Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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March 2007


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


29 March 2007
In a garden west of Lancing Beach Green (near Lancing Sailing Club) a Kestrel dived into an evergreen tree after being mobbed by Crows as simultaneously a young Red Fox appeared on the lawn.

27 March 2007
Common LizardIn the late afternoon the earlier sunshine had brought out the first two Common Lizards, Zootoca vivipara, of 2007 on lichen-covered chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill where I also spotted the first Small White Butterfly of the year nectaring on a Dandelion flower. 
Adur Lizards
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Bumblebee Report (with more photographs)
Adur Bumblebees Checklist

In the sunshine, the air temperature recorded of 18.3 ºC at 2:35 pm was the warmest so far this year by a margin of 3.5 ºC. 

Shoreham Weather Reports

26 March 2007
The first local Holly Blue Butterfly and the first local Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year were both seen in a central Lancing garden with a tatty Peacock Butterfly. This is the first report of a Speckled Wood Butterfly in March on these Nature Notes pages. 

Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)

21 March 2007
A Shelduck swam on the flooded River Adur estuary, on an equinoctial spring high tide, south of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge
Basking on Footpath 3138 (as it winds its way through Mill Hill amongst the first bit of Hawthorn scrub to the north of the lower slopes) I clearly saw my first Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly of the year. It was an orange variety which I think are local broods. It was closed at first and then opened one wing and flew off quickly. 
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

19 March 2007
At low tide the first rockpool fish were seen this year on Kingston Beach (at the entrance to Shoreham Harbour), notably the elongate Butterfish and Blennies
Full Report

18 March 2007
A Gale (> Force 7) impeded a rockpooling trip to Lancing Beach as the rocks were not uncovered on the equinoctial low spring tide, so I ventured further west to Onslow Beach, east Worthing. The fauna was sparse: Hairy Crabs Pilumnus hirtellus, were very frequently seen, with occasional Shore Squat Lobsters and sea anemones of three species: Sagartia troglodytes, Snakelocks Anemones Anemonia viridis, and Daisy Anemones Cereus pedunculatus. The most newsworthy discovery was not made until later when a small gastropod shell collected was found to contain the small Hairy Hermit Crab, Pagurus cuanensis, one of only a handful I have ever found between the tides. 
Full Report

16 March 2007


My first shrimping expedition of 2007 took me to a breezy (Force 4) Shoreham Beach (just west of Weald Dyke) and half an hour push-netting brought me about twenty Brown Shrimps, one Shore Prawn, a small Plaice and three Vernal Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis.

Vernal Crab and Brown Shrimp

Adur Intertidal 2007
BMLSS Crabs of the Seashore

13 March 2007
An Iceland Gull still in its first winter plumage was seen in the morning between 8:40 and 9:30 am on the River Adur estuary between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct. At low tide the gull frequented the mud/sand bars in the river and generally loafed with a large gathering of mixed gulls. 

Report by Bernie Forbes & Dave Smith 
on the Birds of Sussex Yahoo Group

March 2007
Fishermen out of Shoreham Harbour continue to capture a handful of the Short-snouted Seahorses, Hippocampus hippocampus, in the nets on every trip out. They were all returned to the sea.
Marine Life off Sussex

12 March 2007
My first Comma Butterfly of 2007 visited the Garden Pansies in the front garden of Lancing Parish Hall, south Lancing. Just after midday, my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year fluttered steadily down the path immediately to the east of Lancing Clump and this butterfly showed no inclination of stopping its flight at an estimated 8 mph. Later, another Brimstone Butterfly flew over the path to the north-west of Lancing Clump. 
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Comma Butterfly Little Egret

On Widewater Lagoon, three Little Egrets congregrated in the shallow pool (cut off from the main body of water) at the western end. One of the birds elegantly paraded up and down the water's edge and chased after a female. 
Five Little Grebes swam and dived on the River Adur south of Cuckoo's Corner

11 March 2007
At least 21 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted on the flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, basking in the sunshine and displaying far more energy that I had ever seen before with one lizard skittering right up to the top of the wall. With an air temperature of 14.4 ºC at 1:53 pm it was the warmest day of the year so far. 
Adur Lizards
Wall Lizard Peacock Butterfly

A rather dark Peacock Butterfly fluttered in the sunshine over the Old Fort.
Adur Butterfly List 2007

9 March 2007
A small (6 mm long) immigrant alien Harlequin Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis succinea, was spotted on an Alexander leaf on the Pixie Path approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road. (TQ 210 063)
Adur Ladybirds
UK Ladybird Survey
Harlequin Ladybird Survey

7 March 2007
In a brief spell of sunshine just after midday (when the air temperature reached 13.4 ºC) I was surprised by a Peacock Butterfly that landed on a wall in front of me in the southern part of Victoria Road, Shoreham. It was my first of the year for this species which emerges from hibernation when the weather is warm enough. It was bright and intact and flew away strongly. My first Coltsfoot (wild flower) grew in a clump on a flower bed on Ropetackle almost under the Railway Viaduct over the River Adur. On the estuary just north of the viaduct, a Little Grebe dived under water at high tide. In my town garden pond, an adult Smooth Newt swam out from under a rock. 
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

3 March 2007
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse from Sussex
Photograph by James Gaplin

The reddish Full Moon in evening sky was as a result of a Lunar Eclipse. My viewing time was 11:15 pm and I missed the sequence. 
BBC News Report
Lunar Eclipse Images on flickr
Lunar Eclipse 2007 Pool on flickr 

2 March 2007
In a brief burst of early afternoon sunshine, I came across my first butterfly of the year. Predictably it was a Red Admiral and unmissable as it fluttered and then settled usually near or in the same place at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill). After five minutes it was joined by another Red Admiral and they briefly sparred.
I also recorded my first hoverflies, my first 7-spot Ladybirds, my first Dung Fly, and first bugs of 2007, as well as queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees.
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)
Shoreham Town & Gardens 2007
Adur Ladybirds

1 March 2007
The little bird known as the Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus, was still hiding out in a Norway Spruce (Christmas) tree in Phoenix Crescent, in a Southwick garden, and can be viewed from the road with great difficulty as it was well hidden amongst the branches and firs. After about five minutes I caught a glimpse of it enough to see its creamy-yellow eyestripe as it posed for about 30 seconds. Its breast was a pale grey. This bird regularly flitted from branch to branch and for most of the time it remained very well hidden. This small bird is a Scarce Vagrant in Sussex. It is normal place of abode is in Asia, east from the Urals. 

Image (by Ian Barnard)
SOS Reports
Birds of Sussex
Wikipedia (Yellow-browed Warbler)

Shoreham Weather Reports 2007

Adur Valley Wildlife on Photobox



Chalk Downs 2007
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 2007 web pages
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