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May 2006


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

Adonis Blue Butterfly (Photograph by Katherine Hamblett, aged 10 years)

Adonis Blue Butterfly
Photograph by Katherine Hamblett, aged 10½ years

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



31 May 2006

One day later, the junior shrimp net was repaired with a bolt and a wing-nut and there were over a hundred Brown Shrimps off Lancing beach (east Widewater), a handful of South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator and a colourful Little Cuttle Sepiola, a small Solenette Buglossidium luteum and flatfish fry.
British Marine Wildlife Gallery (flickr)
Intertidal 2006
BMLSS Prawns & Shrimps

Small Blue Butterfly29 May 2006
On an overcast day, I thought the rain would arrive before I saw any butterflies
As I decided to rush for cover I nearly stumbled over my first two Small Blue Butterflies of the year on the northern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting. Ten minutes later on the Dovecote Bank, I saw my first Common Blue Butterfly of the year, the blue of the male on a Meadow Buttercup
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Butterfly Report

Shoreham Bank with Horseshoe Vetch (not yet as extensive as 2005)

The Downs are yellow with Bulbous Buttercups
in the pasture and Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill

The Old Erringham pastures were examined for their flora. It was quite different from Mill Hill with a higher proportion of grasses, but with a selection of herbs (excluding grasses), especially noting that the dramatic explosion of Bulbous Buttercups, with the blue Milkwort doing very well, and both Horseshoe Vetch and Bird's Foot Trefoil noted in small amounts. A Wall Brown Butterfly was spotted on a Bulbous Buttercup and another one on Horseshoe Vetch
Adur Buttercups

28 May 2006
Two miles out of Shoreham Harbour, we saw a large Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus,  which played around the yacht for some time and then headed towards Hove at about 4:30 pm.

Report by Tom Smith
Marine Life of Sussex
BMLSS Cetacea

Adonis Blues

Adonis Blue Butterflies were mating on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with three mating embraces seen and at least thirteen of these bright blue butterflies flying around unattached. The ten species of butterfly (including skippers) seen during the morning was not exceptional and could be considered low for late May
Butterfly Report

A colourful wasp mimic hoverfly Chrysotoxum was seen in the long grass meadows near the upper car park on Mill Hill. 
Adur Hoverflies 2006
27 May 2006
This little red beetle was spotted on the Sompting Brooks, where the gardens meet the wild strouds. It is only about 6 mm long.

It is Endomychus coccineus and it is sometimes called the False Ladybird. It feeds on the fungus on the bark of rotten deciduous trees. 

Identification by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on the British Insects Yahoo Group
Adur Beetles

25 May 2006

Roe Deer (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Roe Deer on Lancing Ring
on the western slope overlooking Halewick Recreation Ground
Photograph by Ray Hamblett on the Lancing Ring Blogspot
(on flickr Sussex Wildlife Gallery)

In my last visit to the garden at The Drive in north Shoreham, I discovered that there were two resident Painted Lady Butterflies, one intact and the other one worn with one chunk out of each its wings. Again it was the "Boules Mauve" Wallflower that attracted these butterflies but also a Red Admiral, Large White and a Small White Butterfly, A Holly Blue Butterfly flew around the garden but did not seem to settle.
Butterfly Report for the Day

24 May 2006
A Peregrine Falcon hung in the Strong Breeze veering on Gales (Force 6 to 7) before making a short glide to disappear behind Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney by the nest box on the southern side and out of view. 
Southwick Nature (including Shoreham Harbour)

23 May 2006
After the gales of the previous day, I was blown about by a Strong Breeze (Force 6) looking to see if anything interesting had been washed up on the strandline. Seaweed was being washed in with every roller, mostly kelp, mostly Sea Belt, Laminaria saccharina, and large deposits were made at the Old Fort beach, but there did not seem all that much more than normal on the strandline along the rest of Shoreham Beach.

21 May 2006
Three Swifts were seen (from southern car park of Mill Hill) flying over Frampton's Field before the cloud descended and obscured visibility and turned into steady rain. 
Shoreham Weather Page

18 May 2006
A magnificent teneral Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa, cruised over the Dovecote Bank (at the top of The Drive, Shoreham). I failed to see this dragonfly at all last year.

Broad-bodied Chaser

Broad-bodied Chaser

Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, seen for the first time this year, were frequently seen on the Spring Dyke and they appear to have just emerged from the adjacent Miller's Stream.
Adur Damsels & Dragons 2006
Adur Levels 2006

Immigrant butterflies appear to be coming in, mostly Red Admirals, but early in the afternoon, my first Painted Lady Butterfly of the year landed on a wallflower in a north Shoreham garden
Butterfly Report

16 May 2006

Early Purple Orchids (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

A fine display of Early Purple Orchids were in full bloom in the Ash woodland under the developing leaf canopy on Lancing Ring.

15 May 2006
My first two Silver Y Moths of the year flew from Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.  My first two Wall Brown Butterflies and my first Brimstone Moth were seen on a brief visit to Mill Hill
Full Butterfly Report

14 May 2006
An attractive Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata, was discovered on a Daffodil in my garden in Mill Hill Gardens, which was at one time part of Mill Hill

Report by Paul Plumb
Adur Moths
Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata (Photograph by Andy Horton) Eyed Hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata (Photograph by Andy Horton)

1980 Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata

At 10:00 am the resident Kestrel hovered in the overcast sky before the start of the Butterfly Walk on the lower slopes of Mill Hill which produced just two Small Heath Butterflies and a handful of small Pyrausta nigrata moths.The Horseshoe Vetch was just beginning, only about 5% of its full splendour. The sun struggled to come out in the afternoon and I recorded my first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year on the Shoreham Bank with 13 Dingy Skippers, five Grizzled Skippers and three Small Heath Butterflies
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

10 May 2006

Beautiful Demoiselle (Photograph by Allen Pollard)

A male Beautiful Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, graced my garden at Shermanbury.

Shermanbury Report and Photograph © by Allen Pollard
on the UK Dragonflies (Yahoo Group)
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies

Two unusually patterned Clouded Yellow Butterflies framed on the upperside wings by a broad brown border fluttered amongst the shortish grass and herbs on the Coastal Link Cyclepath, adjacent to the southern part of the Cement Works. These were the first of the year. They were also the first ever recorded in the month of May. They behaved more like natives, not so restless as immigrants. They also looked in pristine condition. The reason why I thought the patterns were unusual is that these two Clouded Yellow Butterflies were both females. 
Clouded Yellow Photographs (Link to European Butterflies)

Orange Tip Butterflies were out in force with a dozen (six males) seen on the Waterworks Road. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, Dingy Skippers were mating. Thirteen species of butterfly seen is easily the highest total this year.
Butterfly Report and List
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Adur Skippers Page
Clouded Yellow Dingy Skippers mating on Mill Hill

Six pairs of Large Red-tailed Damselflies were mating on the surface vegetation the stream by the Oak tree, north of Botolphs. A Cuckoo was heard from the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
Adur Damsels & Dragonflies 2006
Portumnus latipes small crab Green-winged Orchids on Anchor Bottom

A  "fleur-de lis" Portumnus latipes small crab was caught in a shrimping net in the sandy shallows of the sea off Widewater, Lancing, on a neap tide
Adur Intertidal

Over a hundred Green-winged Orchids were scattered in isolation over the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom (north of the Cement Works). It was difficult to ascertain their numbers because the extent of their spread was not ascertained. There seemed to be several hundred. 
Adur Orchids
Wild Flower Addenda 2006

7 May 2006
My first Cuckoo was heard near Cuckoo's Corner.

Report by Helen Swyer

In the mild (under 20º C) afternoon sunshine the flying insects emerged, two new butterflies the first Large White and the first Small Heath Butterfly of the year, two firsts for the hoverflies and at least two other flies and one other bee seen for the first time this year. Crane-flies were noted in most wild places and wasteland. 
The small moth Pyrausta nigrata on Horseshoe Vetch Large White Butterfly

Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
Hoverfly Report
Diptera Report
Bees & Wasps Report

A large Queen wasp visited a Shoreham garden. I think this was a German Wasp, Vespula vulgaris.

4 May 2006
A Large Red-tailed Damselfly was the first Odonata of the year seen in a north Shoreham garden. Eight species of butterfly were out in the warm hazy sunshine including at least 15 Peacock Butterflies

Large Red-tailed Damselfly

Grizzled Skippers were mating on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  A few first of the year wild plants were spotted and both a Common Lizard and a Slow Worm were seen. 
Adur Butterfly List 2006
Adur Skippers Page
Freshwater Life of North-western Europe (Smart Group)

3 May 2006
At Shoreham Airport there were two Whinchats, a Whimbrel, Whitethroats, and Sedge and Reed Warblers.


A Hornet, Vespa crabo, visited my garden pond in south Lancing for a drink. This large wasp is uncommon. It is reported to possess a painful sting.

Adur Wasps and Bees

In the hazy sunshine, it was first day that two of the common (100+ in a year) species of butterfly are out in force with Small White Butterflies frequent on Shoreham Beach and in Shoreham town and my first of three middle of the day Holly Blues seen on the Riverbank where the houseboats are moored.
An early evening foray to the Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham) and I was immediately greeted by a Brimstone Butterfly chased by a much smaller Orange Tip, the latter the first of the year in Shoreham, over a Garlic Mustard flower which it briefly visited. The Epistrophe eligans hoverfly was added to the local list for this year and found on the Alexanders at the southern end of the Waterworks Road.
Full Butterfly Report

Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard

At least ten adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted on the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, and they were very skittish, nine of them appearing much larger than Common Lizards, Zootoca vivipara, and nine of them a fairly bright green in colour. They seem to move in a more upright fashion less skulking and serpent-like than the native lizards. All their tails were seen to be intact as they skittered rapidly over the flint wall or pebbles to the crevice holes. The lizards were widespread along the west and south facing flint walls. 
Lizard Comparisons
Side by Side (Lizards)

1 May 2006
May came in with a shower. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first Milkwort was seen in flower and the exiguous beginnings of the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, which is a May feature of this Nature Reserve. A single first Grizzled Skipper was recorded, the first of the year, with frequent (10+) small moths Pyrausta aurata, seen for the first time this year, visiting Hawkweeds.
Eight butterflies of eight species were recorded by all observers.
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

Hoverflies were very frequently seen, mostly Syrphus, Eristalis and Rhingia campestris, on Mill Hill and the Pixie Path, with frequent small bees and flies including the dangly St. Marks Fly, Bibio.

Adur Butterfly List 2006

Garden Bird Database 2006

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006


Mill Hill (with new map)
History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2006

Chalk Downs 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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