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April 2008


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

2008 Regional

Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature


Lesser Celandine is an early flowerer Blackthorn flowers in April



30 April 2008
A dead baby Red Fox was discovered lying dead on the shingle on Kingston Beach

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
27 April 2008
The Smooth Newt population in my tiny garden pond in Mill Hill Drive was probably at saturation point. I have regularly found dead newts around the pond that appear to have one or two large wounds to the head area. I think the predator culprit was a large Crow who has learned to dunk stale bread in the pond to soften it. 

Green-winged Orchid26 April 2008
Ten species of butterfly in the afternoon was the most in a single day this year and did not include a trip to Mill Hill. My first orchids of 2008 were frequent Green-winged Orchids pushing up from the southern side turf on Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding.
Adur Butterfly List 2008

25 April 2008
The first Dingy Skipper of 2008 was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. One Grizzled Skipper was also spotted on a passage journey on a muggy day. 
Adur Skippers
Female Orange-tip
A Dingy Skipper visiting a Dandelion on the lower slopes of Mill Hill

Another first were two female Orange-tip Butterflies positively identified from over the Waterworks Road, chased by a single male and very flightly, stopping only very briefly on Green Alkanet flowers, a least thrice after being disturbed by Rhingia campestris hoverflies. Other butterflies seen during the day were occasional Small Tortoiseshells, occasional Peacock Butterflies, two Speckled Woods, a few Small Whites and a Large White. Eight species
Adur Butterfly List 2008

24 April 2008
A Short-snouted Seahorse*, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered on the filtration plant at Shoreham Harbour. It was alive when found but died shortly afterwards. (*assumed to be this species)

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
BMLSS Seahorses

22 April 2008
My first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year was seen in Shoreham in the twitten from Victoria Road to Ropetackle at the eastern end by the main road. 

20 April 2008
Early Purple Orchids were in flower at Tottington Woods near Small Dole. These were the first orchids of 2008.

The first Large White Butterflies and the first male Orange-tip Butterflies of the year were seen in the Shoreham area and the first Green-veined White Butterfly and Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill. Frequent Peacock Butterflies were the most numerous and with Small Whites, Brimstone Butterflies, Grizzled Skippers and a Small Tortoiseshell. This makes four firsts for Shoreham and about 42 butterflies of nine species seen on a tepid (>16.9 °C) sunny day. 
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was seen in flower with the accompanying pollen beetles. The first Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moth of 2008 was also spotted. 
Nomada goodeniana: small beeA small male bee Nomada goodeniana was identified for the first time, visiting a Dandelion in a clearing of the linear spinney on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Adur Bees

16 April 2008
My first Hedgehog of the year was seen in Southwick

14 April 2008
Oak leaves are out before the Ash in St. Mary's churchyard in central Shoreham.

Oak before Ash, in for a splash. Ash before Oak, in for a soak
This means if the Oak leaves are out before Ash leaves in the spring, then it will be a dry summer, and vice versa.
The first local Orange-tip Butterfly of 2008 is seen in Spitalfield Lane, Steyning. 
Reports by Betty Bishop
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

13 April 2008
My first sighting of both Swallow and Swift occurred early in the afternoon, near Lancing seafront over grounds of Drumconner Nursing Home.

A Skylark flew in station above Mill Hill, singing in the warn afternoon after the midday hail shower

Peacock Butterfly Grizzled Skipper

There were three other butterfly enthusiasts on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon, chasing around about ten Grizzled Skippers. Other butterflies recorded on the day included three Peacocks, two Brimstones and one Small Tortoiseshell

11 April 2008
Small Tortoiseshell 2008On a breezy afternoon, a Peacock Butterfly basked on the Waterworks Road with another one on footpath that runs along the south of Frampton's Field to The Street, with a pristine Small Tortoiseshell on Stinging Nettles, from which it may have just emerged after winter hibernation. The first two Common Bee-flies, Bombylius major, of 2008, buzzed around in the same area. 
Adur Butterfly List 2008
Adur Flies 2008

10 April 2008
On a mild (>10.5 °C) sunny day there were frequent butterflies on Mill Hill and its approaches including my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year, the first two Grizzled Skippers on the lower slopes, ten Peacocks and two Comma Butterflies.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Skippers
Adur Butterfly List 2008

8 April 2008
Eleven butterflies of three species were seen in the sunshine, nine Peacocks, one Comma and one Small White, most of them on Lancing Ring
Adur Butterfly List 2008
7 April 2008
A pair of Tufted Ducks swam on Brooklands Boating Lake, with a few of the usual Mallards and Coots seen in passing. 

Almost all the snow had melted in town. My first immigrant Wheatear of the year flew over Lancing Beach Green. 
Adur Coastal Reports 2008

6 April 2008

Snow on Mill Hill looking over the Adur Valley towards Lancing Clump in the distance
A surprise snowfall continued throughout the morning to a measured depth of 75 mm at midday on the pavement outside my home in residential Shoreham. As the temperature rose during the day most of snow in town melted leaving a patchy and thin layer on the downs. All the snow fell from the trees, although on Mill Hill there was a remnant of snow on north facing trunks in the afternoon.
Full Report
Shoreham Weather Page 2008
North Lancing Snow Gallery

5 April 2008
Mill Hill SMG Meeting 
Despite the awful forecast and plummetting temperature the first SMG evening field meeting of the year at Mill Hill near Shoreham was well attended. However, we only saw three moths - but no-one was complaining; two were of our target species:  Barred Tooth-striped Moth, Trichopteryx polycommata, and the other was the micro-moth Pale Flat-body, Agonopterix pallorella.

Report and Photgraphs by Michael Blencowe on Sussex Butterflies
Adur Moths

4 April 2008
A Peacock Butterfly, my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year, and a Small White Butterfly were all seen in Shoreham town. A golden adult Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis, over 30 cm long, basked in the weak sunshine in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road. This was my first of the year. 

3 April 2008
A Sparrowhawk took a Frog from my garden pond in south Lancing and was later spotted perched on the fence devouring a Blue Tit.

A glut of early spring butterflies on Lancing Ring included frequent (20+) Peacock Butterflies, frequent Red Admiral Butterflies, five Brimstone Butterflies, and two Small Tortoiseshells

Adur Butterfly List 2008

A Small White Butterfly fluttered across the western end of Rosslyn Road in Shoreham town. This was first one I had seen in 2008
Adur Butterfly List 2008

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Wildlife on Photobox

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Adur Weather 2008 Page
Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2007 web pages

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages


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

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