Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

June 2018

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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

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 


4 June 2018

Shoreham Beach Central


29 June 2018
A very parched Mill Hill was visited in the sunshine of the early afternoon under a clear blue sky on the warmest day of the year recording 26.0 °C in the shade at 3:00 pm by the Met Office (Shoreham)It was breezy (Force 4) on the top of the hill, the long grasses regularly swaying. Conditions were far from ideal for a walk under the burning sun and the downs were empty apart from a few dog walkers. 

Greater Knapweed & Knapweed Broomrape
Mill Hill

I spied my first Gatekeeper (butterfly) and Small Skipper of the year on Mill Hill. A small bug on Ox-eye Daisy on the steeper slopes of Mill Hill was my first ever record of Calocoris roseomaculatus
Mill Hill Report

23 June 2018
Bright and noticeable in the morning sunshine, my first Marbled White Butterfly of the year was very lively over the parched verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works site. All but one of the fifteen or so butterflies seen were restless and followed my first Ringlet of the year for a minute before it settled briefly and I was sure of its identity. Other lively butterflies were a few each of Large Whites, Small Whites and Meadow Browns. The exception was a Comma Butterfly that remained still, with its wings closed, on a Burdock

Corn Cockle, Everlasting Pea, Wild Carrot
Spear Thistle, Hawkweed Ox-tongue
Old Shoreham

Ox-eye Daisies were wilting at Old Shoreham but the seeded beds were very colourful with Mayweed, Corn Marigold, Cornflower and a newly flowering Corn Cockle. Spear Thistle joined Creeping Thistle and Welted Thistle in flower, and the umbels of Wild Carrot were plentiful and the first flowers of Hawkweed Ox-tongue were seen amongst the shoulder high verges. There were seeded semi-wild beds on Adur Recreation Ground dominated by California Poppies

19 June 2018

Stag  Beetle 

A female Stag  Beetle flew well over my head in Kingston Lane from Shoreham to Southwick by a row of Elm trees.
Adur Beetles 2018

18 June 2018
Pineapple Weed, Matricaria discoidea, was a surprise discovery on a grass verge at the far western end of MIddle Road, Shoreham. It looks like a daisy without petals.

17 June 2018
Overcast with drops of rain in the air, but the breeze had reduced to a few fresh gusts: I disturbed a few Meadow Brown Butterflies in the meadow-like verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works site. 

Pyramidal Orchid, Dotted Loosestrife, Meadow Brown Butterfly
Spotted Orchid, Hardhead
Downs Link Cyclepath between Erringham Gap and the disused Cement Works

On the verges the green vegetation was already waist height dominated by Hardheads with hundreds of flowering heads, hundreds of Ox-eye Daisies, abundant Melilot with a few flowers, and adorned with over a hundred each of Common Spotted Orchids and Pyramidal Orchids, many which were hidden from view because of the dense foliage. The Mayweed at Old Shoreham seemed to have a scent when the flower was crushed.
Adur Orchids

16 June 2018
Blustered about terribly in the breeze (Force 5) it proved too tricky to capture a publishable photograph of my first Large Skipper of the year visiting White Clover amongst the long grasses at the Flood Arches end of Adur Recreation Ground.
Adur Butterfly List 2018

11 June 2018

The sunshine made it difficult to photograph over a hundred Common Spotted Orchids and about eight Southern Marsh Orchids on the southern bank of Mill Hill Cutting. The Pyramidal Orchids were just emerging on the north edge of Frampton's Field. 
Adur Orchids

6 June 2018

Musk Thistle, Meadow Cranesbill, Creeping Cinquefoil
Dropwort, Bladder Campion
Mill Hill

Often, the beginning of June shows a dearth in variety of butterflies as the Horseshoe Vetch nears its end with more seed pods than its yellow flowers, which are exceeded by the flowers of Bird's-foot Trefoil. In the early afternoon on the lower slopes of Mill Hill there were still over eighty (roughly counted) blue butterflies fluttering around in the sunshine. Most of these were Adonis Blues with occasional Common Blues, all very lively with only the females settling, wings closed, to deposit eggs. Add on another twenty five mostly male Adonis Blues, quite a few in good condition, on the middle and top part of Mil Hill. Other butterflies seen on the day were an estimated forty Small Heaths, a handful of Brimstones, four Dingy Skippers, two Painted Ladies, one Large White and my first Meadow Brown of the year. As I heard the stridulating grasshoppers and spotted a few, I disturbed at least one Cinnabar Moth and one small pyralid: a Pyrausta purpuralis.

5 June 2018

Downs Link Cyclepath: Erringham Gap to Old Shoreham

2 June 2018

Painted Lady

A Moderate Breeze (Force 4) blew the shingle plants around on Shoreham Beach to my distraction. The same south-westerlies may have helped my first immigrant Painted Lady of the year into the shelter of the swathes of Red Valerian on the pebbles east of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Whilst searching of this colourful butterfly, I chanced upon half a dozen Silver Y Moths fluttering around the nectar flowers. 
Adur Butterfly List 2018

1 June 2018
Sidelined at home for just over a week with illness (a summer virus) and unsuitable weather (predicted heavy showers and lightning) and I missed one day for bicycle repairs (awkward puncture), so the receding Horseshoe Vetch  and new summer flora was expected on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, after my absence. In the afternoon an advection mist rolled up the Adurvalley. Conditions were  too cool for active bees and butterflies. However, they were commonly found resting and the male Adonis Blues were frequently seen still in the short vegetation with their blue wings open. Every butterfly seen was disturbed by my passage and my tally of Adonis Blues was an estimated 135 (110 males and 25 females) in the one acre transect (counted 88 males and 17 females in the reduced transect 30 minute walk). Some of the Adonis Blues were tatty and worn. Occasional Small Heath Butterflies rose from hiding and I disturbed at least one Cinnabar Moth and a few smaller moths including one pyralid: a Pyrausta nigrata.

Cinnabar Moth, Adonis Blue amongst Horseshoe Vetch with seed pods
Buff-tailed Bumblebees on Musk Thistle
Lower Slopes of Mill Hill

The highlight of a dull afternoon was a dozen bumblebees on a patch of unexpected Musk Thistle on the lower slopes.
Mill Hill Report

June 2017 Reports

Wild Flowers 2018

Shoreham Weather 2018

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2018
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Adur Trees
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

Urban Wildlife Webring

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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