ADUR NATURE NOTES 2017
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
 
 
 

March 2017

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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

2017  Regional


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


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

31 March 2017
A Peregrine Falcon soared and rose of the thermals over Mill Hill on a sunny but breezy (steady Force 5) afternoon. The Dog Violets were already flowering on the lower slopes which were sheltered from the easterly breeze. A Common Bee-fly buzzed around. Peacock Butterlies were courting high into the blue sky from which a Skylark could be heard but scarcely seen after the falcon had flown away.
Adur Violets

30 March 2017
The sun shined in the afternoon (>15.2 C) and I cycled the Coombes Road to Botolphs and the flood plain south of Bramber (west of the River Adur). A pair of Mute Swans were feeding on Annington Sewer. Another pair fed on the Duckweed covered stream at Bramber.
On the towpath by Botolphs three Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were sparring by the Stinging Nettles intermittently visiting the flowering lady's Smock next to the drainage streams.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Cowslips, Blackthorn
Coltsfoot, Dotted Bee-fly, Lady's Smock

Botolphs. Bramber, Upper Beeding

On the return hourney a Peacock Butterfly appeared as the Downs Link cyclepath narrowed north of the Cement Works (adjacent to Dacre Gardens). Coltsfoot was still in flower south of the Cement Works and my first two Dotted Bee-flies, Bombylius discolor, of the year visited the yellow dropping flowers of the frequent Cowslips. A small mushroom amongst the Cowslips was probably a Stropharia. Blackthorn was mostly in full bloom at its brief peak on the levels and the downs.

27 March 2017

Blackthorn

With the sun shining under a blue sky and the highest air temperature this year recorded by the Met Office
at 15.5 C, spring put in an appearance with Blackthorn flowering near Old Shoreham. 

 Brimstone Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly, Comma

Butterflies were frequently in flight:  the one smaller than usual Small Tortoiseshell, and a half dozen patrolling Brimstone Butterflies, a handful of Peacock Butterflies, six different Comma Butterflies. A few Common Wasps, Honey Bees, small hoverflies and Squash Bugs, Coreus, were noted as well as a small Nursery Web Spider.
Adur Butterflies 2017

Wall Lizards

On the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach, I spotted at least twenty adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that were quite skittish but also had courting on their agenda. 

22 March 2017
On a muddy cycle ride along the Downs Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding, the early flowering Coltsfoot was past its prime and the Cowslips were just beginning to flower with patches of white Sweet Violet and one clump of Primrose. Pussy Willow catkins were noted on a handful of small Willow trees. Moles had created mounds of earth. A dozen Rabbits ambled across the cyclepath in front of me as the light faded in the late afternoon. A Great Tit flitted around in the bare hedges. 
Wild Flower Report

15 March 2017
By the towpath by the houseboats a butterfly fluttered over my head in the sunshine. It appeared as shadow and I had to wait a few minutes out for some more movement. Then three butterflies moved quickly in succession chasing each other off the resting places. Three of us were watching and we all saw three butterflies simultaneously. One was a Red Admiral and the other two were a first of the year Small Tortoiseshell and a first Peacock Butterfly
Encouraged by these surprise butterlfies, I cycled to Mill Hill, where a Peacock Butterfly put in appearance over the pasture north of the Bridge, east of the road followed by a Comma Butterfly. Only a few Sweet Violets were scattered over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, so I ventured not much further than the southern steps, but I spotted a handful of Peacock Butterflies in as many minutes. 

A Buzzard soared over Mill Hill where I also found my first Slow Worm of 2017.

14 March 2017

Frogs 
Photograph by Helen Swyer

The twentieth batch of frog spawn in an Eastern Avenue garden pond in Shoreham. 

9 March 2017

In the weak but welcome first sunshine of the year a Red Admiral pipped a Comma as my first butterfly of the year by about five seconds. Both butterflies made their appearance at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (Dovecote Estate) amongst the undergrowth beneath the trees (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill). This semi-wild area hosted flowering Sweet Violets which were visited by my first Honey Bee and my first of the small hoverflies of 2017.
The sun came out and the air temperature measured 14 C at its highest at 4:00 pm.
Adur Butterflies 2017

3 March 2017
One clump of frog spawn was discovered in my tiny garden pond in my front garden in residential Shoreham. 
 
 

March 2016 Reports

Wild Flowers 2017
Shoreham Weather 2017

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station
 

Adur Nature Notes 2013


Adur Butterfly List 2017
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society News
Lancing Village
 
 
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Adur Nature Notes 2015
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Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes
                      and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

     

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