Ring (September Image Gallery by Ray Hamblett)
I sat in the office gazing through the window, a Grey
Heron settled on
rooftop of the bungalow diagonally opposite us. The two Crows
and tried to dislodge it without much effect. The small garden pond
Barry the Birdman are probably visible from that roof top. It is short
flight from my Lancing garden to the wide expanses of New Monks Farm and
its drainage ditches.
the Adur valley there was a solitary Meadow
Brown Butterfly in the damp meadow (TQ
209 068), which turned out to be the last
one of these common butterflies this year.
the footpath heading from Mill Hill due west
immediately south of the road bridge over the by-pass (TQ
208 064), I surprised a large adult olive-green
Grass Snake curled up and not that quick
to slither into the ivy undergrowth. The nearest streams are 200 metres
away down a very steep incline. This is only the second adult snake I have
ever seen in Shoreham.
Snake Photographs (Link)
Shermanbury garden in the Adur Valley, 14
miles north as the crow flies from Old Shoreham,
was visited by Blue Tits,
a countryside walk I spotted an unfamiliar butterfly
with orange wings and black markings which I discovered was a Small
Bug Reports and Photographs
the River Adur north of the Toll Bridge, the surface
was rippled by shoals of young Sand Smelt,
which scattered in many directions and there was a pronounced arrow-like
disruption of the water surface, which probably indicated predation by
a large fish, most likely to be from shoals of second year Bass.
Marine Life Study Society
Chart forecasted a 7 metre tide at Shoreham,
which is about 0.5 metre higher than the highest tides forecasted for the
1970s. The River Adur lapped at the sea walls but
there was no likelihood of a breach. The tide rose to within about 0.5
metre of the highest I have observed in February 1983.
Egret was feeding in the shallows which
were much nearer the bank than usual and it flew low over the river to
the airfield towpath on the opposite side of the river.
to Egrets at Thorney Island (1999)
Report (Adur Estuary mid-September 2001)
day the numbers of House Martins
seem to escalate and by early evening, the hundreds turning to over a thousand
in Shoreham and Lancing, and in Shoreham Town Centre, especially around
Mary's Church, they put on a spectacular aerobatic show, swooping low,
all prior to their migration.
There is a considerable
amount of silt on Kingston Beach. The tide went
out a very long way below the Chart Datum
marker, the foot of the Thru'penny Bit (Harbour Control) was exposed, and
the thick mud was nearly dangerous, in most parts the boots would sink
below ankle depth in black smelly mud.
The conditions were unsuitable
for prawning. Over winter this mud gets scoured away - it usually arrives
as a result of harbour dredging. In the upper-mid shore pools underneath
the groynes, there was a solitary juvenile Ballan
Wrasse and small prawns.
Information Booth at Widewater Lagoon is officially
opened by Tim Laughton MP (East Worthing & Shoreham). It contains a
picture display and information by Ray
Hamblett and Steve Barker.
Lagoon page (by Ray Hamblett)
Nature & History - September 2001 Newsletter
distinctive red legs of a returning Redshank
out clearly in the fading light at the low spring tide on the estuarine
mud bank of the River Adur underneath from the Footbridge
crossing the river at Coronation Green, Shoreham.
I have difficulty in separating
and House Martins with
hundreds performing aerial acrobatics over Shoreham Beach including Widewater,
where they were particularly common, numbering over several hundreds. However,
today they were flying so low and so close that at times I was able to
look down on them and it is then that their white upper midriff of the
Martins become clear.
great of commotion greeted my presence in a private wild field (TQ
209 068) near
Shoreham Waterworks, but I was still surprised when a young
Roe Deer, without antlers, suddenly jumped out of some dead undergrowth
just over a metre high and veered towards me passing just three metres
away before running off rapidly towards the road. It stopped about 30 metres
away and looked over its left shoulder like a doe. A few minutes later
I saw a pair of deer looking like a parent and youngster in the distance
in a field under Mill Hill.
the blackberries are removed from the bramble bushes and the sycamore seed
capsules gyrospin in the wind, the last few butterflies flutter around
included a Comma
seen by Jan Hamblett
in their Lancing garden (TQ 185 045)
with two Painted Ladies.
Wood Butterflies are still at Shermanbury,
seen by Allen Pollard.
that is attracted to lights at this time of the year has caterpillar that
feeds on the Hawthorn.
first signs of autumn are apparent as birds in the Adur valley are on the
move. On an overcast day the obvious example was influx of black and white
birds slightly larger than a sparrow in the hedgerows (TQ
205 073) on the
cycle path. The bird looks familiar and it is probably a
an overcast day, following a shower, a Small
Copper Butterfly (probably)
seen at Beeding Hill flying rapidly over towards
Anchor Bottom, skirting the hedgerows on the bumpy lane down to Castletown,
where a Speckled Wood Butterfly
in reasonably good condition settled.
bruennichi, was found on Lancing
Ring (TQ 180 065)
by dog walkers Alex Wilkinson and his mother Vicky. It a large (bigger
than a fifty pence piece) yellow, black and white spider in a big web..."
discovery was verified by Dr Gerald Legg at the Booth
Museum of Natural History.
fairly rare, these immigrants are gaining a foothold in Sussex and according
to a spokesman at English Nature found at several locations around the
area including Rye, Heathfield, and Hastings. They are normally to be found
on land surrounding the Mediterranean they have spread northwards. They
have established themselves in southern England since the 1990's. The species
needs very hot summers in order to complete development from spiderling
to full-grown adult in less than four months (Köhler
& Schäller 1987).
Bird Hawk-Moth, Macroglossum
this year buzzed
around the Buddleia
bushes on the path to the Waterworks Road (TQ
209 063). After the rain shower, there were no butterflies or dragonflies,
only a Brimstone Moth.
The Grey Herons
had left the meadows to feed at the low tide neaps on the River
Adur north of the fly-over. Under the Railway
Viaduct, tiny Common Goby fry, Pomatoschistus
sp., were present in their thousands amongst the small clumps of Irish
Moss, (a seaweed) Chondrus crispus.
These fish would be too small (20 mm) and quick to excite the interest
of even the Black-headed Gulls.
brown dragonfly on the path to the Waterworks
Road at the steps down in the south-west corner
209 063) was noted because of its dark
green head, and a red fringe on one wing and black on the other pair of
wings. It was probably a Common
Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum striolatum.
Dragonflies & Damselflies
faded (dull coloured) Small Tortoiseshell
Butterfly settled briefly, as did a Speckled
Wood and a handful of Red
Reports of Small Heath
the edge of the arable field (TQ 175 064)
next to Halewick Lane, Lancing, a handful of
small brownish butterflies flit past. I was
only able to identify the species as the Small
Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus, after
consulting the reference book. The eyespots and the small size make them
adjoining field is covered in a mass of tall and short wild plants that
have settled in since the topsoil was replaced over the landfill
that once occupied this land. The mix of plants is nothing like that would
normally cover downland, it more resembles colonisation of a derelict building
have identified this dragonfly discovered by Allen
Pollard at Shermanbury
as the Southern Hawker,
Bug Reports and Photographs
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
fly to and from over the shingle beach between Widewater
Lagoon and the sea, their white rear very distinctive, before this
slim bird settles prior to its long migration back to Africa for the winter
months. Three birds were seen by the beach huts. There were probably more.
few Red Admiral Butterflies
appeared to flutter in from the seaward side, but these butterflies are
strong flyers and they may be just be moving from one nectareous plant
was early evening, (7:30 pm with reasonable light) In Dolphin Road, Shoreham,
224 055) a very small (scarcely bigger
than a thrush) bird of prey dived headlong into the bramble bush right
next to me as I cycled past. There was no further commotion as the speckled
breasted bird with a grey and brown underwing (strongly banded) rose from
the bush and rested, silhouetted, on the roof of the house on the opposite
side of the road. After a wait of over a minute, it disappeared flying
as straight as an arrow. I think this was a juvenile
behaving like a Sparrowhawk as they tend
to in the autumn. On 28 August 2001,
a large female Kestrel was
observed leaving a bush adjacent to Widewater Lagoon
before flying away rapidly and then soaring.
long spring tide went out below Chart Datum
on Kingston beach and there was a meal of large
prawns Paleamon serratus.
The presence of a dozen very small Common Starfish,
rubens, was unusual for this particular shore. There was an interesting
mixture of typical fish and invertebrate intertidal life, with hundreds
of very small (30 - 55 mm) first year Bullheads.
Reeve led the Butterfly
Conservation Society walk at Lancing Ring.
of Lancing Ring
the Harrier Jump-jet roared overhead, in the meadows amongst the scrub
on Mill Hill, the Common
Blue Butterfly was common (100+) clinging,
wings folded, to the stems of long grasses and wild plants, to rise fluttering
in the late summer evening when disturbed. The females are smaller, brown,
decorated with distinctive orange spots on the upperside. There were a
few Chalkhill Blues as
well, some a bit battered and old, others fresher, as well as the omnipresent
also some strongly flying Wall Brown Butterflies.
Butterflies (Photographs 2001)
Butterflies (Photographs 2000)
Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
Ring Photographic Gallery for August (by Ray Hamblett)
the low River Adur neap tides between Ropetackle and the Toll
Bridge at Old Shoreham, three Little
stalked the shallows feeding in the shallow pools. One of the egrets seemed
much larger than the other two through the binoculars. In what remained
of the mainstream at low tide a couple of Herons
and a Cormorant
took advantage of the low water and the easy opportunities of feeding on
Dragonfly from Shoreham
by Pete Weaver)
the footpath from the Waterworks Road (southern end) to (TQ
209 063) to
Butterflies and Small
Whites refused to settle.
large brown cricket or grasshopper was also seen here. It only had a limited
jumping ability and it is probably the Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera
large Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria,
Gulls and Black-headed
Gulls circled feeding on flying
ants below the white vapour trails crossing
the white fluffy cirrus clouds in the blue sky, on the first fine, if slightly
hazy day, for over a week.
Brown Butterfly fluttered strongly over
my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ
224 053). On Mill Hill
I recorded what I instantly thought was my first Adonis
Blue Butterfly (TQ
213 077) amongst the tall grasses. The female
Chalkhill Blue (TQ
213 074) that settled nicely, seem to prefer
the shorter Eyebright
grasslands that are cropped short by rabbits.
Butterflies (Photographs 2000)
pair of Mute
Swans on Widewater
Lagoon were followed by six cygnets,
not cuddly small offspring but large dark coloured first year juvenile
Shearwaters, Puffinus mauretanicus,
have been seen out to sea from Lancing adjacent to Widewater Lagoon. This
seems to a regular migration route for this sea bird.
large nectar-feeding hoverfly
settled on the Buddleia
bush in a garden in West Way, Lancing, (TQ
198 042) that is near the marshy land between
Airport and Lancing. The species was not positively identified and
this is always tricky as there are at least 250 species of hoverfly found
in northern Europe. It was a large species at about 14 mm long. Bill
Irwin identified this species as Volucella
of the UK
(Syrphidae), tribe Volucellini
Dragonflies and Damselflies (photographs)
an overcast day, a very small garden pond (TQ
219 063) in The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, (near
Buckingham Park) was visited by a golden yellow coloured dragonfly with
red unevenly spaced vertical dashes and black lines on the side of its
narrow smooth abdomen. There were black tips to its wings. I have
tentatively identified this insect as the Common
Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum striolatum.
sounds as though your identification is correct . Both females and tenerals
are golden and therefore the first signs of red suggest that your dragonfly
is a male just starting to colour up to its final orangey-red. The black
tips you refer to are a pigmented section of wing membrane called the Pterostigma,
which is believed to act as a counter-balance to aid wing-twisting and
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
white moths were still present in the waterside vegetation.
single Peacock Butterfly settled
and a handful of Small Whites fluttered
around mostly before settling on the Buddleia
bush and a Gatekeeper
visited other garden plants for nectar.
Butterflies are on the wing on Mill
Hill, although they could have hatched out a couple of days before.
Butterfly, was also feeding in the margins
of downs and scrub.
dragonfly was recorded on the path to the
Waterworks Road at the steps down in the south-west corner (TQ
209 063), and it was distinguished by
two large green splotches on the side of its thorax. These means it is
the Southern Hawker, Aeshna
was not a Common Darter).
It was too small to be a female Emperor Dragonfly,
(2004): This seems less likely now. I have not observed a Southern
Hawker again in Shoreham and the Common
Darter can have very green thoraces.)
balteatus, invade Lancing
(TQ 186 045).
With their maroon head a wasp-like abdomen it is easy to understand why
they are christened the Marmalade
of hundred came in through our conservatory. Most of them came in through
the patio doors and buzzed against the ceiling, then died due to the heat.
I hoovered up the dead four times during the day and one time actually
counted 53 bodies on a 3 metre length of window cill."
noticed a few hundreds around, but they are usually present and there seem
to be many more this year.
large immigrations have been reported from Dorset, especially from Portland
Syridae, although they display warning coloration like wasps, are a true
fly, with a single pair of wings, and a proboscis like a butterfly for
feeding on nectar.
juvenile Common Toad
is discovered in my south Lancing garden (TQ
for the Image
was an Evening Argus report of a large jellyfish
off Worthing. The photograph was not clear enough
to be sure of its identity, but the most likely candidate from the
photograph was the harmless
Jellyfish, although it could have been the the
venomous Lion's Mane Jellyfish.
photographed by Allen Pollard
from Shermanbury in the Adur valley.
this study the butterfly has contracted its forewing between the hindwing.
is a Meadow Brown
went up the the Lancing Ring chalk pits (east side) (TQ
187 063) to try and find out what burnet moths
they were by counting the spots. This was difficult because these moths
would not settle. There were about 15 moths in a couple of small
meadows to the east of the Chalk Pit, attracted to Greater
is the 6-spot Burnet Moth,
of the Burnet Moths
a scorching hot day, when by the afternoon the temperatures reached 26°C
hundreds of various species of butterflies
were on the wing everywhere.
from Lancing Ring (Link)
from the Waterworks path to Mill Hill
adult Mute Swans
congregated on the River Adur adjacent to Shoreham
Airport on the flood spring tide but no sign of the Little
Egret reported in the Sussex
Ornithological Society News. There was
a dead Mute Swan
on the east towpath midway between the A27 Flyover and the disused cement
works, where a small group of five Canada
Geese swam leisurely away, I thought at
first they were going to swim towards me, so they were probably tame.
Butterflies were common everywhere and
on the cyclepath north of Botolphs, there were over 100 in the hedgerow
adjacent to the path next to Saltings Field
in wild plants (weeds). Many of the Gatekeepers
had a double black surround on the underside, but only one white dot was
present on many occasions (Small Heaths
are usually not around in July?). Because of the predominance of orange
and their smaller size, there was no possibility of mistaking these butterflies
for Meadow Browns. Both species of Whites
(100+), Painted Lady (one),
Browns (12+) were noticed on he Adur
gathering of large bats with a wingspan of nearly 30 cm were seen at the
top of McIntyres Field (TQ 185 061), which is above the Manor Allotments,
of the Sussex Bat Group
identified these as the Noctule Bat, Nyctalus noctula or
less likely a Serotine,
by Roy & June Bratton
seen in Windlesham Gardens, Shoreham (hearsay
landed on the Verbena bonariensis in
my Lancing garden (TQ 186 045). This plant is rich in nectar and particularly
attractive to butterflies.
Sussex branch of the Butterfly
Conservation Society arranged a walk on Mill
Hill in the morning. The long grasses were still soaked from
yesterday's downpour. I did not make the 11:00 am start but I went up there
a couple of hours later and they were no longer around. The blue
butterflies were not out yet and it preceded the school holidays, so
it could be seen as a strange date to choose. The only insect of note was
a solitary Burnet Moth south
of the car park (TQ 212 072). It quickly flew away, the bright red most
distinguishable. One of the reasons for my identification was the cocoon
photographed at the beginning of July and shown further down the page.
It is probably the 6-spot Burnet Moth,
of the Burnet Moths
was a fair selection of butterflies including Small
needed torrential rain and a near gale to dislodge a 95 mm pine cone which
nearly landed on my head. It came from one of a couple of old pine trees
just south of the western tennis pavilion in Buckingham Park. I have tentatively
identified these trees as Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata.
Butterfly settled in my wild garden in
Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053), opening its wings to reveal the
splendid orange upperside lined with brown. On 21
July 2001 it was joined by others present
every day for the rest of July.
pair of Comma Butterflies
fluttered around and finally settled briefly in my wild garden, without
nettles, in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). This is my first
definite report of these
butterflies on the
Nature Notes web pages.
flew overhead from Middle Road allotments.
handful of small Gatekeeper Butterflies
fluttered around the Blackthorn (Sloe) bushes (TQ 207 055) and other scrub
around the towpath on the eastern of perimeter of Shoreham
the Old Fort (TQ 234 046), the Common Lizards,
vivipara, with exceptionally mottled markings,
have found new places to hide after the flint wall has been repaired. The
exceptionally speckled markings of the lizard are found in the European
Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis.
(This latter species were kept in the back garden of a house in Old Fort
Road and could be escapes. However, lizards were definitely present in
the 1960s on the walls of the Old Fort and this pre-dated the presence
of lizards in the garden of a herpetologist.)
Report of the Flint Wall Repairs
between the bridleway (TQ 228 067) skirting Slonk Hill Farm and Mossy Bottom
Admirals and at least one Painted
Lady (TQ 225 074), all species eventually
settling on the chalk path, and all the butterflies were in perfect colourful
skies around New Erringham Farm were filled with the low flying aerobatic
displays of House Martins
a dozen of the stout-bodied dragonflies flew rapidly over the Lancing
Ring dewpond (see the previous report).
They flew much too quickly to ascertain any of the smaller details which
is necessary to confirm identification. Both males and females chased each
other in the breeze. However, a brown female dragonfly settled for about
two seconds a couple of metres away and there was just time to spot at
least three large spots of bright orange on one side of the darker brown
abdomen. This together with the brown bulky nature of the flattish abdomen,
made to look more bulky by the brown on the base of the wings makes me
identify this spectacular insect as the Broad-bodied
depressa. The appearance of bright
green Emperor Dragonfly,
female, was comparatively dull and inactive. A Blue-tailed
Damselfly tried to hide its then abdomen
along a thin waterside reed.
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
boats remain in harbour as the beach shingle is rolled about by the Fresh
Breeze (Force 5 +) without rain, with many white horses. The shingle
that had been levelled with the renovation to the Inner West Arm of Shoreham
Harbour sea defences south of Soldier's Point, near the Old Fort, last
year, had now been reformed by the wind and returned to its former undulations,
with the return of the common shingle plants including Sea
Kale, Sea Beet, Yellow-horned
Campion, Spear-leaved Orache and the common
weed of wild places, the Sow Thistle
dusk Martin Davies cycles into a swarm of aggressive beetles coming out
of a bush near Mill Hill. These could have been
the Devil's Coach Horse Beetle,
olens, which Ray
Hamblett has reported from the downs above Shoreham. This beetle has
jaws that can pierce human skin and can also squirt out noxious and irritating
chemicals from its rear end.
remains of two large mature Adders were found
trapped in garden netting in Lancing Manor Allotments.
promised torrential rain arrives at about 5:00 pm with grumblings of thunder.
Although it seemed no more than a prolonged heavy shower, a figure of 34
mm was recorded in 3 hours, according to BBC 1 Southern News. I was able
to verify this reading exactly using the bucket method. .
the long mostly straight steadily uphill path from Southwick
Hill to Truleigh Hill, Small Tortoiseshell
common (75 +) (this total possibly included some strong-flying Painted
Ladies and Commas),
but there were also Meadow Browns (30+),
Marbled Whites, (25+), Small
Red Admirals (12+) and an occasional Small
White Butterfly in decreasing order of
contrast on Mill Hill, where nettles on the
downs are uncommon and the meadows unspoiled, the Meadow
Browns (40 +) were the commonest butterfly
in the open but where the grass became longer they were replaced by Marbled
Whites (40+) feeding on Greater
Knapweed, and in the scrub, a handful
of Gatekeeper Butterflies
could be easily separated from the Meadow Browns by their smaller size
and double eye-spot on the underside. They remained settled for long periods
with the wings folded. At first the double eye-spots could be seen, but
after awhile the fawnish bit covered up the orange and the eye-spot. Large
Skipper Butterflies were a bit battered
but like the Gatekeeper stayed still,
but with their wings open. Red Admirals
flew energetically in the small copse.
Scabious and Pyramid Orchids were
Valley Butterflies (Link)
seems to have missed the thunder and electrical storms in other parts of
the south coast (notably Dorset), but it is exceptionally and uncomfortably
muggy (wet and humid with warm showers). Just before dawn the gulls, Herring
Gulls are squawking a lot just like they
do throughout the day in nearby Hove. On top of the new houses near Eastern
Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham (TQ
224 053), there seems to be two gulls that
are unusual for Shoreham, looking smaller and with much darker primary
feathers than the Herring Gull, and my first choice identification of these
birds is the Lesser
Black-backed Gull. Their legs are a greenish-yellow
Black-backed and yellow-legged Gulls (Link for more information)
Birds Portfolio (Photographs by Nicolas Jouault)
Birding Discussion Forum
Ornithological Society News
crew of the Sussex Sea Fisheries
Protection vessel "Watchful" spot a Bottle-nosed
Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, in the approaches to Shoreham harbour.
a hundred Marbled
White Butterflies were
in the Hay Meadow west of Pat Barton's
Wood (the Little Clump) around Lancing
Ring fluttering in the long grass amongst a cacophony
of grasshoppers and crickets.
grasses supported a cocoon from one of the burnet moths.
Nature & History - July 2001 Newsletter
Ring Photographic Gallery for July
Great Spotted Woodpecker was spotted on
the Coombes road between Cuckoo's Corner and the Ladywell Stream, in a
tree at the bottom of the private path leading to Lancing College (TQ
saw one Marbled
White Butterfly in
the long grasses. Meadow Brown Butterflies
common everywhere, near allotments in the towns, on Lancing Ring and on
the Adur flood plain. Most specimens had a clear
pale ring around the eye-spot on the underside of the wings (pic),
and a single very small black spot as well on the fawn bit. They were very
darkly pigmented brown on the upperside wings. A
Large Skipper Butterfly settled at the
top of the path from the Sussex Pad to Lancing Ring, and there were
a few Small (or Essex) Skippers that
were more restless.
Valley Butterflies (Link)
patrolled the Lancing Ring dewpond
(TQ 181 065),
but this was to be expected. However, there was also a much sturdier-looking
dragonfly darting between the reeds. This species is most likely to be
a male Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula
depressa. The abdomen was a
very pale blue, almost white, and stubby rather than elongate. I
do not think it was a male Black-tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum
Dragonflies Discussion Group
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
Life of North-western Europe EForum
and humid at at least 25° C at