Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
Mill Hill (upper)
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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

2019  Regional

Adur Coastal & Marine
Adur Estuary & Levels
Mill Hill & the Downs
Urban Reports
Click on the image                              to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the image                              to find the location on a map via flickr
Click on the                              image to find the location on a map via                              geograph
Click on the image                              to find the location on a map via flickr

Click on the images above to find the location on a map via flickr or geograph 

Robin at Woods Mill


22 October 2019
A small Arctic bird called a Snow Bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis, made a surprise visit to the far eastern end of Shoreham Beach where it stayed in one place on the pebbles and grass, continually feeding on seeds with its yellow beak. It seemed unperturbed by the frequent passing lorries. Photographers could not get close because of the temporary metal fencing. Snow Buntings are a very scarce winter visitor and passage migrant to the Shoreham area. 
Previous 2912 report

Wall Lizards, Snow Bunting
Shoreham Fort
Unidentified fungi
Silver Sands

Seventeen Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were easily seen on and around the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort in the calm sunshine. All but three were large adult lizards and I expect there were many more in hiding.
There were about forty familiar but unidentified mushrooms on Silver Sands above the high tide limit. I think these mushrooms are Marasmius oreades?

24 September 2019
A Dolphin stranded alive at Soldier's Point near Shoreham Harbour entrance on the high equinoctial spring tide at 1:00 pm was helped back into the water by volunteers.

8 September 2019

Purple Loosestrife, Wasp Spider, Weeping Willow
Brown Hairstreak
Annington & Bramber

I just made an unplanned detour as the sun came out and I spotted a Wasp Spider at Annington Sewer and a worn Brown Hairstreak Butterfly in Castle Lane Park, Bramber.
Adur Levels Report

4 September 2019

A White-tailed Sea Eagle was tracked over the downs rising on a thermal above Shoreham downs reaching an altitude of 807 metres (Mill HIll is 67 metres above sea level) before heading west over the downs parallel with the coast, half an hour before (1:00 pm) I arrived on MiIl Hill
Flight of Culver the Eagle (Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation)
Disappearance of Culver

3 September 2019

Juvenile Adder
Mill Hill

9 August 2019
A large 10 cm long yellow caterpillar of the Death's Head Hawk-moth,  Acherontia atropos, was discovered in a north Lancing garden. The moth is the largest moth to appear in Britain, sporting a wingspan of up to 12 or 13 cm, a striking species, though it is not native. Immigrants arrive from southern Europe, usually several in each year, during the late summer and autumn.

Adur Hawk-moths

29 July 2019

Brimstone Butterfly

Ten species of butterfly showed on the top of a sunny Mill Hill. Gatekeepers were the most prevalent, and the Brimstones were attracted to Wild Basil.
Butterfly List

23 July 2019
England and Sussex bathed in an exceptional heatwave with with an official air temperature of 30.2 °C at 6:00 pm,  definitely the highest recorded at Shoreham-by-Sea this millennium. The air temperature reached its maximum at an astonishing 31.0 °C at 7:00 pm.
Met Office (Shoreham)
Shoreham Weather Report

16 July 2019
Two pods of dolphins were seen off Widewater beach, Lancing just before sunset (8.30 pm). The first pod of four to six dolphins were seen feeding three or four miles out from the western end of Widewater and travelling westwards. Simultaneously, another pod of four to six were seen to the south-east (east of the last wind turbine) breaching and swimming eastwards amongst the net marker buoys at the same distance from the shore. The sunset was followed by a Partial Lunar Eclipse that started about an hour later.

Report by Mikey Unsted

14 July 2019
A stunning male Banded Demoiselle (a damselfly), Calopteryx splendens, fluttered (like a butterfly) over the Chicory road verge at Erringham Gap. It stopped five times amongst the long grass and tall vegetation for less than a second each time and then disappeared.
Adur Dragons and Damsels 2019

9 July 2019

Chalkhill Blue Butterfly

A first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the summer flew around the lower slopes of Mill Hill, in the afternoon when the cloud allowed the sun to shine. All the couple of hundred butterflies seen on Mill Hill Nature Reserve were restless, with over a hundred Meadow Brown Butterflies mostly disturbed, over fifty hidden or restless Marbled Whites, frequent Gatekeepers, occasional  Large Whites, Small Heath Butterflies, and Red Admirals, a few each of Brimstone Butterflies, Peacocks, Small Skippers, Small Whites and one tatty and faded Painted Lady, and a Yellow Shell Moth

25 June 2019

Kidney Vetch, Biting Stonecrop, Hare's Foot Clover, Childing Pink
Melilot, Black Horehound
Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach

There were well over a hundred Childing Pink flowers amongst the Hare's Foot Clover on Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach. Great Lettuce and Fennel was growing nearby, but had not yet flowered.

22 June 2019

Roesel's Bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeselii
Adur Recreation Ground

A cricket was spotted amongst the long grasses and nettles on Adur Recreation Ground.
At first it was dismissed as just one of the four species of grasshopper found in Shoreham, until the photograph of the long antennae revealed it to be a cricket, the previously unrecorded (in Shoreham) Roesel's Bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeselii.

3 June 2019

Bee Orchid, Southern Marsh Orchid, Common Spotted Orchids

Adur Orchids

29 May 2019
A diesel spill in Lancing Business Park drained into Brooklands Lake poisoned the water and resulted in dead fish floating on the surface..

21 May 2019

Adonis Blues
Grizzled Skipper

White fluffy Cumulus clouds allowed intermittent sunshine brought frequent butterflies out on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. About three-quarters were lively Adonis Blues (38+7=45+) over the swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, frequent Small Heaths (20+), patrolling Brimstone Butterflies (10+), a few Large Whites, a fresh Grizzled Skipper, a fresh Dingy Skipper, a Wall Brown, a very fast flying Peacock Butterfly, at least two each of Burnet Companion Moths, Cinnabar Moths and Treble-bar Moths. Two pairs of Adonis Blues were mating.
Mill Hill Report

13 May 2019

Adonis Blues

On a sunny afternoon the lower slopes of Mill Hill produced scores of restless butterflies fluttering around the early swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, There were well over a hundred per acre of nine species and all of them were very active and I had to wait for over an hour for any to settle nearby. Dingy Skippers were the most frequent with over forty seen, but Grizzled Skippers were old and much harder to find only a handful including an amorous or sparring pair. The only one that settled for a second was slightly frayed at the edges. Twenty or so male Adonis Blues were very lively until they came across a few females.
Butterfly Report

2 May 2019

Dingy Skipper with Horseshoe Vetch

A flutter of brilliant blue over the lower slopes of Mill Hill heralded the beginning of summer on the downs with the first male Adonis Blue Butterfly of the year. It was unmistakable even though seen in the middle distance for 15 seconds at most; too far away to follow it for a photograph. Under a dark cloudy sky with the first spots of rain, it was too cool for many butterflies. It was only after nearly an hour did I manage to disturb the first of half a dozen Dingy Skippers, followed soon after by a Small Heath, a Green-veined White and a probable Peacock Butterfly. If I had not delayed my return I would missed the Adonis Blue and a probable Wall Brown.

Adur Butterfly List 2019
Adur Butterfly Flight Times

12 April 2019

Adur Estuary
Photograph by Sylvia Lemoniates

11 April 2019
On a afternoon when the sun came out unexpectedly, I quickly spotted my first two Grizzled Skippers of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, now decorated with Dog Violets. Most of the observed action occurred amongst the dense interlocking leaves on the lower slopes where a brigade of working mutualistic red ants, Myrmica sabuleti, were attracted by sugary secretions of the green and yellow caterpillars of the Adonis Blue Butterfly.
Mill Hill Picture Report
Adur Butterflies 2019

10 April 2019

As the sun cast strong shadows, the local young Common Seal hauled on the slipway on Kingston Beach and just lazed around at high tide for at least a couple of hours in the afternoon. In the chilly north-east breeze, the seal attracted about a dozen visitors at any one time including children at half term. 

8 April 2019

Common Seal on Kingston Beach
Photograph by Sean Stones

At Kingston Beach I enjoyed great views and opportunities for photographs of the local Common Seal.

30 March 2019
I stopped in at Mill Hill and managed to find a Grizzled Skipper, the first of the year reported in Sussex.

Report by Jonathan Crawford on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Skippers

23 March 2019
A Common Seal was spotted on the shingle beach at Southwick.

22 March 2019

Peacock Butterfly

It was too cool (9.2 °C) for a Peacock Butterfly to open its wings naturally as it was discovered with it wings firmly closed in the gutter of Buckingham Road, Shoreham, in the late afternoon. It was likely enticed from hibernation into a brief flight earlier to enable me to record my first butterfly of the year.

19 March 2019

Fungus on a tree stump
with Lesser Celandine

A large white mass was highly incongruous growing from a dead tree stump at the northern end of Mill Hill Drive, north Shoreham. From a distance it looked more like white paper debris; it was only when I got closer I realised it was a living organism and when identified it will probably be one of the common bracket fungi that grow on dead tree stumps.

21 January 2019

Black Redstart 

Making short flights on and around the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort, the male Black Redstart rarely kept still for more than a few seconds and it was very small in the viewfinder through the 500 mm telephoto lens.

In the early morning, those who braved  below zero temperatures were rewarded with the sight of a Lunar Eclipse.

8 January 2019

Gannet off Shoreham
Photograph by Edward J Chitty

There were many Gannets just after nine in the morning between Widewater western causeway and Lancing Sailing Club, only 20-30 metres off the beach. I could hear them hitting the water!

Gannet Report by Mikey Unsted

1 January 2019
I heard birds twittering in the trees about an hour after midnight. But my first mammal of 2019 was a Fox trotting between the cars in Adelaide Square ten minutes later. 

Adur 2018 Reports

Coastal and Marine Reports 2019
Adur Levels Reports 2019
Mill Hill Reports 2019
Urban Reports 2019


Shoreham Weather 2019

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2019
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Trees
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

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                      page
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Latest Nature Notes                      and Index page 2002
Mill Hill, north of Shoreham


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

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