Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

August 2017

Adonis Blue
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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

2017  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
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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 


Fennel and Parsnip


27 August 2017
A Grey Heron was surprised at Annington Sewer and the large bid took flight, a short hop into the neighbouring pasture. This left an Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator, on patrol over the confluence of two streams south of the road bridge.  At Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning, I spotted (entirely on my own) my third Brown Hairstreak (butterfly) of the day as it fluttered down to land on a Blackthorn sapling to lay a egg in the middle of the day, They were very difficult to spot and because they climbed down the stem immediately I found them impossible to photograph successfully. Eleven species of butterfly were seen in the middle of the day

Annington Sewer

In Castle Lane Park (adjacent to Clays HIll), Bramber, three species of dragonfly were quickly seen by the pond: one Common Darter, one Southern Hawker and a clearly seen Brown Hawker, Aeshna grandis. A small shoal of less than a dozen Rudd would seen in the murky waters of the pond, which had stands of the blue flowering Pickerel Rush
Butterfly Report
Wild Flowers 2017

24 August 2017

Meadow Brown, Pyrausta purpuralis, Painted Lady
Adonis Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue

On a cloudy day, hundreds of butterflies fluttered over Mill Hill and many more remained hidden until disturbed by my footfall. An unprecedented number of 170+ second brood Adonis Blue Butterflies were seen over all parts of Mill Hill with most on the lower slopes. The number was under recorded because of the Privet incursions I was only able to complete 60% of my acre transect. There was still a dozen Chalkhill Blues in flight and at least four restless Clouded Yellows. Ten species of butterfly were seen in the morning. And a Painted Lady after midday
Mill Hill Full Report

20 August 2017


The white flash of the rear of a Wheatear was a highlight of my interesting visit to Anchor Bottom in the early afternoon.Other finds included my first Harebell and Autumn Lady's Tresses of the year, fifty Adonis Blues and
one Puff-ball and one Golden Wax Cap mushroom. A female larvaform Drilus flavescens beetle was also discovered on the concrete path by the swing gate so altogether it was a very varied hour and half. 
Full Report

18 August 2017

Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar

It was blowing a Near Gale and it was just not worth the difficult trip to Southwick Hill, not even for an Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar crawling out of a Rabbit latrine. The large field north of Slonk Hill Farm Road was ungrazed and full of male Common Blues, Meadow Browns and Small Heath Butterflies when seen from the bridlepath. The bridlepath route to Southwick Hill (via Stonechat Junction) added occasional Small Whites, a Holly Blue, a Speckled Wood, a Wall Brown and a Comma Butterfly.
Adur Butterfly List 2017 
Adur Wild Flowers 2017

14 August 2017

Silver-spotted Skipper visiting Dwarf Thistle on Mill Hill

After two weeks off because of rain, breezes and other inclement weather, I cycled up to Mill Hill in warm humid conditions in the afternoon. Butterflies were common enough but not very varied. Meadow Browns led the way with over a hundred and fifty, but there were over fifty each of Adonis Blues and Chalkhill Blues, frequent Common Blues and Small Heaths, and at least six Clouded Yellows fluttered past. Lastly, my first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year visited Dwarf Thistle just north of the Reservoir. This made for eleven species which was not bad after a fortnight of inclement weather.
Butterfly Full Report
Adur Skippers

12 August 2017

Hobby with Prey: a Wren, Mill Hill
Photograph & comments by Etienne Fournier

10 August 2017

Little Weed at the Bus Stop
Shaggy Soldier, Galinsoga quadriradiata

I spotted this little weed at the vehicle slope entrance to Coronation Green, Shoreham as I waited for he number 2 bus to Steyning. I did not recognise it and I had an inkling that it was an accidental immigrant. I was proven right as it was quickly identified as the Shaggy Soldier, Galinsoga quadriradiata, by the British & Irish Seasonal Wildflowers facebook group. 

Volucella zonaria hoverfly, Meadow Brown

Meadow Browns (30+) were all over the Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning, as I ventured to the northern row of mixed trees where I added three Gatekeepers, a few dark Speckled Woods, and a Holly Blue. It was cool day with rain in the air so I was lucky if any butterflies were in flight.  I was more fortunate with hoverflies as I spotted my first impressive Volucella zonaria hoverfly of the year, shortly followed by my first Volucella inanis
Steyning Downs
Steyning Downland Scheme

8 August 2017
With a breeze (Force 4) blowing from the north and black clouds over the sea,  I was not even thinking about butterflies until I surprised a Painted Lady by the south-facing carnot walls of Shoreham Fort,  It fluttered rapidly away. A male Common Blue fluttered around the remaining flowers south of the Coastwatch Station, Shoreham Beach
Adur Butterfly List 2017 
Adur Wild Flowers 2017

6 August 2017

Brown Hairstreak
Photograph by Etienne Fournier

As far as I am aware this is the first positive record of a Brown Hairstreak from any part of Mill Hill. This one was discovered by Etienne Fournier near the copse and north of the top car park
NB: An unconfirmed fleeting view of this elusive butterfly has been seen by myself on Mill Hill as well as one personally photographed record in north Shoreham in 2010.

1 August 2017
Cumulus clouds were thinly spaced across the blue sky and the sun was out more often than it was in. This made for more active butterflies chasing each other and generally more visible, but not much more than the day before in total numbers seen.

Peacock, Dingy Skipper, Speckled Wood
Adonis Blue, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown
Mill Hill

Eighteen species of butterfly were seen on Mill Hill, notably 46 Chalkhill Blues, 15 male Adonis Blues, five Clouded Yellows, and two second brood Dingy Skippers
Butterfly Report

August 2016 Reports

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MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

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Adur Nature Notes 2015
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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.
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