ADUR NATURE NOTES 2004
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Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003
ADUR LEVELS

Valley and Flood Plain from of the River Adur

RIVER and ESTUARY

River Adur tidal reaches 

DOWNS

Sussex downland on both sides of the River Adur,
including Mill Hill Nature Reserve

TOWN and GARDENS

Extensive urban area including the coastal towns of Shoreham, Southwick and Lancing, and the inland town of Steyning and countryside villages

SEA and SEASHORE

Rich marine, seashore, shingle beach and lagoon habitats

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

September 2004

* If the grid references are not given they could be found on the 
Adur Wildlife database on the Adur eForum


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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

River Adur

River Adur north of the Toll Bridge


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

Adder slithering from the long grass (Photograph by Brenda Collins)30 September 2004
Venomous Adders are seen occasionally in the Lancing Ring meadows. 

The are reports of these snakes being killed on Lancing Manor allotments. Deliberate killing of the only British venomous snake is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. 

Parasol (click on the image for fresh pictures)Some large fresh Parasol Mushrooms stood out in the Lancing Ring meadows.

Report and Photograph by Brenda Collins
Parasol Images
Fungi of Lancing

27 September 2004
Five or six Wall Brown Butterflies were seen on and around Mill Hill, the first one on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, two or three at the northern end of the lower slopes, one by the stile between Mill Hill Nature Reserve and Old Erringham Farm fields and the last one by the cleared ground on the ridge. 
Eight species of butterfly were seen in an hour around midday.
Butterfly Report
Fungi Report

It was humid (87%) but still warm, up to 19.2 ºC; exceptionally sticky weather.

26 September 2004
Broken mushroom in the soil poking through the leaf litter under a canopy of Field MapleOn the footpath (between the Waterworks Road and the Steyning Road, Old Shoreham) under a canopy of Field Maple a mushroom poked out of the leaf litter. Its gills had a pale blue-grey hue which is unusual. The gills turned black by the following day. It is one of the Ink Cap Mushrooms, Coprinus
Full Report and Images
Fungi of Shoreham
Adur Levels 2004
A Hummingbird Hawk-moth briefly visited a garden in north Shoreham.
Butterfly and Moth Report
Adur Butterfly and Larger Moth List 2004

24 September 2004
Quite unexpected but two Holly Blue Butterflies were flying were fluttering around a large overgrown Privet hedge (about three metres high) near Lancing station. These may be the third brood?


Adonis Blue on Devil's Bit ScabiousA visit lasting just over an hour on Mill Hill produced an astonishing 14 (or 15*) species of butterflies late in the season. The butterflies included one Clouded Yellow, one Wall Brown, one Brown Argus, at least one Adonis Blue and one Small Copper. (* It clear (just about) that it was a male Adonis  but the brown females could have been the Common Blue Butterfly, or both species.) 
PS: I At least one of the brown females was a Chalkhill Blue.
Mill Hill Report
Butterfly Report

There were also two species (although maybe just one species) of white mushrooms amongst the short grass and herbs. 
Mushrooms Report

23 September 2004
By far the clearest view of the unmistakable Sparrowhawk as it flew south to north over the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), on a trajectory where the Laburnum Tree used to be before it was blown down in a June storm. It was a large bird with grey banded/mottled breast and belly and probably a female. 
Shoreham Town & Gardens

22 September 2004
UnknownThree unopened mushrooms were discovered on Malthouse Meadow, Sompting, on the edges of the long grass. A Sparrowhawk glided in an arc over Hamble Recreation Ground, Sompting under an overcast sky. The dark blue of the Migrant Hawkers were seen over the bridleway near Lancing Clump, but the paler blue slightly larger dragonfly was more tricky to identify as they flew past at high speed over the Coombes Road near the Sussex Pad. This could have been a Southern Hawker?
Fungi of Lancing

21 September 2004
Devil's Bit Scabious has been feature on the downs this autumn notably between Slonk Hill and Mossy Bottom (near Stonechat Junction) and on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Female Common Blue on Devil's Bit Scabious

The female Common Blue Butterfly (this may be a female Adonis or Chalkhill Blue?) on the Devil's Bit Scabious in the photograph was unusual on a day of under 20 butterflies of seven different species.
Adur Butterfly List 2004

9 September 2004
On the cyclepath on the old railway line south-east of the Toll Bridge the mangy Fox that was seen on 16 September 2004 made another daytime appearance, turning its head before casually ambling off in the undergrowth that backs on to the houses in Brighton Road, Shoreham. 
A Musk Mallow was discovered next to a wonky wooden shack on the Adur Levels off the Steyning Road 50 metres or so north of the A27 by-pass bridge. This pretty plant is not on the local flora list and is not recorded locally in the Sussex Plant Atlas. 
A few Swallows flew overhead. Chiffchaffs were calling and flying from bush to bush. 
Extra Images

17 September 2004
The Garden Orb Spiders are spinning their deadly webs in gardens and wasteland around Shoreham. 

In the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), the spider captured the Small White Butterfly which was wrapped up and moved up the web into shelter to be eaten in a few minutes, estimated to be between five and ten minutes.


NEWS AND EVENTS

16 September 2004
Community and Leisure Services Adur District Council Committee meeting
Management of Mill Hill and Lancing Ring
Adur Civic Centre  7:00 pm

The Adur Councillors passed the inadequate Management Plan prepared by the South Downs Conservation Board. 

17 August 2004
PUBLIC MEETING
Management of Mill Hill and Lancing Ring
Lancing Parish Hall, South Lancing
7:00 pm
This is the Public meeting to proceed the Scrutiny Meeting* decided by an Adur Council Committee meeting on 4 May 2002. (* It is possible that the Council will try to ignore this Committee decision.)



WILDLIFE REPORTS

16 September 2004
Small Copper ButterflyJust after midday I saw my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year on a clump of Devil's Bit Scabious with at least three Meadow Brown Butterflies, one Small Heath, and two Common Blue Butterflies all at the same time, at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Altogether there were nearly 100 butterflies of ten different species in an hour around midday. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly List 2004
A few Dog Violets and at least one Dropwort was in flower out of their normal spring season.
Adur Violets

15 September 2004
Urban Foxes, even during the day, are really too common to be newsworthy. The young Fox in the photograph was spotted in the twitten between Victoria Road and Ropetackle, an area where Foxes are frequently seen. It looks like the fox has mange. 
Shoreham Town and Gardens

14 September 2004
The Indian Summer seems to be over with Gale Force 7 south-westerly winds (gusting to Gale Force 9), thunder rumbling in the distance and torrential rain showers. 
 

September 2004
A Yellow Wagtail was a surprise and colourful visitor to the western end of Widewater Lagoon. This migrant bird is seen on passage through Shoreham and Lancing and there has been one report of a bird staying around for a few days. 

Report by David Wood

 9 September 2004
Migrant Hawkers can be seen over both the urban areas and the downs in autumn. 
 

To appreciate these mating dragonflies in more detail, it is best to click on the images for a large view. 

Report and Photographs by Brenda Collins
Sticklebacks have been seen again in Widewater Lagoon. An adult 3-spined Stickleback swam in open water under the bridge, between the fronds of Enteromorpha and Ulva green seaweeds and the straggly Ruppia plants. 

Stickleback from Widewater (Photograph by Andy Horton, several years ago)

The Sticklebacks have not been seen regularly for about two years. 

Eristalis tenax   (ID confirmed)The hoverfly on the right is Eristalis tenax, the Drone Fly, was seen in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044). ID confirmed by Steven Falk (Warwickshire Museum RINGS) on UK HoverfliesAll over the Adur area, hoverflies are very common as is usual in autumn, especially attracted to Ivy. The Common Wasp seems to be seen very frequently seen this year. 
 
Myathropa florea
Myathropa florea

As the shadow of the camera fell over the leaf, the hoverfly did a miniature circuit, it's that hoverfly on the leaf, and as the shutter lag missed the hoverfly again, it did another circuit and it's the hoverfly on that leaf again. 

Epistrophe (poetical)

Lancing Nature Notes
Hoverflies of Lancing
Adur Hoverflies
Warning Colour and Mimicry

8 September 2004
Dragonflies were the highlight of the Coastal Link cyclepath, in quick succession a male Emperor Dragonfly, a large dragonfly, possibly a female Emperor or Southern Hawker, a few Migrant Hawkers and the inevitable Common Darters.
Adur Butterfly List 2004
Katherine Hamblett recorded two Common Toads at Thornberry School playing fields, Lancing.

Toad Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)


Wheatear7 September 2004
ASparrowhawk landed on my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) fence at 5:40 pm.
Image

A lone Wheatear perched on the barbed wire that surrounds the horse's field south-west of Mill Hill Bridge. Their autumn colours are not as bright as the seen on the spring immigrants. 
Earlier Record

5 September 2004
Along the path that runs from the top of The Drive, Shoreham, in a westerly direction along the top of the Dovecote Estate to Mill Hill bridge, a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly settled for a minute. Common Darters were seen occasionally everywhere from town gardens to the downs
Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies
Shoreham-by-Sea Town and Gardens 2004
 
Migrant Hawker Dragonfly Migrant Hawker Dragonfly

Five Clouded Yellow Butterflies fluttered over the lower slopes of Mill Hill at a low level and were not noticed settling. 
Butterfly Report

4 September 2004
More Adonis Blue Butterflies could have emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill as I counted 31 and I think there were more as the females were harder to spot. In contrast the Chalkhill Blues were over with only eight definitely spotted. Common Blue Butterflies were also frequently seen on Mill Hill and these were almost as bright blue as the Adonis so novice and even practised butterfly watchers would need to separate the two. Two Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen fluttering strongly over the short herbland on the steepest slopes. The only surprise was a late Peacock Butterfly flying east to west south of the reservoir on Mill Hill. Ten different butterfly species were seen around midday.
Full Butterfly & Moth Report
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
The heatwave resulted in a recorded 23.6 ºC air temperature on Shoreham Beach under the bright blue sky with hardly any cloud. 

A brief visit to Lancing Ring produced only about fifteen butterflies but they included one Small Copper Butterfly.
Full Report

Lancing Ring Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on 
the Lancing Nature Smart Group


3 September 2004
An immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over Widewater Lagoon, south Lancing, was a surprise. 
Click on the image to see the feeding method of the Hummingbird Hawk-moth, if you look carefullyAn air temperature at 24.1 ºC  at 1:10 pm seems to indicate an Indian Summer, with blackberriers working holiday time in the pleasant sunshine with scarcely a breeze.

On the Coastal Link cyclepath north of Old Shoreham, a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered around the Buddleia. Eight species of butterfly were seen on the levels and in gardens (without a visit to the downs).
In Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) the highlight of the day was a Hummingbird Hawk-moth visiting the purple Buddleia.
Full Butterfly & Moth Report

2 September 2004
At least 150 butterflies of seven different species were seen on Mill Hill in about twenty minutes, most of them on the lower slopes. These included 30+ Adonis Blues of both sexes, a few pristine, and others worn of various ages. The smaller than normal female Common Blues were noted and photographed, as well as the males. The female Chalkhill Blues were in a sorry state, mostly very worn and tattered.
Comprehensive Report
Adur Butterfly List 2004
Other noteworthy observations included Hairy Violets (originally thought to be Sweet Violets) in flower, Devil's Bit Scabious and an unidentified mushroom in amongst the herbs and grasses. 
Adur Violets
Fungi Report
Fungi of Shoreham

1 September 2004
At least twenty Swallows and I counted sixteen Wheatears around Slonk Hill Farm, north Shoreham, and the bridlepath to Mossy Bottom produced a similar number of Wheatears atStonechat Junction, where there was at least one pair of Stonechats. Perched on top of a berried Hawthorn, the white breast and grey wings of a Lesser Whitethroat stood out clearly.
Southwick Hill (including Mossy Bottom)

A very cursory visit to the upper slopes of Mill Hill found only the usual common butterflies were present, including at least one Brown Argus, in the ten minute stopover. This was the first Brown Argus recorded in September in the Adur area on these web pages. 
Also, the first Holly Blue for September was seen in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road, Shoreham. Alas, the possible Green-veined White near Shoreham Community Centre was not confirmed. 
Adur Butterfly List 2004


August 2004 Reports
July 2004 reports
June 2004 Reports
May 2004 Reports
April 2004 Reports

Mill Hill 2004 (with new map)
History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2004

Chalk Downs 2004
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
 

Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring
 

Link to more detailed wildlife reports for January to March 2003
Link to the spring wildlife reports for 2003
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002

Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002

Adur Valley Nature Notes  January to March 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  April - June 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  July - September 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002
ADUR NATURE NOTES  2000

Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

     
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