The high spring tide condensed the waders, including 27 Lapwing, and also 13 Little Egrets on to the vegetated mud flats by the houseboats, River Adur estuary as it runs through Shoreham town.
15 September 2020
Eleven Oystercatchers perched all in a row on a sandbank by Ropetackle North in the calm sunshine.
Fifty mostly adult Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, were attracted to the chicken bait in three small drop-nets in under an hour from the Toll Bridge at high tide on a sunny afternoon.
A Cormorant was fishing in the narrow fast running channel at low tide seen from Coronation Green.
Their squeaky call heralded as many as three pairs of Oystercatchers over the Adur at low tide between the Railway Viaduct and the Ferry Bridge.
13 August 2020
Gulls feeding on flying Ants
10 August 2020
A Kingfisher arrowed its rapid flight over the flooded River Adur by the Toll Bridge.
The first winter Lapwing was seen back on the River Adur mud.
3 August 2020
I added two more species of butterfly to yesterdays tally of 19: a faded Comma and a bright Small Tortoiseshell, sharing the Buddleia bush with Red Admirals, on the western side of the South Downs Way bridge over the Adur near Botolphs.
family of Mute Swans
on Annington Sewer comprised the two parents and three almost fully sized
very dark cygnets.
A very unusual Silver-washed Fritillary was spotted on Buddleia by the River Adur near Botolphs.
Report & Photograph by Keith Wells
Wildlife & Conservation of Lancing, Sompting & Surrounds facebook
A Sparrowhawk obligingly stayed on the bow of Houseboat Thanet long enough for me to get some photos.
10 July 2020
All three Stork chicks had left the nest at Knepp this morning, and were foraging close to the nest tree. They all looked in very good condition and appeared very tolerant of us humans. At one point we also saw seven adult Storks using the thermals to gain height, spiralling out of sight.
9 July 2020
One of the Stork chicks at the Knepp Estate left the nest. This is the first Stork to have fledged in the wild in Britain in 600 years.
The languid flight of the first of the year Ringlet Butterfly fluttered over the Downs Link Cyclepath verges, midway between Erringham Gap and the Cement Works, on a cool cloudy afternoon. A Red Admiral was spotted with its wings closed at the same time.
Adur Butterfly List 2020
Rosebay Willowherb, Wild Basil, Marjoram
Self-heal, Buddleia, Teasel, Lesser Burdock
Downs Link Path verges, Old Shoreham to south of the Cement Works (dis).
22 June 2020
Horehound, Common Mallow, Burdock
20 June 2020
Photograph by Mary Lawrenson facebook
A young Common Seal rested an the River Adur mud at low tide in the morning in the middle of town. In the afternoon it was seen upriver near Cuckoo's Corner.
13 June 2020
Willowherb, Pyramidal Orchid
Yellow Rattle, Lady's Bedstraw
Downs Link Cyclepath verges
Erringham Gap to the Cement Works (dis)
9 June 2020
Downs Link Path, south of the Cement Works (dis)
the dominant Ox-eye Daisies
there were scores of flowering Common
Spotted Orchids and scores of part-flowering
Orchids as well as the first Red
Bartsia. A large fly
visited the Ox-eye Daisies.
identification of the fly was as the Four-lined
A young Field Vole was spotted out in the open in the meadows near the river.
It was quite long for an impromptu Sunday cycle ride from Old Shoreham along the eastern towpath to the Bramber Levels, south of the village, and a return along the Coombes Road. A Yellowhammer flying into an Elderflower tree near Botolphs was the only thing noteworthy on the whole ride.
My first Meadow Brown Butterfly of the year was spotted on the west-facing embankment of the Airport Towpath. This was an early record.
A couple of fluttering Holly Blue Butterflies attracted me to the Dogwood on the eastern verge of the Downs Link Cyclepath at Old Shoreham, when I then noticed my first Painted Lady of the year. This immigrant butterfly is much larger but was elusive to photograph in the late afternoon.
Small Heath Butterflies (10+) frequently fluttered around a thistle patch in the north-east corner of Shoreham Airport. Welted Thistle was the only one flowering but plenty of prickles penetrated my trousers. The soil was dry but there was still Yellow Flag in flower by the perimeter drainage ditch.
The reforming of the airport towpath created a new west-facing embankment which was colonised by the welcome sight of large patches of Kidney Vetch, with a smaller number of clumps of first of the year Melilot and Tufted Vetch, as well as clumps of White Clover and Hop Trefoil, scattered White Campion, occasional Red Campion, and two clumps of Mayweed. Most unexpected were the first shoots of Glasswort that appeared on dry sand next to the airport road Cecil Pashley Way.
Wild Carrot was seen with its flowering umbel for the first time this year next to the path immediately north of Ropetackle North building site. Welted Thistle was next to it.
Oystercatcher off Surry Public Hard
18 May 2020
Yellow Flag Iris at Castle Lane Park
a largely uneventful trip* to
Castle Lane Park in Bramber where there was a shoal
of over fifty Rudd.
On the way I inspected an old Ash
tree in Bramber and unfortunately found
wilting leaves which
is a sign of Chalara
Ash die-back disease. I also caught out
before it dodged into the Downs Link hedges near the Erringham Gap.
(*Downs Link north, Coombes Road south.)
16 May 2020
now in leaf
Brookland near Annington
Sussex and Kent, brook
means "water-meadow," and in plural, "low, marshy ground."
12 May 2020
Bulbous Buttercups at Old Shoreham
6 May 2020
Photograph by Sue Gale
For the first time in over five centuries a pair of White Storks, Ciconia ciconia, living wild on the Knepp Estate, in the Adur valley, have seen the first egg of five hatch in their large new nest at the top of an old Oak Tree. This rewilding project was started with the introduction of a pair of adult Storks from Poland in 2016. However, the introduced female appears to have mated with a vagrant male bird. Three chicks have been seen.
4 May 2020
Little Egret on the Adur on a low neap tide
was splendidly in blossom, best seen from the western
towpath north of Old Shoreham. I think the peak blossom is yet to show
though. Some trees were well past their
best but others were just budding. Elderflower,
were seen for the first time in flower
A Short-nosed Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was a surprising discovery in a shallow rockpool in the River Adur estuary by the Scout Hut, Adur Recreation Ground.
Two species of Seahorse are found in the seas around the British Isles: the Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, is rare in the English Channel, recorded off Dorset and the western approaches mostly. The Short-nosed Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, is occasionally found in deep water around the Channel Islands, unusual but widespread elsewhere. It was also recorded off the coast of Holland in 1998. This species is found in deep water off the Sussex coast, notably off Southwick, near Shoreham-by-Sea.
Seahorses (for the younger reader)
BMLSS Seahorses & Pipefishes
14 April 2020
allowed cycle exercise took me a trip up the Downs Link only as far as
just south of the disused Cement Works (before the path narrows). The idea
was to see the plentiful display of Cowslips
that adorned the verges. There was a chill
to the north-east breeze and there was not
much wildlife activity: a couple of Goldfinches
the still bare twigs and a few
visited the paucity of flowers.
Tree was blossoming in the hedgerow bordering
the Downs Link.
In the meadowlands between the cyclepath and the River Adur, I spotted my first fish of the year, a 3-spined Stickleback where the stream ran fast and clear underneath the Hawthorn. A pair of Mallards swam together on the main river at low tide. There was huge patch of Ground Ivy in the meadow. I was surprised by the fluttering and the flash of orange of a male Orange-tip Butterfly over the meadow where I had not seen one before. A few minutes later I spotted an all white female fluttering rapidly away..
In the bright afternoon sunshine my first Speckled Wood of the year fluttered over the Waterworks Road. Activity was mainly Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees and buzzing Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bees, Anthophora plumipes, attracted to the flowering White Deadnettle. Immediately on arrival I disturbed a Brimstone Butterfly on Spanish Bluebells. I stayed long enough (30+ minutes) for a male Orange-tip Butterfly and a Green-veined White to put in a fleeting unsettled appearance.
In the canopy Wayfaring Tree was blossoming with its white umbel-like flowers and Hawthorn was in green leaf as most of the early Blackthorn petals had fallen.
Adur Butterfly List 2020
Brimstone Butterflies were fluttering around, notably in St. Nicolas Lane, Old Shoreham. My first of the year male Orange-tip Butterfly was unmistakable over the deserted Waterworks Road in the early afternoon. I was not sure about the three larger white butterflies that sparred with the Orange-tip? Almost certainly they were Green-veined Whites from a brief look and past experience.
Hawthorn at the closed Cuckoo's Corner car park
Blackthorn was flowering near the Scout Hut on the Coombes Road. Hawthorn was in leaf at Cuckoo's Corner where the first Garlic Mustard flowered by the side of the road. A female Pheasant suddenly whirred into flight from the verges approaching the A27 traffic lights from the north.
Blackthorn was flowering in the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, one bush ahead of the rest. Yellow Archangel was flowering on the eastern verge.
18 March 2020
Photograph by Dave Hoggen
A Whimbrel was spotted on the River Adur, It was an unexpected and unusual occurrence in the centre of Shoreham town, seen on the mussel beds from Coronation Green.
Blackthorn at Cuckoo's Corner
Cuckoo's Corner, the Blackthorn bush
was profusely in flower.
17 March 2020
Oxlip, Primrose, Cowslips
Downs Link Cyclepath
Erringham Gap to the Cement Works
There were no Lapwings on the exposed mudflats of the River Adur at Old Shoreham, just scores of mixed gulls.
2 March 2020
Flooded Field, Old Erringham
Under foot the mud squelched virtually everywhere with gulls attracted to the standing water on the low lying fields on each side of the Downs Link between Old Shoreham and the Cement Works. Coltsfoot was seen in flower for the first time this year in its usual place on the edge of the cyclepath south of the Cement Works.
5 February 2020
The best place to see thousands (hundreds of clumps) of Snowdrops was on the verges of the Coombes road to Botolphs where the first few flowers of Lesser Celandine were just appearing. Two clumps of Primroses graced the verges of the Downs Link north of Adur Flyover. Dandelions and White Deadnettle were noted flowering on the Downs Link verges near Botolphs. Oxford Ragwort flowered near Shoreham Railway Station. The Waxing Gibbous Moon could be seen in the east in the afternoon blue sky.
4 January 2020
Bergenia, Winter Heliotrope Petasites pyrenaicus
Adur Recreation Ground
Adur Recreation Ground (map) is land reclaimed in the early twentieth century from the River Adur estuary from mud flats called Scurvy Bank. This involved the deposition of soil from out of the local area to create a new mown grass habitat with the addition of planted trees and Poppy and other flower beds. In more recent years, more soil was introduced in the form of a long raised dyke on the eastern perimeter, and with this new soil came non local wild and naturalised plants from seed.
were Arthur's Cakes and yellow bracket
fungi on tree
stumps on Adur Recreation Ground near
the Adur Activities Centre.
Butterfly List 2020