NATURE NOTES      2009
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

Lower River Adur Valley north of Old Shoreham with Clematis in the foreground and Lancing College Chapel on the west side of the estuary
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September 2009


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

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports

Mute Swan and Cormorant
on Widewater Lagoon
Dor Beetle

30 September 2009
In the space of one photographic frame five Cormorants and three Little Egrets were perched on poles on Widewater Lagoon east of the bridge. A Wheatear (about to migrate) was seen on Shoreham Beach
Swan Death Report
29 September 2009
A Little Egret and Redshank on the River Adur at low tide, photographed from the Toll Bridge in Old Shoreham

27 September 2009
I visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon on a sunny day. Butterflies were widespread and scattered on the downs and the approaches with eleven species recorded. Meadow Brown Butterflies were the most prevalent with 27 noted. 
Full Butterfly Report

24 September 2009
Under a blue sky with fair weather cumulus clouds, Common Darters (a dragonfly) were frequently seen everywhere over the Adur Levels and outskirts of Old Shoreham. Butterflies were represented by eight species including a Clouded Yellow over Anchor Bottom and a Wall Brown on the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham. 
Full Butterfly Report

24 September 2009
Five Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen on another nearly warm (>18.9 °C) day, all in the first 30 minutes and although the butterflies settled very briefly (> 5 seconds) on yellow flowers, their stay was much too brief for a clear photograph.
Full Butterfly Report

22 September 2009
At the early morning 0.5 metre equinoctial low spring tide at Kingston Beach (entrance to Shoreham Harbour) there was a patrolling Little Egret, a Grey Heron feeding as the tide came in around the Chart Datum mark, and two Cormorants, at first fanning their wings and then actively searching for fish and prawns. An Eel, Anguilla anguilla, was discovered under a rock and in the mid-tidal pools under the wooden groyne, I netted one 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela
Rockpooling Report
BMLSS Rockpooling

20 September 2009
On an energy sapping humid morning, both hoverflies and butterflies were active around one large clump of Ivy on the Pixie Path (near the NW corner of Frampton's Field) and it was a flash of orange I saw first which I thought was a Comma, but it turned out to be one of five pristine Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral seen immediately followed by a Comma Butterfly seen in less than a minute. 

Painted Lady
Small Copper
Red Admiral

Twelve species of butterfly were seen in an hour of looking on Mill Hill and its approaches, including two Wall Browns, three male Adonis Blues, a Clouded Yellow and a Small Copper. Southern Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies were seen as expected at this time of the year. 
Full Butterfly Report

10 September 2009

An early morning low tide visit to Kingston Beach, Shoreham with Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd, to film the Blenny sequence for a TV four programme series called The Seasons with Alan Titchmarsh, recorded the expected Blennies, Lipophrys pholis, a large Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, half a dozen large Edible Prawns, Palaemon serratus, and a notable young green Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta.
Adur Coastal 2009

This brightly coloured caterpillar was spotted crawling across the tarmaced approach to Tarmount Public Hard in Shoreham. It is the larva of the Sycamore Moth Acronicta aceris. The moth varies in colour from pale grey to dark sooty-grey. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Sycamore or Horse Chestnut. 
What's this Caterpillar?

9 September 2009
Scores of Swallows flew over the Adur Riverside Industrial Estate north of Ropetackle on the western edge of Shoreham. All the signs of the end of summer were apparent with a few of the Greater Black-backed Gulls on the mud flats at low tide on the Adur estuary opposite the Airport and a Wheatear flying over Mill Hill. Dragonflies, a Southern Hawker and three Common Darters were noted over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, and the Pixie Path respectively. 

Speckled Wood
Adonis Blue

Butterflies had now declined to under fifty of nine species, the upper part of Mill Hill almost devoid of them. There were still plenty of Honey Bees and hoverflies visiting the Ivy. 
Full Butterfly Report

6 September 2009
In the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, an impressive Volucella zonaria hoverfly settled on the wooden railings for a few seconds. 

Volucella zonaria
Autumn Gentian

Amongst the Ivy on the verges of the cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge in Old Shoreham, the hoverflies and bees would not give the butterflies any rest and three pristine Red Admirals and three faded Painted Ladies were disturbed. The Garden Orb Spiders, Araneus diadematus, were beginning to cast their webs. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill the 13 Adonis Blues were looking a bit tatty and the Meadow Browns had reduced in number to about 15. Grasshoppers were very noticeable at this time of the year. A Dor Beetle lay dying on the chalk path, south of the reservoir on the southern part of Mill Hill. 
Full Butterfly Report
Adur Spiders
Adur Dor Beetles

Sussex Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
UK Butterflies: Sightings

History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2009

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pages
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Golden Boar Fish
Speckled Bush CricketClick on the thumb for the enlargement of the cricketClick on the thumb for the enlargement of the cricket