Dingy and Grizzled Skippers on Mill HillAdur Skippers Page 

 
28 August 2017
I only made a passage visit to the small area north of the Reservoir on Mill Hill where I got lucky with a one second glance of a Silver-spotted Skipper visiting a Lesser Knapweed.
 
14 August 2017

Silver-spotted Skipper visiting Dwarf Thistle on Mill Hill

1 August 2017

Dingy Skipper

Cumulus clouds were thinly spaced across the blue sky and the sun was out more often than it was in. This made for more active butterflies chasing each other and generally more visible, but not much more in total numbers seen in the early afternoon.  On the one acre transect area of the lower slopes two second brood Dingy Skippers were spotted.

I have not seen any Large Skippers this year,

14 July 2017


Small (or Essex) Skipper visiting a Spear Thistle
Shoreham Harbour (northern canal bank at Southwick & Fishersgate)
26 June 2017
A pleasant sunny day with a Gentle Breeze (Force 1-3) meant a visit to Shoreham Beach around the middle of the day. I was rewarded with my first handful of Small Skippers fluttering around the shingle plants without settling. These were my first of the year and in atypical habitat for this small widespread butterfly.
 

9 May 2017
 
 

Grizzled Skippers

Nine species of butterfly were seen on Mill Hill, but I had to wait around for an hour before a spell of sunshine enticed a veritable flurry of activity and the appearance of the skippers, including my first of only a few (maybe just one or two seen several times) Dingy Skippers of the year.Grizzled Skippers were discovered mating on a Bramble shoot.

7 April 2017

Grizzled Skippers

A pair of Holly Blue Butterflies fluttering high in the trees at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham, were my first of the year. This is on the way to Mill Hill, where the highlight on the lower slopes was another first of the year: a pair of mating Grizzled Skippers on a dead Carline Thistle plant.
 

3 August 2016

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

14 July 2016
 
Small (or Essex) Skipper
Mill Hill

17 May 2016

12 April 2016

                         Grizzled Skipper



10 August 2015

Essex Skippers from the top meadow on Mill Hill

30 July 2015

Essex Skipper

My first definite Essex Skippers from the top meadow on Mill Hill
Mill Hill Report

29 July 2015
In the late afternoon under a rain cloud dark sky, the butterflies were mostly dormant. On a cycle trip along the Buddleia-lined Downs Link to Upper Beeding I managed to spot a few Large Whites, Red Admirals, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, and my first very tatty Large Skipper of the year, one Peacock Butterfly and one Marbled White.
 

Large Skipper


 
6 July 2015 

Small Skipper 

21 May 2015
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, Dingy Skippers were frequently seen with about a dozen actually noted but a Grizzled Skipper could not be confirmed.

17 May 2015
A Kestrel soared over Mill Hill just after midday. Weak sunshine on a breezy afternoon brought out frequent butterflies including ground flitting Dingy Skippers were frequently seen with one Grizzled Skipper.
 
 
1 May 2015
Grizzled Skipper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
22 April 2015
 

Dingy Skipper
Grizzly Skipper

On the lower slopes of Mill Hill a freshly emerged Dingy Skipper was chanced upon unexpectedly on some Ground Ivy and promptly flew off, where a single Grizzly Skipper made a repeated visit.

21 April 2015
Two Grizzled Skippers also made their first appearance of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Other butterfly spotters reported earlier and more numerous sightings.


21 July 2014
At least two Small Skippers were seen on Mill Hill. There were certainly more amongst 250+ butterflies

On the lower slopes Lindsey Morris spotted a second brood Dingy Skipper which I managed to spot and photograph (left).

17 July 2014
On a warm day on the Steyning downs, I recorded definite Large Skippers, and my first of the year Small Skippers.

30 June 2014
I cycled the towpath to the Cement Works and back spotting butterflies at regular intervals on the way, at least one Small Tortoiseshell and one Large Skipper (both on Tufted Vetch).

Large Skipper

15 May 2014
Single Dingy Skippers advertised their presence but they did seem inclined to rest for more than a few seconds. About a dozen were spotted (8 on transect) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the weak sunshine.

Adur Butterflies: First Dates

5 May 2014
Other butterflies were only occasionally seen with about eight Dingy Skippers on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
27 April 2014
There were at least a dozen Dingy Skippers, at least three Grizzled Skippers, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill

23 April 2014
There were a handful of both Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Dingy Skippers were observed visiting Milkwort and Horseshoe Vetch.

16 April 2014
Over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I spotted my first skippers of the year. The first of half a dozen Grizzled Skippers visited violets, followed by three pairs of courting Dingy Skippers.

10 April 2014
Lindsey Morris reported both Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers before I arrived on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. David Potter also saw them. 

Adur Butterfly Flight Times
 

Large Skipper25 July 2013
A half an hour passage trip along the southern bank of the A27 opposite Slonk Hill, resulted in three species of butterfly not recorded on the day before. I only spent about ten minutes looking for butterflies but it was enough to spot a Small Blue Butterfly immediately on Buckingham Cutting (south) as well as a Cinnabar Moth, two Large Skippers on the edges of the linear copse in an open area and lastly a Ringlet on the top part of the roadside verge at the eastern end. The settled Large Skipper was seen in exactly the same place as the one at the beginning of the month

Small (or Essex) SkipperMid-July 2013
More Small Skippers were seen in this period.
Adur Butterfly List 2013

9 July 2013
Another warm day (24.9 °C) and the butterflies were both frequent and restless in the sunshine. My first Small Skipper (12+) of the year was seen on the Downs Link Cyclepath but it was not inclined to settle.

1 July 2013
Two Large Skippers either fighting or courting over the overgrown path along the south bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting was the highlight of a brief detour on a humid late afternoon.

Large Skipper

3 June 2013
On this early June day, the Dingy Skippers were frequently seen in the short chalkhill vegetation on the infertile Rabbit cropped steeper slopes of Mill Hill. Grizzled Skippers wee seen first, but there was only a few of them.

27 May 2013
About twenty Dingy Skippers were seen on Mill Hill with two Grizzled Skippers.

17 May 2013
On an overcast afternoon I visited Mill Hill but virtually all the butterflies on the lower slopes were hiding. I managed to see a damaged pale Grizzled Skipper, and I disturbed my first Dingy Skipper of the year.

6 May 2013
I did manage to spot a pair of amorous Grizzled Skippers on Mill Hill for the first time this year.

On the warmest day of the year so far so I headed to Mill Hill to do my butterfly transect in optimistic mood. . I recorded several firsts for the year: 1 Green Hairstreak, 4 Grizzled Skippers and 1 Dingy Skipper.

Second Report & Images by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


1 May 2013
Robin Lord reported (and photographed) the first Grizzled Skipper of 2013 on the lower slopes of Mill Hill but I saw no sign of it.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 


 
13 May 2012
At last the sun came out (13.0 °C at 1:00 pm) and  the warmth encouraged the butterflies and for for the first time this year they were common (100+) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Dingy Skippers were everywhere visiting the thousands of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowers. In the transect acre, my estimate was at least sixty with at least two definite (probably more) Grizzled Skippers, one in pristine condition. 
Full Butterfly Report

30 April 2012
A bright turquoise blue sky showed in the north and east on a breezy unpromising day, but the sun and some of butterflies came out in the afternoon. I checked out the lower slopes of Mill Hill where my first of 14 Dingy Skippers flitted between the hundreds of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowers.
Full Butterfly Report

16 April 2012
On a Cumulus day too cool for butterflies, a visit to Mill Hill was only entertained because the forecast for later in the week was worse. Occasionally, a skipper (butterfly) rose from the lower slopes and fluttered rapidly to a new resting place. The only one positively identified was a fresh Grizzled Skipper at the southern end of the lower slopes.

6 April 2012
Dingy Skippers, a Small Heath and a Green Hairstreak Butterfly were all seen for the first time this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Grizzled Skippers, a Speckled Wood, a Green-veined White and a Peacock Butterfly.

Report & Photographs by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards
Adur Butterflies: First Dates on an Excel Worksheet

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3 April 2012
An unprecedented 26 Grizzled Skippers were seen on Mill Hill and only one of them was a female. A handful of Peacocks and single Comma and Small White were the only other butterflies seen.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterfly Reports
 
27 March 2012
The first Grizzled Skippers of the year were seen on Mill Hill.
Various Reports
 
 
 
3 August 2011
Without trying five second brood Dingy Skippers, including a courting pair, were seen on the middle slopes and amongst the scrub on Mill Hill. At the top (the only part visited) of the Pixie Path there was a Small/Essex Skipper amongst the Ivy.
 
1 August 2011
Without trying half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, including courting pairs, fluttered into view on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 

31 July 2011
Without making more than a cursory attempt to search, I discovered at least half a dozen second brood Dingy Skippers, five on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and one whilst looking for a Brown Argus on the middle slopes in the the Triangle area amongst the Wild Basil. There could have easily been more as I dismissed one courting pair as Small Heaths at first.
Mill Hill Report

28 July 2011
A targeted search of the slopes and upper glades of Mill Hill produced 12 Dingy Skippers, this being by far the strongest second brood showing I have ever seen. The knock-on effects of the unusually warm spring may yet produce more unexpected events in the late summer and autumn butterfly calendar.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


4 July 2011
A Small Skipper was seen in Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham.

1 July 2011
As the sun shined intermittently through the clouds, I spotted my first Small Skipper (possibly an Essex Skipper?) on the River Adur eastern towpath at the same latitude as Mill Hill (south of the upper car park) (TQ 202 073).

3 June 2011
My first three or more Large Skippers of the year were seen on the linear copse path of the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting.

1 May 2011
On a cool breezy day,  23 Dingy Skippers and eight Grizzled Skippers were seen on Mill Hill.
Full Butterfly Report

29 April 2011
At least 27 Dingy Skippers and two Grizzled Skippers were seen on Mill Hill.

26 April 2011
A 30 minute walk over the 1.2 transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill instantly produced the first of three Grizzled Skippers, but most skippers in flight were Dingy Skippers with at least 25 and a few of these turned out to be Burnet Companion Moths.

12 April 2011
At least six Dingy Skippers and at least nine Grizzled Skippers were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

8 April 2011

On the lower slopes of Mill Hill,  I nearly fell over my first Grizzled Skipper visiting a Dandelion.

Colin Knight spotted and photographed a Dingy Skipper and this may be the first report of this small butterfly in England this year. Later, I saw one in flight, but I did not count as my first of the year as it did not settle.
Skippers on Mill Hill (by Colin Knight)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7 April 2011
One Grizzled Skipper was seen at the bottom of Mill Hill at 1:45 pm.

Report by  Colin Knight on Sussex Butterflies


2 April 2011
On Mill Hill I found my first Grizzled Skipper of the year, plus a couple of Peacock Butterflies.

Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies

 

9 July 2010
Large Skippers were notable with at least five clearly identified along the Coastal-Downs Link Cyclepath.

2 July 2010

Three of the first Small Skippers of 2010 visited the clumps of Tufted Vetch and three strong flying Marbled Whites were seen amongst the long grasses on the towpath from Old Shoreham to Beeding Cement Works.
 
18 June 2010
A surprise Large Skipper visited one of the first Greater Knapweed flowers amongst the Cocksfoot very near the road south of the Reservoir on Mill Hill.
 
9 June 2010

In the meadow to the north of the upper car park on Mill Hill, I spotted my first Large Skipper of the year.
Full Butterfly Report

 
Mill Hill Grizzled Skipper Dingy Skipper
6 June 2010 2
30 May 2010 1
23 May 2010 4 15
16 May 2010 3 15
14 May 2010 1 6
12 May 2010 13
27 April 2010 5 6
18 April 2010 6 1

25 April 2010
I had Mill Hill to myself from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, amazing on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were a number of Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers and I witnessed fights among two and three individuals, and across species. I estimate I saw ten of each species.

Report on Colin Knight on Sussex Butterfly Reports
 
18 April 2010
The transect area of just over an acre on the lower slopes of Mill Hill produced just the six Grizzled Skippers and one Dingy Skipper.  The Triangle area of the middle slopes had been cleared of the new Dogwood that threatened to overwhelm the clearing, and without looking for any butterflies another Grizzled Skipper appeared and another one was seen just north of the Reservoir on the ridge of the lower slopes.
Full Butterfly Report
 

15 April 2010
At last I managed to see my first skippers of the year, although they would not easy to discover if it was not for the other butterfly spotters on Mill Hill. There is my dint of watching them photographing a Dingy Skipper, my first skipper and then I spotted a fluttering Grizzled Skipper out of the corner of my eye before I was shown a mating pair on Bramble and then discovered another mating pair for myself.
Full Butterfly Report

13 April 2010
Things are hotting up nicely now and Mill Hill must have been one of the warmest places in the country today. Sheltered from the north-east wind the butterflies were very active. Estimates for Grizzled Skippers range from 10 to 15 including one mated pair and at least another courting pair. Also a Dingy Skipper (the first of the year in Sussex) with its wings still drying, matching the first date from last year at the same spot to within 10 metres, at the same time of day and by the same observer!

Mill Hill Report by Tom Ottley on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Full Butterfly Reports
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

11 April 2010
A Grizzled Skipper was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Skipper Reports, one each, by Caroline Clarke and Ellie Corrigan on Sussex Butterfly Reports


8 April 2010
The butterfly spotters were out on Mill Hill in the sunny morning to find the first few Grizzled Skippers of the year. They found them, but I did not, even I though stayed on the hill for the best part of an hour.
Returning to Mill Hill with my father and Brian Henham, we saw three, possibly four Grizzled Skippers.

Skipper Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterfly Reports


6 April 2010
The first Grizzled Skipper of the year was discovered on Mill Hill.

Skipper Report by Neil Hulme (verbal)



 

19 August 2009
In the tall herb meadows to the north-west of the upper car park on Mill Hill  I spotted one smallish skipper that looked and behaved like an Essex Skipper.

10 August 2009
Only later when examining the photographs, I discovered I had seen a very faded Dingy Skipper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

9 August 2009
At least one good condition Dingy Skipper flew around over the northern part of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. There may have been two or the same one flying about quite quickly? On the southern part of Mill Hill a Small Skipper (it could have been an Essex Skipper?) was spotted amongst more Common Blues and frequent Painted Ladies.

29 July 2009
A single worn second brood Dingy Skipper was spotted at the extreme northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was nearly overlooked.

14 July 2009
A few of both Small Skippers and definite Large Skippers were seen in Tottington Woods, Small Dole. The Large Skippers were a bit tattered and worn.

4 July 2009
A late afternoon cycle ride to Cuckoo's Corner and the field to the north produced occasional Skippers and at least one Large Skipper and one Small Skipper were positively identified.
Difference between Large & Small Skippers

27 June 2009
On the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting there was just my second Small Skipper of the year.

Large Skipper19 June 2009
On the Lancing Ring meadows and outside of the clump  I recorded a handful of Large Skippers  and my first Small Skipper of the year. They were all amongst the long grasses the Small Skipper landing on Greater Knapweed and just one of the Large Skippers was amongst Brambles.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

13 June 2009
On a humid warm Saturday, I detoured a route that took me from the Buckingham Cutting along the linear path on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting I spotted my first three Large Skippers of the year.

4 June 2009
Having finished work early I called into Mill Hill. I saw the first Large Skipper of the year in the Adur area..

Report by Bob Eade on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

20 May 2009
At least two poor condition Dingy Skippers were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the last two first brood I recorded in 2009.

10 May 2009
The last of the year Grizzled Skipper was in pristine condition on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
Photograph by Jan Hamblett

Dingy Skippers were observed mating.

Report and Photographs by Jan Hamblett


23 April 2009
On a slightly duller day, the estimate for Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers was about twenty each in the one acre transect. The Grizzled Skippers also visited Milkwort.

22 April 2009
I was not in the mood for recording butterflies but the sun was out on the warmest day so far this year. The lower slopes of Mill Hill  hosted at least seven Grizzled Skippers, and a conservative count of 22 Dingy Skippers. The Grizzled Skippers also visited Dog Violets.
Full Butterfly Report

Dingy Skipper19 April 2009
A morning visit to Mill Hill on a dull day produced just a smattering of butterflies: a handful (about five) of Grizzled Skippers, my first Dingy Skipper of the year. The Grizzled Skippers visited Dandelion flowers and the early flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa..

15 April 2009
We visited Mill Hill where we met Neil Hulme and saw between 20 and 30 Grizzled Skippers and newly emerged Dingy Skippers.

Report by Bob and Matt Eade on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

9 April 2009
There were plenty of Grizzled Skipper action on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. At least twelve were actively 'turf-hopping' as they constantly sought out nectar from the violet flowers. After about an hour I saw my first female of the year, probably on her maiden flight. As soon as she appeared she was accosted by an amorous male, and after a brief courtship (he crash-landing beside her and 'trying it on' several times) they copulated. I

Report by Neil and Eric Hulme on Sussex Butterflies


30 March 2009

The first Grizzled Skipper of the year seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a great surprise and the first one recorded in March.

Full Butterfly Report
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates


10 August 2008
A second brood Dingy Skipper fluttering around in the herb undergrowth at the the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill was difficult to spot on a day on a day too breezy for the flowers to remain still enough to photograph.  (This skipper may have been around for a week or more.)
Full Butterfly Report

15 July 2008
Both Large Skippers (2) and Small Skippers (8) were seen in the meadows at the top of Mill Hill.
Full Butterfly Report

3 July 2008
My first Small Skipper of the year was seen on the Slonk Hill Cutting. Earlier a Large Skipper had settled, but it still needed a practised eye (in the absence of the camera which was broken) to differentiate them. A few undetermined Skippers were also spotted.

19 June 2008
A Large Skipper was seen clearly on the lower slopes of Mill Hill amongst the Brambles and Tor Grass.

6 June 2008
My first Large Skipper of the year looked very fresh and quite lively on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but one of the two Dingy Skippers was very dingy and worn.
Full Butterfly Report

9 May 2008
Eleven Dingy Skippers and four Grizzled Skippers were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill visiting the abundant Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. They were lively and the numbers were thought most likely to be an underestimate.

6 May 2008
11 Grizzled Skippers, about 12 Dingy Skippers (one on the middle slopes) were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill visiting the abundant Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. They were lively and the numbers were thought most likely to be an underestimate.

A Dingy Skipper, much darker than normal, from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.2 May 2008
On a mild sunny day, 13.2 °C, five Grizzled Skippers were seen on a leisurely (30 minutes) passage trip over the lower slopes of Mill Hill visiting the very common Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, and common Milkwort flowers and landing on Bramble leaves, but none on the common Dog Violets and Daisies. Two of the Grizzled Skippers appeared to be courting. Two Dingy Skippers were spotted. One of them was much darker than normal and I mistook it at first for a Burnet Companion Moth.
Adur Butterfly List 2008
 
27 April 2008
With spots of rain and a relatively cool 13.8 °C, the butterflies remained moribund in the morning. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I disturbed just two Grizzled Skippers, one resting on a tall dead plant.

A Dingy Skipper visiting a Dandelion on the lower slopes of Mill Hill25 April 2008
The first Dingy Skipper of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. One Grizzled Skipper was also spotted on a passage journey on a muggy day. A birdwatcher reported seeing five Grizzled Skippers.

16 April 2008
In the late afternoon, past the optimum time for butterflies, on the transect walk of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, there were no Grizzled Skippers to be seen as definites in passing, so I retraced my steps and a smaller male was seen amongst the Bramble and then a second one. There was a larger female on the path as it enters the scrub to the north settled briefly in the weak sunshine. I surmised a correlation between the Grizzled Skippers and Bramble, which is one of its larval food plants.

Grizzled Skipper13 April 2008
There were three other butterfly enthusiasts (Andrew Burns, Neil Hulme and Bert Laker) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon, chasing around the Grizzled Skippers until they stopped for a photograph. I saw three of them, but Andrew Burns reported at least ten different ones (ignoring possible doubles, twenty sightings in total) along the whole of the lower slopes below the path. Both males and females were reported. The Grizzled Skippers fluttered around the low lying herb vegetation. They also landed briefly on Bramble leaves a little off the ground.
Skippers of the downs near Shoreham (Article)

10 April 2008
On a mild (>10.5 °C) sunny day there were frequent butterflies on Mill Hill and its approaches including my first two Grizzled Skippers on the lower slopes.
The Grizzled Skipper first sighting is the equal first day for this insect in England for 2008.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly List 2008

18 July 2007
A few Small/Essex Skippers were recorded on the Lancing Ring meadows, but they were not as frequent as most years.

16 July 2007
At Mill Hill in virtually no sunshine I spotted a second generation Dingy Skipper.

Report by Jim Steedman on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterfly List 2007

15 July 2007
Small/Essex Skippers were frequent everywhere in Shoreham, but in the past there have been more around.

8 July 2007
I had to wait awhile for the Small Skippers at about fifteen seen on the meadow verges on the Downs Link cyclepath south of the Cement Works and one or two on the top meadow of Mill Hill. The Small Skippers were mostly around the Melilotand Wild Basil which was abundant.

1 July 2007

My first Small Skipper (butterfly) of 2007 was spotted on the Downs Link path south of the Buffer Stop in Shoreham town.
 

10 June 2007
My first butterfly of the day was a Large Skipper in a clearing next to the path that runs through a spinney and hedgerows/scrub on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. This was my first this year. The positive sighting was confirmed by an out of focus photograph.
 

22 May 2007
Only one Dingy Skipper and one Grizzled Skipper were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

20 May 2007
Just one Dingy Skipper was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

16 May 2007
Three Dingy Skippers were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

2 May 2007
Occasional Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

29 April 2007
My tally for the lower slopes of Mill Hill only was 32+ Dingy Skippers (over two acres instead of the usual one), 8+ Grizzled Skippers (difficult to find at first) and 14 Burnet Companion Moths (easy to mistake for the skippers).
Butterfly Report (including more Skippers)
Adur Moths

27 April 2007

Dingy SkipperFortunately, the unwanted cattle have not yet wandered down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was exceptionally quiet. However, this applied to the butterflies as well and I only recorded eleven Dingy Skippers. No Grizzled Skippers were noticed.
Butterfly Report
 
24 April 2007
On Mill Hill where the lower slopes abounded with skippers, there were about 15 Grizzled Skippers and 40 Dingy Skippers in the acre transect area.
 
22 April 2007
Skippers were all over the Shoreham Bank. The count did not record as many as there appeared with 7+ Grizzled Skippers and 16+ Dingy Skippers in the transect acre.

 

 

Addenda:
At Mill Hill, Shoreham, 20+ Dingy Skippers, 6+ Grizzled Skippers.

Addenda Report by Paul & Bridget James on Sussex Butterflies
 

15 April 2007
Nine species of butterfly were seen during the morning on the lower slopes of Mill Hill including the first Small Heath Butterfly and my first two Dingy Skippers of the year. Over twenty Grizzled Skippers were seen and some were mating in the short herbland amongst the beginnings of Horseshoe Vetch.

14 April 2007
At Mill Hill in the early afternoon on the lower slopes I saw at least ten Grizzled Skippers also two Dingy Skippers (first of the year).

Report by Ian Barnard on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

 

 
 
 

12 April 2007
A pair of Grizzled Skippers courted over the lower slopes, the first of this butterfly I had seen this year.
Butterfly Report

Adur Butterflies: First Dates

Large Skipper (left) and Small or Essex Skipper (right) 2 August 2006
A Small/Essex Skipper was seen in a field between the Coastal Link Cyclepath and the River Adur and it was the last of the year seen. I think this is an Essex Skipper.

23 July 2006
The last Large Skipper (image on the far left) of the year was seen in the upper meadows of Mill Hill.

11 July 2006
A brief sortie to on Slonk Hill south and Mill Hill produced about sixty Small Skippers and just the one Large Skipper.
The photographed Small (or Essex) Skipper was taken on the Buckingham Bank (south).

Butterfly Report

Small Skipper

3 July 2006
In the midday sunshine I was unable to chase the skippers around to discover what they were. There could have been my first Small Skipper of the year (and they probably were). They were seen along the path in the long grass in the central part of the the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, on the south part of the Buckingham Cutting and on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Large Skippers were identified though. None of them would stay still for more than a second.

23 June 2006

In the pleasant midday sunshine (nearly 20 ºC) butterflies were very frequent, but nothing special. I eventually managed to capture a Large Skipper on my camera. Nine Large Skippers were seen, two together on the upper meadows of Mill Hill and seven on Slonk Hill Cutting south.
 
20 June 2006
There were five Large Skippers, four on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and one on Slonk Hill Cutting south.
 

15 June 2006
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I was surprised at a spotting a late Grizzled Skipper (absolutely definite) and I had a better look at a Large Skipper that did not settle.
 

12 June 2006
On the Coastal Link Cyclepath at the extreme southern end of the path near the demolished railway bridge there was a probable Large Skipper which did not settle for confirmation.
 

11 June 2006
Amongst the long grass meadow north of the top car park on Mill Hill, I had a brief sight of my first Large Skipper of the year (the only skipper of the day). I did not get a good a look as I would have liked to identify it, but Large Skippers precede the Small Skippers, so that is what it was.
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
 

4 June 2006
A quarter transect stroll in the late morning sunshine saw the signs of diminishing Horseshoe Vetch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill to something like 70% of their peak with two definite Grizzled Skippers and I had to wait 15 minutes (a long time) to confirm a Dingy Skipper.
 
28 May 2006
Butterflies were sparse for the time of the year, the only skippers seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were five Dingy Skippers.
 
15 May 2006
The lower slopes of Mill Hill produced 15 Dingy Skippers, just the one confirmed Grizzled Skipper in the hazy sunshine (19.8 ºC) over a quarter of the transect covering about two-thirds of an acre. The Grizzled Skipper was noted visiting Milkwort.
 
14 May 2006
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill the sun struggled to come out in the afternoon and I recorded 13 Dingy Skippers and five Grizzled Skippers.
 

10 May 2006
A quick visit in the sunshine and the Horseshoe Vetch had increased to hundreds of plants, but it is nowhere near its brilliance and could not be seen from the Steyning Road. Dingy Skippers were mating. There were about a dozen individuals compared to only one Grizzled Skipper seen.
 
Dingy Skippers mating
 
Butterfly Report and List

 

 
 
 

7 May 2006
Five each of Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers were recorded on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

4 May 2006
On the second warmest day of the year as the temperature attained 21.6 ºC at 1:13 pm, I was greeted by a fast flying butterfly I could not identify before I descended the steps down to the lower slopes. Horseshoe Vetch was still not in profusion, the hundreds of flowers exceeded in numbers by Dog Violets.
 
Grizzled Skippers were mating in a small depression on the lower slopes of Mill Hill

A pair of courting Dingy Skippers came next and at least four were seen. They made at least two visits to the scattered Horseshoe Vetch in the minute the first pair  were in view. Grizzled Skippers visited a Dog Violet followed by a Milkwort. Two were later filmed mating in the shelter of one of the small depression caused by rabbits or uprooted shrubs. Altogether at least eight were positively seen, including another pair with the male chasing the female through the herbs.

1 May 2006
May came in with a shower. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, a single first Grizzled Skipper was recorded, the first of the year.

26 April 2006
 
Dingy Skipper

Mill Hill was not prolific for butterflies. At the northern end of the lower slopes I spotted my first Dingy Skipper of the year (TQ 029 072) that briefly sparred with a Peacock and the size difference was most noticeable. This Dingy Skipper was the first seen in England this year.

Adur First Butterfly Dates 2003-2006
Adur Butterflies Flight Times



3 August 2005
I made a quick 30 minutes visit to Mill Hill and found a surprise was almost immediate sighting of a second brood Dingy Skipper, only the second second brood I have ever recorded, and the first in the month of August.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

2 August 2005
Small/Essex Skippers were still about and an estimated ten were seen on Slonk Hill Cutting and Mill Hill.

17 July 2005
Butterflies were common (about 400 in an hour) but at least half of them were Small/Essex Skippers. The highest density was on the Slonk Hill southern bank. There were were at least 200 in the long grass and herbs, mainly adjacent to the path. Many more appeared if the grass was disturbed. Over 20 Small/Essex Skippers were scattered over Mill Hill.

10 July 2005
As the temperature hit 27.2° C, a short walk to the top of the Drive and along the Slonk Hill Cutting produced 23+ (counted) Small/Essex Skippers, but no Large Skippers.

9 July 2005
New Monks Farm, Lancing: in the Elm Corridor were a handful of confirmed Large Skippers, about a dozen confirmed Small/Essex Skippers.

8 July 2005

One Large Skipper was confirmed from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Five Small (or Essex) Skippers were confirmed from the Slonk Hill Bank Cutting (south).
 
Small (or Essex) Skipper photographed near the Steyning Road (footpath at the western entrance to the Maple Spinney) appeciably smaller than the Large Skipper 6 July 2005

Three Small/Essex Skippers were confirmed on the Waterworks Road and nearby. The difference in size between the the Large Skipper seen first and the Small Skipper seen a minute later was distinctive and obvious.

I am not sure if these were Small or Essex Skippers? They were smaller than the ones on Slonk Hill south three days before. They were not so restless, but this may be because the day was overcast.
 

3 July 2005
The first confirmed record of a Small Skipper that settled and could be positively identified in the same area of Slonk Hill south where there were a dozen of these restless small skippers.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
 
Small Skipper (slightly smaller than the Large Skipper) Large Skipper (marginally larger than the Small Skipper)

24 June 2005
Two Large Skippers were confirmed from the plateau area with long grasses and Bird's Foot Trefoil south of the upper car park on Mill Hill.
Butterfly List for the Day

23 June 2005
Unidentified skippers on the Lancing Ring meadows and New Monks Farm and one on the the Coastal Link Cyclepath SE of the Toll Bridge (near the demolished railway bridge) could have been the first Small Skippers of the year, but they would not remain still long enough for identification. They were probably Large Skippers as they looked like the skippers of the the following day on Mill Hill.
Butterfly List for the Day

Large Skipper7 June 2005
On the Dovecote Bank the first Large Skipper of the year was recognised although they had been seen an hour or so before on the south bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting.

22 May 2005
The lower slopes of Mill Hill under a cloudy sky recorded Dingy Skippers 5+, a Grizzled Skipper on the upper slopes as well. So brief was my stay that the numbers of the butterflies were rather low.
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
The Horseshoe Vetch was at its peak or slightly past it.

18 May 2005
Late in the afternoon (after 4:00 pm) is usually disappointing. There were no skippers actually seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

15 May 2005
Dingy Skippers (20+) and Grizzled Skippers (12+) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
9 May 2005 Dingy Skippers  17 Grizzled Skippers   4
6 May 2005 Dingy Skippers  12 Grizzled Skippers  10
1 May 2005 Dingy Skippers  3 Grizzled Skippers   6

These skippers were recorded on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

29 April 2005
The first Dingy Skipper of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was expected, even overdue.

27 April 2005
Grizzled Skippers 11+ were the most distinctive butterfly on the  lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
21 April 2005 Grizzled Skipper  1
19 April 2005 Grizzled Skipper  1
15 April 2005 Grizzled Skipper  1

These Grizzled Skippers were recorded on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

10 April 2005
The first, and only one, Grizzled Skipper (Butterfly) of the year landed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill for just a few seconds at 3:42 pm before it flew rapidly over the scrub and out of view.

Back to Butterfly List 2005


Photograph by Andy Horton
Dingy Skipper (Photograph by Andy Horton)
5 May 2003  Lower Slopes of Mill Hill 10 May 2004  Lower slopes of Mill Hill

 
Large Skipper (Photograph by Andy Horton)
Large Skipper
21 June 2003  Spring Dyke
21 June 2004  Mill Hill
Small Skipper (Photograph by Andy Horton)
26 June 2003  Lancing Ring meadows
This is definitely a male Small Skipper, given away by the sex brand.
Identified by Guy Padfield on UK Butterflies
26 June 2003  Lancing Ring meadows
26 June 2003  Lancing Ring meadows 15 July 2004:  Mill Hill Upper Slopes         Another Image
Identified as an Essex Skipper by Guy Padfield on UK Butterflies
Essex Skipper ?
19 July 2003 Spring Dyke 19 July 2003 Spring Dyke

How to distinguish the Common Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris from the Essex Skipper, T. lineola

Antennae Photographs Link

Essex and Small Skipper ID Message Thread
 
 
Small/Essex Skipper side view from Malthouse on 13 July 2004 (Photograph by Ray Hamblett) Small Skipper from Malthouse Meadow (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
13 July 2004:  Malthouse Meadows 6 July 2004:  Malthouse Meadows
Identified as an Small Skipper by Guy Padfield on UK Butterflies

Link to image of Small Skippers mating
 
 
Small (or Essex) Skipper
18 July 2004:  Slonk Hill South 18 July 2004:  Slonk Hill South
18 July 2004:  Slonk Hill South 6 July 2004:  Slonk Hill South
Essex Skipper
Identified by Guy Padfield on UK Butterflies

I've had a quick look at your skippers page and can be confident of all the males, at least! But you have probably identified those already. I also have a strong idea about some of the females.

The picture marked 6th July is a male Essex skipper, identified by the sex brand.
Immediately below this picture is another Essex skipper, I think.
The first insect marked 26 June 2003 Lancing Ring meadows is definitely a male small skipper, again given away by the sex brand. To the right of that picture is a close-up with the same description, which looks to me like Essex, but if they are the same insect then it has to be small skipper, because there is no doubt about the first ID.
15 July 2004: Mill Hill Upper Slopes is definitely Essex.
6 July 2004: Malthouse Meadows is definitely Small.
6 July 2004: Slonk Hill South is definitely Essex.

I have opinions about the others, but not so I can say 'definitely'!

Comments by Guy Padfield on UK Butterflies



Skippers of the downs near Shoreham
Lancing Butterflies and Moths
Adur First Butterfly Dates
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Skipper ID Page
Message (from Jack Harrison) to link to photographs to help ID Skippers
Skipper Photographs (Liz Goodyear) Archive

British Butterflies: Family Hesperiidae

The essential difference is that Large Skipper always shows a U- or S-shaped band of clear-cut paler square patches towards the apex of the forewing, one patch in each membrane.
The Silver-spotted Skipper also has these patches, and there's something of the same in the Lulworth Skipper.
In the Lulworth these pale patches or "spots" form a rough circle, whereas in Large they take on a highly consistent U- or S-shaped formation. They are visible on the underside of the wing too, though less so because the ground colour itself is lighter there. Once learned, this pattern is immediately recognisable. Small and Essex Skippers have no such lighter spots or patches on the upper wings.
Original Message

Advice by Pat Bonham on UK Leps (Yahoo Group)


Large Skippers I have looked at recently they also have small 'hooks' at the end of their antennae which I have not seen with the Small and Essex Skippers. (see the photographs above). Image.

Comment by Reg Fry on UK Leps (Yahoo Group)

Cockayne:
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper

Birdguides:

The Small Skipper is certainly smaller in size than the Large Skipper but about the same size as the Lulworth and Essex Skippers. However it differs from them, as it is a plain, all over gingery- orange, with only a few faint dark vein markings and a narrow dark marginal outline. The male has a thin black streak of sexual scent glands. The Small and the Essex are very hard to distinguish, but the underneath of the tips of the antennae of the Small Skipper are orange (that of the Essex being black).

The Essex Skipper is very similar indeed to the Small Skipper and the Lulworth Skipper (reflected in the generic name 'Thymelicus') except that in general the Essex Skipper is a slightly duller gold colour as opposed to the ginger of the Small Skipper. The only really distinguishable difference lies in the antennae - those of the Essex are black underneath the tips.



Skippers Gallery

Back to Butterfly List 2004