Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

October 2017

Adur Nature Notes
Adur Nature Notes
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 Lancing Beach 2017
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                                    Adur 2012 Nature Notes pages
                                    of Lancing Ring
                                    to the Adur Festival web pages
 World Oceans Day 2012
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 of Mill Hill
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                            Nature Notes 2017 web pages

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Fungi of Shoreham
Wild Flowers 2016
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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
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27 October 2017

Stonechat, Comma Butterfly
Common Blues on Marjoram, Red Admiral
Mill Hill

There were only four species of butterfly on Mill Hill in the afternoon sunshine, but then it was nearing the end of autumn. The first of five Red Admirals visited Ivy on the southern upper part of Mill Hill Nature Reserve, which had recently forage harvested, and these were accompanied by a Comma Butterfly high up amongst the Old Man's Beard. Down on the lower slopes the unwelcome Privet had also been shorn below the winding path; more than enough to enable passage. This reduced the remaining nectar for the few butterflies that were left, and within a few minutes the first two of at least three Clouded Yellows were restlessly fluttering around only seen to pause for a second visiting Wild Basil and Rough Hawkbit. They were followed by a small brownish butterfly and five minutes afterwards at least three female Common Blues were seen visiting three Marjoram plants still flowering at the northern end of the lower slopes. Common Darters (dragonfly) were frequently seen and outnumbered the total of all the butterflies added together. 
Mill Hill Report
25 October 2017
After the gales, a brief period of weak sunshine cast long shadows in the late afternoon, and I was pleasantly surprised to see an active Clouded Yellow Butterfly immediately on the upper meadow (north of the top car park) of MiIl Hill.  Nectar plants were few and it was restless until it spent a second on the purple flower of one of the few remaining Greater Knapweeds.
18 October 2017
In the rapidly fading light of a misty afternoon, I quickly spotted a female Common Blue Butterfly on a Creeping Thistle flower in an upper rough meadow on Mill Hill. Although the small butterfly remained with its wings closed I was able to catch a tiny glimpse of a chocolate brown upper wing. 
Mill Hill Report
Adur Butterfly List 2017

16 October 2017
At three o'clock the afternoon (three hours before Nautical Twilight), the dark clouds turned day into near darkness. There was slight orangey hue to the sky and birds (gulls and flocks of Starlings) seemed a shade confused like they were at a Solar Eclipse. It felt like a heavy shower was imminent but it did not rain until the following day.
BBC Ophelia Report
Storm Ophelia
Shoreham Weather 2017

14 October 2017

Already looking for possibly the last butterfly of the year on Mill Hill, a large butterfly flew over me and  this was almost certainly a Red Admiral. A few minutes later in the top meadow (north of the upper car park), the same damaged Wall Brown of over a  week ago landed briefly in front of me. Flowers were scattered but there was at least 27 species of common chalkhill plants on the upper part of the hill around midday.

12 October 2017
With the verges of the Downs Link Path on both sides shorn of vegetation, there was absolutely nothing to make my cycle ride to the Cement Works worthwhile. I cycled to Woods Mill and that had mostly mud, fallen leaves and acorns. Common Darters were frequent and a few Speckled Woods survived to flutter around under the trees. A much larger brighter dragonfly flew by the viewing platform to the large pond and this was certainly a Southern Hawker. Frequent Whirligig Beetles rippled the surface of the small pond and that was it.

Woods Mill, Small Dole

5 October 2017

Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow
Wall Brown, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, 
Mill Hill Upper

An astonishing seven species of butterfly appeared in seven minutes in the meadow north of the upper car park on the top of Mill Hill. Pride of place went to a pristine Painted Lady but a Small Copper put in a plucky performance. A Clouded Yellow deigned to stop and visit a Creeping Thistle, but only for a second or two. The damaged Wall Brown of the day before still survived with three more with less bites out of their wings. Ten different species of butterfly were seen in an hour. 
Full Butterfly Report

4 October 2017

Red Admiral, Small Copper
Wall Brown

It was too breezy for flower photography and too cool for active butterflies on the top of Mill Hill. However, I did manage to spot a Small Copper Butterfly resting with its wings closed on a Greater Knapweed disc in the meadow north of the upper car park, followed by the first restless Wall Brown. The Wall Brown fluttered north over the rambles and thorn. I detoured off to the middle slopes for a few minutes disturbing a Meadow Brown and spotted another Wall Brown in flight. I returned to the upper meadow where I chanced upon a damaged Wall Brown that was still capable of rigorous rapid flight. This damage identified it as a third separate Wall Brown. And then a fresh Red Admiral landed on a Hogweed immediately in front of me.

3 October 2017

Slow Worm                                         Wall Lizard

Even the breeze had died down so I was eager to go out. The original plan was to see what was washed up on the shore, but this was forgotten as I found two Slow Worms under some roofing felt near Silver Sands, where there were two fresh sprouts of Childing Pink amongst over a dozen plants still in flower with a few Hare's Foot Clover. On the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, I spotted four small Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, on the flint. They looked smaller than normal, were all brown in colour and they could have been born this year?   There were also fresh sprouts of Sea Campion near the Coastwatch Station

2 October 2017
I cycled up to the top of Mill Hill only expecting to feel the bracing breeze under a dark cloudy sky. Too cool for active butterflies, too windy and dark to photograph the few remaining flowers, I nevertheless managed to disturb occasional butterflies in the meadow north of the upper car park. At least two bright Meadow Browns, two male Common Blues, and a Large White were inadvertently dislodged from their resting places. And a Wall Brown was spotted at rest for a few seconds. 

Ink Cap Mushroom                   Common Blue Butterfly

A clump of over a dozen Ink Cap Mushrooms had appeared by a wooden seat on the middle slopes by the top copse. Colour was muted autumn on the upper and middle of Mill Hill, the occasional yellow flowers of Hawkbits and remaining Melilot, occasional remnants of both Knapweeds and Field Scabious, diminutive white flowered umbellifers, and the pink remains of Hemp Agrimony

October 2016 Reports

Shoreham Weather 2017

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2017
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
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
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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