summer plants of the upper meadows include Greater
Knapweed, Hardheads (=Lesser Knapweed),
Scabious, Meadow Cranesbill, Alexanders,
Meadow Vetchling, Yarrow,
St. John's Wort*, Great Mullein* and
many others. Herb Robert is
found amongst the scrub.
(*notably on disturbed ground.)
Indicator Plants of Ancient Downland
indicators on the lower slopes include Dropwort,
Ladies Tresses (upper plateau), Hairy
of which are rarely found on pastures, restored wildlife meadows or agricultural
downland. Other downland plants that are more likely on the biodiverse
down herbland are Wild Thyme,
Thistle, Dwarf Thistle, Squinancywort,
Flax, Small Scabious,
Basil. There are other more widespread
wild plants like the Mouse-eared Hawkweed,
Rough Hawkbit, Lesser Hawkbit, Autumnal Hawkbit, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Ground
Speedwell, Field Speedwell, Sweet Violet,
and Yellow Wort.
Wild Flora and Fauna on Chalk flickr
Adur Wild Flowers 2009
A large part (724 acres) of the downs including Mill Hill were presented to the people of Shoreham in 1937.Local Nature Reserve. This is divided into about 11 acres of grassland and meadows above the ridge, about 9 acres of scrub, the copse and glades at the northern end, and about half of the prime Chalkhill Blue area of 6.4 acres of herbland remaining. 6 acres has been lost to a Sycamore woodland on the southern slopes.
This is low fertility chalkland not suitable for grazing. The top area is effectively a wild meadow and the lower slopes a rabbit warren dominated by prostrate (not the upright form) Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa.
Hill is nationally important because of its population of Chalkhill
Blue Butterflies. Estimates of the numbers
are notoriously inaccurate. In the 1950s
the population was estimated by R. M. Craske
be 50,000. This may be an exceptionally good year. I would estimate the
numbers at that time to be nearer 25,000 for Mill Hill only. After the
cattle grazing and thorn incursions the numbers plummeted to the most reliable
estimate in 1960
of 6,000. The new road and Sycamore woodland further denuded the Horseshoe
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
and bare chalk downland to a figure I have estimated at a top figure of
3,000 Chalkhill Blue Butterflies at the turn of the millennium (counted
in 2003). Almost
all these butterflies are now to be found on the six acres of the lower
family lived at The Mill House, Mill Hill, from around 1933
until about 1967, and every July we saw the
"Butterfly Men" walking past onto the Downs. My father used to tell
us that they were interested in the blue butterflies."
Heather Clark (née Eager), Ryde, Isle of Wight
Postcode: BN43 5FH
Grid Ref: TQ 21170 07444 (upper car park)
Geographic Link OS Map
Google Earth Map
Magic Map of Mill Hill NR
Local Nature Reserve Designation
Natural England: Local Nature Reserves
Multi-Map (Bird's Eye View)
Grid Reference Finder
The butterfly lower slopes at Mill Hill are under serious threat by a natural process known as ecological succession where the woody shrubs like Privet, Brambles and Hawthorn invade the herb-rich slopes gradually turning the downs into woodland and eliminating the butterfly larval food plants especially the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on which the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies rely. The remedy is by expert professional removal of the Privet on a regular basis. This job is now being undertaken by volunteers.
Footpaths at Mill Hill
Nothing much moved on Mill Hill, except for the resident Blackbirds and a few Magpies. A couple of Slow Worms were noted. On the upper southern part of Mill Hill there were occasional flowers of Greater Knapweed, Hoary Ragwort, Bristly Ox-tongue, Hawkweed Ox-tongue, Wild Parsnip, Hogweed, Oil Seed Rape, Creeping Thistle, a few Red Clover and at least one Rough Hawkbit and one Smooth Sow Thistle to be seen without searching. A clump of Hemp Agrimony was prominently in flower. On the steeper slopes I spotted a Great Mullein and on the steps down to the lower slopes a Wild Basil. The lower slopes added occasional flowers of Melilot, Lesser Hawkbit, at least one Common Ragwort and the dead copper and silver stage of the Carline Thistle.
Rose Hips, Slow Worm, Carline Thistle
Hawkweed Ox-tongue, Melilot
No butterflies were seen on Mill Hill in the afternoon and scarcely anything wild that moved: a Meadow Pipit, two Slow Worms (the golden one coiled up on the lower slopes was over 30 cm long), a greyCarder Bee on a flowering greater Knapweed, and a Magpie that perched for awhile. There was ample bird chattering from inside the bushes. Lesser Hawkbits emerged on the lower slopes with over a hundred plants seen compared to occasional Smooth Hawk's-beards. Rough Hawkbits were most likely on the upper plateau and slopes.
Vetch, Creeping Thistle
Carline Thistle, Autumnal Hawkbit, Rose Hips
There were so few flowers it is possible to name them all (not previously mentioned or shrubs): Common Ragwort, lots of Oil Seed Rape, Wild Mignonette, Great Mullein, Small Scabious (one), Yellow Wort (one), Bristly Ox-tongue (upper), Hawkweed Ox-tongue (scrubby margins), Creeping Thistle (cattle disturbed land, upper), Hogweed (upper), Wild Parsnip (upper), Wild Basil (almost all finished) and Melilot (remnants). The silver/copper plants of Carline Thistle were found to be prevalent around the rabbit warrens on the steep slopes. (I did not visit the middle slopes or scrub.) On the lower slopes there was a large patch of berried Cotoneaster. Privet was encroaching strongly from the southern end of the lower slopes but was almost entirely absent from the northern half. On examining the photographs at least one Autumnal Hawkbit was identified. There were no Ivy Bees, Devils' Bit Scabious or Musk Thistle seen.
Mill Hill lunchtime. Intermittent sun but more chilly than of late. A Clouded Yellow, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, a handful of Whites and Red Admirals. Two Ring Ouzels stole the show a bit.
8 October 2016
Two Ring Ouzels were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
7 October 2016
No butterflies on Mill Hill and no butterflies anywhere in the afternoon, but it was cloudy and not butterfly weather. Yellow flowers were scattered around still in flower from the large yellow flowers of Perennial Sow Thistle (lower slopes and southern upper), Bristly Ox-tongue (upper), Hawkweed Ox-tongue (scrubby margins), to the smaller Rough Hawkbits and Lesser Hawkbits on the lower slopes, and the very small Smooth Hawk's-beards. Devil's Bit Scabious was not seen in flower.
Lesser Hawkbit, Leontodon saxatilis
Sunshine shined weakly in the afternoon. Flowers on the southern part of Mill Hill, have gone to seed, especially the abundant Greater Knapweed and Ragworts. There appear to be two species of Ragwort on Mill Hill, the usual Common Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, which had mostly gone to seed, and the tentatively identified as Hoary Ragwort, Senecio erucifolius. The phyllary bracts are black tipped in the common species but not in the other species of Ragworts.
I only ventured to the southern steps leading down to the lower slopes on Mill Hill and spotted a good condition female Meadow Brown. No butterflies were seen on the Devil's Bit Scabious, but on my return two Wall Browns squabbled over the two Greater Knapweeds with drooping flowers on the steps. There were not many flowers: the tiny flowers of Vervain were noted.
Devil's Bit Scabious
Autumn Lady's Tresses
Swallows flew to and fro over the top of Mill Hill under a blue sky in a prelude to migration. In the complete opposite to my normal route, I walked over the top plateau toward the upper car park. The very short turf was covered in hundreds of budding Autumn Gentian plants with a few in flower. I stopped by some Small Scabious and chanced upon a single spike of the late orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses for the first time on Mill Hill for several years. My main object of the visit was to take a comparative photograph and not to look for butterflies.
Past & Present
Small White Butterflies were seen occasionally with the first of four Clouded Yellows, the first over the top of the hill and the first of a few Common Blue Butterflies seen in the afternoon. Silver Y Moths fluttered amongst the taller vegetation with a few Meadow Browns and a few Small Heath Butterflies. Amongst the scrub there were seven Red Admirals, a Speckled Wood and a dark Comma Butterfly. On the lower slopes two tattered male Adonis Blues chased after two females, one in fine fettle. Meadow Browns were frequently seen with occasional Small Heaths and two more Clouded Yellows.
Devil's Bit Scabious
Bit Scabious was flowering in a large
clump on the west side of winding path below the Holly
Tree. This attracted more worn Adonis
Blues bringing the total to eleven including
five females. There were other small moths
on the lower slopes including a Straw Dot.
and the unexpected highlight of the afternoon, I discovered a 75 cm long
before I left
Butterfly Image Report
My Mill Hill transect yielded Adonis Blue 32, Clouded Yellow 2, Comma 3, Common Blue 3, Meadow Brown 27, Red Admiral 2, Small Heath 13, Small White 2, Silver Y 2, Common Carpet 2, Treble Bar 1, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer 2. The Clouded Yellow at the bottom of the hill was worn and nectared on thistle. The one at the top of the hill was in good condition, nectared on solely on the masses of Autumn Gentian and kept returning to the same area just south of the car park.
Willow Warbler amongst the light Scrub
I discovered a Ploughman's Spikenard plant at the northern end of the lower slopes and also some Great Mullein. On the top plateau, most of the Autumn Gentian was budding and only a few flowers were seen.
Sloe Berries (Blackthorn)
A quick visit in to Mill Hill in good afternoon conditions, sunny but not too warm, was rewarded over hundred butterflies of the expected small selection of species on the lower slopes. I only completed a half acre lower slopes transect and I saw an estimated 50+ Meadow Browns, a counted 31 Adonis Blues (including nine females) (and including eight males and a female all seen together near but not settled on Devil's Bit Scabious near the winding path), six Common Blues (all bluish females), an estimated 20+ Small Heaths, six separate sightings of at least two Clouded Yellows, occasional Silver Y Moths, and frequent faded pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. Carline Thistle proved attractive to a handful of butterflies, but it was rather scarcer (only about a dozen clumps noted) compared to usual years. I failed to note any Ploughman's Spikenard this year, but it could have been overlooked as Ragwort was commonly seen with much more than usual.
First picture: Common
A Buzzard glided at quite a low level over the northern part of Mill Hill, seen from the lower slopes. Forty five minutes after the Buzzard had flown off, a Kestrel hovered over the top part of the hill, seen above as clambered up the steep steps to the ridge and the top of Mill Hill. Three times in ten minutes it was seen to fold its wings and descend rapidly. But no prey was seen in its talons.
Knapweed, Autumn Gentian, Autumn
Yellow Rattle, Traveller's Joy/Old Man's Beard
On the southern part of the top plateau (only part visited) one female Adonis Blue fluttered over the very short turf with Autumn Gentian. Some of the flowers of the Autumn Gentian were white. Meadow Browns were frequently to be seen on the southern top part of Mill Hill amongst the silver flower discs of Greater Knapweed. Blackberries were seen with a few ripe ones, and ripe Sloe (Blackthorn) berries.
A brief lunchtime visit to Mill Hill - sightings included at least 3 Clouded Yellow, many Adonis & many Small Heath plus the star of the show for me - my first (and maybe only!) Silver-spotted Skipper of the year.
26 August 2016
Blues on Mill Hill
with Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady
I made a morning visit to Mill Hill to avoid the humid warmth of the midday sun. Specked Woods sparred in the shade at the top of Chanctonbury Drive on the way. The first Meadow Brownswere seen on the top of Mill Hill near the covered Reservoir, where a Painted Lady visited one of the minority Greater Knapweed remaining in flower. The sun was behind a cloud for most of the one acre transect count and the butterflies appeared immediately but were lacking in variety and numbers at first. An old and tattered male Chalkhill Blue visited a Carline Thistle flower, the first butterfly on the lower slopes and only the first of two males. This followed quickly by the first of 104 fresh male Adonis Blues in the lower slopes transect area, with about the same or even more Meadow Browns, frequent 25+ Small Heaths, and frequently seen both Large Whites and Small Whites, eight Common Blues (including two females), definitely two strong flying Clouded Yellows, one Brimstone Butterfly and frequent bright fresh and faded pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and at least one Pyrausta nigrata. A Southern Hawker (dragonfly) cruised by. Carline Thistle was the usual popular nectar flower, but there did not seem to be as many live plants as usual. Devil's Bit Scabious was flowering for the first time this year at the northern fringe of the lower slopes and it is considerably diminished compared ot the amount of clumps I usually expect to see. The Clouded Yellows fluttered rapidly from one Basil flower to another and made a visit to a Dwarf Thistle for at least three seconds. As I sat down on the bank after finishing my transect count my first female Adonis Blue (probable ID) landed next to me.
Despite the warmth, I decided to ascend the steep slopes which were now covered in more fluttering Adonis Blues in the sunshine, at least another two dozen. There were three more fresh Chalkhill Blues one which visited a brown female but it did not stay long enough to be sure it was the same species. Common Blues increased in frequency near the top of the steeper slopes. I clambered up the steeper slopes at its lowest climb and then it opens up into ridged middle slopes of largely grasses and Ragwort which I was relatively unfamiliar with this area. Two adult Rabbits were feeding in the semi-exposed open and they made off at considerable speed over 20 metres when they spotted me. Three more Clouded Yellows were seen simultaneously including two sparring in the sunshine. There were frequent Large Whites and Small White Butterflies, at least another ten Small Heaths, frequent Meadow Browns, a probable Holly Blue, two Treble-bar Moths, and more micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. The top of the hill added many more of the butterflies already mentioned as well a Common Carpet Moth and a Silver Y Moth. The new plants of Autumn Gentian were common on the top plateau. A Common Lizard skitted across the path in front of me.
My Mill Hill transect provided some pleasant surprises: Adonis Blue 27, Chalkhill Blue 5, Clouded Yellow 2, Common Blue 8, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown 73, Small Heath 16, Whites 3, moths: Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella), Silver Y, Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Treble-bar (Aplocera plagiata), Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata). The Clouded Yellows had a brief battle at one point.
15 August 2016
Painted Lady, Chalkhill Blue Common Blue (it might be a Chalkhill?)
Brown Butterfly danced around the southern
steps to the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Then I chased my first Clouded Yellow Butterfly
of 2016 up the
steeper slopes of Mill Hill amongst nearly
two hundred butterflies
including my first Brown Argus
of the year on the lower slopes on a sunny afternoon. The lower slopes
hosted very frequent Meadow Browns,
about fifty (partially transect counted to
five females), six Common
five Adonis Blues,
about ten Small Heath Butterflies,
and a selection of large and small moths.
The middle and upper part of Mill Hill hosted frequent Common
and Meadow Browns
everywhere with a few Large Whites.
On the Hemp Agrimony
there was also at least one Peacock,
three Painted Ladies
and occasional Small Tortoiseshells. I
spotted a few small white butterflies,
but I could not confirm their identity.
Moths: Treble-bar, Common Carpet Moths, Silver Y, plus pyralid micro-moths were seen including frequent bright fresh and faded Pyrausta purpuralis and occasional Pyrausta despicata.
Gentian was seen in flower
for the first time this year at the southern end of the plateau.
A young Yellowhammer on the middle part of Mill Hill was not a bird I expected although it has been seen before. The middle slopes were beginning to look a little parched in the absence of rain.
It was a promising but ultimately disappointing trip to Mill Hill.
southern steps of Mill Hill hosted about a score of a tiny micro-moths
Mill Hill lower slopes: Meadow Browns (74), Chalkhill Blue (17), Gatekeepers (FQ), Adonis Blue, Common Blue, a few Green-veined Whites and at least one 6-spotted Burnet Moths and two Treble-Bar Moths. The pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta purpuralis was conspicuous and the handful seen probably many less than were present. Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were spotted copulating.
Middle Slopes (north)
Hill middle slopes: the Marjoram
and Hemp Agrimony
proved attractive to over dozen each of Red
Admirals, Meadow Browns, Peacocks,
Tortoiseshell, three Painted
Ladies, occasional Gatekeepers.
The shadier areas hosted at least two Speckled
Woods. Two female
blue butterflieswere seen on a patch of Horseshoe
Vetch, and they looked like Common Blues.
(I looked for Wall Brown in their normal hants, but they were not there.)
Mill Hill top of the hill: the copse at the top hosted Speckled Woods, otherwise frequent Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, a Common Blue, at least one Brimstone (it was nearly missed and mistaken for Large Whiteas it was very pale.).
Adur Butterfly Day List
Not so lucky on Mill as two days ago. The highlights of a very ordinary visit was a Kestrel hovering over the lower slopes, A Green Woodpecker with its distinctive dipping flight over the scrub on the middle slopes and a Skylark leaving the short turf of the top plateau. A grey coloured Mouse shared the underneath of the flat piece of wood with the large and fat Slow Worms.
Footman, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined
Painted Lady, Pyrausta despicata,
Peacock, Pyrausta purpuralis, Wall Brown, Adonis Blue
The breeze and cool weather may have reduced the number of butterflies with well over fifty Meadow Browns on the lower slopes with 28 Chalkhill Blues, one male Adonis Blue, frequent Gatekeepers, frequent confirmed Green-veined Whites, occasional Peacocks and Red Admirals, one Small Tortoiseshell, and two Wall Browns. Occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths were all resting on purple flowers. A few pyralid micro-moths were seen including a very bright fresh Pyrausta purpuralis and a few fresh looking Pyrausta despicata. Robber Flies, Machimus atricapillus, were frequently noted. Carline Thistle flowers were seen for the first time this year. Meadow Grasshoppers were very common, but at least one Field Grasshopper was spotted.
Wall Brown, Carline Thistle
Painted Lady, Chalkhill Blue, Slow Worm
Venturing on to the middle slopes, I noted that at three previously used passage routes through the scrub were overgrown and impassable. Marjoram was in flower but it was the taller Hemp Agrimony that attracted frequent butterflies, notably over ten Peacocks, over ten Red Admirals, at least one Small Tortoiseshell, one Painted Lady and both Large Whites and Green-veined Whites. Two more Wall Browns and more Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers inhabited the mixed scrub and open area of the middle slopes.
At the top. the former meadow (now overgrown) north of the upper car park hosted one fresh male Common Blue, and I expect there were more, but passage was difficult. There were two further Chalkhill Blues on the top part of the hill as well as a smattering of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. Round-headed Rampion was flowering on the plateau.
Overcast with the breeze turning into a steady Gale Force 7 (gusting to Force 8) in the afternoon, it was just the type of day not to record.
A flash of colour under the overcast sky was a large Painted Lady (only my second this year) that fluttered around on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, so I decided to make a note of the butterflies even if the wind made photography difficult. Meadow Browns were very frequently seen, their numbers well in excess of 28 male Chalkhill Blues, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional Large Whites, probable Green-veined Whites (or a Small White?), three Wall Browns, occasional Red Admirals and Small Heaths, at least one Peacock Butterfly, and occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths all on the lower slopes. The flash of blue was the first of the second brood male Adonis Blue (which seemed very early; 11 days earlier than 2015). A few pyralid micro-moths were seen including a very bright fresh Pyrausta purpuralis and a few fresh looking Pyrausta despicata. At least one Robber Fly, Machimus atricapillus, landed on the southern steps in front of me and another was discovered in a photograph later. Dwarf Thistle was notably commonly in flower on the lower slopes, apparently more so than in previous years, No snakes were seen although there were Slow Worms and Common Lizard by the road at the top.
PS: After examining the photographs at home, I discovered my first ever Silver-spotted Skipper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the corner of an image, not seen at the time.
Full Butterfly Report
Gallery (Ground Vegetation)
Slithering and sliding through the Tor Grass, the adult Black Adder seemed to sense me and reversed direction before my camera could focus. At first, it was coiled up looking like a discarded belt on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was a rainy day for reptiles as I spotted a Common Lizard by a an ants nest with at least a dozen Slow Worms on the southern top part of Mill Hill near the road.
cool for butterflies
to be active, they were commonly disturbed but only 14 male Chalkhill
an estimated 40 each of Meadow Browns
two Wall Browns,
one Large White,
one Marbled White all
on the lower slopes restricted transect. A Small
Skipper fluttered amongst the Greater
Knapweed on the southern part of Mill
Hill. The 6-spotted Burnet Moths did
not fly at all but could be found easily on purple
especially the plentiful Dwarf Thistle.
A Treble-bar Moth
was disturbed, easily seen because of its pale colour. A few pyralid
Pyrausta nigrata were seen and a few
visit to Mill Hill
was curtailed after less than an hour because of light rain.
The bee on the left was thought to be an Andrena. Species ID was not possible.
Bee & Wasp
I made a cursory and extremely brief 20 minute visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill in case there was an explosion of butterflies (last seen in 2003): there wasn't. In a half acre transect Meadow Browns were very frequent (50+) with an estimated thirty Chalkhill Blues. Two female Chalkhill Blues were noted. Ten species of butterfly were seen including frequent Gatekeepers occasional Large Whites at least one each of Green-veined White, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Heath, Speckled Wood (on the southern steps) and occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths.
In the southern top part of the hill, some of the light scrub had been cleared, improving the view, and possibly encouraging growth of wild plants.
29 July 2016
Thistle, Round-headed Rampion, Carline
Chalkhill Blue Butterfly, 6-spotted Burnet Moth on Greater Knapweed, Buddleia
a cloudy and cool afternoon inimical for butterflies,
brief (30 minutes) casual visit to Mill Hill,
resulted in my first Wall
Brown Butterfly of the year immediately
as I stepped on the southern steps to the lower slopes, where I spotted
my first female Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
Male Chalkhill Blues
were frequently seen. I also noted Carline
Thistle budding for the first time this
year a well as my first Round-headed Rampion
in flower. Other butterflies on the
lower slopes were frequent Meadow Browns,
one Small Tortoiseshell,
and 6-spotted Burnet Moths and
a few pyralid
At the top I was buffeted around by the breeze to distraction and soon headed home. I did spot a male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly at the top though and more Round-headed Rampions.
It is not always best to visit Mill Hill in the mornings, but the doubts I had over the identification of Peacock Butterflies over the lower slopes five days ago were put to bed as two were positively sighted on Ragwort on the southern end of the lower slopes. Peacock Butterflies were frequently seen (15+) later on plentiful flowering Marjoram and Hemp Agrimony on the middle slopes. Despite the cloudy breezy day, butterflies were all over Mill Hill, with frequent Meadow Browns on the lower slopes but Gatekeepers (as befitting their name) were more prevalent and frequently seen on the upper semi-scrub parts of the hill, but the meagre total of nine male Chalkhill Blues were only found on the lower slopes. Occasional Red Admirals (8+) were no longer the dominant vanessid. Three Small Skippers were quickly spotted as I parked my bicycle amongst the meadows of Greater Knapweed south of the reservoir. Other butterflies of few numbers each fluttered over the lower and upper Mill Hill and these were the whites with Marbled Whites, Green-veined Whites and Small Whites all positively identified. Frequent 6-spotted Burnet Moths whirred around. A Dusky Sallow Moth, Eremobia ochroleuca, rested on a Greater Knapweed flower . A Common Carpet Moth was disturbed amongst the thorn. Robber Flies, Machimus atricapillus, were seen occasionally. Three large Slow Worms were noted, one silvery in colour and another golden one. A Kestrel flew just above the thick scrub. Goldfinches were seen amongst the thorn on the the top of Mill Hill and could even have been nesting?
Moth caterpillars were frequently seen
munching on Ragwort,
which was common all over Mill Hill Nature Reserve
and abundant on neighbouring pastures. Melilot
was abundant on the middle slopes area (northern end: the
Triangle) and also on the upper part of the hill south of the Reservoir.
The remains of a Kidney Vetch
(infrequent on Mill Hill, found nearby) were seen amongst the Greater
Knapweed. The former meadow north of the car
park was now overgrown with Brambles
and impassable without difficulty (daunted, I did not try). The prickly
Thistle was common and widespread on most
parts of Mill Hill.
Middle Slopes 2016
Butterfly Report & Images
Adur Butterfly List 2016
21 July 2016
Cloudy and a bit of an afternoon breeze was welcome after the two day heat wave. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (36) were numerous and settled enough for a photograph. They were joined by Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers, Red Admirals and Meadow Browns, Large Whites, unidentified whites, all frequently seen as well as two possible Peacock Butterflies, one Silver Y, Yellow Shell and occasional 6-spotted Burnet Moths. There was at least one micro-moth Thistle Ermine, Myelois circumvoluta, and a few pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were frequently seen munching on Ragwort which was more prevalent than in any previous years. Spiders were seen with egg sacs including a Wolf Spider, Pardosa. These hunting spiders were frequently spotted. A Devil's Coach Horse Beetle was seen. I noted one Pyramidal Orchid still in flower on the lower slopes, above the winding path.
A Ringlet Butterfly was photographed on Mill Hill.
18 July 2016
On the first warm day (>25.3° C) of the year, the male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (16) finally emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill when I visited in the middle of the day. They were all flighty and once in flight they rarely stopped. They were noted making visits of less than a second on Bird's Foot Trefoil and longer on a Bramble flower. Other frequent butterflies were Marbled Whites, frequent Meadow Browns, a few Red Admirals, occasional Green-veined Whites, a few Large Whites, occasional Gatekeepers, large moths:Cinnabar Moths, frequent 6-spotted Burnet Moths, a Silver Y Moth, a Yellow Shell Moth, pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis, and Cinnabar Moth caterpillars
Autumnal Hawkbit, Pyrausta purpuralis, Wild Basil, Perforate St. John's Wort
Bramble with Gatekeeper, Greater Knapweed, Stemless Thistle, Yarrow
rain earlier in the year had caused some vegetation to grow quicker than
normal and the path at the bottom was covered in Brambles
to such an extent I nearly trod on a large Black
Adder coiled up on the path in front of
|Pyrausta purpuralis from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.|
I did my Mill Hill transect: first Chalkhill Blue of the season, Comma, Gatekeeper 18, Green-veined White 2, Marbled White 11, Small White 1, unidentified Whites 9, Meadow Brown 14, Peacock, Red Admiral 11, Small Tortoiseshell, Six-spot Burnet, Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana). Outside the Cement Works on the A283 I found an Essex Skipper, a Six-spot Burnet and a Crescent Plume (Marasmarcha lunaedactyla)
14 July 2016
The sun appeared from behind the white clouds in a blue sky, but, alas, there still was no sign of the Chalkhill Blues around the middle of the day on Mill Hill. I disturbed a couple of Skylarks on the top of the hill, but that was it for anything newsworthy. Butterflies were about, frequent Marbled Whites, frequent Meadow Browns, a dozen Red Admirals, occasional Green-veined Whites, a few Large Whites, two Small (or Essex) Skippers, two Gatekeepers, one Small Heath Butterfly, a Silver Y Moth, a Cinnabar Moth and occasional pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. A Cinnabar Moth caterpillar was seen on the leaves of a Ragwort plant. A few Robber Flies, Machimus atricapillus, were seen, and plenty of other flies, beetles, small spiders, moths and other organisms. The small Soldier Fly, Chloromyia formosa, on Hogweed near the uppercar park was a new addition to the Mill Hill fauna on these web pages. The small orange beetles seen on Hogweed and other flowers were Rhagonycha fulva (a Soldier Beetle, Cantharidae).
Adur Butterfly List 2016
Musk Thistle, Greater Knapweed, Marbled White
Cinnabar Moth. Wild Mignonette, Dwarf Thistle, Small Skipper
Dwarf Thistle was spotted in flower occasionally for the first time this year as well as my first plant of Musk Thistle on the steep slopes. Small Scabious was also seen in flower for the first time this year.
13 July 2016
Basil, Pyramidal Orchid, Common Green Grasshopper
Gatekeeper, Traveller's Joy, Wild Carrot
spotted me and was gliding over the meadow as I descended the southern
steps (just cut back of intruding vegetation). After ten minutes on the
lower slopes of Mill Hill, rain interrupted
play and I left before the hour was up, not
before I had seen 35+ Marbled Whites,
20+ Meadow Browns,
a few Small Heaths,
my first three Gatekeepers
of the year, at least two Large Whites
thought to be a Red Admiral.
About ten of the Marbled Whites
and two of the Gatekeepers
were at the top part of Mill Hill in the thicker vegetation by the underground
was common (several hundred flowerheads, possibly many more) on the lower
slopes. Yellow Ants
(species not identifed) and two Slow Worms
were recorded on the upper part of Mill Hill. I also recorded only my second
Green Grasshopper, Omocestus
11 July 2016
over Mill Hill
Photograph by Etienne Fournier
I faced a gale at the top of Mill Hill as I started my weekly transect. The usual hotspot at the bottom of the hill yielded Comma, Gatekeeper 8, Marbled White 9, Meadow Brown 5, Red Admiral and Small Heath. Moths: Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata) 2, Common Grey (Scoparia ambigualis), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis) 3 and Cinnabar larvae, plus one big, fat black Adder.
6 July 2016
A large bird of prey was perched on the hedgerow at the bottom of Mill Hill. It made a leisurely take off and glided over the meadow below. It seemed large enough to be a Buzzard and that is what it was. No Rabbits were seen in the open as is often the case. The afternoon sunshine persuaded a few butterflies into flight: the first of a handful of Large Whites and a Red Admiral in the residential part of Shoreham. The first of frequent Marbled Whites was seen in Mill Hill Road, south of the bridge. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were visited for the first time for a month. The one acre transect butterfly count recorded 23 Marbled Whites, 5 Small Heaths, 3 Meadow Browns, at least one Small Skipper, two Large Whites, one probable male Common Blue, one Cinnabar Moth and a few Silver Y Moths. The small pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen.
Y Moth, Grasshoppers, Candy-stripe
Small or Essex Skipper, Common Lizard, Small Tortoiseshell on Greater Knapweed
through the scrub and over the middle slopes recorded just one more Marbled
White, but the top part of the hill added
two Small Tortoiseshells,
a Large White,
a Small White,
ten more Marbled Whites and
seven more Meadow Browns.
A Common Lizard
inhabited an ant's nest on the overgrown meadow in the north-east corner.
New plants in flower were Lesser
Centaury and Field
Scabious, the latter providing a hidden
location for a small web spinning Candy-striped
sp. Field Bindweed
provided an ambush location for a small Crab
There were frequent hoppers but only of
three species actually seen, the omnipresent Meadow
at least one Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus
viridulus (first record on Mill
Hill, thought to be overlooked before?),
Dark Bush Crickets,
griseoaptera. A smaller Robber
Fly, Machimus atricapillus,
landed on my hand. Two Cinnabar Moth caterpillars
were seen on a budding Ragwort plant.
White version of Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris.
|The remnants of Cowslips were still visible on the middle slopes.|
A Moderate Breeze (Force 4) blew the flowers about on the exposed top plateau (and incline) of Mill Hill were the Dropwortand the clumps of long grasses swayed in the wind. Greater Knapweed was beginning to flower and Meadow Cranesbill did not sway so much because their stems were stouter and they grew in the slightly less exposed fertile areas supported by more vegetation. In these conditions, I did not expect to encounter more than occasional butterfly and was only in the meadow (turned to a Bramble and Stinging Nettles neglected pasture) to the north of the upper car park, I disturbed a Meadow Brown, in an area where I noted Melilot was prevalent. On the middle slopes a few Marjoram were budding. A Kestrel patrolled under a sky of low grey clouds. Eventually the clouds bumped in to the hill and it became damp and I curtailed my brief (under an hour) visit. The greenery was denser than usual on the upper hill and I put this down to the wet weather. Nipplewort was recorded mostly on the path edges. Bird's Foot Trefoil was abundant on the area of low vegetation both on top of the hill and in the middle section, thinning out in the extremely exposed areas. There did not seem to be so many of the yellow flowers as in a average year. Slow Worms were located in two places, one each side of the country road. One Slow Worm was as large as I have ever seen but I only saw its head. A small spider was also spotted. It looked unfamiliar at first because of its egg sac, but was a small Wolf Spider Pardosa. NB: I have not managed to locate any Musk Thistle this year.
Hill: Upper & Middle
Spider with egg sac, Dropwort, White Clover & Self-heal, Meadow Cranesbill
Greater Knapweed, Squinancywort, Dogwood,Slow Worm
I did my Mill Hill transect: Marbled White 25, Meadow Brown 11, Small Heath 2, Ringlet 2, moths: Pretty Chalk Carpet, Common Purple & Gold, Silver Y.
24 June 2016
An impromptu to Mill Hill was rewarded by the first Marbled White Butterflies of the year. I disturbed over 25 but rarely would they settle in view for more than a few seconds. The colourful Cinnabar Moths were even quicker to hide and were only out in the open for a second or two. The intermittently cloudy day meant that most butterflies were in hiding, although I managed to spot frequent (12+) Meadow Browns, at least half a dozen tattered Adonis Blues (they were so tattered they could have been Common Blues), a handful of Small Heath Butterflies, frequent (15+) Silver Y Moths, a few smaller moths, two sightings of a Red Admiral (it may have been the same butterfly?) and one Small Tortoiseshell all over the lower slopes on a humid afternoon. A colony of Ants was spotted under a piece of wood.
It has been a month since I last visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill and of particular notice were the new flowering plants for this year, notably, the miniature Eyebright, the first Dropwort, Yellow Wort, ground-hugging Self-heal and Wild Thyme, the invasive Privet shrub, the common Rough Hawkbit, Perforate St. John's Wort, and a few of Vervain, Squinancywort, Common Centaury, and others. I spotted a Dog Violet. Bird's Foot Trefoil was abundant. There was another Hawkweed-type (with dandelion-type leaves and smooth stem) which I have not positively identified: I think this was Autumnal Hawkbit flowering early? Scarlet Pimpernel was present in three small clumps seen. Bittersweet was flowering by the southern steps.
A small brown moth was Pyrausta despicata. A smaller pyralid moth Pyrausta purpuralis was seen.
Yellow Meadow Ants can hide the caterpillars of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly protecting them from predation.
The brown butterfly on the right was thought most likely to be a Common Blue, but it crawled amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch suggesting it could be an Adonis Blue. The four blue males were so ragged that they could not be identified for sure, but three of them were seen on Bird's Foot Trefoil in flower.
The smaller Robber Fly, Machimus atricapillus, were occasionally seen (10+) and were seen mating on the lower slopes. There were more of this predatory fly than seen before.
On the top of Mill Hill (south of reservoir) I noted some very small crickets (with long antennae) as well as grasshoppers. Three Slow Worms were also noted.
A small brown beetle was discovered to be Omaloplia ruricola. This scarab (chafer beetle) is Nationally Scarce B species and found on calcareous grasslands. TQ 21064 07294. ID by Stewart Bevan
The mushroom on the lower slopes was thought to be a Stropharia.
Slopes of Mill Hill
Self-heal, Perforate St. John's Wort, Eyebright, Dog Violet
Privet, Thyme, Vervain, Squinancywort, Dropwort
On the upper part of Mill Hill (south of the Reservoir) new flowering plants were Meadow Cranesbill, Agrimony, Creeping Thistle, Yellow Rattle, two Common Poppies, one Pyramidal Orchid, a few flowering Greater Knapweed, and by the roadside a few Meadow Vetchling and Cornflower.
I did my Mill Hill transect: Adonis Blue, Marbled White 4, Meadow Brown 7, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Heath 10, Small Tortoiseshell, moths: Silver Y 4, Yellow Shell.
19 June 2016
I did my Mill Hill transect on Sunday: Adonis Blue 4, including a mating pair, Brimstone 2, Marbled White, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 8, Small Tortoiseshell. moths: Wavy-barred Sable, Cinnabar, Straw-barred Pearl, Mother Shipton, Hook-streak Grass-veneer, Common Purple and Gold, Common Carpet and Garden Grass-veneer.
29 May 2016
On Sunday my Mill Hill transect produced Adonis Blue 14 (females 3, males 11), Brimstone, Common Blue 3, Dingy Skipper 2, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood, moths: Yellow Shell, Camptogramma bilineata 3, Grass Rivulet (Perizoma albulata) 2, Silver Y, Autographa gamma, and Hook-streak Grass-veneer, Crambus lathoniellus.
22 May 2016
A cloudy day on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was too cool for butterflies to be in active flight. I disturbed a Red Admiral by the Stinging Nettles on the partially cleared slopes on the southern part, a Speckled Wood on the southern steps, spotted a Peacock Butterfly amongst the decent covering of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes, followed by a handful of Small Heath Butterflies and best of all eight Adonis Blues, including a female. There were no skippers to be seen.
A flock of a dozen Jackdaws were feeding on the lower slopes. They were persistent but I could not see what they were eating. A Kestrel soared overhead. A tiny Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus, was noted on a wooden post and I'm not sure if I have recorded this common and widespread species of spider on Mill Hill before? The diminutive Eyebright and Fairy Flax were seen in flower for the first time this year as well as Mouse-ear. Dog Violets were still commonly scattered over the lower slopes. Cowslips were still in flower at the same time that Hawthorn was blossoming. Silverweed flowers appeared on the southern damper parts of Mill Hill.
In the early afternoon on a breezy intermittently cloudy and sunny day, a flash of blue on the southern upper part of Mill Hill was my first male Common Blue Butterfly of the year. followed by a Small Heath Butterfly and at the top of the southern steps a restless Speckled Wood Butterfly.
of yellow of the Horseshoe Vetch,
comosa, at its peak, covered the lower
slopes of Mill Hill. But there were large patches where this flowering
herb was absent whereas it was abundant a decade ago.
down during a period of brief sunshine
and for fifteen minutes the slopes were alive with butterflies,
occasional Grizzled Skippers,
frequent Dingy Skippers,
a pair of patrolling Brimstone Butterflies,
a Peacock Butterfly,
frequent Small Heaths,
and four more bright blue Common Blues.
I looked carefully to identify the blue butterflies and none were Adonis
Blues, until I found a male decrepit Adonis
Blue that couldn't fly. By
that time the sun had disappeared behind a cloud.
A strong flying Adonis Blue
landed nearby and immediately took off again. Tracing my steps over the
lower slopes I managed to spot my first Green Hairstreak of the
year on a Horseshoe Vetch flower.
The flash of crimson was the first of two Cinnabar
Moths I disturbed. There was one pyralid
micro-moth of the species Pyrausta nigrata.
Adur Butterfly List 2016
10 May 2016
A colony of Slow Worms on the upper part of Mill Hill was my fourth species of reptile this year (Adur has five species) on a cloudy day with a hint of a breeze and mist in the valley. Too cool for butterflies although I did disturb a very fresh Speckled Wood near the upper copse on Mill Hill. Clumps of Cowslips were very noticeable on the upper part of Mill Hill where Horseshoe Vetch and Milkwort showed in the areas of shorter vegetation.Garlic Mustard was flowering in the sunnier more open parts of the upper copse. Rabbits were in evidence, both family groups running into shelter and fresh burrow on the middle slopes (northern end). Small flocks of Jackdaws descended to ground level in search of sustenance. Further north at Beeding Hill, Rooks dug into the cattle pasture in their search for grubs.
on the lower slopes, the yellow of the Horseshoe
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
was abundantly in flower, but nowhere
near its best showing, and the Dog Violets
were still commonly scattered over hillside. The small orange flutterers
were a bit of a puzzle a first until one settled and then I recognised
the first Small Heath Butterflies
(7) of the year. The afternoon was a bit duller than expected and the one
and only Grizzled Skipper
landed on a Dandelion,
followed by eight Dingy Skippers
that did not settle within camera range. At first there was a glimpse of
the sun and five Brimstone Butterflies
flew along the bottom hedge, and a pair of Peacock
Butterflies were courting. Then the clouds
blotted out the sun leaving a Small White
Butterfly, and after the first spots of
rain, a good condition Red Admiral.
of two downs species: Pyrausta nigrata
despicata were noted. An even smaller
simpliciella was photographed on Germander
Speedwell. Most of the yellow rosettes
but there were a few Hawkbits/Hawkweeds
and blue Milkworts
were now frequently seen amongst the Horseshoe Vetch leaves. Hounds-tongue
was seen with its first flowers near the steps down to the lower slopes
from the south. Cowslips
had a score or more clumps in flower at the southern end of the lower slopes,
the area where all the skippers
Most of the Blackthorn blossom had blown away on the top of Mill Hill, where Hawthorn was now flowering.
Contrary to reports of the day before, Blackthorn was still flowering plentifully on the upper part of Mill Hill and the green leaves of Hawthorn but not the flowers. On Mill Hill, the Horseshoe Vetch was now beginning (and probably been around for about a week) and the flowers were already common on the lower slopes with equally common Dog Violets. The violets were visited by at least two Grizzled Skippers and I also saw my first two Dingy Skippers of 2016. A few Brimstone Butterflies patrolled the bottom hedgerow, and a Small White and a handful of Peacock Butterflies, and frequent Pyrausta micro-moths of the three downs species: Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata seen very clearly. The even smaller Pancalia micro-moths were also spotted on Daisies.
Flora of the Lower Slopes
glided high in the blue sky above Mill Hill and I was rewarded by the sight
of a pair of Linnets
perching on Privet.
Bird song could be heard above the noise of the traffic. Down on the ground
amongst the short vegetation that still included the brown coloured mosses,
the first Milkwort
appeared prostrate with the other herb leaves and grasses and the first
small blue flower of Germander Speedwell.
The Easter Fox Spider Alopecosa
to genus only, species problematical) was
spotted quite often crawling amongst the undergrowth. A few St
Mark's Flies were seen around the steps
at the southern end leading down to the lower slopes.
Dog Violets were scattered and abundant all over the lower slopes of Mill Hill and were visited by frequent (12+) Peacock Butterflies, but very little else was spotted on the sunny afternoon. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered by the at the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of Mill Hill) followed by a worn Red Admiral. On Mill Hill proper there were no butterflies or anything moving on the southern upper part. On the lower slopes a white butterfly fluttered past, too quickly to be identified although it did look like what would have been my first Green-veined White Butterfly of the year. Small moths flitted about. These were the pyralid micro-moths of the species Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata seen very clearly and all three species definitely identified. The first and only Grizzled Skipper landed in front of me. A pair of faded Small Tortoiseshells danced together and another was seen later. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered by. There were hearsay reports of three more Grizzled Skippers, a Dingy Skipper and a Green Hairstreak.
Butterfly Report (with images)
Adur Butterfly List 2016
Spiders were frequently seen amongst the short vegetation. I think that at least ten of them were the Easter Fox Spider, Alopecosa barbipes. Blackthorn flowers had finished on the top of Mill Hill and I missed the full bloom this year. Cowslips were spotted in flower on the lower slopes. The black ground beetle Phosphuga atrata crawled rapidly over the short herbs.
Chalkhill Ground Vegetation
A Buzzard soared over the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the bright blue sky. On the ground, sliding through the undergrowth of Tor Grass and Brambles a young black Adderslithered into view. It was tricky to spot and half an hour or so later we were rewarded by the sighting of a silvery Adder with very attractive black triangular markings and shortly afterwards a different larger black Adder, but only for about five seconds before they were hidden. My first two Common Lizards of the year skitted over the area at the northern end of the the lower slopes that had been cleared of Privet bushes. These were my second and third species of reptile seen this year.
Peacock Butterflies danced over the lower
slopes. They were very easy to spot gliding down to feed on the abundant
Violets. There were a few Brimstone
Butterflies of both genders, that patrolled
over the lower slopes and two of my first
Tortoiseshells of the year that visited
the Dog Violets.
A Small White Butterfly
fluttered by. Spring seemed to have awakened the early insects, including
Bumblebees also attracted to the violets,
A small Halictus rubicundus bee
settled on a bare patch of earth for a second. Common
major, were frequently seen. And two Treblebar
Moths and the pyralid
Pyrausta nigrata and
despicata. Small spiders
of the genus Alopecosa
the herb growth. (These spiders could be one
of at least two species.) Not nearly so easy
to spot were the first few Grizzled Skippers
of the year that appeared about 2:15 pm.
They also visited the violets.
Subsequent perusal of the blurry photographs showed one of the Bee-flies had dotted wings indicating the scarce Dotted Bee-fly, Bombylius discolor.
Adur Butterfly List 2016
Fluffy white Cumulus clouds sped across a blue sky and the sun shone briefly though the gaps. These brief spells encouraged butterflies to flutter around in search of nectar on an otherwise cool day (> 10.4°C). On the southern top part of Mill Hill, I spotted my first bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly of the year in the distance. On the violet scattered lower slopes pairs (7 in total) of Peacock Butterflies danced over the thorn, and were joined by my first Small White Butterfly of 2016. Most of the thousands of violets were rain battered Sweet Violets, but the first Dog Violets appeared in flower. A male Pheasant strutted in the meadow below (west of) Mill Hill.
the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill) a damaged
Admiral made an appearance and again this
was a first of the year. It was joined by two further Brimstone
Adur Butterfly List 2016
In the afternoon I had two further sightings of Peacock Butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill HIll. On all occasions the butterfly only settled for about second in the feeble sun. The lower slopes also hosted the first wild Sweet Violet in flower for 2016.
I walked over the top of the hill and the muddy paths down to the lower slopes without discovering anything of interest on a day when the mist obscured the long views. The conservation workers seemed to have cleared the woody vegetation from the meadow north of the top car park, as well as a clump of thorn on the middle slopes (seen from a distance) and the Privet from the northern part of the lower slopes, but there was still plenty of Privet on the southern part of the lower slopes. Alexanders in flower attracted Dung Flies in the upper car park. A female Pheasant was disturbed from cover amongst the scrub to the north of the lower slopes.
I cycled up past Mill Hill into a north wind on my newly acquired bike, with a wind chill just below zero. On the highest part of the local downs east of the disused Cement Works over a hundred Rooks flocked on a bare field, whilst on the other side of the country road, the land was being excavated for cables as part of the Rampion Wind Farm scheme at right angles to existing electricity pylons.
Extensive flooding to the north in the low lying fields around Henfield could seen from the muddy footpath north of and downhill from Beeding Hill car park.
was little of interest, but I noted blatant evidence of damaging cattle
poaching on the short turf top plateau of Mill Hill. The were large mounds
of soil dug up by Moles
by the upper car park.
Hill Wildlife Reports 2015 (Link)
Mill Hill Wildlife Reports 2014 (Link)
Mill Hill Wildlife Reports 2013 (Link)
Mill Hill Wildlife Reports 2012 (Link)
Mill Hill Wildlife Reports 2011 (Link)
of Grasses (Link)
Mill Hill Grasses
SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES DEPENDENT ON MILL HILL
(Estimated numbers for Mill Hill Nature Reserve only are in brackets)
Blue (3000 +)
Adonis Blue (50 -100)
Dingy Skipper (75)
Wall Brown (12)
Meadow Brown (300)
|Marbled White (50)
Speckled Wood (>50)
Green-veined White (2+)
Small Blue (5)
Large Skipper (10+)
Grizzled Skipper (20)
Brown Argus (>30)
Green Hairstreak ( a few)
The other species may breed on Mill Hill, but there main breeding area will be adjoining fields or slightly further away. e.g. Small Blue (included above), Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White, Peacock, Ringlet, Small White, Large White, Comma, Holly Blue, Orange Tip. (=10)
The following are immigrants &/or hibernators: Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow.
The following have not been positively identified (because of ID difficulties): Essex Skipper. This species is now included for a local field on the Adur Levels within 500 metres of Mill Hill.
following was confirmed only in 2009:
following was confirmed only in 2014: Dark
The next one is no longer
found on Mill Hill but were there in the distant (1947) past: Grayling.
The next one has been recorded near Mill Hill in the middle distance past: White-letter Hairstreak
does not appear to ever have occurred
on Mill Hill
The Silver-studded Blue has never been recorded from Mill Hill
The Short-tailed Blue was recorded as a single immigrant in 1956.
A possible (unconfirmed) Brown Hairstreak Butterfly was spotted. A confirmed one was spotted nearby.
History of Mill Hill
Lower Adur Levels (MultiMap) including Lancing Clump and Mill Hill
First Draft of the Article for the Shoreham Society Newsletter