Town Wildlife Reports 2008
A Jay visited a garden stone bird table and took a sip of the collected water in the open front gardens at the junction of Middle Road and St. Julian's Lane in Kingston Buci in east Shoreham. It looks like in the photograph the Jay was about to bury an acorn in the garden.
The first Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushroom seen this autumn was spotted on the wood chippings on Ropetackle in Shoreham town by the River Adur.
This may be a Field Blewits, Lepista saeva.
A pair of Jays flew into the trees in St. Julian's Churchyard in Kingston Buci.
A Jay flew past the Old Barn in Kingston Buci, west of St.Julian's Church. Two flocks of about 400 Starlings in each one flew over Shoreham town.
A Red Admiral Butterfly left the fallen leaves at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham. A Jay visited The Evergreen Oak in Kingston Buci in the college grounds east of St.Julian's Church.
17 October 2007
Fluttering strongly above my head, I saw two Red Admiral Butterflies in the Williams Road area of Shoreham town. A Large White Butterfly fluttered across a Shoreham street.
Adur Butterfly List 2007
I rang West Sussex County Council Highways Department for an explanation of why the trees were being cut down. The Highways Dept. do not give notice when trees are to be pruned back or felled. A closer look in the morning and the trees did look rather large swaying in the wind and the heavy weight could have brought them down in a storm. I asked Dave Stringer's (landscape gardener) opinion as he thought that they would grow back OK and although he was not too happy about the shaping, but I thought I would leave it to nature to rectify.
Elm Tree Notes
The attractive Wheatley Elm Trees in Gordon Avenue, Shoreham, have been cut back and there large leafy branches removed. One of the workman said they had been diagnosed with Dutch Elm Disease. I have known these trees for 50 years as I lived my early life in adjacent Rosslyn Road. I did not see any signs of disease when I last cycled past these trees. The fading of the leaves was assumed to be because of the autumn season.
The trees have been confirmed of having Dutch Elm Disease. In the old days the trees would have been felled.
trees succombed and were felled in January 2011.
I understand it from Ray Strong,
who has a lifetime's experience in the practical science of DED management,
the Shoreham to Sompting area is the frontline for DED control to protect
the National Elm Collection area to the east. The aim is of course to preserve
trees but above all to stop beetles flying on east into the B&H protection
area which is otherwise protected by the Downs and the sea.
The pruning you are concerned about may not have been related purely to amenity or safety considerations. I can think of three considerations that may be determining the management of these trees if there is a DED infection.
(a) Live trees that get an infection in the branches, from feeding activity by the beetles, can be kept free of the fungus by pruning off the branches promptly before it spreads further into the tree.
If the pruning-out action fails and the trees do get infected throughout their system,
(b) the infected trees can be given a longer healthy life (and possibly a potential for spread via root systems between adjacent trees can be held off) by reducing the water stress, ie by pruning the top (and reducing competition for water from other nearby trees), so that there is more root water pressure into each individual surviving tree, and
(c) it is important in our 'frontline' area to keep recently dead ones standing for a few years, even if they have to be pruned into lampposts for safety, so that the beetles migrating east from Worthing in search of good places to lay their eggs will stop and do so here, rather than moving on further eastwards into the National Elm Collection protected zone. If the trees are kept under observation then once they are 'grubby' ie full of grubs then they can be felled and burned, destroying the grubs and so keeping the beetle population in this frontline area as low as possible. The beetles can do 3.5 generations a year depending on the weather so several inspections may be needed to spot when these trap trees are pullulating with grubs ripe for barbecuing.
For breeding success the beetles need trees that are only recently dead, dry enough to not drown the grubs but not too dry to nourish them. Before the virulent strain of DED emerged with the capacity to kill and 'prime' whole regions of trees for them, the beetles would have had to find a blown-off branch to breed in, or an occasional tree that had been killed by say honey fungus or been cut and stacked with the bark still on, so the beetle population levels would have been naturally much lower and infections of the less-virulent DED strain also less widespread.
The beetle population, and hence the risk of spread eastwards to Brighton & Hove, now booms and busts on an approx 15-year cycle of which we are somewhere near the peak 5-year period with lots of infected hedgerow elms of sufficient size to become grubby. We have had a number of grubby ones felled on Sompting Estate this autumn, dead ones that were not grubby have mostly been left as standing deadwood unless by a road or PROW and deemed a significant safety risk (which most aren't).
It is always painful to see well-loved landscape landmarks change. But sometimes there are good reasons. Maybe that's so in this case.
Downs Joint Committee Elm Tree page
In Buckingham Park, Shoreham, a Large White Butterfly fluttered over, followed one of the small orange or brown butterfly or moths (which may be Vapourer Moths?) and a Speckled Wood at the top under the trees in the north-west.
Adur Butterfly List 2007
A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. And I was surprised to see the grey form of a Sparrowhawk flying over the rooftops to the area with trees in the back gardens of the houses in the central area, but the raptor did not settle and was seen immediately afterwards flying north.
Scores of House Martins flew over Southlands Hospital.
A Comma Butterfly fluttered around my Privet hedge in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
Adur Butterfly List 2007
I was surprised by a male Meadow Brown Butterfly that settled in my small front garden in Corbyn Crecent, in residential Shoreham.
A half a dozen or so Bee Orchid stalks were in flower on the verge in Mill Hill Road. A few Pyramidal Orchids were beginning including one on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
The first Bee Orchid of the year was seen on the verge in Mill Hill Road.
I spotted a Jay very clearly in a small tree in a garden at the bottom of Stoney Lane at the junction with MIddle Road, east Shoreham. A Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttered across the road in Kingston Buci as I cycled past.
Holly Blue Butterflies were common in Shoreham town with frequent Small Whites and the occasional Red Admiral Butterfly.
Dove's Foot Cranesbill was abundant on the unmown (most) verges in Crown Road, a residential part of Shoreham. It was plentiful elsewhere including the Mill Hill Cutting.
A pair of brownish-red Grey Squirrels mated at the foot of a tree around the gravestones of St. Mary de Haura Churchyard, New Shoreham.
In a brief spell of sunshine just after midday (when the air temperature reached 13.4 ºC) I was surprised by a Peacock Butterfly that landed on a wall in front of me in the southern part of Victoria Road, Shoreham. It was my first of the year for this species which emerges from hibernation when the weather is warm enough. It was bright and intact and flew away strongly.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
My first Coltsfoot (wild flower) grew in a clump on a flower bed on Ropetackle almost under the Railway Viaduct over the River Adur. In my town garden pond, an adult Smooth Newt swam out from under a rock.
On the verges and open front gardens of the old chalkhill near the top of Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill), swathes of Lesser Celandine and Sweet Violets were flowering. Further up on the edge of the lawn and the wood near the bridge, I spotted my first Red Admiral Butterfly of the year. I also recorded my first hoverflies, my first 7-spot Ladybirds and first bugs of 2007, as well as queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees.
Adur Butterfly List 2007
Adur Butterfly Flight Times (New File)
The Rooks seem to be again visiting their rookery in a tall fir tree in The Drive, Shoreham. They were only see through binoculars from the top of the road, but they seemed like Rooks and not Crows.
I counted twenty Smooth Newts, Trituris vulgaris, in my Mill Hill Drive garden pond in north Shoreham, but there has not been any courtship displays yet.
24 January 2007
South-east England woke after an overnight flurry of snow and Shoreham was no exception with a layer in Shoreham town.
As the air temperature was always above freezing and the dew point only just below zero Celsius, so by the early afternoon almost all the snow had melted in town with only a light covering visible on the downs.
Shoreham Weather Highlights 2007
There were at least three out of over a dozen noticeably brownish-red Grey Squirrels scampering around the gravestones of St. Mary de Haura Churchyard, New Shoreham, in a hazy temperate 12.3 ºC with a Gentle Breeze (Force 3) blowing from the SSW.
There were a dozen plus Herring Gulls, including many immatures, on the roof of Perkins & Robins in Ham Road near Shoreham railway station and on the roof of the Burrell Arms making a mess with their droppings.
The laughing call of the Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard at the top of Buckingham Park, Shoreham.
The first birds of the year heard were House Sparrows in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, but the first bird seen was a Pied Wagtail on a telephone wire, followed by a hundred Starlings and a hundred Herring Gulls in Shoreham town in the first hour. The first wild mammal seen in 2007 was a Grey Squirrel in St. Mary's Churchyard, Shoreham.