ADUR NATURE NOTES 2013
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
 
 

September 2013

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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

2013  Regional

Click to link to the Slide Show with captions (flickr hosting).

Butterflies on Mill Hill


Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image to find the location on a map via geograph
Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr

Click on the images above to find the location on a map via flickr or geograph



EVENTS


WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

29 September 2013

I cycled under the Ash branches were hanging heavy with keys almost forming a complete canopy over parts of the Downs Link Cyclepath from Old Shoreham to Upper Beeding. Colour was in the hedge border, full of wild fruits and berries, the red of Hawthorn, Dog Rose (Rose Hips) and Guelder Rose (a honeysuckle) were most noticeable. 

28 September 2013

Starry Smooth-hound
Photograph by Sean Clark

Sean Clark caught this very young 30 cm long shark off the coast at Lancing Beach in the evening. It is a very young Starry Smooth-hound, Mustelus asterias, which was born alive (ovoviviparous) in the mother shark at a length of about 30 cm. Adults attain a length of two metres.  (I could be the similar Smooth-hound, Mustelus mustelus?) 
BMLSS Sharks

26 September 2013

The poisonous Brown Roll RimPaxillus involutus mushroom in Shoreham Cemetery. 
This was my first local record of this mushroom.

I-Spot Entry
Adur Fungi

22 September 2013
 

A pod of 25 Dolphins were spotted eight miles off Shoreham.

24 September 2013
A flock/parliament of over twenty Rooks descended on Frampton's Field, a horse pasture halfway up the downs from Old Shoreham. 

22 September 2013
On the southern (north-facing) slopes of Anchor Bottom cattle pasture, there were scores of Small Scabious but I only discovered one spike of the orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses amongst the numerous cow pats

Down on the Adur Levels, the River Adur was was in flood from the from the incoming equinoctial spring tide. There was little of no breeze so the incessant water movement was only when it was pushed up the banks and upriver. Over a hundred Swallows in low density flights made an impressive sight as they swooped low over the flat surface of the river. One of these hirundine birds twice dipped into the salt water with a distinctive splash. 

After the recent rain, hundreds of mushrooms appeared on Anchor Bottom and one clump of Fairy Ring Mushrooms, Marasmius oreades, on the edge of the River Adur towpath.
Adur Fungi

Autumn Lady's Tresses

20 September 2013
After the rain and the near Gale, the day was fine, overcast with intermittent sunshine. Orb Spiders had spun a deadly trap of threads over the Brambles and there seemed hardly any refuge for the butterflies that remained. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were cast in shade as the clouds blocked out the rays of sun. There no butterflies at all for nearly five minutes, just hundreds of Meadow Grasshoppers jumping everywhere I stood and scores of Crane-flies over the short vegetation.
 

Comma
Comma
Adonis Blue 

At the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill there are three clumps of Devil's Bit Scabious growing close together and these provided a first class attraction for about 25 Meadow Browns and about four Common Blues quarrelling over the available flowerheads. And that seemed to be it, perhaps for the year until a restless Clouded Yellow flew by without pausing. 
Butterfly Report
Adur Grasshoppers

19 September 2013
A handful of House Martins and at least one Swallow were flying around the Riverbank Business Centre (north of Ropetackle) and many of the birds were flying in a large open window of an unoccupied prefabricated building on the site. The building had a large hole in the roof and they did not appear to be flying out of this immediately. Over the River Adur a Near Gale was blowing and capping the small waves with white. The wind blew from the south-west on the high tide

13 September 2013
I managed to see the head of the Common Seal in the Shoreham Harbour entrance as it surfaced briefly three times too far away for a clear photograph. It spent most of its time underwater and it was frustrating to find out where it would surface. 

11 September 2013
There were so many Sparrows and Starlings in the Buddleia bushes between Ropetackle and Old Shoreham, that I am surprised there were occasional butterflies that escaped their feeding attentions. Eight butterfly species were seen in an hour or so. 

Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr

Elderberry at Anchor Bottom

Drynke þe juys of the eldirbery temp[r]id with wyne.. & all the evyll will pass thorow the foundement.

Click on the image to find the location on a map via flickr

A Buzzard soared over the southern scarp of the Anchor Bottom cattle pasture mobbed by a Crow between the electricity pylons.
Full Butterfly Report

Meadow Browns9 September 2013
After the torrential rain in the previous day and on an overcast day I expected the butterflies to be diminished in numbers and variety and it was as expected in the same proportions as before. Seven butterfly species and four day-flying moths were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. They were mostly Meadow Browns and Adonis Blues attracted to Devil's Bit Scabious
Mill Hill Report

6 September 2013
The warm weather finally broke and the first overcast day for a week, with rain, and the end of the summer weather and the beginning of autumn

5 September 2013
A small family of Moorhens resided on the duckweed covered Annington Sewer north of Botolphs. 
   
  

Mallards on the River Adur at Bramber

Shortly afterwards, I spotted a hen Mallard and seven chicks on the River Adur swimming against the incoming tide under Bramber Bridge. Apparently, eight chicks hatched out from a nest in a tree near St. Mary's House where a small stream feeds into the river. A solitary Mallard was also seen near the small footbridge over the river near (east of) Steyning.

As I walked my bike on the footpath on the Bramber side upriver from Bramber Bridge, a sudden splash turned by head in time to see a 20 cm fish jump completely out of the water, twisted in mid-air to show its flanks with a tinge of gold before disappearing under water not be seen again. I could see that it was elongate and trout shaped and it wasn't a Grey Mullet or Bass or Sand Smelt the fish usually seen in the brackish part of the river further south. (The nearest freshwater is over three miles to the north. It was mid-tide. Freshwater fish have been reported in the brackish part of the river in the past.) It seems most likely that is was a Sea Trout smolt.
Butterfly Report

3 September 2013

Speckled Woods in Buckingham Park

2 September 2013
A juvenile Seal was seen in the filled lock gates at the entrance to the canal section of Shoreham Harbour.

Video Report by Suzi Bishop on facebook


It was subsequently seen resting on a pontoon in the middle of the canal.
Video by Ashley Paul Richards (Link)
 

1 September 2013
An afternoon visit to Mill Hill on the the day of Shoreham Air Show was a little overcast by the afternoon. Nine butterfly species only were noted as the season draws to a close. Adonis Blues were past their peak with just fifty seen in just over an hour. 

Adonis Blues

Meadow Browns were the commonest butterfly with an estimated eighty seen, and still attracted to the Carline Thistle.
Butterfly Report
 
 

September 2012 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2013

Adur Nature Notes 2012


Butterfly List 2013
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village
 

Shoreham Weather 2013
 
 

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring



 

Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of Shoreham

     

    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
    Webmaster: Andy Horton

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