Butterfly Reports (Butterfly Conservation Society)
UK Butterflies: Sightings
Adur Butterfly Species
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
Adur Nature Notes 2011
Adur Butterfly List 2010
Adur Butterfly List 2011
Adur Butterfly List 2012
UK Butterflies & Moths (alphabetical order by common name)
Sussex Moth Group Sightings
UK Leps Taxonomic Butterfly List
Adur Butterfly List 2020
A Red Admiral was seen by Widewater.
A Red Admiral fluttered over Shoreham High Street.
After a week of inclement weather, there was a Red Admiral blown about in the breeze at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham (SE of Mill Hill Road bridge). There were no butterflies seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
1 October 2019
Wall Brown Butterfly
After four days of inclement weather, I was pleased to see a fresh Wall Brown Butterfly over the verges just south of the cyclepath crossroads at Old Shoreham. It made a one second visit to a yellow Bristly Ox-tongue flower, about the only nectar available
20 September 2019
Meadow Brown on Wild Basil
was a show of about fifty butterflies
of eleven species with some, especially the
Copper and the one tatty and one worn
likely to be the same butterflies
seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill four
days ago. There were a handful of male Common
Blues, two brighter Brown
Small Heaths and Small
Whites with one fleeting glimpse of a
on the lower slopes. A bright Clouded
Yellow was seen in the distance. A probable
brown female Adonis Blue
crawled amongst the undergrowth. A Red
Admiral or two were seen on the middle
part of Mill Hill and a Speckled Wood
in the top copse. On the parched hill there were few nectar plants:
Bit Scabious was a clear favourite but on
the middle part Wild Basil
and Hoary Ragwort
were seen used.
Eleven species of butterfly
17 September 2019
Shoreham Harbour, Southwick Canal (north bank)
16 September 2019
Meadow Brown, Small White
Butterflies were frequently disturbed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill under a cloudy sky. Most of them were a the northern end where the Devil's Bit Scabious was in flower. Variety was favoured over sheer numbers where Large Whites (10+) led the way in frequency and activity. A closer look identified some Small Whites but I am not sure how many. Most of the other butterflies were resting until I disturbed them. A Red Admiral rose from the ground in front of me in the middle section of the lower slopes. Small Heaths and Meadow Browns put in an occasional appearance, despite the lack of any sun shining through the clouds. A faded Brown Argus sparred with a worn male Common Blue. Simultaneously, I caught a glimpse of the small or brightly coloured Small Copper Butterfly and the first of two male Chalkhill Blues in remarkably good condition. I did not see any brown females but a worn male Adonis Blue or two quarrelled with the other blues. A spectacularly bright Clouded Yellow was unmistakable out of camera range. There were about forty butterflies of eleven species on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Copper, Small Heath, Brown
was over a dozen nests and scores of Ivy
hederae, where the soil was exposed
on the west facing lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon. Ivy
was seen in flower as I returned by the uneventful ridge route in
Eleven species of butterfly
10 September 2019
top part of Mill Hill failed to produce
anything noteworthy, although I did see the following butterflies: Specked
Wood (1), Green-veined
White (1), Small
Whites (FQ), Large
Seven species of butterfly
A completely unplanned cycle ride produced unexpected results when the sun shined briefly. The first inkling was a Painted Lady Butterfly over the crowded Flyover Boot Sale on a field beneath Mill Hill in the late morning. White butterflies were frequently seen.
Brown Hairstreak (TQ 18355 10651)
Lane Park pond at Bramber was initially a
hive of notable activity, a patrolling bright blue patterned dragonfly
which I assumed was a Southern Hawker,
a handful of Common
Volucella inanis hoverfly,
Admiral and a Comma
Butterfly all within the first five minutes.
I was surprised by a fast fluttering small orange butterfly
which turned out to be a worn and slightly ragged Brown
Hairstreak. I did not know what else it
could be so it was not unexpected, but it was still a scarce and unusual
discovery. This elusive butterfly disappeared after a minute. It was the
first one I had seen in the month of September.
A Holly Blue Butterfly
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Six or seven species of butterfly
5 September 2019
30 August 2019
Blue, Buddleia with
a visiting Clouded
Adonis Blue on Devil's Bit Scabious, Chalkhill Blue or Adonis Blue
the late afternoon the sun came out and I
made a hurried visit to the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, where I spotted my first two restless Clouded
Yellow Butterflies of the year, with frequent
frequent Small Heaths,
frequent Adonis Blues,
occasional Chalkhill Blues,
occasional Common Blues,
a few Small
Whites, one faded Painted
Lady and occasional moths
including brief glimpses of Treble-bar
There were half a dozen female blue butterflies in a chocolate brown livery crawling amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa. I managed a good look at five of them but I was unable to discern whether they were Chalkhill Blue or Adonis Blue from their appearance. One was amorous, flirting with a male Adonis Blue so this is favourite. However, the blue scales were absent on the hindwings which indicates Chalkhill Blue.
An ambush predator, the Kite-tailed Robberfly, Tolmerus atricapillus, waited on a Bramble leaf on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
On a Buddleia near the lower car park on Mill Hill Nature Reserve there were another half a dozen or many more Painted Ladies.
Nine butterfly species
I got caught in a rain shower on a cloudy breezy Mill Hill. Painted Ladies 7+, Red Admiral 1+, occasional Meadow Browns, a few Small Whites and Large Whites, at least one Speckled Wood on the middle slopes only.
Six butterfly species
22 August 2019
a breezy Mill
Hill upper and middle north. List: frequent
Painted Ladies, Large
Gatekeepers, Small Heaths, occasional
Blues, at least one each of Red
Admiral, Chalkhill Blue.
Eleven butterfly species
20 August 2019
Downs Link Cyclepath, Old Shoreham
There was a perfect Painted Lady on the vegetated part of Shoreham-by-Sea railway station, north side.
A Small Copper Butterfly was seen on the Mayweed by the cyclepath in Old Shoreham.
Aberrant on the left
Hill lower slopes and ridge only. List:
(half transect northern),
30+, frequent Meadow Brown
35+, frequent Adonis Blues
25+ (including one aberrant),
occasional Large Whites,
at least one female Brimstone,
occasional Small Heaths,
four Speckled Woods
(scrub and southern steps), and one Treble-bar
Moth. Fresh Breeze steady, blustery (Force
Eight butterfly species and one macro-moth
After the morning rain the clouds dissipated by the afternoon. Fresh Breeze (Force 5).
Hill List: frequent
(quarter transect northern,
a few smaller than normal females, one
aberrant), occasional Gatekeepers
16+, frequent Meadow Brown
50+, about seven Adonis Blues (all
occasional Common Blues,
occasional Large Whites,
one male Brimstone,
nine Wall Browns,
occasional Small Heaths,
two Speckled Woods
(copse and scrub), occasional Red Admirals,
occasional Painted Ladies,
one Brown Argus,
one Six-spotted Burnet Moth,
one Treble-bar Moth and
a few pyralid
Pyrausta purpuralis. A
Hornet Robber Fly,
crabroniformis, landed on the middle
slopes of Mill Hill.
Thirteen butterfly species and two macro-moths
A Plumed Fanfoot Moth, Pechipogo plumigeralis, was seen in my kitchen and another one inside by my front door.
On a cloudy afternoon, again I parked my ebike by the Reservoir and chose the short route down by the ridge path to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In the early afternoon and it was warm (20° C) and very humid (75%) but overcast so the butterflies were not overly active. A dozen butterflies were attracted to the Marjoram on the northern part of the lower slopes but the others I nearly had to tread on, or were disturbed by their insect quarrels.
Lower slopes transect (one acre): Chalkhill Blues 94 (93 males, one female the 94th seen), Gatekeepers estimated 75+, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies, 10+ Adonis Blues (mostly fresh, first of the second brood), a handful of Common Blues, a few Large Whites, one Brimstone, two Wall Browns, a few Small Heaths, one Speckled Wood (southern steps), occasional Six-spotted Burnet Moths, one Treble-bar Moth and a few pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. 75% of the butterflies were seen at the northern end of the lower slopes.
Above the ridge: Chalkhill Blues 13, Gatekeepers estimated 15+, occasional Meadow Browns, and a few Large Whites.
Ten butterfly species and two macro-moths
Mill Hill (near the Upper Car Park): very frequent Gatekeepers, frequent Meadow Browns, occasional Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues, Brimstone Butterflies, Large Whites, Six-spotted Burnet Moths, a few Small Heaths, two Small Skippers, one Wall Brown. Copse: Speckled Wood.
The pale female Brimstones actually look white in flight with pale green undersides seen on the rare occasions when they settle or visit flowers. This in contrast to the brighter yellow of the males.
Hill Cutting (SW): a Small
Blues and a few
Common Blues and a few Meadow
cloudy and sunny.
Ten butterfly species and one macro-moth
On a cloudy afternoon, I parked my ebike by the Reservoir and chose a short route down by the ridge path to the lower slopes of Mill Hill where the grasses and flowers were blown about in the breeze. Wild Basil was attractive to the butterflies with frequent Gatekeepers, 15 good condition male Chalkhill Blues, three pristine Brimstone Butterflies, occasional Large Whites and occasional Six-spotted Burnet Moths.
the time I reached the lower slopes the breeze had picked up and the weather
was decidedly dull and the butterflies were all resting. I managed to disturb
38 male Chalkhill Blues in
a third of an acre. All were fresh bar one very worn and tatty specimen.
were also accompanied by five Peacock Butterflies,
least one Small Heath Butterfly,
and occasional Meadow Brown Butterflies
A fresh male Common Blue Butterfly
was noticeable because of its differing quality of blue and smaller size.
Seven butterfly species and one macro-moth
Downs Link Cyclepath at Old Shoreham just north of the Flyover: a few Large Whites, a bright Comma, a few Gatekeepers. Sunny, warm.
Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and Botolphs on passage: a few each of Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Large Whites. Cloudy.
Buckingham Park on passage: Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 1
Buckingham Cutting South: Meadow Brown 5+, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeepers 3, Marbled White 1, Ringlet 1. (15 minutes). Cloudy.
Six butterfly species
It is remarkable that in the middle of July a different set of flowers become dominant on the levels and Mill Hill.
Large Skipper, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper
new flowers came the
frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies,
Whites, frequent Gatekeepers,
occasional Small Skippers, Large
on the top and middle slopes of Mill Hill. There were plentiful nectar
plants but only the Large Whites
had an inkling to visit the Marjoram
found on the Buddleia.
Burnet Moths were frequently found on
purple flowers. Amongst the scrub there were two Speckled
Woods, one definite Ringlet,
and a Large Skipper in
the clearing where the first Chalkhill
Blue flew over. Over the northern part
of the lower slopes a second male Chalkhill
Blue quickly appeared followed by a few Small
Heath Butterflies, and a Brimstone
Butterfly. in the late afternoon, more
Blues first emerged and after a few seconds
flew off rapidly, one chased by a
About ten Chalkhill Blues were
all seen at one time. On
the return over the middle slopes a further tatty Brown
seen, but under a blue sky the number of butterflies
was spasmodic. WIth the prevalent Marjoram,
there were not as many as seen in previous years. The ambush predator,
the Kite-tailed Robberfly,
atricapillus, waited on a Bramble leaf.
Thirteen butterfly species and one macro-moth
A stunning male Banded Demoiselle (a damselfly), Calopteryx splendens, fluttered (like a butterfly) over the Chicory road verge at Erringham Gap. It stopped five times amongst the long grass and tall vegetation for less than a second each time and then disappeared.
Burnet Moths, Small
Erringham Road Verge
the road side verge the demioselle
was accompanied by a few Ringlet Butterflies,
a few Small Skippers,
a few Marbled Whites,
Burnet Moths, at
least one Meadow
a Shaded Broad-bar Moth,
extensively in flower, but it only
attracted two Large Whites
near the Cement Works. Off the beaten track in fields/meadow next to the
Downs Link Cyclepath there were frequent Marbled
Whites, frequent Meadow
Adur Dragons and Damsels 2019
Six butterfly species and two macro moths
Buddleia was extensively in flower and probably at its peak on the Downs Link Cyclepath between Ropetackle North and Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding. However, not a single butterfly was seen on the "butterfly plant" and there were not too many butterflies around in the cloudy late afternoon. A few Small Skippers were seen at Old Shoreham, frequent Meadow Browns needing to be disturbed, including some large females, occasional active Marbled Whites, and a sprinkling of Gatekeepers, Large Whites and one Ringlet. Two Burnet Moths whirred into view.
9 July 2019
Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
of the summer flew around the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, in the afternoon when the cloud allowed the sun to shine. All
the couple of hundred butterflies seen on Mill
Hill Nature Reserve were restless, with over a hundred Meadow
Brown Butterflies mostly
disturbed, over fifty hidden or restless Marbled
Heath Butterflies, and Red
Admirals, a few each of
Brimstone Butterflies, Peacocks,
Small Skippers (top meadow only and hiding),
Whites and one tatty and faded Painted
Lady, and a Yellow
Twelve butterfly species and one macro-moth
6 July 2019
Buckingham Cutting (south)
There were about eight restless Ringlet Butterflies, four Meadow Browns, two Large Whites and a restless Marbled White over the road verges at Buckingham Cutting (south). There was a single Kidney Vetch plant but no Small Blue Butterflies.
3 July 2019
Cinnabar Moths and caterpillars, Meadow Brown
common on the upper part of Mill Hill with
scores of restless Marbled Whites
and scores of hidden Meadow Brown Butterflies
on a sunny afternoon (with a few clouds),
occasional Small Heath Butterflies,
my first three Small Skippers
of 2019 and a
faded Painted Lady
in the Bramble-covered meadow north of the top car park, occasional Large
Whites, at least one Small
White, occasional Gatekeepers,
a faded and worn Small Tortoiseshell,
and a few Cinnabar Moths
Most of butterflies inhabited the areas of mixed long grasses,
and Greater Knapweed.
Nine butterfly species and one macro-moth
I recorded my first two Gatekeepers of the summer amongst the scrub on Mill Hill, with frequent restless Marble Whites, frequent Meadow Brown Butterflies disturbed on a sunny afternoon (with a few clouds), frequent Small Heath Butterflies, one Brimstone Butterfly and a Red Admiral, a few Large Whites, one faded Painted Lady and a few Cinnabar Moths. I visited the lower slopes but curtailed my impromptu visit to the middle slopes after my camera battery ran out (wrong spare by mistake, and TG-4 spare camera had malfunctioned). On the way back a blue butterfly was spotted by its underwing on the tarmac road, most likely a Common Blue? (but it could have been a Brown Argus or an early Chalkhill Blue?)
Nine butterfly species (one unidentified) and one macro-moth
On a very warm afternoon, on the few garden flowers of Ropetackle near the Viaduct, a faded Painted Lady Butterfly and a pristine Peacock Butterfly briefly settled.
27 June 2019
Lady, Ringlet, Marbled White
Downs Link Cyclepath between Ropetackle and Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding)
a sunny breezy
afternoon I leisurely cycled from Ropetackle along the Downs
Link Cyclepath spotting my first (of two) faded Painted
Lady as the path turned past the new development
at Ropetackle North. A tatty Red Admiral
landed on the tarmac immediately in front of me. Over the cyclepath verges
between Old Shoreham and Dacre Gardens (Upper Beeding) I caught a glimpse
of a fresh orange Comma Butterfly,
and there were frequent
Butterflies, occasional languid flying
first of the year Ringlet Butterflies,
at least two restless Marbled
Six butterfly species
Viper's Bugloss had taken over as the dominant plant on the shingle above the high tide ridge on Shoreham Beach West, its blue spikes exceeding all the other vegetation by mass. On a humid breezy afternoon, on the Widewater flood plain, one spike was visited by my first definite Painted Lady Butterfly of the year.
24 June 2019
It was cloudy and the overcast southern road verge of Slonk Hill Cutting was shaded by the trees. What remained of the open grass meadow was scattered with Ox-eye Daisies, Common Spotted Orchids and Rough Hawkbits. There were no purple flowers for the few active Marbled Whites Butterflies to visit. Male Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently disturbed and I also caught a fleeting glimpse of a probable Painted Lady.
23 June 2019
on Creeping Cinquefoil
Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works
I spotted my first definite Marbled White Butterfly of the year over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works. Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently seen with one Small Heath Butterfly and two Cinnabar Moths.
There were scores of Meadow Brown Butterflies disturbed on the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works in the late afternoon.
19 June 2019
Five-spot Burnet Moth, Meadow Brown on
Upper Mill Hill
was too cool for active butterflies
and they had to be disturbed from their shelter in the afternoon on the
upper part of Mill Hill. Meadow
Brown Butterflies were
frequently dislodged, as were occasional Small
Heath Butterflies, one Brimstone
Butterfly and a Red
few Cinnabar Moths fluttered
on to the underside of leaves and a Silver
Y Moth was seen amongst the leaves of
Knapweed. The fawn/yellow underside of a moth
was probably a Burnet Companion Moth
amongst the long grasses and Greater
Knapweed south of the Reservoir. I spotted
the whirring of a Burnet
Moth before one landed on a Greater
Most of the Greater Knapweed was
yet to flower and the open heads were frequent, but sparsely distributed.
The moth had
five red spots on each wing and this was a Narrow-bordered
Five-spot Burnet Moth. The Bramble-covered
meadow north of the upper car park hosted my first skipper
of the year: a Large Skipper
which was a find I was pleased about as they have tended to be infrequent
in recent years. There was another one on the middle slopes immediately
to the west of the upper copse.
Five butterfly species and four macro moths
"Mare's Tails" (cloud types) hung in the blue sky to the south with Cumulus and vapour trails looking north over Mill Hill. I cycled up to the upper car park where the northern meadow was now a large bramble patch. On the top part of the hill, Meadow Brown Butterflies were frequently disturbed, as were Small Heath Butterflies, occasional 6+ Cinnabar Moths, occasional 5+ Brimstone Butterflies, a Red Admiral and a Yellow Shell Moth. In the fading light there was two possible Marbled Whites but it was too dark under the clouds to be sure.
On the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the Cement Works on a cloudy midday, I spotted one each of the following: Red Admiral, Common Blue Butterfly, Meadow Brown Butterfly, Speckled Wood, and a Cinnabar Moth.
Just one or two Common Blue Butterflies were seen on Mill Hill Cutting (south) on a breezy afternoon, with at least one Speckled Wood, one Holly Blue Butterfly on the PIxie Path to Mill Hill, plus a Red Admiral visiting a flower on a fully grown Dogwood Tree. On the southernmost end of Mill Hill top plateau (the only area visited for five minutes) there were a handful of Small Heath Butterflies and a pair of Adonis Blues.
Six butterfly species without trying
Common Blue Butterflies were first seen on the shadier verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath on a sunny midday, but only a few actually seen. A first of the summer Meadow Brown Butterfly was clearly spotted on the sunnier verge of the Downs Link Cyclepath near the disused Cement Works. A definite Green-veined White visited the abundant Ox-eye Daisies on the cyclepath verges north of the Tollbridge. A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around my tiny front garden in Shoreham.
A few Brimstone Butterflies on patrol and a Holly Blue fluttered over a north Lancing garden near the Lancing Ring meadows.
On a Fresh Breeze (Force 5) afternoon, about forty Adonis Blues fluttered around the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with a few male Common Blues, with occasional Brimstone Butterflies on patrol, frequent 20+ Small Heaths, a Cinnabar Moth, and a Yellow Belle Moth, Aspitates ochrearia. Some of the Adonis Blues were as tatty as the fading Horseshoe Vetch. No skippers were searched out. There was a Speckled Wood amongst the scrub.
Adur Moths 2019
I disturbed a closed Speckled Wood Butterfly into flight in the twitten between Corbyn Crescent and Adelaide Square on a cloudy day.
The hoverfly Volucella bombylans var. plumata was spotted on a new looking wooden fence at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham. There were two Holly Blue Butterflies over Buckingham Cutting (south), landing on the Cotoneaster.
21 May 2019
fluffy Cumulus clouds allowed intermittent
sunshine brought frequent butterflies
out on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. About
three-quarters were lively Adonis Blues
in the transect acre,
more over the slopes) over the swathes of Horseshoe
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
frequent Small Heaths (20+),
patrolling Brimstone Butterflies (10+),
a few Large Whites,
a fresh Grizzled Skipper,
a fresh Dingy Skipper,
a Wall Brown
(on the southern steps), a very fast flying Peacock
Butterfly, at least two each of Burnet
Moths. Two pairs of Adonis
Grasshoppers were stridulating
at the northern end of the lower slopes and small movements were thought
to be nymphs.
Eight butterfly species and three macro-moths
Rain curtailed my early afternoon visit to Mill Hill, on a day not bright enough to make the butterflies active, although I disturbed five male Adonis Blues, one Brimstone Butterfly, and a Cinnabar Moth in a leisurely fifteen minute of less than half the one acre transect on the lower slopes. A Small White Butterfly fluttered over Dolphin Road, Shoreham.
A tiny 14-spot Ladybird, Propylea quattuordecimpunctata, landed on me near the Tollbridge. There were also three butterflies, a white one, a blue one and a medium-sized brown one, all flighty and not identified to species.
A Buzzard flapped its wings and then glided in the turquoise blue sky over Anchor Bottom. A single male Adonis Blue Butterfly fluttered over central south-facing bank area and a Small Heath Butterfly was seen amongst the hundreds of cow pats. A Red Admiral was seen on the South Downs Way near the Steyning road.
13 May 2019
Blue, Treble-bar Moth, Adonis
Brown Argus, Speckled Wood, Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue, Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper
Lower slopes of Mill Hill
a sunny afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill
Hill produced scores of restless butterflies
fluttering around the early swathes of Horseshoe
Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa,
There were well over a hundred per acre of nine
species and all of them were very active and
I had to wait for over an hour for any to settle nearby. Dingy
Skippers were the most frequent with over
forty seen, but Grizzled Skippers
were old and much harder to find only a handful including an amorous or
sparring pair. The only one that settled for a second was slightly frayed
at the edges. Twenty or so male Adonis
Blues were very lively until they came
across a few females.
Heaths (12+) were frequently seen often
chasing each other and sparring with other species including occasional
Butterflies patrolled incessantly without
pausing, occasionally bumping into the whiter females and both a Large
White and a Green-veined
White. A flash of grey was a disturbed
Moth, and a pretty Mother
Shipton Moth was recognised when it settled.
A Speckled Wood patrolled
the southern steps and a fresh Brown Argus
seen clearly by the winding path, near some Wayfaring
Adur Moths 2019
On a cloudy afternoon I spotted a Green-veined White on the verges of the cyclepath at Old Shoreham and two very active male Orange-tips near Ladywells on the Coombes Road.
2 May 2019
Dingy Skipper with Horseshoe Vetch
of brilliant blue over the lower slopes of Mill
Hill heralded the beginning of summer on the downs with the first male
Blue Butterfly of the year. It was unmistakable
even though seen in the middle distance for 15 seconds at most; too far
away to follow it for a photograph. Under
a dark cloudy sky with the first spots of rain,
it was too cool for many butterflies.
It was only after nearly an hour did I manage to disturb the first of half
a dozen Dingy Skippers,
followed soon after by a Small Heath,
a Green-veined White
and a probable Peacock Butterfly.
If I had not delayed my return I would missed the Adonis
Blue and a probable Wall
Brown. A Cinnabar
Moth was seen clearly but it quickly disappeared
Six butterfly species
1 May 2019
Green-veined White Butterfly
Alas, the auto-focus on my camera would not work on the whites of the Green-veined White Butterfly on the southern part of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, (which doubles up as a Footpath 3138 and was once public land in living memory, part of Mill Hill and the walking access route to the downs). The prime photograph was far from sharp as I would have liked and once disturbed the two white butterflies would not settle again. Instead, I was distracted by insect activity a dozen Squash Bugs, Coreus, including two mating pairs, my first Large Red Damselfly of the year, a Red Admiral Butterfly, first of the year hoverfllies, the distinctive Rhingia campestris and the usually obliging Myathropa florea. Lastly, the orange vanessid butterfly that flew over the Waterworks Road was probably a Comma.
30 April 2019
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 visiting the opportunistic plants
on the tidal defence new embankment (on the realigned Pill
Box Way) next to the Airport.
I did glimpse a small brown butterfly
on Adur Recreation Ground
near the Railway Viaduct, but this was
a too much of a fleeting look for identification. I also spotted the target
butterfly, a strong-flying male Orange-tip,
on the short incline from Cuckoo's Corner to the junction to Applesham
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered across the railway level crossing at Brunswick Road, Shoreham. This is the first positive record of the year.
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 over 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. A small bee was occasionally seen, small and rather distinctive in yellow and black barring: I think this was a Nomada species, most likely Nomada goodeniana. There was another skulking one which could have been Nomada fucata ?
A colourful moth amongst the Red Deadnettle and other dense vegetation on the Widewater flood plain was identified as my first ever Ruby Tiger Moth, Phragmatobia fuliginosa. It was strongly inclined to hide and I could not get a photograph. I underestimated the Brown-tailed Moth nests before and I counted at least twenty on the Blackthorn.
A motorised trip to Woods Mill produced 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.
Tottington Wood filtered the sunlight through the tree tops making photographing the ground flora very tricky which was not helped by the woody debris Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen as I walked through the wood.
Plenty of butterflies out in the warm sun on Mill Hill this afternoon: at least five male Orange Tips, loads of Brimstone and Peacock, couple of Small Tortoiseshell and a single Green Veined White. Possible Grizzled Skipper but only a fleeting glimpse. Bird wise, Whitethroats and Blackcaps were there, along with the Chiff Chaffs. A few Swallows were passing through.
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
On the middle of the lower slopes of Mill Hill I spotted just a single Grizzled Skipper, followed by the small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata, and later a Small White Butterfly and a strong flying Peacock Butterfly, and on my return journey a Speckled Wood fluttered around the southern steps.
11 April 2019
Admiral rose from the Daisy-covered
lawn at the top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham (SE of Mill Hill
Road bridge). 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. My first Brimstone
Butterfly of the year fluttered past.
The first of three Peacock Butterflies
landed intermittently. No more skippers
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
I spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.
I stopped in at Mill Hill and managed to find a Grizzled Skipper, the first of the year reported in Sussex.
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen on Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.
A Red Admiral rose from the Alexander-covered steps to Mill Hill (=Butterfly Copse) near the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
A Common Bee-fly visited the first few Cowslips on the the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works. Two Peacock Butterflies sparred, or courted, over the same path, a half mile, or so, further south. Three common species of hoverflywere attracted to Alexanders: notably Syrphus, Eristalis.
22 March 2019
It was too cool (9.2 °C) for a Peacock Butterfly to open its wings naturally as it was discovered with it wings firmly closed in the gutter of Buckingham Road, Shoreham, in the late afternoon. It was likely enticed from hibernation into a brief flight earlier to enable me to record my first butterfly of the year.
A Brimstone Butterfly was seen by the River Adur.
In the weak sunshine I spotted my first butterfly of the year; a Red Admiral over Mill Hill Road at the southern end of the bridge over the A27.
Adur Flight Times
Butterfly Sightings Summary
Butterfly Flight Times (best site)
Butterfly Conservation: First Sightings
UK Butterflies Discussion Board
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham
TBI: To be identified
NEW ACFOR SYSTEM OF ABUNDANCE OVER A SPECIFIED AREA:
= 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
VERY FREQUENT = 50-100
FREQUENT 10 - 50
RARE = ONLY 1 or
4-10 per year
Very Scarce 1-3 per year
Rare less one than every year
Very Rare 1-3 records in total since 2000
Condition of Butterflies
Fine: good condition
Tattered; Torn and battered
MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs
British Lepidoptera on flickr