Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
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May 2007


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

Adonis Blues on Mill Hill

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


25 May 2007
Cinnabar MothOver fifty Adonis Blue Butterflies fluttered around in the late afternoon sunshine on Mill Hill where I spotted my first Cinnabar Moth of the year in the long thick grass south of the Reservoir. A Peacock Butterfly was spotted earlier over the Pixie Path. The first Bee Orchid of the year was seen on the verge in Mill Hill Road. 
Butterfly Report

Two medium sized Grey Mullet were seen on the canal side of the lock gates in Shoreham Harbour. 

24 May 2007
It made a pleasant change to watch well in excess of fifty Adonis Blues, collecting to roost on the upper slopes of Mill Hill. Most of these are still pristine, and as the last rays of evening sun played on their wings, they shone like sapphires amongst the tall grasses. Low numbers of Wall, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue and Small Heath Butterflies were rather overshadowed by comparison.

Report by Neil and Eric Hulme on Sussex Butterflies

A shrimping expedition to Lancing Beach (just to the west of Lancing Sailing Club) on a low neap 1.9 metre tide revealed the sandy shallows and a clear sea on a calm day and the haul in 40 minutes or so using my small 60 cm push-net was about 100 Brown Shrimps Crangon crangon, small flatfish fry, one small Plaice, occasional small Solenettes (Slipper Soles) and one second year Sole,Solea solea, a handful of South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, a few very small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus  in Grey Topshells, one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, and a few of the swimming crabs Portumnus latipes.

It felt warm recording the highest air temperature of the year so far at 24.9 ºC at 2:12 pm.

23 May 2007
An exceptionally green and heavily gravid female Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skittered out from a clump of Sea Kale on the shingle part of Shoreham Beach south of Shingle Road. Apparently, they are often seen in this area and in the gardens of the houses and the school grounds in the same road. 

Report by Stephen Savage

NB: I have also received past reports from two separate reliable sources of a green lizard brought in by a cat and lots of unidentified lizards in a garden in nearby Marlinspike (by a visitor not the owner) from the same area. 
Lizard Reports and Comparisons

22 May 2007
The first few clumps of bright blue-violet Hairy Violets, Viola hirta, were recognised in flower on the steep (45°) slopes of Mill Hill
Adur Violet Report

20 May 2007
Adonis Blue Butterflies were mating on the  lower slopes of Mill Hill where I recorded by first Common Blue Butterfly if the year which was a faded and slightly battered female visiting Horseshoe Vetch, and my first definite Wall Brown Butterfly left the path by the side of the wild flower meadow north of the northern car park. Lots of new wild plants were seen in flower for the first time. 
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Butterfly Report

16 May 2007
Female Adonis BlueAfter nine days of gales and showers, the sun made a feeble show. The flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, were the poorest showing this century, but this is not necessarily bad because the amount of green leaves seemed to be increased from last year. The lower slopes of Mill Hill had a 60% coverage of Horseshoe Vetch in the best acre of herbland. Both male and female Adonis Blues were amongst the Horseshoe Vetch and they made short flights when disturbed. The acre count was 39 with about 36% (14) females which is a high proportion, especially as they were not seen mating. The females  were pristine and had probably just emerged.

May 2007
A Beautiful Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, was seen in a Shoreham garden where there are only very small pools. 

Report by Betty Bishop

6 May 2007
A Greenshank was seen on the River Adur estuary at Old Shoreham on the south side of the Toll Bridge at 3:00 pm.

Report by Chris Corrigan on Sussex Ornithological News

3 May 2007
I saw my first dragonflies of the year patrolling along a stream north of Cuckoo's Corner. Patience was rewarded with a view of a Hairy Dragonfly, Brachytron pratense
Full Report

Male Adonis Blue Butterfly2 May 2007
Holly Blue Butterflies were common in Shoreham town, and they occur on the downs as well, where seven Adonis Blue Butterflies were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where their food plant  Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was increasing but still two weeks off its peak showing. 
Butterfly Report

1 May 2007
I saw my first few House Martins of the year flying over the banks of the River Adur at low tide. There were also two probable Wall Brown Butterflies on Lancing Clump.
Butterfly Report




Chalk Downs 2007
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Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

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Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
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