Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003
Link to the Adur Levels habitats page

Link to the Adur tidal reaches habitats web page

Link to the chalkhill Downs habitats pages

Link to Town & Gardens habitats page

Link to the Sea and Seashore habitats page

 Garden at the Drive
 Pond & Wildlife Garden

 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
 Southwick Nature 2004
Link to web pages
Lancing Wildlife News



Adur Valley Wildlife

Shoreham-by-Sea:  Town & Gardens
& Unofficial Countryside
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 Buckingham Park suffered badly through the Elm loss, but the stands have now been replaced by a variety of trees, forming the boundary with Upper Shoreham Road. 

    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.

    A Sweet Chestnut tree in Buckingham Park was 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. This tree may be over 200 years old and a topographical drawing by Samuel Hieronymous Grimm (in the British Museum) of Buckingham House in 1782 shows the tree as one of several in a row.  It might be younger though, but I expect it is at least 90 years old? 
    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 (book information). 

    Pied Wagtail: a common winter bird in townShoreham 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. 

    Shoreham Town from the Air (MultiMap)


    Shoreham-by-Sea (Town & Gardens) 2005

    30 December 2004
    Thirty Jackdaws were counted roosting in just two of the tallest trees halfway up The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham. 

    28 December 2004
    21 different birds were spotted in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), during the weekly visits in 2004. The most prevalent birds were Starlings with 143 recorded on 18 different occasions, the most often seen was the Blackbird on 26 occasions with 66 recorded birds. Other birds often seen included Greenfinches 115, Chaffinches 46, Blue Tits 44 and Collared Doves 35. Highlights included a Goldcrest and Goldfinches and the greatest surprise was the single appearance of a Rook.
    Garden Bird List 2004

    25 December 2004
    A Great Tit in the bushes in the empty Somerfield supermarket car park in Shoreham town centre was unexpected. 

    20 December 2004
    Two colourful Jays were seen in the Evergreen Holm Oaks near St. Julians Church, Kingston Buci, Shoreham. They appear to be winter visitors and they have been seen feeding on the acorns in December here before.

    19 December 2004
    The Chestnut Trees on the eastern side of Buckingham Park and now being decimated. The tallest tree of the lot has had its two largest trunks completely lopped off. Then all its trunks were sawn off.

    The best cropper (still intact)
    An old Chestnut Tree (butchered)

    It is no longer the tallest in the park and this is left to the best nut cropper (left, above), the best of the trees remaining. 

    There was a flock of at least 2000 Starlings seen over Shoreham town centre, over Pond Road by Shoreham Community Centre, near  St. Mary de Haura Church, seen from a distance just (30 minutes) before dusk. 

    12 December 2004
    I have now discovered they have hacked away at the other younger Chestnut Tree near the Bowling Green at Buckingham Park, Shoreham, that formed the pair, and made another unsightly job of it. This standard tree was not damaged in the summer gales.

    Before (in leaf)

    NB: According to Adur District Council, no trees in Buckingham Park have Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) allocated to them. A list of trees with TPOs does not seem to be available for Adur District. 

    At least one Chestnut Tree in Buckingham Park is over 320 years old according to two different unconfirmed sources. I have my doubts that the trees are this old. 

    Chestnut Trees in Buckingham Park (Link)

    10 December 2004
    Between 900 and 1200 Starlings flocked over the Adur Civic Centre in Shoreham, with a hundred or so on the large roof aerial. Up to 300 Starlings can congregate around St. Mary de Haura Church, New Shoreham, with about fifty in a row on the tower of the church. 

    8 December 2004
    Whilst waiting for Eastern Avenue railway gates to open in Shoreham, I spotted over a dozen dried out mushrooms on the wood chips in the McDonald's car park. The cap diameter was estimated at 40 mm in the largest specimen, although most of them were smaller to 30 mm. 

    This is certainly a common, but not distinctive, species, but I have not got the correct name for it straightaway. 

    7 December 2004
    The most attractive of the four two century old large Chestnut Trees in Buckingham Park has now been butchered. It had received damage after the gales in July 2004, but it has now been destroyed as an important landmark and this was the most notable tree in the whole of the Adur district.


    Chestnut Trees in Buckingham Park (Link)
    Management of Veteran Trees

    Sixty plus Crows descended on the eastern end of Adur Avenue, Old Shoreham,where a few Jackdaws roost and nest (in spring) on the rooftops. 

    5 December 2004
    It felt warm with an air temperature of 12.3 ºC after a few days that felt decidedly chilly (the temperature records were not available). The Goldfinches were still present in a chirm over Buckingham Park with a few Wrens amongst the undergrowth. Late in the afternoon, an hour before dusk (i.e. 3:00 pm) a flock of about 400 Starlings flocked together over the park. Two Goldfinches also visited the sunflower feeder in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063). This is a pleasant surprise as these colourful birds have never been seen in this garden before. It was not a total surprise as small chirms of Goldfinches have been seen in neighbouring gardens at least twice since August 2004.

    1 December 2004
    A male Ring Ouzel in Nicolson Drive Shoreham was seen pecking at gaps in paving. This is in a central residential area of Shoreham near the large open space of the Hamme allotments. (This thrush has been seen on Mill Hill as a passage migrant, most often in October.)

    Previous Report 2003

    23 November 2004
    A flock of Starlings in the Birch trees in Rosslyn Avenue, Shoreham, numbered about 300 at dusk.

    21 November 2004
    Puff BallsThe Goldfinches were still present in a chirm over Buckingham Park. There were twenty of these small colourful birds. In addition, there were about ten Puff Ball Mushrooms, Lycoperdon perlatum, near the rotten log at the north of Buckingham Park by the central gap in the park wall. 

    20 November 2004
    We were watching TV on in the  evening when there was a terrific crash on our living room window. I rushed out, expecting some sort of trouble, but saw a stunned bird running across the garden. It was a female Pheasant - not exactly a regular visitor to Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, near the open space of the allotments.

    Report by Helen Swyer

    19 November 2004
    A chirm of about 25 Goldfinches in the trees on the northern boundary of Buckingham Park, Shoreham, was a larger than normal number. Chirms usually vary from five to twenty birds. 

    14 November 2004
    An aggressive and territorial Robin Redbreast chased off a Collared Dove in a garden near Buckingham Park in Shoreham (TQ  219 063). Birds have returned to the garden after being absent for the summer. There were at least half a dozen Blackbirds, and a Magpie chased a Sparrowhawk off a neighbouring tree and the bird of prey swerved at just above fence height with prey in its talons. A Song Thrush spent a few minutes bathing in the garden pond. Three Blue Tits were on the feeder at the same time, and three Greenfinches were seen feeding on the sunflower seed and a Great Tit on the peanuts. The Dunnock fed on the ground. 
    Garden Birdwatch in Shoreham (Database)
    A late butterfly flew strongly over the same garden in the afternoon. It was almost certainly a Red Admiral Butterfly
    Adur Butterfly List 2004
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times

    11 November 2004
    Most extraordinarily, I disturbed a Sparrowhawk opposite my front garden. I had just had time to see it swerve over the roof tops flying in the direction of the allotments. This is the first Sparrowhawk recorded in Corbyn Crescent, where its prey could only be the plentiful House Sparrows and both immigrant and resident Starlings.
    A Kestrel hovered over the Dovecote Estate road embankment with the A27. 
    The Clitocybe "Funnel Cap" mushrooms were still present mostly in an ivory white colour, but some had turned brown, on the A27 road embankment at the top of The Drive, Shoreham.

    10 November 2004

    Sunset from Buckingham Park

    6 November 2004
    A Great Spotted Woodpecker, in my north Shoreham back garden was my first record ever in 27 years of living there. 

    Report by Marion Page on Sussex Ornithological News
    Great Spotted Woodpecker in Adur (Google Index Page)

    3 November 2004
    An accurate count of Starlings on the Middle Road playing fields was 550 but this was not the complete flock as hundreds more were on the houses and in the gardens on the north side of the road. Unfortunately, the large flock was disturbed before I could get a complete count of the continuous flock that has been seen flying over my house in the last few days. (I estimate any number from 650 to about 900.)
    There were over a hundred gulls, a few Goldfinches and Pied Wagtails on the playing fields.
    A common large mushroom is under enquiry to its identity. Two were discovered on the  concrete verge of the railway side of Dolphin Road, Shoreham, and it appears like a s fungus that frequently inhabits wasteland and grassland of various types.
    Images of the Fungus

    28 October 2004
    Mushrooms were encountered in the most unexpected places almost treading upon them before they stood out.
    The decurrent gills on the stem may help identification

    This white mushroom has been seen before on Lancing Ring meadows and may be early small fruiting bodies of a fungus that grows larger than these ones, the cap diameter of the larger of the two circles in the photograph measured 45 mm. Notice the decurrent gills that run down the stem. At the time of writing, I have not yet attempted to identify this species. They were found on the A27 road embankment at the top of The Drive, Shoreham. The bank is mostly gravel, a few herbs and woody plants including Cotoneaster.

    This species has been identified as a species of Clitocybe possibly dealbata. This species has the popular name of Ivory Funnel Cap.
    Cercle de Mycologie de mons (Belgique) page perso de JJ.Wuilbaut

    Lancing Ring record
    Fungi of Shoreham

    A young Hedgehog was curled up asleep next to the watering can by the small pond in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055). It may find my overgrown garden and privet hedge amenable for hibernation. Adult Hedgehogs have courted, and a very noisy amorous snorting business it was, in the garden before. 
    It was in in the late afternoon, and then a flock of at least 600 Starlings flew from west to east in the direction of the Middle Road Playing Fields, Shoreham. 

    24 October 2004
    The Sweet Chestnuts were on the ground and in Buckingham Park were out of their prickly green husks. They had not yet been collected by human gleaners. 

    A damaged Large White Butterfly visited the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063).

    11 October 2004
    The Dryad's Saddle, Polyporus squamosus has been smashed and all the mushrooms removed from the front garden in Mill Hill Road. The photographs below show the underside and the stalk.
    Close-up of the underside of a Dryad's Saddle

    4 October 2004
    Because the Dryad's Saddle (Toadstool) mentioned below was next to a dangerous (because of motor traffic) part of Mill Hill Road, I may have overlooked one of the Ink Cap Mushrooms below the larger fungus. 

    There was a third fungus with a fruiting body that had shrivelled up as well, although this could be what a Dryad's Saddle eventually succumbs too. 

    3 October 2004
    The same mushrooms found on 30 June 2004 were again discovered in the twitten between Ravensbourne Avenue and Buckingham Park after the recent rain. 

    1 October 2004
    A huge toadstool has grown on a tree stump in Mill Hill Road, Old Shoreham. It measured 45 cm in length. This is the Dryad's Saddle, Polyporus squamosus, and it has been seen before in the same location.
    Previous Report

    Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
    Fungi of Shoreham

    26 September 2004
    A Hummingbird Hawk-moth briefly visited a front garden in north Shoreham.
    Butterfly and Moth Report
    Adur Butterfly and Larger Moth List 2004

    23 September 2004
    By far the clearest view of the unmistakable Sparrowhawk as it flew south to north over the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), on a trajectory where the Laburnum Tree used to be before it was blown down in an June storm. It was a large bird with grey banded/mottled breast and belly and probably a female. 

    September 2004
    A cluster of large Slow Worms were found under some bricks in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham.

    Report by Brian Street

    19 September 2004
    A lone Wheatear flew around Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of the railway line, north of Ropetackle) and later landed on the concrete slabs and rocks in the River Adur as the high tide receded a bit. It must be about to embark on its long migration south to Africa. 

    18 September 2004
    More than two good condition Red Admiral Butterflies are seen flying strongly around the Buddleia in the Somerfield supermarket entrance, Shoreham town, where they have not been seen before this year, but have been regular visitors in previous years. I speculate they were immigrants from France, or could they have been newly emerged local stock? A few Small White Butterflies were seen as well. 
    Adur Butterfly List 2004

    17 September 2004
    The Garden Orb Spiders are spinning their deadly webs in gardens and wasteland around Shoreham. The spider captured the Small White Butterfly which was wrapped up and moved up the web into shelter to be eaten in a few minutes, estimated to be between five and ten minutes.

    16 September 2004
    The small red berries are showing on the Yew Trees in Shoreham Graveyard (Mill Lane, Shoreham).

    15 September 2004
    Urban Foxes, even during the day, are really too common to be newsworthy. The young Fox in the photograph was spotted in the twitten between Victoria Road and Ropetackle, an area where Foxes are frequently seen. It looks like the fox has mange. 
    A Migrant Hawker is seen in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, and this dragonfly is now regularly seen in the town in September.

    12 September 2004
    A pair of Common Lizards were surprised resting on an ant's nest on the south side A27 road embankment immediately north of Buckingham Park, under an overcast sky. At first I thought there were no butterflies around except for the omnipresent Small Whites which seemed to be everywhere in gardens and wasteland and footpaths, but then in the area of the Brambles, three Comma Butterflies, one Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood Butterfly appeared in quick succession. 

    5 September 2004
    Along the path that runs from the top of The Drive, Shoreham, in a westerly direction along the top of the Dovecote Estate to Mill Hill bridge, a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly settled for a minute. Common Darters were seen occasionally everywhere from town gardens to the downs
    Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies
    Migrant Hawker Dragonfly


    4 September 2004
    A Migrant Hawker cruised up and down Corbyn Crescent in the residential area of Shoreham, but it did not stop by my garden pond
    Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies

    25 August 2004
    House Martins swooped low over Buckingham park, a half a dozen or so, prior to their departure on their long journey south. Incoming flocks of Starlings, a hundred strong by the Toll Bridge and other flocks of more than a hundred, including well over a hundred flocking over Buckingham Park. These immigrant Starlings arrive from eastern Europe in autumn and join the resident birds, their numbers varying from year to year. 

    24 August 2004
    The black Cumulonimbus clouds moved over quickly, the thunder rumbled and the downs were obscured and the heavy rain squalls lasted for about ten minutes, and then the sky cleared. 

    Storm Clouds over Buckingham Park

    It was at the start of one of these brief deluges that a Sparrowhawk swooped in a swift arcing flight over a garden in The Drive, Shoreham, (near Buckingham Park). This is the second time that this raptor has been seen in this garden. 
    It was joined by at least three Common Darter Dragonflies
    Full Report

    23 August 2004
    A Migrant Hawker flew above the small trees in Buckingham Park near the copse/twitten to Ravensbourne Avenue, where a Speckled Wood Butterfly settled. 
    Adur Dragonflies

    22 August 2004
    In Oxen Avenue, residential area of Shoreham, the first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of August fluttered northwards, the black edge to the yellow wings of this immigrant butterfly were distinctive.

    8 August 2004
    Small BlueAt the top of The Drive (opposite Buckingham Barn on the south A27 road bank), a grey Small Blue Butterfly was seen, possibly the same one seen on 25 July 2004. This second brood Small Blue is a notable record.
    Adur Butterfly List 2004
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times

    The Starlings seem to have returned. I counted a flock of 200+ on the roof tops in Williams Road, Shoreham. 

    7 August 2004
    Goldfinches are moving from the countryside into town, and at least two of these colourful finches were seen in The Drive, Shoreham (near Buckingham Park). Small White Butterflies were common, flying over the allotments and visiting gardens. 
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    Adur Butterfly List 2004

    31 July 2004
    A newt tadpole, with four legs, is seen on the surface of my garden pond in Shoreham town, but it evaded capture for a further look. 

    25 July 2004
    Rising from the tall shrubbery in the Ravensbourne Avenue garden to the rear of the back garden of 40 The Drive, (TQ  219 063), a large grey female Sparrowhawk looked menacing as it flew over the garage in a westerly direction and quickly disappeared from the view. This surprising record was the first hawk recorded in this part of town near Buckingham Park. A even larger Herring Gull later dropped down on top of the Summer House for some wholemeal bread bits, which it gobbled up with its habitual greediness. 
    A Comma Butterfly fluttered in the garden with a dozen or so mixed bag of both Small and Large White Butterflies and a Holly Blue. 
    Full records on the Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)

    The noteworthy butterflies were the two Small Blues definitely confirmed at the road embankment at the top of The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, of which one was in a clean newish condition and the second one in the photograph was worn. My suspicion is that these butterflies were overlooked by me in previous years (possibly identified as Common Blues or Holly Blues). 
    Small Blue (worn) Gatekeeper Meadow Brown

    Adur Butterfly Database (from 17 July 2004)

    23 July 2004
    A Comma Butterfly was seen in fluttering into a garden in Chanctonbury Drive (Dovecote Estate) just to the south-east of Mill Hill bridge. Large Whites were frequently seen in the town. It is debatable whether these are immigrants or not? 

    22 July 2004
    A Goldfinch perched on a street lamp in Rosslyn Road, Shoreham, near the town centre and at least three Swifts flew elegantly above the rooftops. 

    21 July 2004
    This is the first time I have noticed that the two centuries old specimen Sweet Chestnut Tree in Buckingham Park has suffered damage in the recent gales and one branch seems to have broken off. I probably have not passed that way since the gales and I could not see any signs of the fallen major branch.

    19 July 2004
    Two brown Common Darter Dragonflies were darting near the almost impassable Stinging Nettles at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, where the footpath descends to the Waterworks Road.
    Adur Dragonflies

    18 July 2004
    As the sun struggled to come out, so did the flying insects: hoverflies (at least five  species) and butterflies (eight species in Shoreham town) in their dozens and scores, with bumblebees (three species), ladybirds (one species) and a few wasps as well. This was just in one garden and a twenty minute detour along the road embankment of Slonk Hill South which showed all the eight species, and probably more if I had time to search. The highlights were a completely unexpected Small Blue (the first recorded in July) and a pale coloured Gatekeeper. The most numerous butterflies were the Gatekeepers and Small/Essex Skippers with numbers seen around midday over 40 each and many more hiding in the longer grasses. 
    HoverflyAdur Hoverflies
    Adur Butterflies
    Adur Bumblebees
    Adur Butterfly Database (from 17 July 2004)
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times
    Adur Skippers Page

    17 July 2004
    A male Black-headed Bunting, Emberiza melanocephala, appeared in my garden near Mill Hill, Old Shoreham in the morning. This yellow-breasted bird with a black head is a rare vagrant. 
    SOS Records
    Sussex Image from 1995

    Report by Stanley Allen on Sussex Ornithological News
    NB: This does look like a bird I saw on 2 June 2003 and again in July 2003 near the horse's field south-west of the bridge, eventually identified as a Yellowhammer (although subsequent Yellowhammers have looked nothing like it).

    A very young Fox rambled across Gordon Road (at the eastern, Gordon Avenue end) just before midnight. It was not very bulky (not exactly thin, but less in weight than the average domestic cat) as it crossed from the south to the north side.

    16 July 2004
    A pair of Jays have started visiting a garden in Mill Hill Close, Shoreham, near Mill Hill.

    Report by Martin Davis

    6 July 2004
    A second brood Holly Blue Butterfly appeared in the sunshine underneath the Holly Tree in the in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063). It was in pristine condition with a brilliant blue upper wing. 

    Link to Common Darter images

    The first Gatekeeper Butterfly of 2004 was seen on the A27 road embankment north of Buckingham Park.
    Adur Butterfly List
    Adur First Butterfly Dates 2003-2004
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times

    One species of spider was constructing large funnel-shaped webs on the same embankment.  This species is Agelena labyrinthica which is a common species. Location: Slonk Hill Cutting South.

    Spiders of Wiltshire
    Spiders of NW Europe
    "A study in Great Britain estimated an average of 130.8 spiders per square metre living in a meadow."
    Checklist of British Spiders

    2-4 July 2004
    It has been overcast and drizzly, often with a breeze, with a complete lack of butterflies in flight in the town. 

    1 July 2004

    This is my first bumblebee of July 2004, and there are plenty of bumblebees around. It was on the path outside my front garden in Shoreham town. The lemony colour rather indicates the White-tailed Bumblebee but I am not sure. 
    Adur Bumblebees


    30 June 2004
    In the grass underneath a coniferous tree immediately next to the twitten between Ravensbourne Avenue and Buckingham Park, this white mushroom had the texture and was the same size as closed cup commercial mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Alas, its gills were much paler, a greyish white.

    To be on the safe side, I avoid all mushrooms with white gills! The stem was relatively short and invisible until its was examined closely. 
    I think this species is most likely to be Leucoagaricus pudicus.
    This species was seen again in the same place on 5 November 2004

    Fungi of Shoreham

    27 June 2004
    Buffeted by a Strong Breeze (Force 6) from the south-east, there were just nine butterflies of five species to be seen in an hour in the late afternoon. All were recorded on the Slonk Hill South Trail, mostly at the Buckingham Road end, amongst the Kidney Vetch and Pyramidal Orchids
    Comma Butterfly Crane Fly, Nephrotoma

    The list did include my first Comma Butterfly of the year and the first in the Adur district (but an earlier April record of one was seen in Tottington Wood near Small Dole). This butterfly appeared more orangey than usual. I think this is a characteristic of the first brood of the Comma and this butterfly did appear slightly battered and was not pristine. The other butterflies of one each at the western end were a Small Blue, a Meadow Brown, a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood in order in which they were seen. On the road embankment to the east where the Spotted Orchids were losing their petals, there were just four more Meadow Browns.
    Adur First Butterfly Dates 2003-2004
    Flies of Adur Addenda (June 2004)

    A very small (2 mm cap) mushroom has appeared amongst the grass near my front garden pond  (TQ 224 055) in Shoreham town. 
    Shoreham Fungi

    22 June 2004
    On the southern embankment of the A27 Shoreham By-pass, near the Buckingham Park end, there were a pair of amorous skippers, but I was unable to confirm if they were Small Skipperswhich they appeared like, or the very similar Large Skippers.

    Common Blue Damselfly
    There were two Common Blue Damselflies, Enallagma cyathigerum, in the long grasses. This was the first positive record of these damselflies on these Nature Notes pages.
    Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies

    19 June 2004
    On an overcast breezy day with showers and rumblings of thunder, it was the Pyramidal Orchids that had taken over from Spotted Orchids on the southern bank of the A27 Shoreham By-pass (Buckingham to Slonk Hill South) and the only butterflies in flight were a couple of Meadow Browns. There was one Burnet Moth caterpillar crawling up the stalk of a Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil plant. 
    Extra Images (CD-ROM only)
    Adur Burnet Moths

    11 June 2004
    Wildlife of Shoreham
    Adur Festival Event
    A local wildlife talk by Andy Horton for the Shoreham Society was held at St. Peter's Church, West Street, Shoreham-by-Sea.

    11 June 2004

    Amongst the hundreds of Spotted Orchids, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, and at least eight Small Blue Butterflies, I saw my first Meadow Brown Butterfly of 2004, which was restless and settled with its wings closed, on the A27 road embankment at Slonk Hill South. There was also a Red Admiral in flight and on the wooded path there were two Speckled Wood Butterflies, at least two Small White Butterflies, and a Green-veined White Butterfly fluttered past. 
    Adur: Spotted Orchids
Spotted Orchids

Spotted Orchids

    Small Blue Butterflies were not evenly distributed along the bank. In the second opening, only one was seen, but on the same longitude as Buckingham Barn where Kidney Vetch and Pyramidal Orchids are in flower, there was a count of 12 and almost certainly 20 of these tiny butterflies in view, with many more hidden. It was in this roadside area that I was amazed by the bright colours of my first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of the year, the black edges on bright yellow to the upperside of the wings clear in flight and the underside with a heavy greenish tinge.
    Full Report

    10 June 2004
    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, between 30 and 50 was my estimate of the number of Small Blue Butterflies. At least a dozen of these were seen all at one time, including at least two pairs mating, but its was difficult to work out their numbers because it was in the afternoon and they hid down in the long grasses most of the time. 
    Small Blue Butterfly
    Small Blue Butterfly

    This constitutes the first positive record of this butterfly for Mill Hill, which makes the number of butterflies as 26 definites. If these numbers are repeated all along the road embankment, the colony must number several hundred. A female Common Blue Butterfly looked much larger in comparison to the smallest of the British blues and the Speckled Wood Butterfly that arrived was larger still. 
    Mill Hill Butterfly List
    Female Common Blue on Ox-eye Daisy

    In the nettle patch (footpath leading to the Waterworks Road) at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, four Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and one Red Admiral were observed. 
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times
    Adur Butterflies

    7 June 2004
    A Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans, emerged from the garden pond at The Drive, Shoreham. Another one was seen flying around the multiple flowers in the garden. Are two unidentified larvae the nymphs of this damselfly?
    Full Report (with photographs)
    Adur Damselflies and Dragonflies

    6 June 2004
    The first positive Wall Brown Butterfly in the lower Adur valley was seen on the path between the Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham) and Mill Hill (south of the A27 Shoreham by-pass). It flew strongly and it was tricky to confirm the identification (this butterfly may be under-recorded) and even more tricky to photograph. The Wall Brown Butterfly was seen on and over the bridleway path running west to east and next to the road embankment.

    31 May 2004

    Large Red Damselflies, Pyrrhosoma nymphula, are seen in at least two Shoreham garden ponds in Mill Lane and in a back garden in The Drive. In Mill Lane, the Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans, was also in flight over the pond and probably Azure Damselflies, Coenagrion puella, as well. 

    10 May 2004
    Herb Robert
    study next to a wall in 
    Chanctonbury Drive, Shoreham
    (NW Dovecote Estate)

    6 May 2004
    Sparrows scattered in multiple directions and a low flying brown bird of prey flew by at tremendous speed near St. Nicolas Church, Old Shoreham. This was originally thought to be a  predatory female Sparrowhawk. This areas is noted for its abundance of sparrows and resident Kestrels, but Sparrowhawks have not been recorded for several years. This was later identified as a male Kestrel from its bright colours in active pursuit of Sparrows

    Report by Mike Burtt

    2 May 2004
    A Large White Butterfly, the first of the year is seen in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063). Holly Blue Butterflies are out in ones and twos all over Shoreham town. 
    Adur Butterflies Flight Times
    Adur Butterflies

    1 May 2004
    At least one Goldfinch, a Robin Redbreast and a Song Thrush were noticed in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, all common birds amongst even commoner ones. 

    Sweet Chestnut seedlings

    On the north-eastern boundary of the park, the Horse Chestnut had developed into scrub to replace the trees lost in the Great Storm of 1987. 

    30 April 2004
    Attractive amongst the damp grass after the rain, the leaves of the Spotted Orchids, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, pushed themselves above the southern banks of the A27 By-pass between the longitude of Buckingham Park and the bridge to Slonk Hill Farm. The footpath was passable for the whole route (usually the western part is overgrown) from the top of The Drive, Shoreham to the top of New Barn Road (bottom of Slonk Hill Farm Road). At the western end of the path there were at least three tents of the Brown-tail, Euproctis chrysorrhea, Moth caterpillar on the Hawthorn bushes (image). 

    28 April 2004
    An alert looking youngish Red Fox crossed Dolphin Road near the railway line and without any hurry, it entered the front garden of 16 Dolphin Road on the corner of Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. Under the street lights it appeared dark brown in colour, just before midnight

    23 April 2004
    My first House Martin of the year flitted between the houses in Middle Road, Shoreham.
    On the roof of the first house in Dolphin Road (near the railway crossing gates), a pair of Herring Gulls were mating. After finishing the act, the male bird disappeared behind the chimney stacks.

    22 April 2004
    The white water lily moved in the green water of the pond in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), and I was astonished to see the ungainly swimming of a Smooth Newt, Triturus vulgaris, which I had never seen in the pond before. It is always a mystery how newts find their ponds: is it by chance wanderings or do they have preferences? 

    Smooth Newt

    There were no frog tadpoles this year so I am not sure what it will feed on. The only plants were a floating Water Soldier and Duckweed
    Freshwater Life of North-western Europe Smart Group

    19 April 2004
    Vinca minorThe Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major, is now in flower and has been for over a week. This photograph was taken on a grass verge in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055). I expect most of these pretty plants are garden escapes. There are two species, the Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major and the Lesser Periwinkle, Vinca minor
    Periwinkle in UV Lighting

    9 April 2004
    A hole was dug out for a pond in my garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. (TQ 224 055).
    Garden Pond and Wildlife Garden

    8 April 2004
    The Lesser Celandine is common on the grass verges, the flowers curling up buttercup-like in the damp and changeable weather. This yellow flower is even found in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. 
    Road Verges Habitat Plan (Sussex)

    1 April 2004
    An interesting and rather disturbing observation was discussed by four different people tonight, and this concerns the diminishing local Common Frog population in Shoreham-by-Sea. In two garden ponds in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), in Gordon Avenue near Shoreham town, and in Adur Drive near Old Shoreham, there has been an absence of frog spawn being laid this year. In the first two cases it has been the second year in succession that no spawn has been laid, when in previous years the excessive spawn was too much for the small ponds, and in the first location over a hundred adult frogs were found on one occasion in the garden. All three ponds have been regular spawning areas for frogs for at least a decade and for over 20 years for two of them. All four observers reported dead frogs. 
    I thought I observed a marked absence or reduction of frog spawn on the Adur Levels last year but I did not investigate this properly. 
    There are a few other reports from other parts of England saying that their frogs are absent this year. It is not enough to detect a trend. At least one pond in Shoreham has surplus tadpoles. 
    Garden Web Page

    Freshwater Life of North-western Europe "Smart Group"


    31 March 2004
    The first butterfly of the year in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055), was a reddish Small Tortoiseshell flying strongly northwards. 
    Garden Pond and Wildlife Garden

    29 March 2004
    On the warmest day this year at 15.7 ºC, there were an exceptional number of birds in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063), including a dozen visits by Jackdaws, including at least four different birds of this corvid species, together with ten Chaffinches and eight Greenfinches each at one time. The other birds in order of numbers include House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons, Blue Tits, Song Thrushes, and one each of a Great Tit, Collared Dove and Crow
    Garden Web Page
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)

    28 March 2004
    It had been so long since I had seen a Rook close-up that I was beginning to think that I could not tell them apart from Crows. So it was to my surprise and astonishment when one turned up on the small tree in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) to feed on scraps at about 5:00 pm BST. It did so eagerly with its long thin silver beak and face, gobbling up three pieces of diced bread, before being chased off by what looked like a Crow. The Rook's beak looks like a more specialised insect prober rather than the utilitarian Crow's beak. 
    Rooks have not been known to breed for at least fifty years in urban Shoreham, whereas Crows are common where there are open areas like parks and the beach
    Garden Web Page
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)

    23 March 2004
    A Red Fox was caught in my bicycle lights as it ventured into the middle of middle of Gordon Road, Shoreham (north of the railway station) at 11:25 pm. It looked like a young Fox and under the street lamps in appeared a light golden colour rather than the usual dark appearance, as it decided to reverse in its tracks and run down the twitten between the terraced houses on the north side of the road from where it had appeared. A different Fox had seen before in exactly the same area in 2002.

    22 March 2004
    There were a pair of Mallards in the polluted stream amongst the Macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress Trees) row in the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of the railway line, north of Ropetackle, Shoreham). (TQ 210 053).
    Adur Levels 2004

    18 March 2004
    A male Blackbird was perched on top of a pine tree in St. Mary de Haura Churchyard, Shoreham, and singing a repertoire of songs for a mate, in full darkness at 7:00 pm GMT, which was only 45 minutes after sunset at 6:15 pm, but it still seemed incongruous on a dark moonless evening. 

    11 March 2004
    In the steady light rain, five Jackdaws descended into back garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) to feed on scraps. There was a flock of mixed Crows and Jackdaws numbering 20 or more in the tall Beech and other trees on the linear grass island in the northern part of The Drive. It was a classic Fresh Breeze verging on a Strong Breeze (Force 5 to 6) with trees and large branches just beginning to sway in the wind.
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    Weather Descriptions are found on Lancing Nature Notes

    11 March 2004
    A Kestrel hovering over Dolphin Road and the adjacent railway line, in Shoreham-by-Sea, just outside the central area of town, has now returned to be a regular sight after an absence at the same time last year, 2003. 

    6 March 2004
    A yellow buttercup plant, the Lesser Celandine was in flower on the grass verge of Southdown Road, Shoreham, at the north end near the multiple junction amongst the Common Dandelions. The Lesser Celandine is one of the earliest wild flowers of the year. 

    5 March 2004
    The birds seemed to have sensed that spring is due and have neglected the gardens for more amorous pursuits, and a female Chaffinch was attracting its mate flying upwards from the large leafless tree in back garden of a house in Ravensbourne Avenue, Shoreham, (TQ  219 063), and then descending to the bare branches again. The more colourful male bird soon appeared. A pair of House Sparrows chased each other over the fence and into the neighbouring garden in less than a second, but this constitutes the first record in this garden this year. 

    4 March 2004
    A Dunnock singing from the hedgerow separating Dolphin Road, Shoreham, from the railway track, was the first time this bird has been noticed in the town, but it was probably been overlooked before. 

    27 February 2004
    Eight Magpies were seen altogether on the wasteland which looks like it was formerly a large garden for the manor house in Church Street, a stone's throw over into Southwick in the thoroughfare leading to St. Michael's Church. Magpies are common enough birds in pairs and even three together, but eight birds, possibly four pairs, is unusual.
    Southwick Nature 2004
    Just a couple of Goldfinches were spotted on the roof of a house opposite the easternmost playing fields in Middle Road, Shoreham. They could be part of a larger chirm unseen, but the flocks do seem to decrease from about 20 near the autumn equinox to small flocks of just five by the turn of the year. 

    The flock of Starlings that congregated on the roof of the Ferry Inn and the rooftops of the Halifax Building Society and other shops opposite in East Street, in the town centre of Shoreham, in late approaching dusk, was estimated with the aid of photography to be between 500 and 1000 birds. I could not get a more accurate figure because the birds were very restless. My best estimate would be between 5,000 and 10,000 Starlings may decide to congregate in Shoreham town and on the houses of Shoreham beach every winter evening before roosting. 

    25 February 2004
    It the last few days, almost every single species of the regular birds (a Jay has not been spotted) were seen in their usual or larger numbers in all habitats in the lower Adur valley, except I did not catch sight of the brilliant blue wings of a Kingfisher until today, arrowing over the polluted stream amongst the Macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress Trees) row in the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of the railway line, north of Ropetackle, Shoreham) where the waste land and cyclepath of the old railway track meets the town. (TQ 210 053). A Kingfisher was seen in the same area last winter.
    Adur Levels 2004

    22 February 2004
    With a moderate northerly breeze gusting to nearly gale force, it was still surprising that the small birds had taken shelter although Greenfinches flitted between trees and there was a Song Thrush was amongst the shrubbery in the back garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) until I inadvertently frightened it away. Thrushes and Blackbirds were attracted by the Firethorn Tree. Still no House Sparrows have been recorded in this garden this year. 
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    Despite the below zero dew point and wind chill, the air temperature remained above freezing even at night. 

    20 February 2004
    I surprised a magnificent male Kestrel on the ground in the Middle Road allotments in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square, Shoreham. I had previously surprised a Kestrel here before just after Christmas

    16 February 2004
    A young Song Thrush was the first seen in the back garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) this year. And an attractive Goldcrest jumped from one perch on the daffodil leaves to another and was only the second time this bird has been seen. The golden stripe on his head was again very clear to observe.
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    Something at the allotments in Middle Road, Shoreham attracted a visiting Meadow Pipit in company with an winter omnipresent Pied Wagtail. (It says in the book that Meadow Pipits visit urban parks and they a found on the Adur Levels where they are too frequent to be newsworthy.)

    15 February 2004
    One of a pair of Grey Squirrels chasing each other in the garden of at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063), stopped to take a quick sip of water from the garden pond, where a Common Frog was seen, but no spawn yet. 

    Holly Tree growing inside a Swamp Cypress (?)
    (Twitten to Buckingham Park from Ravensbourne Avenue, Shoreham)

    PS: Adur Council ordered and completed the removal of this Holly Tree in 2004

    Pine Tree Study at Buckingham Park
    Sussex Woody Species Identification Guide

    9 February 2004
    It is easy to overlook the small brown birds, but the small (larger than a Sparrow smaller than a Thrush) bird was warbling and singing away with such purpose it was demanding attention. It sang from the middle branches from the bare row of trees (Chanctonbury Drive, south side, western end) to the south-east of the road bridge over the A27 leading to Mill Hill. Now that I usually take my binoculars with me, I was able to look closely, as another bird replied from the copse on the top of the A27 road embankment. It was then that I noticed its bright red throat (extensive area of red), black face and head, beady eyes and plain grey breast. I have identified this bird as a male Stonechat, which is not usually an inhabitant of the urban area, although frequently found on the fringes. By listening to the audio song file, I can confirm that my identification is correct. (This bird has a similar call to the Dartford Warbler and could easily be confused.)
    Possible Previous Record

    8 February 2004
    Venturing out from the flower bed undergrowth, the Dunnock (or Hedge Sparrow) looked very handsome with its grey breast as it seemed to be attracted to the sunflower seeds that had fallen from the feeder in the garden of at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). This is the first time a Dunnock has been seen in this garden. I wonder how many female Dunnocks will be attracted to this male bird?
    Six Greenfinches and a handsome Great Tit were amongst other birds present. 
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    The first bumblebee of the year was seen flying along Ravensbourne Avenue near Buckingham Park, Shoreham. 
    British Bumblebee Checklist

    A Painted Lady Butterfly is seen in Queen's Place in the centre of Shoreham, just north of the railway station.

    Butterfly Report by Betty Bishop (Shoreham)
    Other Reports of Painted Ladies (Adur Nature Notes: February 2004)

    4 February 2004
    A Grey Heron perched on the roof of a semi-detached house at the southern end of Greenways Crescent (TQ 266 063) near the main road in a residential area of Shoreham, and over a mile (2 km over houses*) from its normal wetland or estuarine haunts. It then flew in an arc over Park Avenue Green towards the Green Jacket PH and then disappeared from view over St. Mary & St. Nicolas School playing fields. This residential area contains medium-sized and some large gardens capable of having large ponds. 
    (* Greenways Crescent is a short flight from Buckingham Park and it would be possible for the bird to fly a convoluted flight path to reach this roof top without a prolonged passage over the houses.)

    1 February 2004
    Looking and behaving a Wren with a dab of golden war paint, I had the my best ever view of a Goldcrest in the garden of at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). The first impression is the slightly different colouring of the wing feathers, the confirmation the golden strip on the forehead. (This is the colour of the female.) Alas, although I had a prolonged view, this small bird was disturbed and did not return to the garden. It is the smallest British bird (a distinction it shares with the rarer Firecrest) but this was not the impression I got. It seemed almost the same size as aWren, perhaps even a  fraction bigger, and smaller than the Long-tailed Tit

    29 January 2004
    Unusual, but not incongruous or even unexpected, a flock of fifty Lapwings were settled on the horse's field immediately to the south of Mill Hill Nature Reserve and south of the A27. As usual there were Crows, at least thirty in the same verdant field and nine Pied Wagtails were counted. 

    25 January 2004
    A basketful of large (> 20 cm across) Oyster Mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, on a rotten tree trunk in Buckingham Park (TQ 222 063) looked old light grey and inedible (if you consider even young specimens to be worth collecting for food?).
    Previous Report

    24-25 January 2004
    RSPB Garden Bird Watch (click on this text to record your sightings)

    25 January 2004
    In the larger (75 square metres) garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063), the garden bird count was as follows: Blue Tits 5+, Chaffinches 4, Starlings 4+, Greenfinches 3+, Collared Doves 2, Wren 1, Crow 1. The usual pair of Blackbirds were absent. There were four Magpies in the tree in the garden next door (east). On the tall Beech and Lime trees to the west, there was a mixed corvid (Crow family) flock of 35+ birds, with more than half were Jackdaws and the rest were Crows
    24 January 2004
    The weather was clear with a temperature reaching 10.5 ºC in the early afternoon with a light breeze.

    No birds were recorded in my small garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham-by-Sea. (TQ 224 055) in the very brief time I had the chance to look out.
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database (for Shoreham)
    Adur Valley Biodiversity Self-entry Database for Lancing (Link)

    24 January 2004
    An unidentified reddish and speckled thrush-like bird was singing musically (it was the song that was first noticed) from half-way up a bush in Middle Road, Shoreham. It was smaller than a thrush and the dark speckles were on top of a lighter brown.

    Report by Mike Burtt
    This is almost certainly a visiting Meadow Pipit? They are seen in trees and bushes as well as one on the grass. 

    12 January 2004
    A flock of 20+ Chaffinches (possibly Bramblings) in St. Mary de Haura Churchyard, New Shoreham in the middle of the town centre was unusual. Unfortunately, there were too many people and at the first sign of disturbance they flew from the grass they were feeding on into the shelter of the trees. 

    This morning I saw a Blackcap in my garden in north Shoreham. It was raining heavily at the time. It and a Robin were feeding off berries close to the back door. 
                                    Blackcap Report by Marion Page on Sussex Ornithological News

    11 January 2004
    On the sodden turf of Buckingham Park, 70+ Black-headed Gulls and 13 Jackdaws were feeding. Only a fleeting visit from a Great Tit to the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063) where the only other birds to settle down on the sunflower seed feeder were two Greenfinches. A dozen Crows were squawking in the tall trees bordering The Drive.
    Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database
    Urban Wildlife Webring

    3 January 2004
    My first Fox of the year was seen in the Adur Civic Centre car park, Ham Road, Shoreham at 11:00 pm. A couple of Foxes were seen nearby together by Mick Bowen at the back of the Old Schoolhouse in Ham Road, Shoreham, near the end of 2003

    All the berries have been stripped off the Holly Tree in the back garden of40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063).
    See the post-Christmas Report (Link)
    A dozen or so Starlings visited the bird table, there were a couple of Collared Doves, a couple of Jackdaws on the roof and a dozen or so in the taller trees, a visit by a single resident Wren, male Blackbird, Chaffinch, House Sparrow and Blue Tit and a single visiting Herring Gull and Magpie in about half an hour in mid-afternoon.
    Garden Birds of Shoreham 2004
    British Garden Birds

    1 January 2004
    The first birds for 2004 were fifty noisy Starlings in the Sycamore Tree in Corbyn Crescent (the street tree that survived the storm of October 1987) and almost simultaneously a Herring Gull flew past. (TQ 224 055).


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