Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

July 2018

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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
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2018  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
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 



31 July 2018

Mill Hill

On the turn of the month, the Chalkhill Blueswere expected to reach peak numbers on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but for the fifteenth successive year the numbers have been terribly disappointing.  Under a cloudy sky, a third of an acre transect at the northern end of the lower slopes recorded an estimated (part counted) 60 blue males and two brown females with not many more than a hundred seen over the hill. Adonis Blues were about 30, but of the twelve species of butterflies seen the ubiquitous Meadow Browns led the way with 350 seen and many more hidden. 
Butterfly Report

27 July 2018

Silver-spotted Skipper

Already too warm by 11:00 am, the butterflies were all very active on Mill Hill. Fourteen species of butterfly were spotted including 47 Chalkhill Blues, a dozen Adonis Blues and a Silver-spotted Skipper
Mill Hill Report

23 July 2018
With the humid warm weather approaching a health risk, perhaps a visit to Mill Hill was ill advised, but I wanted to check up on the number of butterflies in the afternoon on the parched downs. Butterflies were lively and a full report is available on the Mill Hill page

Painted Lady on Mill Hill

Chalkhill Blues were all over the upper meadows and middle slopes in the early afternoon, but not so numerous on the parched lower slopes where most of them are usually found. Second brood Adonis Blues were a surprise this early in the year and a second brood Dingy Skipper was always a rare find. Thirteen species of butterfly was equal to the most in a day this year, but still nothing special. 

21 July 2018
A Plumed Fanfoot (moth), Pechipogo plumigeralis, was seen indoors.

18 July 2018
In the sunshine, at high tide, there was considerable commotion at Ladywells Inlet (by Cuckoo's Corner) in the murky waters where there were a dozen small shoals of what looked like Sand Smelt rippled the surface. Three of the larger shoals were well in excess of a hundred fish and three times in ten minutes they were send shooting in a triangular formation by a huge splash which was probably predation by a much larger fish, almost certainly a Bass

17 July 2018
I made a trip to Mill Hill in the afternoon when the Cirrus cloud cover made it a bit cooler. A couple of hundred butterflies of thirteen species were seen in an hour and a half. Meadow Browns led the way with only 15 male Chalkhill Blues so far.
Mill Hill Report

15 July 2018

Brown Argus

In the warmth of midday sun under a clear blue sky, a passage visit along the Downs Link Cyclepath from Erringham Gap and a stop on the verge south of the Cement Works with the butterflies, skippers and moths all hiding in the undergrowth.  They were all very restless after being spotted: an occasional each of male Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, Large Whites, Small Whites, frequent 6-spotted Burnet Moths, but no Gatekeepers seen. There was at least one each of Marbled White, one Small Copper one Brown Argus. and one Silver Y Moth

11 July 2018

Male Chalkhill Blues visited Marjoram on the middle slopes of Mill Hill

With the Cirrus clouds it was slightly cooler on Mill Hill, enough to send the butterflies into hiding on the warm afternoon. Meadow Browns were everywhere but there were a few Chalkhill Blues amongst thirteen species.
Mill Hill Report

9 July 2018

6-spotted Burnet Moths
Round-headed Rampion, Dwarf Thistle, Chalkhill Blue Butterfly
Lower slopes of Mill Hill

Over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the flash of pale blue were the very active and restless male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies, and I could not be sure how many there were. I'd estimate about eight seen on the lower slopes transect. They were outnumbered by the frequent Meadow Browns, frequent 6-spotted Burnet Moths, and frequent Gatekeepers, and shared the lower slopes with Marbled Whites, Large Whites, Green-veined Whites and a few each of Small Heaths, Small Skippers, Silver Y Moths, and two species of Pyrausta micro-moths.
Mill Hill Report

6 July 2018
Without a hint of rain the sun and extra humidity produced a haze and the flowers were dry and the old ones were wilting from lack of water.

Peacock Butterfly

Some of the larger butterflies may have been suffering too. The wings were damaged on this Peacock Butterfly seen near Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.

5 July 2018
All the signs of late summer; the meadows had been cut for hay and the young birds were out of their nest and trying to survive on their own. Gatekeepers (butterfly) fluttered around in the hedgerows.

Marbled White, Gatekeeper
Speckled Wood
Mill Hill

Most of all, the a flash of sky blue and the first male Chalkhill Blue Butterfly emerged on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Meadow Browns were frequently seen all over Mill Hill, but it was the flashing contrast of frequent Marbled Whites that were most noticeable. A formidable butterfly predator, the Southern Hawker (dragonfly) flew over the southern steps on Mill Hill where in the relative shade under the early afternoon sun, a dark pristine Speckled Wood, (the underwing view of) a fine Peacock Butterfly and a Red Admiral were all disturbed simultaneously.

Butterflies were constantly seen on Mill Hill with the total number well over a hundred in under an hour, mostly restless and querolous, the male Common Blue combative with the Chalkhill Blue. A bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly was positively huge when compared the frequent Small Skippers and occasional Small Heaths. Only one at a time Burnet Moths were spotted over the lower slopes. Immigrant Silver Y Moths were occasionally seen almost everywhere like they have been for the last week or more. Likewise the Large White Butterflies.

Adur Butterfly List 2018

4 July 2018

The grass was brown and parched and some flowers were wilting as the dry period continued. I saw my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year over the pebbles and gravel next to Widewater Lagoon. A Burnet Moth flew around without a pause, and whilst trying to find the Small Copper for a photograph all I spotted was a Small Skipper, two Meadow Browns, two Gatekeepers and frequent Large Whites.

Three adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skitted over the carnot walls of Shoreham Fort. Blown about in the breeze, here was one double Childing Pink amongst a dozen plus flowers and a hundred plants with dead heads and Hare's Foot Clover on the very parched Silver Sands
Adur Coastal 2018

Adur Recreation Ground

There were more Small Skippers in the Marsh Woundwort and other flowery patch between the semi-circular path and the Flood Arches, and more visiting the multitude of alien flowers on the seeded patch on Adur Recreation Ground.
Adur Levels 2018

1 July 2018
A score or more Green-veined White Butterflies were seen on the warmest day of the year over the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and Old Shoreham.

By 3:00 pm it was hot, the Met Office (Shoreham) recorded 30.5 °C and over 30°C for the first time at Shoreham this millennium.
Shoreham Weather 2018

July 2017 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2018

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Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2018
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Lancing Village

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Adur Nature Notes 2015
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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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