Route to Mill Hill
of Lancing Ring (External Link)
Hamblett's Mill Hill & Beeding Hill web page (with photographs of orchids
and other wild plants). This page contains a photograph of a male Chalkhill
around the Adur Valley
REPORTS 2004 >
was seen flying north over Beeding Hill at 11:30
from the Grinstead Lane bridge, Lancing, towards the north-east, a thin
coating of snow has settled on Truleigh Hill on the far side of the Adur
valley gap. The distant hills backing Brighton are all coated in white.
were grazing on the upper slopes of the field that includes Anchor
Bottom and there seemed to be wet cow pats near the Dacre Gardens
entrance at Upper Beeding, where two Marbled
White Butterflies were seen. Scabious
was commonly growing on the slopes. I am not clear about identifying the
Scabious and Small
Scabious, but these ones had rudimentary leaves
like the few on the lower slopes of Mill
to Anchor Bottom is possible from
the north end of Dacre Gardens at Upper Beeding. This is the famous area
for the Green-winged Orchids,
but they were no longer in flower. This orchid is still present in thousands.
is an undergrazed cow pasture with long grasses, clovers,
but also Pyramidal Orchids,
and other calicoles.
Heath Butterflies are found here and there
were at least 15, slightly more than the number of Meadow
Browns, with a a few Small
Tortoiseshells and at least one Common
Butterfly List 2004
saw about half-a-dozen brand-new Large
Skippers at Golding Barn, near Upper Beeding.
Blue Butterfly of
2004 was spotted in the buttercup
strewn field north-west of Beeding Hill car park.
immediately afterwards I saw what looked more like an Adonis
Blue on the top slopes of Anchor Bottom.
Anchor Bottom was decorated in yellow but this was from buttercups
(possibly Creeping Cinquefoil)
not Horseshoe Vetch (food plant of caterpillars of the Adonis Blue) but
despite the absence (maybe scarcity) of the food plant this identification
is probable. A minute or two later on the chalk and flint lane from Beeding
Hill to Castletown, a Holly Blue Butterfly
fluttered around the bushes that lined each side of the bridleway.
were in song and flight over the downs and a dozen or so Rooks
probed the soil on Beeding Hill with their silver beaks.
A small ladybird on a Dove's-foot Crane's-bill
(Geranium) was a tiny (2 mm long) yellow beetle
with black spots. The most likely species is the Sixteen-spot
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of Mill Hill, the first Rook
appeared, followed by a pair east of Erringham Hill, and at Anchor Bottom
and Beeding Hill to the north over 300 Rooks
probed in the grasslands. Alas, the cow pasture at Anchor Bottom was just
dried cow pats (without the cows) and attendant mushrooms.
||There were scores of
these dome-shaped Panaeolus sphinctrinus mushrooms
by the dried cow pats.
the exposed west facing escarpment of Anchor Bottom had a reputation for
butterflies, but there was a complete* absence of both Horseshoe
Vetch and Bird's
Foot Trefoil (the important food plants for
blue butterflies). (*
searched acres of ground and fastened my binoculars on any hints of yellow,
which included Silverweed
The only butterfly on the downs was a Small
nectaring on an Oil
Seed Rape flower on the edge of an arable
field. At the foot of the South Downs Way path as it crosses the Steyning
to Shoreham road, my first Orange Tip Butterfly
of the year fluttered by, the flicker of the orange wing tips of the male
pleasing to observe. (* Later, Jim
Hoare was able to discover patches of Horseshoe
Vetch on the path going north to Golding Barn
where the livestock cannot graze.)
the unadopted, chalk and very flinty road from Beeding Hill to Castletown,
there was the yellow fluttering of a Brimstone
Butterfly and a clump of Cowslips.
in the afternoon whilst cycling on the bridleway to the south east
Beeding Hill, I heard one male Quail
calling very distantly to the south
I climbed the steep path from the South Downs Way Footbridge over the Adur
to Beeding Hill I heard the Skylarks in song and saw their familiar outlines
in the sky. Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies
increased in frequency and I must have spotted 30 but some could be the
same butterfly following me. There was just a solitary faded Painted
Lady Butterfly that landed in front of
half of Anchor Bottom (near Beeding Hill) from the meadow to the NE
photograph above shows the grazed meadow that contained a few battered
pyramidalis, and a handful of better
conopsea. Kidney Vetch,
vulneraria, were noticeable.
the roadside verges at the top of the hill in the picture, I saw a handful
of the first Meadow Brown Butterflies of
feeding in a stubble field (west side) on the way up to Beeding Hill from
Skipper Butterfly was seen by the side
of the Industrial Estate at Golding Barn near Upper Beeding (near Steyning)
in the Adur valley on a breezy overcast Easter Sunday morning. This species
is not often recorded, although it it is known from Mill
Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen between
Beeding Hill and Truleigh Hill.
an overcast day, following a shower, a Small
Copper Butterfly was 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
few female Common
Butterflies were seen near Beeding Hill.
is a female Common Blue. The white flecks on the wings are typical
of female Common Blues found on calcareous
soils. Andrew Daw.
or four species of Dragonflies
hawked/darted over the Downs. In order of frequency, they appear to be
(subject to confirmation):
Dragonfly (frequent 30+) Anax imperator
of these could have been the Migrant
Hawker, Aeshna mixta on reflection.
However, despite the late in the year flying time, the size of the Emperor
should make them unmistakable, so they were probably present.)
70+) Sympetrum striolatum
were blue-grey the others orange-brown
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Damselflies & Dragonflies
Dragonflies Picture Gallery
Davies surprised a Roe
Deer when cycling between Truleigh Hill and
New Erringham Farm over the downs route
to Mill Hill. It was in the arable field on
the east side near Beeding Hill.