Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003

 Adur Flood Plain
 Chalk Downs
 Mill Hill
 Lancing Clump 
 Coastal Fringe
 Intertidal (Seashore)
 River Adur Estuary
 River Adur Flood Plain
 Sea (off Sussex)
 Town & Gardens
 Widewater Lagoon
Shoreham Beach Weather provided by Softwair Publishing



Adur Valley Wildlife

Shoreham-by-Sea:  Town & Gardens
& Unofficial Wasteland
including areas south of the A27

    Long time residents will have noticed the demise of the Elm stands through Dutch Elm Disease, and the even more massive destruction of trees during the Great Storm of 1987. Buckingham Park suffered badly through the Elm loss, but the stands have now been replaced by a variety of trees, forming the boundary with Upper Shoreham Road. 

    Buckingham Park East

    However, the hundreds of mature trees lost in Buckingham Park in the 1987 storm have not been replaced and the park has perhaps less than half of its former total. Despite, the tree loss in the town which was much less than in the countryside, probably only 30% down since the 1970s, the western part of the town is still reasonably well endowed with a variety of trees.

    Chestnet Tree next to the Bowling Green in Buckingham Park, Shoreham

    A Sweet Chestnut tree in Buckingham Park is one of the most notable Chestnut trees in the whole of Sussex. The largest is 18 metres (59 ft) high with a girth of 222 cm (over 7 ft) in the main part of the trunk, about 1.5 metres from the ground. 
    However, to really qualify as a stout tree in Sussex, the truck girth should be over 250 mm. Other large Sweet Chestnuts in Sussex include one at Petworth Park at a height of 35 metres (115 ft) and another at Cowdray Park to 25 metres high. The Sweet Chestnut is not a native tree to Britain and in its European and Asian range the tree often reaches 30 metres high. 

    British Trees

    Although absent in the 1960s, Grey Squirrels have now established themselves in the parks and gardens of Shoreham. They are especially fond of Beech mast. 

    Shoreham does not have a feral Pigeon population, but tens of thousands of Starlings invade during the winter and thousands are resident all through the year. Collared Doves are common. Herring Gulls occasionally try to build nests on the roofs of houses, as do Jackdaws, but the frequency the gulls attempt this is not so common as in nearby Hove. 



    Pied Wagtail: a common winter bird in town31 December 2003
    The last bird of 2003 is an omnipresent Pied Wagtail in the road, wagging its tail as dusk set in. 
    Urban Wildlife Webring

    29 December 2003
    Feasting on the Holly berries at the bottom of the back garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063), the slim thrush had a very bright orange throat-breast. From a brief observation in the steady rain, I was not sure if this was a young Song Thrush, or possibly a migratory Redwing. The narrow profile and bright orange made this thrush look markedly different from the more familiar brown birds in town. (There was only one bird seen, and both Redwings and Fieldfares are usually seen in flocks.) This thrush was seen again on 16 February 2004 and discovered to be a Song Thrush afterall. 
    Notes on Thrushes (UK Birdnet) defending berry trees
    Another note on Thrushes
    A flock of twenty Greenfinches graced the mixed woodland twitten between Buckingham Park and Ravensbourne Road (TQ 219 062).
    On the fence dividing the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square, Shoreham, from the Middle Road allotments, a young female Kestrel look bedraggled and sodden in the rain and did not take to the air with customary flourish and speed as usual. 

    25 December 2003
    A mild and dry Christmas Day afternoon, with even the dawn temperatures exceeding 10° C and the local birds had no imperative to visit the seed feeders and bird tables.  The back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) was visited by a Grey Squirrel, a couple of large Herring Gulls, an opportunistic Jackdaw, the resident Blackbird and Chaffinch, the regular pair of Collared Doves, a single Blue Tit and a small flock of a dozen Starlings. A House Sparrow and a Magpie flew over. 
    NB: The Grey Squirrel does not seem to hibernate in Shoreham and they are active throughout the winter. 

    21 December 2003
    Hopping around in the undergrowth a Chaffinch made a brief visit to in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). These colourful finches are reported as the commonest finches throughout Britain, but this might not be so readily apparent because they are shyer than the locally common Greenfinches which were first to in the sunflower seed feeder. (Goldfinches also appear to be much commoner than Chaffinches in the Adur valley and coastal zone. The only other common finch locally is the Linnet.)

    12 December 2003
    Photograph by Andy HortonA cluster of small creamy white Ivory Bonnet mushrooms pushed their way up through the short moist mown grass in the centre of Buckingham Park, Shoreham, on the same latitude as the Sweet Chestnut Trees. The largest cap was about 14 mm in diameter. Most of the caps were conical, but a few of them had flattened out. The number of mushrooms was about 25. 
    My first tentative identification was Mycena
    Malcolm Storey (BioImages) identified it down amongst over one hundred British species in the genus to Mycena flavoalba with a slightly paler cap appearance than is usual for this species.
    Fungi of Shoreham (Mycena)
    Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
    Mycenas of Norway

    2 December 2003
    A large flock of 400 Black-headed Gulls flew south-west in a series of arrow formations, over Shoreham from the Adur valley towards Shoreham harbour and the coast. 

    28 November 2003
    According to the DETR page the short life span of about two years for urban Foxes is because they are run over and killed on the roads. Around Shoreham, this seems to happen on the country roads just outside of town. 

    The Fox in the photograph was killed on the busy A27 road by the Sussex Pad where fatalities have occurred before. 

    27 November 2003
    On a rotten tree trunk in Buckingham Park (TQ 222 063) I removed some Oyster Mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, for a culinary experiment, and a fresh patch had grown in their place. The largest cap was 130 mm wide and it was only this largest specimen that was more brownish than grey in colour. The original patch of Oyster Mushrooms is now a light brown mush.
    Fungi of Shoreham (new web page)

    As dusk was approaching, a flock of 200 small birds flew north-east over Courts Furniture Store near the railway crossing gates in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham. Normally, the only birds over the houses with flocks in those numbers are Starlings, with flocks of several hundred in winter. These specks in the sky were smaller and were probably Pied Wagtails

    26 November 2003
    A big furry tail was the first indication of the healthy Red Fox seen before in Corbyn Crescent area where I live. This time it dived between the hedge further up the road near number 20. The back garden of number 20 is next to the back garden of 14a which is the flat below mine. The neighbours have heard Foxes calling to one another at night. I would estimate the length of the Fox to be about 70 cm (28") excluding the tail and about three  times the size of a domestic cat. It is probably a second year Fox with a new local territory. Its colour is grey with no hint of red visible under the poor street lights at night. 
    Red Fox Web Page
    DETR Red Fox
    UK Wildlife Messages: Foxes and Cats

    25 November 2003
    An unexpected surge of greenery has emerged, after the recent rain, in my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).

    These are young growths of Goosegrass (or Cleavers), Galium sp., which I suspected but did not recognise because the summer specimens are straggly with much longer leaves. 

    UK Botany (Yahoo Group)

    16 November 2003
    On the same fallen tree trunk, the the Oyster Mushroom of last week had deteriorated and turned from grey to a dirty brown, but three new clumps of  fungi had appeared. The caps in the photograph on the right are mostly up to about 35 mm in diameter. The largest was measured at 60 mm across. 

    It is a nice clump of the true Pleurotus ostreatus, the Oyster Mushroom. It has the typical smooth, inrolled bluish-grey-brown caps and decurrent white gills. If you take a spore print you will see that when scraped together they are pale lilac.

    ID and notes by Geoffrey Kibby, Senior Editor, Field Mycology
    Gourmet Page
    Adur Fungi: Fruiting Bodies (Monthly Guide)
    In the Basket (pic)

    A handful of Greenfinches were the first birds to be attracted to a seed feeder in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). With a view through the binoculars I was struck my how powerful their bills are. These are common birds of the town in winter and are hardly a newsworthy event.

    9 November 2003
    There is a shortage of suitable habitats for many of the woodland fungi in the tidy parks and gardens of Shoreham town. 

    This an older clump of the Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus.
    Fungi of Shoreham (new web page)

    8 November 2003
    Will the Red Admiral Butterfly that flew strongly northwards (in the chilly 6.9 ºC north-east wind) at roof eaves level across Gordon Road, Shoreham, be the last of the year?

    7 November 2003

    The pair of mushrooms in the photograph were found in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square, Shoreham, on the edge of the Middle Road allotments. I have identified it as the species known as the Shaggy Parasol, Macrolepiota rhacodes. This a grassland species of mushroom. The photographed specimen had a cap of about 60 mm in diameter. The other one growing adjacent to it was 30% larger and it was not circular. The identification was agreed by members of the two following discussion groups:
    Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
    UK Wildlife (Yahoo Group)

    Grey Squirrel in St. Mary de Haura churchyard, New ShorehamThere is a largish population of healthy Grey Squirrels in the large parish church of St. Mary de Haura, that dominates Shoreham town centre. I have not seen more than a handful at one time, but I would be surprised if there are a dozen or more. They come close enough for a photograph, although the light was poor.

    6 November 2003
    Just as I was resigned to the end of summer, a shirt sleeves sunny 16.6 ºC brought a Red Admiral Butterfly that fluttered over the bushes by the railway track in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, just after midday. 
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times
    UK November Butterflies

    26 October 2003
    A Fox entered the town centre of New Shoreham, being seen in the middle of the day on the lawn of a back garden in John Street. The street frontage is tightly packed terraced cottages on a narrow side road but there are a few larger houses and gardens.

    Report by Martin

    24 October 2003
    A pair of Grey Herons in the horse's field at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, was a slightly incongruous and unusual sight. A single Heron on the river or the lowland pastures is frequent, but they are rarely seen together, and I have not seen them in this field before, which is right on the edge of the town with Mill Hill, although less than a half of mile by the most direct route from their normal haunts. 

    19 October 2003 

    These rather distinctive toadstools (fungi) appeared underneath the Buddleia in the garden of  40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). They are almost certainly the Glistening Inkcap, Coprinus micaceus. These mushrooms are probably edible when fresh in spring and fried in butter. 
    "Your photograph shows the effects of the prolonged dry spell. The cap is cracking and gills have probably dried out (and died) rather than deliquesced." (Malcolm Storey)

    Fungi: Technical Bits
    Fungi of Lancing Clump
    Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
    Fungi Database
    Fungi (Adur Biodiversity) Links Page
    Lancing Ring Fungi in October (Lancing Nature Web Pages)

    17 October 2003 
    The young Fox ran so far up Corbyn Crescent (to house number 5), Shoreham, that it was behaving like a family pet. Its large brush tail was unmistakable as it sneaked into a front garden through a narrow gap. 

    12 October 2003 
    A falling Sweet Chestnut landed on my head, from a tree in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, where there are at least four notable large trees. 

    11 October 2003 
    As dusk approached, scores of Pied Wagtails, Motacilla alba, possibly numbering over a hundred seemed to be about to roost on top of the Courts Furniture Store (opposite McDonalds) near the Hamme in central Shoreham. (By 13 October 2003, the Pied Wagtails, seem to have forgone their attempt to roost on Courts Furniture Store and just before dusk scores of these small birds could be found over Ricardos north-west of the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham.)

    The SHOREHAM FISH FESTIVAL on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, was attended by an estimated 3,000 people if the sunshine as the high six metre spring tide filled the river  just before 1:00 pm. The British Marine Life Study Society held an aquarium display and despite technical problems with a very high plankton content in the water (which meant the large wrasse could not be displayed) the exhibits were well received by the younger age group. 

    10 October 2003
    A chirm of about dozen Goldfinches flew into the trees at the southern edge of Middle Road Playing Fields, Shoreham. 

    2 October 2003

    The common Garden Orb Spider, Araneus diadematus, were spinning numerous and extensive webs, in gardens, hedgerows, wasteland and just about everywhere it seems.

    29 September 2003
    A large healthy Fox ran boldly down Dolphin Road, Shoreham, on the houses side of the fence that borders the railway track that runs parallel with the road at 9:30 pm in the evening. It then trotted into a garden at about 20-22 Dolphin Road, in the Corbyn Crescent area where I live. On the moonless light the Fox appeared a dusky grey. There are no rabbits around but there is probably a large population of mice as I have seen then running across the road. Foxes have occasionally been seen on the railway track and there is the Municipal Dump in their territory. The Foxes have been here for years, but I not seen them near the houses before. It was rubbish collection day and the garbage is stacked out in black plastic sacks and not dustbins. 

    25 September 2003
    Amongst the brambles and long grasses the small yellow flower of the Wood Avens, Geum urbanum, could easily be overlooked in my north-facing front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). The flowering period in the books says until August so it is a bit out of season. This wild plant has an interesting folk history under its book name of Herb Bennet. The local name of Wood Avens is used (it is the general policy to use local names) on these Nature Notes pages. ID confirmed by Ray Hamblett

    20 September 2003
    A Migrant Hawker Dragonfly, Aeshna mixta, flies rapidly, west to east, past my front gate in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). This is just my second of the year, and there does not seem to be any more around. They rarely seem to settle and are are usually too quick to photograph. 

    17 September 2003
    This insect appears to be the Speckled Bush Cricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, found in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).
    Speckled Bush Cricket, Leptophyes punctatissima

    The cricket hopped very slowly along the concrete path when poked, but mostly it crawled slowly around. It is an inhabitant of trees and bushes rather than the long grass, and may appreciate the Privet hedge and Brambles in my front patch.
    UK Grasshoppers & Crickets (Yahoo Group)

    13 September 2003
    A Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttered around in the shade of the mixed woodland twitten between Buckingham Park and Ravensbourne Road (TQ 219 062). It persistently returned to a Nettle leaf next to the fence, but it would not stay still because it is continually disturbed by the shadows of passing people on a pleasant 21.3 ºC sunny day. This is the first September record of this butterfly on these Nature Notes pages.

    A Painted Lady Butterfly in fine, but not pristine, condition visited a flower in the garden of  40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). There was also a Painted Lady Butterfly near Adur Civic Centre, so I would expect that they were present in their usual places. There were a handful of unidentified brown butterflies fluttering around the lower rooftops in town. 
    Adur Butterflies
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times

    8 September 2003
    Much to my surprise a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was resting/sleeping/hibernating on the wall above my computer desk this morning, in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). It came as a bit of a surprise because Small Tortoiseshells had not been common this year as last, and most of them had been very reddish in colour. This was an oil painting livery (I think this means it was not fresh) and was more orangey. It was disturbed and found its way immediately to the slightly open window (unlike flies and wasps which buzz around for ages). 
    Butterfly Conservation
    Butterfly Guide

    5 September 2003
    House Martins could be seen flying low over Shoreham Beach and over the River Adur and embankments, but a small flock of a dozen resting on a house in Corbyn Crescent Shoreham, was unusual in this built-up area. The seasonal emigration has been underway for a few days. 

    31 August 2003
    The Starlings have been feeding on blackberries, at least the one which deposited its excrement over me as I was attempting to fix my postie bike.

    29 August 2003
    A Green Woodpecker was on the grass in the steady rain of the grounds of Shoreham College, Kingston Buci. It called loudly flew up into the Evergreen Oak near the entrance at the northern end of the playing fields. This is one bird that appreciates large gardens and disappears with the increased urbanisation. 

    26 August 2003
    A pair of Common Darter Dragonflies reconnoitred the small garden pond at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) but both the bright red male and duller orange female flew on. The male had spent a few minutes resting on the hose pipe spray before the female arrived. The visit of the Humming Bird Hawk-Moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, was even briefer, just two plants probed, and seconds later it flew over the fence. 

    25 August 2003
    Buckingham Park turns yellow with Hawkbits, the rosettes are the greenery on the parched brown grass (marked out as football pitches), as the first spots of rain begin to fall (not enough to register as precipitation) on an overcast day. The grass is brown everywhere. 
    Hawkweed Photographs

    20 August 2003

    These pair of gulls that inhabit the roof tops of the new houses by the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham-by-Sea, have always been a puzzle over their identification, first thought of as Lesser Black-backed Gulls, then I changed my mind and thought they were Herring Gulls. (TQ 224 053). They appear to have green-yellowish legs which would mean they are most likely to be Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
    Previous Mention

    17 August 2003
    At least half a dozen bumblebees were feeding energetically in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). The two large species were recognised as the Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, and the Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius, which are common in all the warmer months. However, there appeared to be a smaller species as well shown in the photograph. It did not hover and behaved exactly like a bumblebee and it would not stay still for a good photograph or a clear look. This species is probably the Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum, which does not look that same as the books because it loses its orange furry thorax as the summer wears on. It is a common species that is more likely to be overlooked because of its small size.
    Adur Bumblebees and Mimics
    British Insects on Yahoo Groups

    13 August 2003
    Flocks of twenty House Sparrows (up to ten flocks) and flocks of fifty Starlings dive into the Buddleia bushes, which are beginning (50%) to lose their flowers. These birds must take their toll of butterflies. The town and wasteland butterfly count was estimated at 250 Large Whites (probably including a few Small Whites), 12+  Painted Ladies, 10+ Red Admirals, one Holly Blue and one confirmed Small White, all as I passing on my bike. The shade temperature had dropped to a maximum of 25.6 ºC, there were drops of rain (nil registered) and it was still sticky and humid (71%), although the vegetation looked remarkably parched and lifeless.

    11 August 2003
    As the heatwave continues the Blackbirds and the House Sparrows (17 +) take advantage of the water in the garden pond at back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). The Sparrows also enjoy a mud bath in the bare earth. There are plenty of large trees in the gardens nearby for the Sparrows to hide. 
    A Great Black-backed Gull cruised down New Road in the centre of Shoreham, flying just three metres above the tarmac, the presence of this large bird rather impressive, possibly alarming. It was an adult with a wingspan of at least 1.5 metres. 

    10 August 2003
    There were scores seen and obviously hundreds of Large White Butterflies everywhere in Shoreham town and gardens, especially over the allotments. 

    Red Admiral3 August 2003
    At least seven species of butterfly visited the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063):  Common Blue (including the brown females with orange spots on brown on the upper forewing, and clear white spots on the upper hindwing), Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Large Whites, Small Tortoiseshells and Gatekeepers. A Holly Blue fluttered around the Ivy. The following day a Peacock Butterfly arrived on the Buddleia. On 7 August 2003, a Comma Butterfly made a prolonged appearance, opening and closing its wings in a 27° C heatwave frequently, and settling on the watering can. 
    Butterfly List

    30 July 2003
    I took a detour to the the Slonk Hill A27 southern embankment (TQ 228 067) to try and add a Ringlet Butterfly to my record list for the murky day but there was was a Speckled Wood in the beech copse which brought my daily total to seventeen different species of butterflies. A confirmed Holly Blue proved difficult as well until one flew into a Beech Tree adorned with Ivy at the top of The Street (by the downs footpath), Old Shoreham. 

    29 July 2003
    One of the most widespread of the inedible fungi appeared after the rain in my front garden in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).

    I have identified this as the common species Coprinus plicatilis and I remembered to photograph the underside (right in the photograph above) this time. 

    Chalkhill and Common Blue Butterflies (Photograph by Andy Horton)28 July 2003
    On the town side of the bridge leading to Mill Hill that transverses the main A27 road, on the east there is a small Hawthorn copse (at the top of Chanctonbury drive, north side) leading to the grasses of the trunk road steep bank. In this small garden sized plot of long grasses and scrub, two species of blue butterfly congregated sometimes fighting over the same grass head. On this cool, overcast and windy day, the commonest Common Blue Butterfly (20+) seemed very small compared to at least one, probably three or four of the larger Chalkhill Blue, together with Meadow Browns (6+) and Gatekeepers (3+).  I originally thought that Brown Argus Butterflies were present but the distinctive brown-blue-brown colour is now probably the female Common Blue Butterfly as closer examination of the photographs seemed to indicate the latter butterfly.
    Fourteen different species of butterfly were seen on Mill Hill. 
    Identification Notes about the Brown Argus

    24 July 2003
    The Meadow Brown Butterfly that settled in my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), was found circling the lightbulb inside the front door like a large moth. 

    Brown Argus (Photograph by Andy Horton)23 July 2003
    A Brown Argus Butterfly was a surprise discovery on the Slonk Hill A27 southern embankment (TQ 228 067). This is a small butterfly and despite its brown colour, when flying it looks dark blue.
    It is the first record of a Brown Argus on these Nature Notes pages, but because the underwing was not photographed, and without this confirmation the species could still be a female Common Blue, there is still a slight doubt over the identification. 
    Identification Notes about the Brown Argus
    Accompanying butterflies included Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Red Admirals, Large Whites, one Speckled Wood, Large Skippers and a few Chalkhill Blues.   The bank contains a few clumps of Horseshoe Vetch, the food plant of the Chalkhill Blue caterpillars. A dozen female (or juvenile) Common Darter Dragonflies in an orange-brown livery were amongst taller vegetation. The grasshopper on the bank was grey-brown without a clear glimpse of green. It was the Common Field Grasshopper, Chorthippus brunneus.(pic) There was a Poplar Hawk-moth as well.
    A Holly Blue Butterfly was seen at the top of Buckingham Park.
    Adur Butterflies
    A male worker of Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis, nectared on a Scabious.

    Hawk-moth Caterpillar (Photograph by Pete Weaver)19 July 2003
    We've just discovered a large caterpillar in our east Shoreham garden. It was about 5 - 6 cm long, grey with a 5 mm blue horn or spike on its back at the rear. Its fairly smooth and looks like a slug with legs.

    Ray Hamblett has identified the larva as that of the Lime Hawk-moth, Mimas tiliae.
    The photograph was enhanced by Andy Horton so I do not know if the colours are true? 

    Report and photograph by Pete Weaver on the Adur Valley EForum

    12 July 2003
    A Meadow Brown Butterfly settled in my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), the first record for my garden, but not really surprising as they have been seen in the the allotments less than 100 metres away. 
    Adur Butterflies

    7 July 2003
    A Pied Wagtail landed in the road outside my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). This would be a usual sight in winter, but these small birds usually disappear in summer.

    6 July 2003
    A Comma Butterfly and a Red Admiral fluttered in the hedge surrounding Northbourne Health Centre, which is actually just to the south of Buckingham Park, opposite the Green Jacket pub. There were three Swifts over Hamme Road Allotments when in most years I would expect to see House Martins. The birds were faster fliers, probably slightly larger, noisier, much darker almost black looking, and had a markedly forked tail. There were many small flying insects and the birds flew low at just above rooftop level. Usually Swifts fly much higher are just specks high in the sky.

    4 July 2003
    The Spotted Orchid flowers on the Slonk Hill A27 southern embankment (TQ 228 067) are past their best and are beginning to fade and drop.
    Meadow Brown (Photograph by Andy Horton)
    Gatekeeper (Photograph by Andy Horton)
    Meadow Brown Butterfly
    Gatekeeper Butterfly

    There were a handful of Meadow Brown Butterflies and at least one Gatekeeper.

    30 June 2003
    I think a pair of Herring Gulls may have hatched out a couple of youngsters as there a couple of small grey gulls (still larger than a Blackbird) gulls looking bedraggled in the rain, on the top of Huntington Hall, just north of Shoreham-by-Sea railway station. 

    29 June 2003

    Blue-tailed Damselfly (Photograph by Andy Horton)

    A male Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans, visited the garden pond of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. (TQ  219 063). 

    27 June 2003
    Slonk 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. 

    The Spotted Orchids were scattered amongst the long grass and
    even the brambles over the area of a large overgrown garden

    Comma Butterfly (Photograph by Andy Horton)The southern bank was adorned like a meadow with an extensive display of Spotted Orchids, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, near the bridge 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. The hoverfly, Volucella bombylans var. plumata was present.

    There is a footpath through a Beech and Sycamore copse from the footbridge westwards and this can be followed for 200 metres. At the western end the embankment is overgrown with longer grasses and brambles and an occasional Pyramid Orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis

    Ringlet Butterfly (Photograph by Andy Horton)
    It was in this area I discovered my first Ringlet Butterfly on these Nature Notes pages. This butterfly persisted in basking with wings wide open and would not close them for a view of the ringlets.
    Spotted Orchid Images
    More Images

    Area suggested by Jan Hamblett (Lancing Nature)
    9 June 2003
    A flutter of orange underwing (same colour as the Skipper butterflies) out of the hedgerow on the railway side of Dolphin Road, Shoreham was one of the Yellow Underwing Moths, Noctua. This is Noctua probona, the Large Yellow Underwing and possibly one the most abundant of the large moths. 
    UK Moths
    One Red Admiral Butterfly was noted in the hedgerows as well, but these are too frequent to be reported now. The humidity was reported at 89% (max) down to 65%, but it is too sticky to be pleasant. 

    30 May 2003
    A half dozen Swifts flew rapidly to and from over the Hamm Allotments, Shoreham, in the early evening.
    The air temperature reached a sticky and humid 26° C. Two Swifts flew just above housetop level over Corbyn Crescent, the first time I have noticed these fast flying birds over Shoreham town.
    There seems to be a lot of Jackdaws this spring, on the downs (flocks of a dozen plus) and on houses in the town of Shoreham.

    28 May 2003
    An insect with a long bright yellow abdomen and transparent wings was particularly noticeable on the tarmac path in the front garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. (TQ  219 063). This may have been a Scorpion Fly, Panorpa.

    Red blossom Conker Tree with a Sycamore on the left in Windlesham Gardens, Shoreham.18 May 2003
    The illustrated hybrid Horse Chestnut,  Aesculus hippocastanum x carnea, has crimson blossom instead of the normal white. This common  tree was photographed into the weak sun, on a dismal day in Windlesham Gardens.
    A large Horse Chestnut Tree and a slightly smaller hybrid can be found in the Southlands Hospital grounds, in the disused bit to be sold of by the government to private developers. 

    17 May 2003
    The Living Churchyard
    Wildlife Walk
    St. Mary de Haura Church, Shoreham-by-Sea 10:30 am
    Wildlife in the churchyard with Brianne Reeve (Birds) and Betty Bishop and Beryl Clough (Flora) Steve Davey (Lichens) and Peter Hodges (Insects).

    On an overcast stratus day the rain held off for a wildlife survey of the churchyard, with its collection of park trees and common ground flora of grasses, medicks, dandelions, buttercups, Chickweed etc.

    Pellitory of the Wall

    The Pellitory of the Wall, Parietaria diffusa, and the Spleenwort, Asplenium, grew in the cracks in the church stonework. Both these plants and inhabitants of old walls and they are rarely found elsewhere. 
    Shoreham Herald Report

    7 May 2003
    Small White Butterflies and Holly Blues fluttered around the gardens and allotments in Shoreham, with a Speckled Wood in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road. 

    6 May 2003
    A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly in pristine condition landed around midday on some bare earth in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. (TQ  219 063). This butterfly was absent from Mill Hill today

    Trees and undergrowth have been removed to the west of Shoreham-by-Sea railway station at the south of Raven's Road, Shoreham. There are still all the larger trees left. This is a good town area for birds.
    Railtrack Policy

    29 April 2003
    A Brimstone Butterfly fluttering along the railway embankment near the Eastern Avenue railway crossing in Shoreham came as a bit of a surprise as I had not seen one for over a decade in this area. However, this was nothing compared to the shock of seeing a Yellow Wagtail almost out of my front window on the roof of my house, in Corbyn Crescent (TQ 224 053), opposite. At least, I thought it was an immigrant bird, not a Grey Wagtail, which has been recorded before in Shoreham town. The bird flew suddenly from the roof to the ground and then disappeared and I could not rediscover it with my binoculars. This first hand sighting confirmed a report from a week earlier. Corbyn Crescent is poor for bird variety with only five regular species, four frequent visitors, six plus occasionals and one fly past (overhead). 

    Regulars:  Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Starling, Collared Dove, Crow.
    Frequent:  Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Kestrel, Magpie.
    Occasionals: Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Parakeet, Feral Pigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Wood Pigeon, 
    Fly Past:  Cormorant. 
    Absent:  Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit.

    22 April 2003
    A Jay, followed by a Jackdaw, flew into the trees on the other (east) side of the road from the dovecote on the Dovecote Estate, Downsway, Shoreham. 

    17 April 2003
    Photograph by Andy HortonThe red body and humming-bird flight of a burnet-style moth in Shoreham town (New Road, eastern end) was rather unusual at this time of year and it is being investigated. The best suggestion is that it could have been a Cinnabar Moth, Tyria jacobaeae, and the caterpillars of these moths are common on Ragwort, which is abundant locally in wayside spaces and unkept fields (unofficial countryside). This moth usually appears in May at the earliest. 
    UK Moths

    16 April 2003
    I noticed a Wren in the undergrowth at the top of Buckingham Park: it appears a regular possible nesting area for this small (but not the smallest) bird. There were a handful of Peacock Butterflies and a few Small Whites

    11 April 2003
    Just a single Small White Butterfly in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham. The annual population explosion of these butterflies has not occurred yet. A Jackdaw was seen near Huntington Hall, just north of Shoreham railway station.

    30 March 2003
    A sunny spring day with a handful of Small White and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were in flight over Buckingham Park, Shoreham. A possible female Linnet was seen in the undergrowth at the north of Buckingham Park, Shoreham. 

    27 March 2003
    I spotted by first white butterfly of the year, probably a Small White Butterfly over the Hamm Road allotments (Eastern Avenue) Shoreham.
    Adur Butterflies

    17 March 2003
    My first butterfly of the year was a Small Tortoiseshell flying strongly over Gordon Road, Shoreham town centre, on a sunny hazy day. Of the birds calling during the day, the Collared Doves, Herring Gulls and Song Thrush were the loudest and most strident, joined by the melody of the Blue Tit on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, south of the by-pass.

    16 March 2003
    As the sun set and full moon illuminated the early evening, there was an astonishing amount of bird song in the scrubs from Withy Patch with birds communicating over four lanes of the A27, and various bird calls were heard continuously all the way down the path south of Toll Bridge in the bushes by the old railway track, and again in the scrub and small trees by the railway main line at the southern end of Raven's Road, Shoreham. It appeared that most of the singing came from Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.
    A flock of about a dozen Jackdaws perched on the Beech trees in The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063).

    19 February 2003
    At least twenty Common Frogs congregated prior to spawning beneath the 20 mm thick layer of ice in the garden pond in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. (TQ  219 063). The ice was broken to give the frogs a chance to breathe, of which about 75% is by their lungs and 25% through their skin.

    2 February 2003
    A Great Tit with a posse of Blue Tits was another first for the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). Three Common Frogs were in the pond, but no spawn had been laid. 
    A flock of 20+ Jackdaws rose from the tall trees in same road. 

    19 January 2003
    In the tiny front garden of 123 Old Shoreham Road, Shoreham (west side, midway between the Swiss Cottage going north to the Amsterdam, with back gardens that back on to the old railway track waste land adjacent to the River Adur) a large healthy looking Red Fox almost filled the garden with its presence at 3:00 pm on a bright cloudless afternoon. It remained in-situ long enough for me to get the SLR camera out of its bag, but bounded off over the low walls separating the gardens and disappeared from view before I could focus and press the shutter.

    In the back garden 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) a young Greenfinch was feeding amongst the young shoots of a Laburnum Tree, its red legs were clear. This is my first record for this garden and although this bird is relatively common in the green open spaces and waste ground in the flatter lowland parts of Shoreham, it does not seem to be easily seen near the downs. 

    Song Thrush (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)2 January 2003
    On a day noted for its dampness with mud and sodden ground, there was a remarkable scarcity of birds and other wildlife in all the normal haunts. From a small bush outside the entrance to Ricardo's (TQ 125 059) on the airport side of the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham, a Song Thrush performed its repertoire of songs, filling the dusk air with melody. The songs were heard again in  various parts of Shoreham town. Almost everywhere there were large gardens, or parks on any bushes to sing from the Song Thrush seemed to be singing. The wet winters of late seemed to have benefited this bird that feeds mainly on worms, although in hard winters it is capable of tackling snails when the frozen ground makes worms difficult to come by.

    31 December 2002
    There is a complete absence of gulls on the playing fields and parks of Shoreham in contrast to five days before.

    26 December 2002
    Hundreds of gulls filled the air and covered the waterlogged school playing fields and green grass of the parks, totalling thousands. It seems that there are more than usual at this time of the year: Black-headed Gulls, with striking red legs (probably a different population than  the summer resident gulls) make up the bulk of the influx, but there were scores, totalling hundreds of Herring Gulls, both mature and immature. Many of the gulls were "paddling" for worms.

    22 December 2002
    In the garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) at least five Blue Tits all flitted about, with four all on a single bare bush next to the small pond. They were after the buds on this shrub. This number was unprecedented as only a single bird has been seen in a garden where the birds are not fed. They were joined in the small garden by the resident Wren, Ring-necked (Collared) Dove, a very wary Magpie, a Crow (that seemed huge in the small garden), a handful of Blackbirds, a half dozen House Sparrows and inevitable squadron of a dozen Starlings. A Grey Squirrel, with a large bushy tail, made a brief visit. This all occurred in a space of 20 minutes.

    10 November 2002
    In the garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) at least eight Blackbirds (seven male) were in the garden at one time. The attraction was the bright red berries of the small Holly Tree, on which the Blackbirds were obviously feeding, the bright red berries distinctive in their yellow bills. the Blackbirds were coming and going and there were more than eight birds in total taking advantage of this food resource and having a look at the small garden pond and bird bath. A Wren flew out of the Holly Tree as well.

    4 November 2002
    A late Red Admiral Butterfly flutters by Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates in Shoreham town.

    27 October 2002
    I was surprised at the sudden appearance of a Wren, Blue Tit and four Blackbirds at a garden pond in the garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. There are probably regular visitors and the Blackbirds were very plump. However, the birds are not fed, so it is the overgrown pond that was the attraction. One female Blackbird was bathing in a bird bath in the strong breeze. (TQ  219 063).

    9 October 2002
    The normal winter influx of Pied Wagtails were noticed in pairs about this date on Middle Road Open Space. 

    6 October 2002
    Approaching midnight, 11:00 pm, an urban Fox trotted across Ham Road in the centre of Shoreham and into the grounds of the Old Schoolhouse. 

    3 October 2002
    The Hedgehog has returned to my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. 
    (TQ 224 053).

    The common Garden Orb Spider, Araneus diadematus, are spinning numerous and extensive webs and it would seem that the few remaining butterflies would find it it hard not to blunder into these traps, but there are a few Large Whites and Red Admirals flying strongly around in Shoreham town and Shoreham beach

    23 September 2002
    The Autumnal Equinox breeze was from the north-east but the Comma Butterfly in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, was fluttering against the wind until it settled in a Privet hedge (TQ 22435 05275).
    Adur Butterflies

    19 September 2002
    A very bedraggled normal livery Magpie huddled in the lower branches of the Sycamore (TQ  2112 0532) occupied two weeks ago by the albino Magpie. This book looked ill or beaten up. 

    17 September 2002
    The common Dot Moth, Melanchra persicariae, finds its way into houses at this time of the year. (TQ 22444 05295)

    16 September 2002
    House Mice are endemic this year in Shoreham town, with this pest rodent entering homes.

    15 September 2002
    Scores of Red Admiral Butterflies are seen in Shoreham town. (Record at TQ  219 063). Are these migrants from the north, or butterflies blown over from France (where thousands of Red Admirals have been spotted on a southerly migration near le Haura)?

    7 September 2002
    The medium-sized dragonfly hawking around at just above head height in St. Michael's Churchyard, Southwick, like a small version of the Emperor Dragonfly was not identified as it would not remain still. The most likely species would seem to be the Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta, which has now colonised the south-east of England.

    5 September 2002
    The albino (white-winged) Magpie is back again. This time I was able to place it in an ivy adorned Sycamore Tree (TQ  2112 0532) right at the southern end of the old railway track running southwards from Old Shoreham to where it stops abruptly at the demolished bridge. I first heard the bird from underneath the tree at 6:30 pm in the approach to the partially empty factory buildings on the Adur Metal Works industrial estate. A normal black and white livery Magpie flew up leaving a seagull-like albino Magpie perched in the tree. Its white breast was spotted with black lines. By the time I had taken out my camera the bird had hidden deeper amongst the ivy, unless it had flown to another tree and I could not place where the call came from. This particular Sycamore Tree is a veritable haven for wildlife, including a rich selection of insects and butterflies of many species.
    Previous 2001 Record

    1 September 2002
    Slow Worms bask out in the sun on paths at this time of the year and a large one was basking in the twitten between Rosslyn Avenue and Gordon Avenue, Shoreham. 

    28 August 2002
    Less than a minute after opening my front (north facing) window of my flat in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 053) a good condition Peacock Butterfly flew in, the first I had seen since 1 May 2002. It was also the first ever butterfly that had entered my flat.

    22 August 2002
    A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered by the ivy on the railway line embankment at the southern end of Ravens Road (TQ 217 053), an area of note for urban wildlife in Shoreham.

    15 July 2002
    An alien moth that is seen in July in Shoreham, even coming indoors, is the Brighton Wainscot Moth, Oria musculosa, a buff creamy coloured moth. (This identification needs to be confirmed.) I think this is most likely to be the Fen Wainscot, Arenostola phragmitidis.

    14 July 2002
    There seems to be quite a few 20-spot Ladybirds, Thea vigintiduo-punctata, around amongst the undergrowth everywhere. The black spots on a yellow shield are very clear and separated.
    House Martins are nesting in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, opposite the allotments, an area known for these summer immigrants.

    Froglet (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
    6 June 2002
    In a garden pond near Buckingham Park, Shoreham, (TQ  219 063) the first Froglets are leaving the water and they probably have for sometime now. However, other tadpoles are less developed and the later ones have not yet developed any of their legs

    1 June 2002
    Adur WORLD OCEANS DAY Exhibition at Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea.

    Seashore Aquarium at Adur World Oceans Day 2002 (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
    Adur was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event took place on Saturday 1 June 2002 in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation Green (TQ 216050), adjacent to the footbridge over the River Adur, with the start of the Adur Festival.

    A Roe Deer was seen trotting along the margins of Adur Recreation Ground only the span of the Norfolk Bridge away from Shoreham town centre.

    20 April 2002
    The exceptional flash of colour was a Jay flying from the railway embankment to a garden at the southern end of Ravens Road in Shoreham (TQ 217 053). The Jay is found locally where there are large gardens and heavily vegetated parks and waste ground but it is not seen very often and could disappear in some areas if development is allowed. Ravens Road is an old country lane known as Green Lane in the 18th century.

    19 April 2002
    The medium-sized, quite pretty, and undoubtedly a common yellow moth with brown spots on the edges of its wings came inside my Shoreham flat (TQ 224 053), attracted by the aquarium lights. I have identified this moth as the Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata, with a caterpillar that feeds on Hawthorn.

    17 April 2002
    A Song Thrush was out of place on Coronation Green by the River Adur estuary, but it is a short flight from St, Mary's churchyard, Shoreham.

    16 April 2002
    Small White Butterflies are in flight in town gardens everywhere.

    24 March 2002
    A flock of 25 Jackdaws rose from the Beech Trees in The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea. I also spotted my first butterfly of the year, a Peacock, bathing in the sunshine amongst the garden plants (TQ  219 063).

    c. 13 March 2002
    Frog tadpoles appeared in a Shoreham garden pond (TQ  219 063) around this date. The larger tadpoles, pea-sized probably came from the spawn laid c. 7 February 2002 but many of the tadpoles were just thin slivers and they are probably from the batch laid a couple of weeks after the first permeable clump.
    Freshwater Life of North-western Europe Smart Group

    17 February 2002
    Jackdaws (x 3), Chaffinches (x 2) and a Wren in the shrubbery are three less common visitors, (but not particularly special),  to a north Shoreham garden (TQ  219 063) where further frog spawn was deposited in the small pond during the week. 

    c. 7 February 2002
    A Common Frog laid a small clump of spawn in a Shoreham garden (TQ  219 063) between the dates of 4 and 10 February.
    This spawn was earlier than usual. At the beginning of this Millennium, spawn was not recorded in Shoreham until 27 February 2000.

    14 January 2002
    A flock of about a dozen Feral Pigeons seem to have settled on the houses in Buckingham Road immediately north of Shoreham station. This has been included just in case this is the start of a permanent invasion rather than just a temporary excursion from their normal haunts. There have always been a few Pigeons around Shoreham-by-Sea railway station, but unlike Southwick where they inhabit the Square, Shoreham has been spared these nuisance birds.
    By 18 February 2002, the Herring Gulls, themselves relatively recent immigrants, seemed to have chased off the the Pigeons.

    11 January 2002
    A Fox brazenly trotted from one twitten to another across Gordon Road, Shoreham, right in the middle of a residential area and very near where I was brought up in Rosslyn Road. This is an area of terraced houses and narrow smallish gardens, although there is some waste land next to the railway line. The Fox looked healthy and very grey, although at 10:00 pm and it was only lit up by the street lamps and colours were not bright. Foxes have been seen frequently in town. 

    7 January 2002
    A small chirm of four or more adult Goldfinches made an attractive addition on the fence of the playing fields to the west of the Church Green estate, Middle Road, Shoreham.

    29 December 2001
    Snow falls before dawn and a thin layer of snow covers the pavements and from my window the downs can be seen in the murky distance covered in a sheet of white.

    26 December 2001
    A Red Fox, a vixen, is spotted regularly foraging around the litter bins at Shoreham Community centre, Pond Road.

    Report by Ian MacLeod
    16 December 2001
    A cold dry breeze and temperatures just above freezing and all the leaves already stripped from the deciduous trees enabled a Jay to be noticed in the large back garden adjoining the south-west corner of Buckingham Park, Shoreham. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a large garden with an Oak tree, this colourful member of the crow family, Corvidae, is unusual in Shoreham. My attention was drawn by commotion this bird caused amongst the three perching Wood Pigeons.

    5 November 2001
    A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered strongly over my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), the first of this species I had recorded in this urban street. 

    Red Admiral (Photograph by Andy Horton)

    3 November 2001
    A late Red Admiral Butterfly flew up from the shrubbery around Glynebourne Court opposite the Civic Centre near the centre of Shoreham. Young Goldfinches were frequently seen, notably on Middle Road Recreation Ground, Shoreham. 

    31 October 2001
    I do not know if this will be the last butterfly of 2001, but a Red Admiral fluttered around the tree and shrubbery in the Somerfield Supermarket forecourt, in the central town part of Shoreham-by-sea.
    Adur Wildlife Gallery

    19 October 2001
    A Red Fox was spotted sitting on the wall outside the Bridge Hotel near the Norfolk Bridge, Shoreham, at the east end of the busy High Street in the early evening.

    Report by Kevin

    19 September 2001
    All day the numbers of House Martins seem to escalate and by early evening, the hundreds turning to over a thousand in Shoreham and Lancing, and in Shoreham Town Centre, especially around St. Mary's Church, they put on a spectacular aerobatic show, swooping low, all prior to their migration. 

    23 August 2001
    It was early evening, (7:30 pm with reasonable light) In Dolphin Road, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055)  a very small (scarcely bigger than a thrush) bird of prey dived headlong into the bramble bush right next to me as I cycled past. There was no further commotion as the speckled breast bird with a grey and brown underwing (strongly banded) rose from the bush and rested, silhouetted, on the roof of the house on the opposite side of the road. After a wait of over a minute, it disappeared flying as straight as an arrow. I think this was a juvenile Kestrel, behaving like a Sparrowhawk as they tend to in the autumn.
    Afterthought: it could have been after a mouse climbing in the shrubbery. Foxes and cats have been seen chasing mice in the same area. 

    10 August 2001
    Still hundreds of Marmalade Hoverflies, Episyrphus balteatus, feeding on nectar in gardens and in the overgrown countryside. Scores of the small pretty brown and orange moth that settles in a triangular form, but not yet identified, fluttered around if disturbed in a Shoreham town garden (TQ 219 063) near Buckingham Park. 
    Adur Hoverflies

    15 August 2001

    Emperor Butterfly from Shoreham (Photograph by Pete Weaver)

    Emperor Dragonfly from Shoreham
    (Photograph by Pete Weaver)

    5 August 2001
    A very small garden pond (TQ  219 063) in The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, (near Buckingham Park) was visited by a golden yellow coloured dragonfly with red unevenly spaced vertical dashes and black lines on the side of its narrow smooth abdomen. There were black tips to its wings.  I have identified this insect as a teneral male Common Darter Dragonfly Sympetrum striolatum.
    Common Dragonflies and Damselflies (photographs)
    British Dragonfly Society Species Checklist

    A single Peacock Butterfly settled and a handful of Small Whites fluttered around mostly before settling on the Buddleia bush and a Gatekeeper visited other garden plants for nectar. 

    Photograph by Andy Horton16 July 2001
    A Gatekeeper Butterfly settled in my wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), opening its wings to reveal the splendid orange upperside lined with brown. On 21 July 2001 it was joined by others present every day for the rest of July. Small White Butterflies regularly fluttered by. On 27 July 2001, a Red Admiral stayed in the garden for awhile.

    15 July 2001
    A pair of Comma Butterflies fluttered around and finally settled in a wild garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). This is my first definite report of these butterflies on the Nature Notes web pages. 

    5 July 2001
    Shoreham seems to have missed the thunder and electrical storms in other parts of the south coast (notably Dorset), but it is exceptionally and uncomfortably muggy (wet and humid with warm showers). Just before dawn the gulls, Herring Gulls are squawking a lot just like they do throughout the day in nearby Hove. On top of the new houses near Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), there seems to be to gulls that are unusual for Shoreham, looking smaller and with much darker primary feathers than the Herring Gull, but it it is likely to be this species rather than my original choice of the Lesser Black-backed Gull.
    Lesser Black-backed and yellow-legged Gulls (Link for more information)
    BMLSS Sea Birds
    Sea Birds Portfolio (Photographs by Nicolas Jouault)
    UK Birding Discussion Forum
    Sussex Ornithological Society

    24 June 2001
    A very small garden pond (TQ  219 063) in The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, (near Buckingham Park) was visited by a male Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans, and a small white moth, possibly a common species, fluttered amongst the waterside plants. Froglets crawled over the lily pads, where one lily was in flower, but most of the frog tadpoles were still black with only one pair of rear legs in many cases. The tadpoles develop much more slowly in crowded garden ponds and many fail to develop at all before the winter.

    17 May 2001
    It appears this year there has been an increase in the numbers of Chaffinches, Robins and Song Thrushes at the expense of Starlings, which are still abundant. A Great Tit in St. Mary's churchyard, Shoreham, was seen in the strong breezy (Force 6) afternoon. This bird is reported to be one of the commonest garden birds in Cornwall, but I have never found it to be particularly common in the built-up part of Shoreham.
    Beaufort Scale

    Holly Blue Butterfly (Photograph by Andy Horton)11 May 2001
    Hot and humid briefly, up to 21° C with the first butterflieson the wing in Shoreham, including a Small White Butterfly near the footbridge and a Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered rapidly across the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates and another one fluttered in the Community Centre grounds in Pond Road, Shoreham. 

    c. 14 February 2001
    The first Common Frog entered a pond in The Drive, Shoreham, (TQ 219 063) and laid a large clump of frog spawn.


    Humming Bird Hawk-Moth, Macroglossum stellatarum.
    On 23 September 2000 another one of these attractive moths was seen in Dave Mason's front garden just north of Shoreham railway station.

    27 August 2000
    The 1987 Great Storm denuded so many of the trees in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, that the habitat for woodland life has still shown no signs of recovery and it is not likely to because there are no new trees being planted. The most numerous butterflies were the frequent Red Admirals. One butterfly seemed inclined to return to the same area, on the grass path between the large beds of nettles (TQ 221 064), after being disturbed. There must be quite a few smaller insects because four Emperor Dragonflies were on patrol. 

    Speckled Wood (Photograph by Andy Horton)However, a few trees have been planted on the virtually impassable narrow Beech & Sycamore trail (TQ 228 067) along the southern edge of the A27 by-pass from the top of The Drive, Shoreham to Slonk Hill Farm Bridge, where a battered Speckled Wood Butterfly was the first record in the Shoreham boundaries on these web pages. 

    4 July 2000
    House Martins are nesting in Gordon Road, Shoreham. 

    2 June 2000
    Flocks of Jackdaws arrive in the gardens to the north of Shoreham Town centre in their scores (there are probably hundreds), scavenging in pairs on the greens adjacent to roads. They have been absent or relatively few in number for a decade at least.

    10 May 2000
    Hedgehogs mate, snorting noisily, amongst the docks and bluebells in Corbyn Crescent (TQ 224 053). The thunderstorms forecast seem to have avoided Shoreham. It is sunny and humid and large Black Slugs, Arion ater, 15 cm long, venture out in the damp atmosphere. 

    27 February 2000
    Gallons of Frog Spawn are laid in the Hamme Field allotments. (58 days after the start of the Millennium). 

    Report by Joan Barker


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