to the Wildlife Reports for 2004 et seq.
Happy Valley (behind Slonk Hill), Shoreham, two Stonechats
were recorded. New Erringham Farm produced a flock of about 25 Corn
Buntings, plus a further five on the road
to Truleigh Hill.
Scabious was still in flower on the edge
of the bridlepath running north from Slonk Hill. A Pheasant
struggled to become airborne on the path leading to Mossy Bottom from the
east, where a Clouded Yellow Butterfly
amongst the grasses. Two chirms of Goldfinches
numbering over 100 small birds flew around near New Erringham Farm. They
preferred to hide in the Hawthorn,
but not exclusively.
is a long walk to Southwick Hill and it is pity that more often than not
it turns out disappointing, but this time I veered off to the west and
found a patch Horseshoe Vetch (not in flower, of course) in a clearing
amongst the Gorse,
but there was just the one Chalkhill Blue,
but this could explain the presence of Adonis
Blues in August
2000, but the brightest blue today were
Blues (25+), the commonest blues on display.
were also the commonest butterflies after the Large
Whites (50+), with more than a score of
Browns (including a pair mating in flight)
and over a dozen Gatekeepers,
with a handful each of Small Tortoiseshells,
Woods (amongst the Gorse), Small
Whites (one landed on my bicycle), and
at least one Painted Lady,
Admiral, Wall Brown
and Clouded Yellow.
Images of the Day
Argus Butterfly was a surprise discovery
on on the Slonk Hill A27 southern embankment (TQ
228 067) with other butterflies including
Admirals, Large Whites, one
few Chalkhill Blues,
the shallow climb from Slonk Hill Farm north of the hill towards Mossy
Bottom, there were at least a dozen Painted
Lady Butterflies in bright colours, a
single Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
with a bit of its wing missing (in old
colouration) as well as the usual Meadow
Browns and Gatekeepers.
The half a dozen blue flutterings in the long grasses and parched earth
by the bridlepath were Common Blue Butterflies.
Brown Butterfly flew past Mossy Bottom,
as simultaneously a couple of Goldfinches
perched on the barbed wire.
Hill has been cut in half by the A27 by-pass as the dual carriageway
truck road (constructed 1971) and the southern area of the hill is now
the steep chalky embankments of the dual carriageway.
Orchids were scattered amongst the long grass
the brambles over the area of a large overgrown garden
southern bank was adorned like a meadow with an extensive display of Spotted
Orchids near the footbridge to Slonk Hill
Farm. The bank
attracted butterflies including my first Comma
Butterfly of the year, a Large
White Butterfly with extensive black markings
and a handful of aggressive Meadow Browns
which tended to chase other butterflies away at any opportunity.
bridleway from north Southwick (Hawkins Close) to Southwick Hill and Thundersbarrow
recorded just three Wall Brown Butterflies
and nothing else worth mentioning, unless you count a dozen Jackdaws
on the National Trust grazed grassland.
are the small birds on the barbed wire
the left of the Hawthorn
uninteresting that I retraced my steps and took the path down to Mossy
Bottom. My attention was drawn to a pair of birds calling stridently
from a barbed wire fence by a Hawthorn tree at the junction with the path
down to Slonk Hill (TQ 225 078).
The male Stonechat
particularly striking with its almost black cap, really quite a red breast
and just a glimpse of white on the throat. The male frequently cocked its
tail in an upright manner. The female Stonechat
a rather pale brown comparatively, perched only about two metres away on
the same wire.
call of Stonechats are what made me aware of its presence. In this case
it may have been my presence that prompted the danger call. The Stonechats
seem to perform the role of sentinel like the Redshank
Page (Warning Calls)
Action Plan Notes
understory of the Hawthorn contained the Rock
Rose, recognised by the yellow flower
and this species of plant is known to the food plant of the caterpillars
of the Brown Argus Butterfly.
In this location it was inconspicuous, almost lost amongst the grasses.
The soil was clay with flints rather than chalk.
Mossy Bottom I do not know if it was a Sparrowhawk
or a Cuckoo which flew rapidly away from me,
(and I was looking down on to the upper wings of the bird), to the small
copse in the south-west. It was too far away to be sure.
at New Erringham was unmistakable.
the bare field to the south-west of Southwick Hill the melody of a Skylark
the air for ten minutes or more without a break. It
would need a directional microphone to record the songs because in the
distance the hum of the traffic on the A27 could be heard as well as clattering
from the dockside at Shoreham Harbour.
small falcons are not always to separate at a distance, but the blunt-shaped
head and swooping flight without hovering, together with the subdued colours
(compared to a Kestrel)
indicated a male Sparrowhawk
at New Erringham Farm in the dip of the downs north of Shoreham.
shirt sleeves sunny weather was unseasonal, recorded at 21°
C in the shade and this brought the butterflies
out with 50+ Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies
the path north of Slonk Hill past New Erringham to Mill
Hill, with 15+
lapidarius, crawled into the long grass near Mossy Bottom Barn.
on the bridleway (TQ 225 070 - TQ 225 078)
from the north side of Slonk Hill to Southwick Hill revealed the first
Yellow Butterflies (8+) since 2000.
They were flying around rapidly and would not settle. Unlike the Small
Tortoiseshells (100+) which were everywhere
settling on Ragwort
and the bridleway. Most were brightly coloured, but there some faded ones
as well. The Painted Ladies (30+) preferred
the Greater Knapweed. Wall
Browns (40+) preferred to settle on bare
areas of chalk but made fleeting visits to Hardheads.
(25+), Small Whites
(15+), Meadow Browns
(15+) and at least one Red Admiral
completed the butterfly list.
Browns (illustrated) habitually land on rocks and bare chalk
a female Sparrowhawk on
a fence post, (near some bushes with many small brown birds), which glided
magnificently at at a low level across the open field.
over the latitudinal bridlepath from Mossy Bottom to Southwick Hill (west
the long mostly straight steadily uphill path from Southwick Hill to Truleigh
Hill, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies
were common (75 +) (possibly including Painted
Ladies and Comma Butterflies),
but there were also
Meadow Browns (30+),
Whites, (25+), Small
Red Admirals (12+) and an occasional Small
White Butterfly in decreasing order of
flinty path leads from the top of Upper Kingston Lane to Southwick
Hill under which the main A27 road burrows a large tunnel which is
hardly noticeable from the vantage point 121 metres above sea level. A
dozen or more Adonis Blue Butterflies
settled, despite the strong
breeze. They were not recognised to be any different from the Chalkhill
Blues at the time. It was only later after
the photograph was confirmed that a name was put to them. Meadow
Brown butterflies were frequently seen
and possibly a Comma Butterfly.
little Small Copper Butterfly
fed on a yellow flower on the path * going downhill east towards
Mossy Bottom and up to New Erringham Farm and Mill
Hill. It was harvest time and a pleasant sunny (22
° C) day without the excessive humidity
photographs at a different location
Puff-Ball (in August 1999,
Carden of Southwick found a Puff-Ball
weighing 4.4 kg (9 lb 12 oz) The location was not revealed.
of Lancing (Ray Hamblett)
Notes for Lancing Ring