Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

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March 2009


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

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
Lesser Celandine and Sweet Violets on the verges of the Coombes Road north of Ladywells


Slide Show at the FOLR Coffee Morning  (by Ray Hamblett)21 March 2009
Friends of Lancing Ring
AGM & Coffee Morning
Venue: The Holy Family Catholic Church Hall at Monks Farmhouse in North Road, Lancing
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Lancing Villager


30 March 2009
The first Grizzled Skipper of the year seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a great surprise and the first one recorded in March. I also recorded my first Small Tortoiseshell of 2009 with two of them visiting the violets in the same location, as well as my first Small White Butterfly of 2009 in Adur Avenue, north Shoreham. The frequent (15) Peacock Butterflies were the most plentiful on the day which included Brimstone Butterflies mostly on the outskirts of Shoreham and one Comma Butterfly on a fleeting visit to the Waterworks Road.

Grizzled Skipper
Seven species of butterfly were recorded in the sunshine including a Red Admiral at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, near Mill Hill, where a Great Tit, Parus major, called repeatedly from the trees to the north of the small green.
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers

29 March 2009
An unexpected treat was three or four individual Dotted Bee-flies, Bombylius discolor, using their long feeding tubes to take nectar on a large patch of Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea on Lancing Ring

Dotted Bee-fly (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
This is a notable record of a rarely recorded fly and is probably the first for Lancing. Bombylius discolor is a declining BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species. In Great Britain this species is classified as Nationally Scarce
Report by Ray Hamblett on the new Friends of Lancing Ring web pages
UK Known Distribution (165 squares)
Adur Flies 2009
Previous Record on Mill Hill

The first Sloethorn of the year was seen in flower on the side of the Coastal Link Cyclepath a few metres south of  Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and the first Dog Violet on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.  My first definite Red-tailed Bumblebee of 2009 visited a Common Daisy on the footpath section of the Waterworks Road. My first Common Carder Bee visited a Daisy on the Pixie Path. A trampled version of the Crow Garlic or Wild Onion, Allium vineale, was seen on the Pixie Path. This was the first record of this plant on the web pages.
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea (List).
Adur Violets

23 March 2009 
Although Buff-tailed Bumblebees had been frequent every day this month, a special large emergence occurred with at least thirty in five minutes rising from their burrows into flight from the grassy are at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, Shoreham, south-east of the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill. At least two Common Bee-Flies, Bombylius major, were also spotted hovering in the same area.
Adur Bumblebees
Adur Flies

22 March 2009 
At least three Peacock Butterflies visited the Sweet Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. One characteristic of the violets on this original chalkhill although there were tens of thousands scattered over the main transect area, the leaves were exiguous compared to violets growing in more fertile soil. 

                    Peacock Butterfly

A Comma Butterfly landed on the northern part of Frampton's Field, and another Comma landed on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. 
Full Report

20 March 2009
Spring has definitely sprung at Mill Hill with a minimum of four Small Tortoiseshell and seven Peacock Butterflies feeding amongst the profusion of violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This is the first report of a Small Tortoiseshell in 2009.

Report by Pen and Dave Green on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

15 March 2009
The first Comma, Peacock and Brimstone Butterflies of the year and a Red Admiral were all seen on the outskirts of Shoreham. A further five Peacock Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill
Full Report
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Levels 2009

11 March 2009
My first reptile of 2009 was one of five Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, basking for a brief view on the south-facing flint surround wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, before skitting off into the grass growing up next to the wall. Two of the lizards were grey coloured small juveniles. 

9 March 2009
A male Pheasant strutted over the shingle beach immediately to the east of the beach huts on the south side of the road by the Church of the Good Shepherd on the Shoreham-Lancing border. It was a surprise location to disturb a Pheasant which then flew off over Widewater towards New Monks Farm

8 March 2009

Red Admiral
My first butterfly seen this year was a Red Admiral induced out of hibernation by the weak sunshine over the grass and the edges of the copse at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, south-east of the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill
Adur Butterfly List 2009

1 March 2009
There were the first large handful of Sweet Violets seen in flower on the steep slope beneath the seat on the southern section of Mill Hill. On the lower slopes, two Partridges whirred into flight. Through the light mist there were several thousand gulls to be seen on the pastures to the east of Mill Hill, on the ploughed fields to the north of Cuckoo's Corner and on the mud flats of the receding tide on the River Adur. There appeared to be a mixture of mostly Common Gulls and Black-headed Gulls on the downs.
Despite the recent rain and snow, cattle had again been introduced to Mill Hill, with fresh cow pats on the southern part of Mill Hill Nature Reserve next to dried out pats from last year. 
Adur Violets
Cattle Damage Report 2008



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