(The Pixie Footpath entries will be on their web page only)
Waterworks Road and Pixie Path to Mill Hill transect is 525 metres long (Magic Map)
When I went to St. Nicolas School in the early 1960s this was at the foot of a bare (no scrub) Mill Hill.
A Grey Squirrel crossed the road by the Field Maple Spinney by jumping from one thin branch to another about three metres above the road. 2006 was the first year I had seen squirrels in this area, part of the old Mill Hill.
The Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushroomswere now only occasionally seen in the Field Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road. All of them were now brownish.
small Candle Snuff Fungus, Xylaria
also present in small amounts on wooden tree stumps.
A small clump of the Glistening Inkcap, Coprinus micaceus, were spotted on the muddy path between the Waterworks Road and the Butterfly Copse below Frampton's Field. These inkcaps had not been seen here before.
Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushrooms grow on the leaf litter and not in the soil as written in some of the books. These mushrooms were still frequently seen in the Field Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road. The older mushrooms had lost their bluish tinge and were beginning to turn brownish.
The number of Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushrooms on the leaf litter in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road was now over 25 and the largest ones measured over 70 mm in diameter. There was one closed Common Ink Cap, Coprinus atramentarius next to a buried root or twig.
Adur Fungi 2006
A handful of Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda, mushrooms protruded from the leaf litter (to which they were attached as decomposers) in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road.
The first young and small Wood Blewit (mushroom), Lepista nuda, of the year appeared under Field Maple attached to the leaf litter in in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road. A Grey Squirrel was seen climbing up a small tree for the first time in the spinney.
In the sunshine at a temperature of 18.7 °C, a surprise bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly fluttered over the hedgerow by the A27 Flyover on the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
Full Butterfly Report
Shoreham Weather Reports 2006
There were a handful of Red Admiral Butterflies and one Comma Butterfly on the Waterworks Road and the nearby Butterfly Copse.
Flowers noted on the verges were White Dead-nettle (common), Black Nightshade*, Scentless Mayweed, Wild Basil, Field Bindweed, Nipplewort, Field Speedwell (second flowering?), Common Stork's-bill, Dandelions (one noted in the Butterfly Copse),and other common species, e.g. one of the Sow Thistles, that I did not make a mental note of as I passed. Underneath the Flyover a patch of fresh soil seems to been uncovered or introduced by the activites of the construction team repairing the concrete bridge. This was where the Black Nightshade was discovered in flower.
were frequent hoverflies on the Ivy including
at least one Volucella zonaria.
There were also a few Common Darter dragonflies.
At least a dozen Red Admirals were immediately seen on the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road followed by four Comma Butterflies in five minutes. Three Large White Butterflies were seen over the Waterworks Road and other were seen by the River Adur south of the Toll Bridge.
The Ivy in the Butterfly Copse was covered in flying insects including at least two Volucella zonaria hoverflies, occasional Myathropa florea hoverflies, frequent Drone Flies Eristalis hoverflies, and one or two Eupeodes ? species of hoverflies.
There were also a few Common Darter dragonflies.
After the rain and with all the spiders and Starlings, I was surprised to see any insects, but in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road a damaged Speckled Wood made a short flutter, a fresh Comma Butterfly rested for over five minutes in the same position on a Hawthorn, opening and closing its wings when disturbed by hoverflies, and at least three Red Admirals were seen on the Ivy.
A Volucella zonaria hoverfly was spotted on the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road with Myathropa florea (Occ), Marmalade Hoverflies Episyrphus balteatus (Occ), Drone Flies Eristalis (Freq).
Common Stork's-bill was noted on the verges ofthe Waterworks Road.
My second Hummingbird Hawk-moth of the day (third this year) was seen around the Buddleia in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road, where a Comma Butterfly and a Red Admiral were settled on the fence with their wings closed because the sun was behind the clouds. A handful of Holly Blues and Speckled Woods and a brief ray of sunshine caused the butterflies to open their wings for under a minute. A Painted Lady fluttered amongst the Buddleia. The white butterflies came in two sizes but I was only able to recognise Large Whites. A Queen Common Wasp was resting. A Common Darter landed on the fence*. A Southern Hawker patrolled the Waterworks Road. (* Not really a fence but the support for the steps. It is attractive to flying insects of all sorts.)
Both Migrant Hawkers and Southern Hawkers were seen over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham; at least one of each of these dragonflies was confirmed, but there were probably more of them.
There were small dragonflies everywhere, a dozen all at once over the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. They were predictably mostly Common Darters, but they did include the first two Migrant Hawkers definitely confirmed this year (although they were probably seen a week ago).
Adur Dragonflies 2006
A Broad-bodied Chaser (dragonfly) distracted my attention so much that I missed a fleeting glimpse of a Comma Butterfly in the Butterfly Copse juxta Waterworks Road. Scentless Mayweed was common on Frampton's Field south.
In the Sycamore wood on the Mill Hill slopes south of the A27, I was astonished to catch a one second glimpse of a large colourful bird fly through a gap in the leaf canopy. I did not recognise the thrush-sized bird and I thought it was blue in colour. On reflection, (on the following day), I decided the only bird it could have been was a Jay.
Adur Butterfly List
On an overcast day with at least three predatory Southern Hawker Dragonflies (first ones of the year) actively patrolling the Waterworks Road, it was scarcely surprising that the only butterflies seen were a Meadow Brown and two Red Admirals which could have been the same one.
This hoverfly can be recognised in flight by the the yellow stripes on the side of its thorax. It hovered in mid-air frequently.
(ID to species not confirmed)
Hovering was spasmotic and not distinctive, with more flitting about than hovering.
Burdock was just beginning to flower on
the verges of the Waterworks Road, where two small and distinctive flying
insects were seen, the first one (left above) near where the private
road meets the Steyning Road, and the second wasp
(above right) on the path next to Frampton's Field just east of the Butterfly
Adur Bees & Wasps
A passing visit did not produce anything of note. The stream that runs parallel with the road on the west side was almost dry.
A brief detour to the Waterworks Road produced a Common Blue Butterfly and a Large White immediately, but after three minutes in the warm sunshine, no other butterflies appeared. There were hoverflies including Volucella bombylans var. plumata and Myathropa florea in the Butterfly Copse (TQ 209 063) with the bee Nomada fucata. A Jay flew near the A27 Flyover beneath the bridge.
By the Steyning Road, north Shoreham at the entrance to the Maple Spinney towards the Waterworks Road, a dozen flowers of the scarlet Grass Vetchling were seen.
At the bottom of the Pixie Path, the Butterfly Copse hosted a Holly Blue, and the Waterworks Road had at least two Green-veined Whites (confirmed by a photograph), and at least two Large Whites and four undetermined white butterflies. One Peacock Butterfly fluttered around the pony field at the northern end by the house. Two Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen clearly. There was also one Azure Damselfly and one Small Red Damselfly spotted.
Butterfly Report (all sites)
A shorter than normal visit to the Waterworks Road showed a handful of Small White Butterflies (confirmed) one Holly Blue and one Red Admiral.
Comma on its Stinging Nettle larval food plant
Butterfly Copse was a fraction more sheltered and a pair of Red
Admirals were courting, one Comma
Butterfly was resting on a leaf in a sheltered
spot and a Holly Blue Butterfly
Adur Butterfly List
Three Comma Butterflies, a few Holly Blues, one Orange-tip, one worn Peacock Butterfly, one brown butterfly probably a Speckled Wood, at least one Red Admiral and a confirmed Green-veined White Butterfly as well as two or three Large White Butterflies were seen after a few minutes but none appeared immediately. The sky was overcast. In the Butterfly Copse, Red Admirals were courting high up on the Ivy and about five more were seen as well as some Holly Blues. Two Squash Bugs, Coreus, were mating on vegetation on the verges.
least one Azure Damselfly, Coenagrion
puella, was seen for the first time this
year, and a Large
Adur Levels 2006
Butterflies were slow to appear on the Waterworks Road. After about three minutes an Orange-tip flew by and landed on a Bluebell. This was followed by a Large White which disturbed the Orange-tip, simultaneous with the appearance of the first of two Holly Blues. Two Speckled Woods courted and a third one was seen.
The Green Woodpecker made such a commotion that I am tempted to think she may have young in a nest near where the public footpath meets the private road. The weather was too cool and overcast to bring out the insects and butterflies.
The Waterworks Road (which used to be at the foot of a bare Mill Hill, but is now overgrown) is rather convenient because it it only takes ten minutes out of my schedule to visit and is usually better than average wasteland for butterflies. In the first second an Orange-tip Butterfly flew restlessly followed almost immediately by a couple of Holly Blues, a Large White, Green-veined White and a Speckled Wood. There were a handful of all these butterflies within five minutes although not every White butterfly was discerned to species. It was a poor day in the sunshine.
There was a pale blue bird about the size of a Blackbird that dived through a hedge and under the canopy of Field Maple with such rapidity I could not identify it. I heard a Cuckoo later. A single Green Woodpecker flew out again, calling as it flew quickly northwards over the road surface.
Orange Tip Butterflies were out in force with a dozen (six males and six females) seen. The other butterflies were Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Holly Blues and a Comma.
Nine species of butterfly.
Wild Flowers Addenda
On a late afternoon passage detour, a Green Woodpecker flew out of the shrubbery on the western side next to Flyover approach road, followed by it partner five seconds later and they both flew northwards up the road with their characteristic dipping flight. There was a brief landing of a large wasp on the wooden railing in the Butterfly Copse (next to the Waterworks Road).
Just the one Brimstone Butterfly and three Holly Blues in the sun and a handful of Speckled Wood Butterflies fluttered around in the shade.
Adur Butterfly List
An early evening foray to the Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham) and I was immediately greeted by a Brimstone Butterfly chased by a much smaller Orange Tip, the latter the first of the year in Shoreham. It then returned and briefly landed on the first Garlic Mustard flower I had seen this year. There was at least two Orange Tips seen and possibly more, as well as at least six Speckled Woods next to the Waterworks Road and in the Butterfly Copse. In the sunshine the smell of the Alexanders was pervasive.
A single Bluebell in flower was seen on the western verge. Epistrophe eligans hoverfly was added to the local list for this year and spotted on the Alexanders at the southern end of the Waterworks Road.
One only butterfly which had the virtue of immediately putting in an appearance, a definite Green-veined White headed for a White Deadnettle by the Maple Spinney, ignoring Green Alkanet, Dove's Foot Cranesbill, Alexanders and not reaching the Cow Parsley that was just beginning to flower. A small moth seen is likely to be Pyrausta despicata.
exude a strong smell. It seems rather like an unspecified synthetic chemical,
or something that could unmask unpleasant odours, being strong, but not
particularly pleasant. This may explain why it so attractive to flies
and other insects. One plant at the top of the Butterfly Copse next to
the was visited by a small bee Andrena
Solitary Bee Portraits
With the sun out so were the butterflies with a Brimstone Butterfly seen immediately on the Waterworks Road. It posed on a Dandelion but my camera malfunctioned. It was followed almost immediately by my first Green-veined White of the year chased by a smaller Speckled Wood Butterfly, then a Small White and then another one. Then the first Brimstone disturbed another one. A few minutes later I spotted one of two Comma Butterflies. And three minutes later two Peacock Butterflies showed.
Adur Butterfly List 2006
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times
were frequent and preferred the Green Alkanet.
Foot Cranesbill was noted in flower for the
first time this year. A small
black fly was unidentified.
Rhingia campestris Study
Common Green Shield Bugs, Palomena prasina, were mating on the Stinging Nettles on the verges of the Waterworks Road. My first Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum, of the year was seen buzzing around the same area.
It rained steadily but lightly for almost the complete day up until about 5:00 pm. After two days of bright sunshine, this rain was disappointing, but could this have led to the appearance of the mushroom illustrated on the right growing out of the still extensive (complete covering) leaf litter in the Maple Spinney between the Steyning Road and the Waterworks Road. Notice the purplish tinge on the gills and stem. I think this is the common species, probably Hypholoma sublateritium.
Forget-me-Not and White Nettle were now noticed in flower on the verges of the Waterworks Road. White Nettle is probably important for certain bees and hoverflies.
Early evening is usually relatively poor for butterflies. At least three of the well patterned Peacock Butterflies were seen amongst the Nettles over the Waterworks Road. Two were flirting which made obtaining a photograph a little difficult. Ground Ivy was beginning to flower near the Field Maple spinney.
There were no butterflies and no Andrena bees seen under an overcast sky. Sweet Violets were in flower on the path from the road to the Butterfly Copse. I do not recall seeing the small clump there before.
At the top of the Butterfly Copse, a flowering ornamental Cherry Tree attracted scores of Andrena bees, altogether at least one hundred and most of them amongst the flowers high in the tree and out of camera range. Around midday Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly over Frampton's Field (Old Shoreham). It was one of the dark red ones rather than the bright orange.
At last I get to find my own butterflies and they stay still for long enough to be sure of a battered Comma, followed by an intact Comma Butterfly on the verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, followed by an unsettled bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly flying over the Stinging Nettles. This was all in the first two minutes.
A butterfly rose and flew away with such rapidity that it was lost on the breeze before I could see if it settled to identify it. However, the size and the black underside in flight convinced me that this was a Peacock Butterfly, rising from the ferns on the eastern verges of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. There were at least two clumps of Sweet Violets in flower on either side of the road, amongst the abundant Stinging Nettles, but these were the only wild flowers. At the top of the steps through the Butterfly Copse, an ornamental Cherry Tree was flowering.
Adur Butterfly List 2006
In the trees next (east side) of the twitten at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, as it leads on to the path next to Frampton's Fields, I spotted a single Long-tailed Tit as well a Song Thrush, the latter not seen very often this winter. A male Pheasant trotted across Frampton's Field.
My first fungus recorded this year was a small clump of Honey Fungus on a living tree next to the Waterworks Road, followed by several Jew's Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae, on a prone and rotten branch.
Photographs: Jew's Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae
Road and Butterfly Copse 2005
Adur Levels 2005