Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

Adur Nature Notes
                          (Link) 2018
Adur Nature Notes
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                                    of Lancing Ring
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Wild Flowers 2017
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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

2017  Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
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                              to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image
                              to find the location on a map via flickr
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World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur World Oceans Day 2017


13 December 2017

at Spinnalls Grove, Southwick
Photograph by Alex Robertson
on Adur Valley & Downs  facebook

5 October 2017

Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow
Wall Brown, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, 
Mill Hill Upper

An astonishing seven species of butterfly appeared in seven minutes in the meadow north of the upper car park on the top of Mill Hill. Pride of place went to a pristine Painted Lady but a Small Copper put in a plucky performance. A Clouded Yellow deigned to stop and visit a Creeping Thistle, but only for a second or two. The damaged Wall Brown of the day before still survived with three more with less bites out of their wings. Ten different species of butterfly were seen in an hour. 
Full Butterfly Report

28 September 2017

Small Copper 

Four Wall Brown Butterflies chased each other and chased a Small Copper off a Common Ragwort  on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The smaller butterfly eventually settled for a spell on Hawkweed Ox-tongue where I was able to photograph it using my new 105 mm macro lens
Mill Hill Report

14 September 2017

Cormorant at Widewater Lagoon
Photograph by David Verrall

24 August 2017

Meadow Brown, Pyrausta purpuralis, Painted Lady
Adonis Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue

On a cloudy day, hundreds of butterflies fluttered over Mill Hill and many more remained hidden until disturbed by my footfall. An unprecedented number of 170+ second brood Adonis Blue Butterflies were seen over all parts of Mill Hill with most on the lower slopes. The number was under recorded because of the Privet incursions I was only able to complete 60% of my acre transect. There was still a dozen Chalkhill Blues in flight and at least four restless Clouded Yellows. Ten species of butterfly were seen in the morning. And a Painted Lady after midday
Mill Hill Full Report

20 August 2017


The white flash of the rear of a Wheatear was a highlight of my interesting visit to Anchor Bottom in the early afternoon. Other finds included my first Harebell and Autumn Lady's Tresses of the year, fifty Adonis Blues and
one Puff-ball and one Golden Wax Cap mushroom. A female larvaform Drilus flavescens beetle was also discovered on the concrete path by the swing gate so altogether it was a very varied hour and half. 
Full Report

14 August 2017

Silver-spotted Skipper visiting Dwarf Thistle on Mill Hill

After two weeks off because of rain, breezes and other inclement weather, I cycled up to Mill Hill in warm humid conditions in the afternoon. Butterflies were common enough but not very varied. Meadow Browns led the way with over a hundred and fifty, but there were over fifty each of Adonis Blues and Chalkhill Blues, frequent Common Blues and Small Heaths, and at least six Clouded Yellows fluttered past. Lastly, my first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year visited Dwarf Thistle just north of the Reservoir on Mill Hill. This made for eleven species which was not bad after a fortnight of inclement weather.
Butterfly Full Report
Adur Skippers

2013 - 2017

Chalkhill Blues
Adonis Blues
on Mill Hill

12 August 2017

Hobby with Prey: a Wren, Mill Hill
Photograph & comments by Etienne Fournier

6 August 2017

Brown Hairstreak
Photograph by Etienne Fournier

As far as I am aware this is the first positive record of a Brown Hairstreak from any part of Mill Hill. This one was discovered by Etienne Fournier near the copse and north of the top car park
NB: An unconfirmed fleeting view of this elusive butterfly has been seen by myself on Mill Hill as well as one personally photographed record in north Shoreham in 2010.

July 2017

Wall Brown, Chalkhill Blues
Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Brown Argus

10 July 2017

Chalkhill Blue

Scores of butterflies fluttered around on Mill Hill including my first dozen or so of the first male Chalkhill Blues of the year over the lower slopes. On a warm sunny afternoon, all the thirteen species of butterflies were extremely lively especially over the large patch of Wild Basil.  I also spotted two Painted Ladies for the first time in 2017
Butterfly Full List

5 July 2017

Vervain, Marjoram, Self-heal, Squinancywort
  Small Scabious, Bladder Campion,
Mill Hill

2 July 2017 

Dwarf Mallow, Small Skipper, Meadowsweet, Marbled White on Hardhead
Adur Levels

Pride of the day was a spectacular Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator, that patrolled over a confluence in the Meadowsweet-lined Annington Sewer near the A283 Steyning by-pass bridge over the tidal River Adur. The Emperor chased away a male Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa, (dragonfly), which appeared very much smaller. 
Butterfly Report

29 June 2017

Yellow-horned Poppy, Rock Sea Lavender, Sea Beet
Sea Mayweed, Orache, Sea Campion
Southwick Beach

I was pleased to discover a Rock Sea Lavender flower for the first time on the shingle of Southwick Beach. The single plant was nearly overlooked in the fading light on a cloudy late afternoon. This has not been identified to species. It could be one of a handful of alien Sea Lavender plants?

26 June 2017

Shoreham - Lancing Beach

A pleasant sunny day with a Gentle Breeze (Force 1-3) meant a visit to Shoreham Beach around the middle of the day. I was rewarded with my first handful of Small Skippers fluttering around the shingle plants without settling. These were my first of the year and in atypical habitat for this small widespread butterfly. Skippers are easily overlooked or mistaken for a moth. Childing Pink, Petrorhagia  nanteuilii, was flowering by Silver Sands but their were only a handful of flowers and even less clumps of Hare's Foot Clover

21 June 2017
The highest air temperature of the year was attained at 27.4 C at 4:00 pm
Met Office Shoreham

22 May 2017  

Adonis Blues
Adonis Blue 

Over a hundred butterflies fluttered over the yellow swathes of Horseshoe Vetch on Mill Hill, but 90% of them were the first brood Adonis Blues of the eight species seen in the afternoon. 
Full Butterfly Report

16 May 2017
Mill Hill was covered in glorious swathes of the yellow of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, flowering the slopes, mostly the steep slopes and lower slopes but also some quite large patches on the upper part of the hill. 

Butterflies were common (over a hundred) for the first time this year with male Adonis Blues leading the way with sixty plus and a few flighty females. About twenty male Common Blues were seen for the first time this year with frequent Brimstone Butterflies, frequent Small Heaths, just two Grizzled Skippers, and one of each of Dingy Skipper, Peacock, Speckled Wood, a first of the year Wall Brown, Red Admiral, and a Green-veined White. Eleven different species were the most in a day this year in over an hour on Mill Hill, and it was only sunny for some of the time and one cloud let loose a few drops of rain. I also spotted a Treble-bar Moth and my first of the year pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata. Graeme Rolf also spotted two Green Hairstreaks and three Cinnabar Moths
Full Butterfly Report

9 May 2017

Adonis Blue
Mill Hill

Summer seemed to have put in its first appearance with the glorious blue of my first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year. It appeared on the lower slopes of Mill Hill at 3:00 pm with the sun still behind the fluffy cirrus clouds

20 April 2017

at Cuckoo's Corner

19 April 2017

Horseshoe Vetch

On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first hundred or so flowers of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, were showing along with the the first flowers of Milkwort. Young Privet was everywhere over the southern part of the lower slopes. coming back vigorously every year and threatening to shade out the chalkhill plants

18 April 2017

Tottington Wood

Breezy and cloudy, I cycled the downs route against a Force 4 passing Mill Hill and north of Beeding Hill down the narrow bridleway to Tottington Wood. The bridlepath was a difficult passage for cycling, but rewarded with a dozen Speckled Wood Butterflies, a Green-veined White and a Comma.  In Tottington Wood, I spotted a handful of my first Early Purple Orchids of the year with flowering Wood Anemones and Primroses amongst the Bluebells. A damaged Red Admiral landed in the shade of the trees.
Magic Map of Tottington Wood

7 April 2017

Grizzled Skippers

A pair of Holly Blue Butterflies fluttering high in the trees at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham, were my first of the year. This is on the way to Mill Hill, where the highlight on the lower slopes was another first of the year: a pair of mating Grizzled Skippers on a dead Carline Thistle plant. 
Adur Butterfly List 2017
Adur Skippers

6 April 2017

Orange Tip Butterfly

A Buzzard looked large in the afternoon sky as it soared over the Adur Levels as seen from near Ladywells, from a field north of Ladywell's Stream on the Coombes Road, where I spotted my first male Orange Tip Butterfly of the year fluttering endlessly for fifteen minutes without pausing. Seven species of butterfly were seen on a sunny afternoon including my first Speckled Woods of 2017,
Adur Butterfly Report
28 March 2017

Peregrine Falcons on the electricity pylons, Southwick, not the most romantic setting but I was privileged to capture this very special moment. I wonder where she would be laying her eggs to hatch ?

Comments & Photograph by Sylvia Lemoniates
27 March 2017

Wall Lizards

On the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach, I spotted at least twenty adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that were quite skittish but also had courting on their agenda. 
Adur Lizards

15 March 2017
By the towpath by the houseboats a butterfly fluttered over my head in the sunshine. It appeared as shadow and I had to wait a few minutes out for some more movement. Then three butterflies moved quickly in succession chasing each other off the resting places. Three of us were watching and we all saw three butterflies simultaneously. One was a Red Admiral and the other two were a first of the year Small Tortoiseshell and a first Peacock Butterfly
Adur Butterflies 2017

21 February 2017

The authorities have decided to drain Brooklands main lake leaving lots of exposed blackish mud with small rivulets. Commotion in the very shallow rivulets was when the large Carp and smaller silvery fish disturbed the surface. The Little Egret threatens to have a bonanza with the small fish, but the large carp, mostly a dark grey in colour, seem too large even for Cormorants and Grey Herons to swallow (neither were present). Coots and Moorhens waded in the mud and swam on a few shallow pools in the boating lake. A pair of Little Grebes dived under the Teville Stream above the small weir. This stream was murky and nothing could be seen beneath its surface. A small flow of water trickled over the weir into the main muddy lake. 

13 February 2017

                                    (Image by Trevor Guy) A spectacular five Waxwings, Bombycilla garrulus, were spotted in Harbour Way on Shoreham Beach (east). 

The Waxwing is a very scarce winter visitor from Scandinavia.

Full Report at Pagham Birder Blogspot

24 January 2017
In the early hours after midnight I heard a Red Fox calling in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. It sounded like an Alarm Bark
Fox Calls

11 January 2017
A Red Admiral Butterfly emerged from hibernation in a Lancing conservatory.

Adur Butterfly List 2017

1 January 2017 
A Red Fox trotting across Southwick Green in the early hours was my first wild mammal seen this year. As usual the first bird of the year was an adult Herring Gull gliding over the roof tops in Corbyn Crescent in the late morning. 

Adur Wild Flowers 2017
Shoreham Weather 2017

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station

Adur Nature Notes 2013


Adur Butterfly List 2017
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society News
Lancing Village

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Adur Nature Notes 2015
Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2011 web pagesLink to the Adur 2010 Nature Notes pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2008 web pagesLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages
Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pagesLink to
                      Adur Nature Notes 2005 Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes
                      and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of


    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
    Webmaster:Andy Horton

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