ADUR NATURE NOTES 2013
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
 
 
 

June 2013

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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

2013  Regional

Flora & Fauna in June in Shoreham


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


EVENTS


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

30 June 2013
The first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year visited my greenhouse in Shoreham. 

Report by Jan Finch on facebook
Adur Moths

29 June 2013
A Jay was spotted on the flint wall underneath an Evergreen Oak at the entrance to Shoreham College, in St. Julian's Lane, Kingston Buci. It was wary and in less than a minute it flew off amongst the garden shrubbery of the gardens on the north side of the road. 
 

Little Egret
Jay

A Little Egret stalked the shallow pools at mid-tide level on Kingston Buci Beach. It was surmised that it was successfully feeding on prawns in the muddy pools and a photograph revealed this to be the case. At least half a dozen prawns were caught in as many minutes as the Little Egret lunged forward repeatedly. Often it had to adjust head to capture prey hiding under shelter of rocks and boulders. 

27 June 2013
On a rather dull day, I spotted my first immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly for several years on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  It flew away rapidly. 
MIll Hill Report
 
24 - 31 June 2013

The River Adur Project: documentary for schools was published.
 

RIVER ADUR PROJECT 
Education Resource Package for Schools

Click on the button above to go to the web page to download the Powerpoint presentation.

23 June 2013
With the white crested waves blown against the Purslane-lined banks of the Adur estuary on a high spring tide, and a Grey Heron soaring under a cloudy sky, it appeared more like a day near the autumnal equinox than the middle of the summer. An orange butterfly was buffeted by the breeze, blown 20 metres one way and then the other so much I just got a single close enough glimpse and it looked as though the only species it could be was an immigrant Painted Lady. This butterfly, seen over the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath (just north north of the A27 Flyover) was the first one I have seen for several years.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly List 2013
 
17 June 2013
A few Common Blue Butterflies began to emerge on the upper part and middle slopes of Mill Hill. Four Wall Browns were also seen on a breezy overcast day
Full Butterfly Report

16 June 2013
A sudden spell of sunshine in the late afternoon was unexpected after the morning rain. 

Orchids & Butterflies

New wild plants spotted in flower may have been missed before because of the poor weather and other commitments. They included Yellow Rattle and Kidney Vetch. The latter is the caterpillar food plant of the Small Blue Butterfly and in excess of a hundred of these tiny butterflies were seen fluttering around the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting. This was an encouraging but not an unprecedented estimate. I also managed to spot four of my first Common Blue Butterflies of the year. Of the seven butterfly species seen on the day, only one was seen two days earlier.. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

14 June 2013
A sudden spell of sunshine after midday was unexpected after the recent poor weather. There were flowers seen for the first time this year including about seven Southern Marsh Orchids, Dactylorhiza praetermissa, on the Mill Hill Cutting (south) and the first Common Spotted Orchids in the same area.
 

Southern Marsh Orchids
Spotted Orchid
Columbine

My first definite Wall Brown Butterfly of the year was seen on the Pixie Path 3138 to Mill Hill. It was the first of three in the same area, two which ended up courting. I had already noted a few Holly Blues and as I fought my through the overgrown entrance to the footpath.
 

Wall Brown

On the steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill from the southern end, the first male Adonis Blues were already easily seen their bright blue clear amongst the remaining Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. A Dingy Skipper was seen immediately I stepped on to the slopes, the first of only about ten in an hour. The 1.2 acre transect count of Adonis Blues added up to 113 (including 17 females). Other butterflies around in the sunshine included frequent (20+) Small Heaths, a bright yellow Brimstone, a definite Green-Veined White, as well as few Treble-bar Moths. Some of the chalkhill herbs were newly into flower, notably Dropwort, Wild Thyme, the towering unexpected Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris, and the stem and leaves (but not the flowers) of Yellow Wort

Adur Orchids
Adur Butterfly List 2013
Wild Flora & Flora on Chalk flickr Group

9 June 2013
The Annual Friends of Shoreham Beach Wildflower Walk took place on Sunday at the Shoreham Fort at 2:30 pm
 
 

8 June 2013
Adur World Oceans Day

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the fourteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition with the life sized replica of a Bottle-nosed Dolphin. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group. David and Marion Wood produced a presentation about Widewater Lagoon (brackish lagoon) LNR. Exhibitors were able to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Colin Knight and Mark Colvin with a butterfly presentation on the behalf of the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society.
World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

5 June 2013
 
Hawthorn was now in flower. It should have started flowering around the time of Beltane, over one month agp. 

With scarcely a cloud in the clear blue sky, the damsels and demoiselles were seen on the outskirts of Shoreham. Just three were seen of two different species most spectacularly a male Beautiful Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, on the Downs-Coastal Link Cyclepath just north of the Flyover, and two easly overlooked Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.
 

Lower Slopes of Mill Hill

As expected on a fine day, butterflies were to be seen fluttering in tbe he breeze, notable occasional Speckled Woods, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Large Whites and Holly Blues with one male Adonis Blue (on the southern upper part of Mill Hill). The damsels and butterflies were seen in under an hour. 
 
 
Common Milkwort Polygala vulgaris

The flowers are shown spiralling out from a single rosette in an exceptional display

There has been reports of a smelly plankton bloom in the sea and River Adur. The offending organism was Phaeocystis. The live and dead plankton could be seen in the estuary water and the visibility was severly impaired. As the salt water lapped against the muddy shore, it looked the colour of orange juice in patches and overall it was murky. 

3 June 2013
 

Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill
Adonis Blue 

Although not as luxuriant as the best years, the expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was flowering at its peak on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, (north of Old Shoreham). The yellow patches could be seen from a distance across the the other side of the wide valley. In the intermittent sunshine under the fluffy Cumulus clouds, butterflies fluttered amongst the yellow flowers, notably the male Adonis Blues in their first of two broods. In the UK. this medium-sized butterfly is only found on the chalk hills in the south-east of England. I counted 79 in the 1.2 acre transect on Mill Hill in half an hour, all the bright blue males apart from three of the chocolate brown females. One mating pair was spotted in less than ideal weather. Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve is nationally renowned for its blue butterflies which comes alive with the flutterings in the warmer months with at least 24 different species to be seen during the year. On this early June day, the Dingy Skippers were frequently seen in the short chalkhill vegetation on the infertile Rabbit cropped steeper slopes. There were also the Large Whites, the large bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly and the inconspicuous Grizzled Skipper. The tiny flash of orange was the Small Heath Butterfly
There were many more butterflies outside of the transect area including the female Adonis Blue (photographed below).
 

Adonis Blue 
Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill

For more information about the local butterflies the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society will host a stall at Adur World Oceans Day on 8 June 2013, with photographer Colin Knight and environmental consultant Mark Colvin. 
Full Butterfly Report

June 2012 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2013

Adur Nature Notes 2012


Butterfly List 2013
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village
 

Shoreham Weather 2013
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring



 

Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
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