Magpies at the top of the path near the houses and the bridgePixie Path
Footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road. Formerly part of the original Mill Hill, although the horse grazing (Frampton's Field) field was ploughed up in the late fifties. This page will include some reports from the Mill Hill Cutting adjacent to the path when it runs west to east.

Link to Pixieland 2006

13 January 2006
There were Wood Lice (not Pill Bugs) under the discarded Chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path, but I did not attempt to find put which species of isopod as they looked like the common species found in gardens. These were my first terrestrial arthropods (Crustacea) I have seen this year.
There appears to be new growths of the Cladonia Pixie Cup Lichens on the broken chestnut fencing at the top of the path by the tall garden hedge.

The green leaves are called "squamules" from which the "podentia" grow. I am not sure of the identity of these lichens without the reference but they could be Cladonia coniocrae

Adur Lichens

14 December 2005
At least ten Magpies were counted all at one time in a single small deciduous tree (probably a Hawthorn) immediately uphill and to the east of the the discarded Chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path near the houses and the hedge at the top. I have never seen this many Magpies together before and there may have been at least four more on the route from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill.

22 November 2005
Just a Blue Tit in the Hawthorn and a handful of Clubiona spiders and a millipede were spotted underneath the discarded Chestnut fencing. The photograph on the right shows the small millipede and what looks like a moth pupa.

8 November 2005
Hygrocybe chlorophana Dermoloma Dermoloma

All the fungi recorded had been seen before and those identifications are used again for a dozen or so Golden Wax Caps, Hygrocybe chlorophana, discovered on the A27 road embankment (Mill Hill Cutting) just east of the bridge section where it crosses the Waterworks Road; a handful of clumps of the small Dermoloma mushrooms totalling about a dozen on the Pixie Path approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road; and a small Panaeolus sphinctrinus amongst the grass (not the dung as usual which was not observed) on Frampton's Field.
Common Wasps were occasionally seen amongst the Ivy. The spider capsules of Clubiona numbered about a half dozen.

17 & 23 October 2005
Common Wasps were frequent around the Ivy much more than in the previous years this century.
The miniature spider in the pictures on the right emerged from the small white capsule underneath the broken chestnut fence paling. It did not return to where it came from. The poor quality images were because of its small size, under 10 mm (estimated) in total length. 

This is a species of Clubiona. The white capsule is a silken home spun by the spider. By 23 October 2005, there were five silken capsules, but only one inhabited by the spider. 
Clubionidae Checklist

Lichens were showing well of at least five distinct species. The image on the right is the Pixie Cup, Cladonia sp.

7 October 2005
About ten Red Admiral Butterflies were seen during the day with about eight of them on the Pixie Path route to Mill Hill where a Painted Lady made a brief appearance. A large buff and brown fly, a possible Hornet Robber Fly, Asilus crabroniformis, landed on the path, but I was unable to confirm this Biodiversity Action Plan species with as close-up look.
Previous Hornet Robber Report

Under the discarded chestnut paling fencing, there was a Lithobius centipede and the small spider illustrated above. The spider is  juvenile Alopecosa species, almost certainly Alopecosa pulverulenta.

Spider ID by Peter Harvey on British Spiders (Yahoo Group).
The Ivy was a host for over two dozen Drone Flies (hoverflies), Eristalis and a handful of Common Wasps.

3 October 2005
A dozen each of Common Wasps and Drone Flies (hoverflies), Eristalis tenax, visited the Ivy and Bramble (with ripe blackberries).
This small bird was hiding amongst the Hawthorn and shown in the photograph perched on the chestnut paling fence. 

It was a Chiff-chaff, Phylloscopus collybita.

It looked like it was making a home there, but time will tell as this small bird usually (99%+) migrates south in winter. These small insectivorous birds are resident in this immediate area throughout the summer. 

27 September 2005
The vegetation had been recently cut and the path was now passable without getting stung. Beware the steep and very dangerous drop down to the Waterworks Road: the path has been eroded by Rabbits and drops are hidden by the remaining vegetation.
Left:  Red Admiral on Ivy next to the path in the north-west corner of Frampton's Field. 

The invertebrate in the is picture on the right is probably a pupa of a moth? 

13 September 2005
In Frampton's Field (north of The Street, Old Shoreham) there was a large pile of horse dung decorated by mushrooms. They looked like Panaeolus sphinctrinus to my inexperienced eye.
Shoreham Fungi
Panaeolus sphinctrinus Yellow Wort Cleavers (=Bedstraw =Goosefoot)

Hoverflies were less than expected at the lower end of the Pixie Path by the Butterfly Copse. A handful of Drone Flies, Eristalis, flew around the Ivy. Yellow Wort was still in flower in the early afternoon (this flower closes up later in the day).
Just one or two white butterflies and a handful of Red Admirals were recorded on top section of  the Pixie Path by the garden hedge.

Brimstone Butterfly30 August 2005
There were a handful each of Chalkhill Blues (on the Mill Hill Cutting), Common Blues and Meadow Browns with a surprise Brimstone Butterfly at the top by the bridge.

21 August 2005
There were seven male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies in the extreme south-west corner of the Mill Hill Cutting. Other butterflies were Common Blues (12+) and Meadow Browns with a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood. The hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri was noted with a handful of common species. A Devil's Coach Horse Beetle scuttled under the piece of disused chestnut fencing next to Frampton's Fields.
Resting under the discarded chestnut fence Micro moth
Both these moths were recorded on the Pixie Path. The second one was a micro-moth. 

They are the 2303 Straw Underwing Thalpophila matura (hiding on the underside of the discarded chestnut fencing) and the 998 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana
(An Australian alien pest species.)

16 August 2005
Twenty Chalkhill Blue Butterflies amongst the Autumn Gentian and Horseshoe Vetch in the extreme south-west corner of the Mill Hill Cutting is about as many as ever seen in this area. There were none in Frampton's Field though; just about twenty Common Blues seen (more were hidden) and a handful of Meadow Browns.
Butterfly List for the Day
Autumn Gentian
Episyrphus balteatus on Ragwort
Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
Female on the Mill Hill Cutting
Autumn Gentian
Common Blue Butterfly
Female on the Mill Hill Cutting

There were dozens of clumps of Eyebright next to the path. The Marmalade Fly was very frequent over a period of 30 minutes and the highest density of this prevalent hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus were around the shrubs bordering the Pixie Path. A Common Darter Dragonfly was seen. And a large Rabbit was resting in the middle of the overgrown path by the hedge at the top. It only scampered into the undergrowth when I got my camera out.

14 August 2005
The Pixie Path produced a female Chalkhill Blue Butterfly amongst the prostrate Horseshoe Vetch leaves on the road bank. A couple of minutes later on the path, a pair of courting Red Admirals, a Gatekeeper, a dozen Common Blues and two Meadow Browns were seen simultaneously. A Holly Blue Butterfly settled.  Later a dozen more Common Blues were amongst the Ragwort on Frampton's Field. At least two Yellow Shell Moths, a few more Meadow Browns were seen in the vicinity of the path, and a Wall Brown Butterfly that rose from the chalk path and landed on the Chestnut palings fence.
On the road bank, a dozen Autumn Gentian plants were seen with the flowers closed.

7 August 2005
Chalkhill Blue in Frampton's Fields
Meadow Brown
Essex Skipper

Butterflies on the path and in Frampton's Fields included Common Blues including females (could have been a Brown Argus?), frequent Gatekeepers, at least a dozen Meadow Browns, one Essex Skipper, one Chalkhill Blue and some Whites.
Flying Ants Common Centaury

A cacophony of stridulating green grasshoppers came from the long grass of Frampton's Field (horse fields next to the Pixie Path).
The first Autumn Gentian was spotted just coming into flower on the road embankment of the Mill Hill Cutting near the Pixie Path (south side of the A27). Black Ants with wings crawled under a discarded fence of broken fencing. I expect they are queens of Lasius niger - the common Black Garden Ant.

Red Admiral

31 July 2005
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered over the Pixie Path. Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown Butterflies were present, about a dozen were seen of each under an overcast sky. The horse fields (did these used to be called Frampton's Fields?) were covered in Ragwort where the horses were not grazing.

8 July 2005

A tiny ladybird rescued from a spider's web was Halyzia sedecimguttata

Yellow Shell
A small spider on Wild Carrot
Yellow Shell Moth
Gatekeeper Butterfly
A small predatory crab spider Misumena vatia
 on Wild Carrot

24 June 2005
A medium-to-large dragonfly flew around the Ivy and then zoomed off at a height of two metres plus without giving me a chance to see it closely. It seemed to be dark brown-grey with the thorax appearance of a Common Darter but about 20% larger.
19 June 2005
Wild Thyme, Thymus polytrichus, and Bird's Foot Trefoil on the A27 road bank next to the Pixie Path. 

A dragonfly flew over, but I was not quick enough to see what species or even what colour? 

9 June 2005
The stretch of the path running south to north from the Butterfly Copse was becoming overgrown. Cut-leaved Cranesbill was noted in flower in small patches and two Common Blue Butterflies in the sunny mid-afternoon. The ground hugging Milkwort could still be seen although much larger flowers including Greater Knapweed were easier to notice.
7 June 2005

A lizard under the piece of broken fencing on the open part of the Pixie Path (SW of the bridge to Mill Hill) was bright green in colour and had lost its tail. Despite its dazzling appearance it was a Common Lizard, Lacerta viviparus.

Wild Thyme, Thymus polytrichus,

Wild Thyme, Thymus polytrichus

The plant with a small red flower is the Grass Vetchling, Lathyrus nissolia.

15 May 2005
Another Nomada fucata bee, possibly the same one as before was noted in a passage visit.

9 May 2005
The passage journey to Mill Hill along the Pixie Path was slighter poorer than usual with a handful of Holly Blue Butterflies and an equal number of Speckled Wood Butterflies.
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
Panorpa (communis)
Pill Bugs and Black Ants

There was a Common Lizard under the loose piece of broken fencing with black and red ants, wood lice (isopods) and a millipede. Another Nomada fucata bee was skulking amongst the Stinging Nettles. The first fly in the photograph is the Scorpion Fly, Panorpa. There were several in flight and amongst the Ivy.
The wood lice are probably the Pill Bug, Armadillidium vulgare, (I need to see details of the front of the head). It curls up into a ball so I surmised this species.
The millipede is probably Tachypodoiulus niger  if it has white legs. (It really needs the tip of tail magnified to identify millipedes.)

Identification (wood lice and millipede) suggestions by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on the British Insects (Yahoo Group)
Millipedes Information

Red Ants with grubs6 May 2005
A Wall Brown Butterfly showed in the late afternoon. I picked up the piece of fencing to see if there were any lizards and found hundreds of both yellow and black ants. I think the yellow ants are probably the superabundant species Lasius flavus and the black ones the superabundant Lasius niger.

1 May 2005
Two passing visits on the Pixie Path during the day. The first visit registered a Peacock Butterfly just after in midday. Later in the afternoon, I nearly mistook the first Wall Brown Butterfly of the year for a Speckled Wood, and I may made this mistake before? There were one or two Green-veined White Butterflies confirmed fluttering from the path over the field.
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
There was a bee with a bold contrasty yellow and black abdomen skulking near a 10 cm diameter hole and avoiding the camera (the same one was seen on the Shoreham Bank before). This unfamiliar yellow and black striped small insect was probably the bee Nomada fucata, a kleptoparasite of the mining bee Andrena flavipes. Later a Common Carder was seen in the same hole. A broken piece of fencing (a single piece halfway up the path adjacent to the road and next to the field) was home for a Common Lizard with a full tail. There was a new small mushroom.

29 April 2005
There was a Peacock Butterfly on the Pixie Path. And then a dark Common Lizard with a full length tail skittered rapidly over the fallen lichen-covered broken fence as a Pill Bug (the wood-louse that rolls up into a ball) crawled amongst the Cladonia Pixie Cups.
Common Mouse-ear
Bibio sp: St Mark's Flies
Pill Bug amongst the potentia of the Cladonia

There was a Queen Wasp and lots (a half dozen or more on one flower) of the abundant small flies Biblio sp.

27 April 2005
The first Milkwort flower of the year was seen on the side of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill.

18 April 2005
The strange and unusual looking Morel Mushroom, Morchella esculenta, was seen on the side of the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. It looked dried out but I expect they always look like this.
Fungi of Shoreham

15 April 2005
These flying insects were the frequent ones on the path running parallel with the A27. Placing a cursor over the image will reveal my identifications, which have not been confirmed yet. The mating pair of Dung Flies were from the Dovecote Bank. The common* umbellifer Alexanders was attractive to half a dozen different flying insects.  (* common on the southern slopes of Mill Hill).

Male Melanostoma scalare hoverfly (ID by David Ifill)
A Hymenopteran on a Daisy
Yellow Dung-fly, Scathophaga stercoraria
Yellow Dung-fly, Scathophaga stercoraria

Adur Hoverflies
Adur Flies

10 April 2005
The first dozen Dog Violets were in flower on the the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, but on the lower slopes of Mill Hill the Sweet Violet was still the dominant flower with tens of thousands.

The white spur and pointed sepals leave no question about the identification.
Adur Violets

3 April 2005
It was shirt sleeves weather in the afternoon sunshine on the warmest (17.5 ºC) day of the year.

At the turn (where the stile used to be) on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, the first Common Lizard, Lacerta viviparus, of the year basked in the sun on a moss covered broken fence. The lizard's tail seemed short than its full size. The lizard may have lost part of its tail and regrown it by a process called autotomy.
Lizard Images File

18 March 2005

16 March 2005
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was disturbed basking in the midday sun on the Pixie Footpath adjacent to the horse fields on the way to Mill Hill, and I was quick enough to make a positive identification. This is the second probably of the day and the first confirmed local sighting of 2005.
Cladonia Pixie Cup Lichen
Ramalina farinacea

Mosses and lichens (above) on fallen fences proved difficult to photograph because of their small size and their apparent preference for the shade.

Adur Lichens
Waterworks Road and Pixie Path 2005

Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index page