flower List
Dropwort (a chalkhill plant) comes into flower on Mill Hill Kidney Vetch begins to flower with a Small Blue Butterfly on the Slonk Hill Cutting

A fluttering of red on the upper part of the Pixie Path was my first Cinnabar Moth of 2006. Butterflies did not seem too varied and numerous but when I counted up afterwards, I saw nearly a hundred of ten species. This is the highest number of the year, most of them in less than an hour on Mill Hill and over half of them were Adonis Blue Butterflies. Amongst the long grass meadow north of the top car park on Mill Hill, I had a brief sight of my first Large Skipper of the year (the only skipper of the day). 
The ten butterfly species of the day were: Adonis Blue (45 to 53+), Small Blues (frequent), Common Blue, Small White, Large Whites, Speckled Wood (6), Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Large Skipper and Small Heath (8). 
A grasshopper was seen for the first time this year and later heard in one patch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This was almost certainly the Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. 
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Butterfly Report (all sites)
Adur Grasshoppers

10 June 2006

Photograph by Andy Horton

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham, as part of the Adur Festival.

Adur World Oceans Day 2006 was bathed in a heatwave, but the show was over before the warmest day of the year so far was recorded as the air temperature measured 25.8 ºC at 5:40 pm. The crowds were concentrated in the morning because of the dubious alternative afternoon attraction of England versus Paraguay in the World Cup 2006
Len Nevell with the Spiny Spider Crab
John Knight & Kathy Eels on the Strandline Table

Len and Wayne Nevell and Samantha (British Marine Life Study Society), and Marc Abraham (PETS) presented the lobster and large crustacean display, Andy Horton (BMLSS) with the rockpool aquaria, John Knight and Kathy Eels (West Sussex County Council Rural Strategy Unit) with the strandline display, David and Marion Wood (FOWL) with the shingle flora photographs, Dee Christensen (Nature Coast Project) with the help of the Beach Wardens, Steve Savage (Sea Watch Foundation) dolphins exhibit and ORCA (Organisation Cetacea), the national cetacean group based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
Images 2006

Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve was declared at Adur World Oceans Day 2006.

9 June 2006
It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 25.7 ºC at 4:15 pm.
Shoreham Weather Highlights

8 June 2006
By Lancing Yacht Club the Mackerel were jumping out of the shallow water and thousands of very small fish from 25 mm long were stranded all over the pebbled beach

Report by Pat Bond (Duke of Wellington PH)

On a neap low tide, a Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia viridis, was collected from the pool underneath the groyne on Kingston Beach for Adur World Oceans Day. It was returned to the beach afterwards. 
BMLSS Sea Anemones

It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 24.6 ºC at 4:21 pm.

4 June 2006
The Red-breasted Merganser was still on Widewater, it did not look oiled but preened its left flank frequently suggesting it might be trying to clean up something. 

Report by Richard Fairbank (Shoreham Beach) on Sussex Ornithological News

Grass VetchlingNew wild flowers were bursting through everywhere including the the first signs of Dropwort, Hairy Violet in flower and the beginnings of Wild Thyme, and a dozen flowers of the scarlet Grass Vetchling.

Eleven species of butterfly were recorded including 40+ male Adonis Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, Small Blues, Common Blues, Holly Blues, one only Small Heath and both Dingy and Grizzled Skippers
Butterfly Report

3 June 2006
It was the warmest day of the year so far as the air temperature measured 22.4 ºC at 2:59 pm.

2 June 2006
The Horseshoe Vetch is now just past its best on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  I took some measurements and my estimate of the number of Horseshoe Vetch flower heads (each with seven flowers) is 25 million. In the patches which were covered by flowers there were about 500 flower heads every square metre. However, it was only about 30% of the main Horseshoe Vetch area that was actually covered in the yellow flowers and some parts of the slopes did not have any Horseshoe Vetch at all.

Adonis Blue Small Heath with Horseshoe Vetch

The butterfly count on a hazy slight overcast afternoon was a paltry eight male Adonis Blues and just a single Small Heath on a passage visit. 

In the morning, a second Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis, was discovered underneath a small rock on Kingston Beach, halfway up the beach. 

1 June 2006
A Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis, was discovered underneath a large rock on Kingston Beach, the first discovered in this location. This fish is unusual (scarce or rare) from the Sussex coast. It is the only the second one I have spotted, the previous one was found at Worthing six years ago. This elongate fish is very easily hidden and may occur more often than it is found. 
On a 1.4 metre low tide, the shallow seas fauna showed more variety than expected with Sea Gooseberries transparent in the sea and only noticed when they appeared like globules in the prawn net and one small shoal of Pollack fry numbering about fifty and each small fish only 34 mm long.
Full Report
BMLSS Pipefish
Marine Life of Sussex
BMLSS Rockpooling

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006

Adur Butterfly List 2006



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
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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