Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

April 2019

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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
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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 


30 April 2019

Orange-tip Butterfly 

A female Orange-tip Butterfly near Coombes was ample reward for a cycle ride which originally going too be a brief afternoon jaunt to Cuckoo's Corner, but I cycled further up the Coombes Road. It was fortunate as I caught a glimpse of a white butterfly and I just wanted to see if it was a Small White or Green-veined White seen earlier. Because the Orange-tip has a single early season brood and a short flight time the females are easy to miss.
Adur Butterfly List 2019

23 April 2019
With the first Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, appearing in bud on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, more butterflies were seen than expected on as hazy afternoon. 

A variety of ten butterfly species was more apparent than sheer numbers with Speckled Wood (one on the southern steps), Brimstone 3+, Small White 1+, the first of the year Small Tortoiseshell (southern, top), the first of the year pair of Dingy Skippers, 2+ Grizzled Skippers, 1+ male Orange Tips, another first of the year fresh Small Copper, at least one Peacock Butterfly, occasional Small Heaths 4+, and two Treble-bar Moths. Micro moths were frequently seen and ones recognised were the pyralids Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata as well as an even smaller Pancalia
Adur Butterfly List 2019

22 April 2019

Buckingham Road, Shoreham

Amongst dense vegetation on the Widewater flood plain I spotted a Hairy Shield Bug, Dolycoris baccarum.
Adur Bugs

19 April 2019

Mallard, Robin
 Cuckoo Flower, Mute Swan on its nest
Woods Mill

A motorised trip to Woods Mill produced my first ever sight of the huge eggs of the Mute Swan on its nest. There were a few restless butterflies in the sun including my first male Orange-tips of the year, a tatty Peacock and a very lively Brimstone Butterfly. One Orange-tip stopped on a Cuckoo Flower for just a second. A pair of Mallards had ducklings in tow on the main pond. 

18 April 2019

Little Egret

3-spined Sticklebacks could be seen darting to in the surface water of Widewater Lagoon on a sunny afternoon. And the Little Egret spotted one as well.

By the Widewater car park, the Blackthorn showed no trace of flowers or leaves and the adjacent Hawthorn was in leaf and budding. It was on the Blackthorn mostly that the Brown-tailed Moths had built about a dozen nests housing scores of caterpillars which will feed on the interlocking Hawthorn.
Illustrated Moth Nest Report

17 April 2019


Magpies were squabbling with a couple of Crows over the roof tops as a Herring Gull looked on.
Mill Hill Report

15 April 2019
Blackthorn had lost its flowers and Hawthorn was budding at Cuckoo's Corner.  I spotted my first House Martin of the year over the River Adur north of the Tollbridge from the western towpath.

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, but much more sparsely than normal. 

Blackthorn on Mill Hill

Amongst the scrub on the upper part of Mill Hill, the white blossom of Blackthorn looked attractive against the blue sky.

My first Brimstone Butterfly of the year fluttered past. The first of three Peacock Butterflies landed intermittently. No more skippers were seen. 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
Blackthorn dominated the white blossom plentiful in the hedgerows and amongst the scrub on the downs. Cherry Plum had virtually finished and so had the early Blackthorn, but Hawthorn was yet to flower in the wild. Alexanders attracted frequent small to medium hoverfly species: notably Syrphus type, Eristalis, as well as few bumblebees, Honey Bees and Common Wasps.


Cowslips were common on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between the Erringham Gap and the Cement Works.
I spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.
Adur Butterflies 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.

5 April 2019


Hawthorn was budding very early at Northbourne, Southlands, north Shoreham. But this was a planted hedge and not truly wild. Holly was still in berry in the same hedge.

Blackthorn flowers appear before the leaves and the Hawthorn leaves appear before the flowers.

Adur Trees 2019

April 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 2019
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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