Steyning Downs

Steyning Bowl

31 August 2017


Waiting at Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning, for a Brown Hairstreak to come down from the trees was forlorn and unsuccessful. Waiting is not my normal observation method. There were a few Meadow Browns on the rough grassland and both Small Whites and Large Whites, a Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral on the hedgerow-lined Mill Road path (by Steyning Bowls Club) approaches to the conservation cattle pasture.

Red Bartsia

Black Nightshade

27 August 2017

Blackthorn sapling

At Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning, I spotted (entirely on my own) my third Brown Hairstreak (butterfly) of the day as it fluttered down to land on a Blackthorn sapling to lay a egg in the middle of the day, They were very difficult to spot and because they climb down the stem immediately I found them impossible to photograph. Other butterflies present were frequent Meadow Browns and at least one Brown Argus, Brimstone and a Speckled Wood.
Butterfly Report
Wild Flowers 2017

Meadow Brown
Red Bartsia, Black Nightshade, Hawthorn

10 August 2017

Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, Oxford Ragwort and Mint Moth
Meadow Browns
Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, Steyning

Meadow Browns (30+) were all over the Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning, as I ventured to the northern row of mixed trees where I added three Gatekeepers, a few dark Speckled Woods, and a Holly Blue. It was cool day with rain in the air so I was lucky if any butterflies were in flight. There were a few Large Whites in flight near the allotments. I was more fortunate with hoverflies as I spotted my first impressive Volucella zonaria hoverfly of the year, shortly followed by my first Volucella inanis. The small pyralid moth Pyrausta aurata visited the sparse growths of Marjoram  and (Oxford?) Ragwort. Red Bartsia was common on Spring Head Shaw, with Teasels, Lesser Knapweed and Spear Thistle notable for the large presence and some Yarrow.
Steyning Downland Scheme
Adur Wild Flowers 2017

The small pyralid moth Pyrausta aurata visited the sparse growths of Marjoram and (Oxford?) Ragwort on the Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning.

 Mint Moth

Spear Thistle, Hemp Agrimony, Common Ragwort
Teasel, Lesser Knapweed
Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, Steyning

16 August 2015
A special planned trip to the downland west of Steyning promised much with an early morning sun, but when we arrived clouds blotted out the sun and it was too cool for the butterflies to be active, but was good for photography if the butterflies could be discovered. On the shady path from Steyning three Speckled Woods danced between the hedgerows and a Large White flew near Rublees Allotments. A Wall Brown rose from a clump of Greater Burdock. But the frequent flashes of orange were Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, although they included a resting Small Heath and my first Small Copper of the year. A Red Admiral fluttered in my direction and nearly landed on me. Credit to Mark Colvin who spotted a Brown Hairstreak, high up in a Sycamore, next to the Ash and Blackthorn. It was the only one seen by a group of half a dozen searchers. It was only the second one I had ever seen.
My personal tally was nine butterfly species (including two not seen before this year).

At least two Southern Hawkers (dragonfly) flew over the conservation pasture. Grasshoppers stridulated amongst the grass and crickets with long antennae were spotted in the taller vegetation, including the Roesel's Bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeselii. A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from the top of a conifer and young Chiff-chaff flew amongst the low vegetation..
Adur Butterfly List 2015
Adur Hoverflies

Umbellifer: this could be Anthriscus caucalis - Burr Chervil
NB: the burred fruits, suggestion by Peter
NB: Burr Chervil flowers May - June so this makes it unlikely
Originally identified as Upright Hedge-parsley Torilis japonica ?
Not excluded: Burnet Saxifrage, Pimpinella saxifragata
I think it is Upright Hedge-parsley Torilis japonica

Hoverfly: Chrysotoxum bicinctum
Digger Wasp Ectemnius sp

Steyning Downland by the Blackthorn saplings (Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range)

17 July 2014
A Buzzard soared over the tree-lined downs west of Steyning.

 Hemp Agrimony

includes Common Valerian ? (centre bottom x 2)
Steyning Downs

Adur Nature Notes 2017

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