to Mill Hill from the Waterworks
Road. Formerly part of the original Mill Hill, although the horse grazing
(Frampton's Field) field was ploughed up in the late fifties. This page
will include some reports from the Mill Hill Cutting adjacent to the path
when it runs west to east. The path itself has always been a "Right of
Way". This is on chalk. There are rabbit burrows undermining the path.
to the Pixie Path Reports 2007
limit of interest was a Pied Wagtail
feeding on insects (presumably) the horse's
dung heap in Frampton's Field and a small
flightless beetle known as Paederus
over the upright Chestnut fencing.
Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, the horses and the pony are receiving supplementary
feeds of hay and churning up the soil. The Pixie Path at the southern lower
end is muddy.
balteatus, was spotted on a remaining
Knapweed flower. Two lone flowers on a stem
of Milkwort were
seen in flower on the path.
Knapweed flowers and a late Milkwort
were seen in flower on the path.
Admiral Butterflies were disturbed from
amongst Stinging Nettles on the western edge (next to the steep vegetated
drop down to the Waterworks Road) of
the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, a 7-spotted
Ladybird on Yarrow,
a young Common Lizard (with
a shortened tail) skittered along the bottom
rung of the Chestnut fencing on the northern side of the path and a one
Darter (dragonfly) was
seen near the top of the path (where the stile was). There was a few flies,
and Common Wasp workers.
Butterfly & Moth List 2006
were a couple of Greater Knapweed
flowers still in flower (in the centre of the south-north part of the path)
attracting a hoverfly and a bumblebee.
of Great Tits
sang from a Privet on
the road (A27) bank of the Pixie Path; the other shrubs/trees were Holly,
Rose, Wayfaring Tree, all with berries
These are the likely ecological successors on poor chalk soil (with Dogwood
and Ash added
on deeper soil on Mill Hill). On the path
there were two small Ribbed Melilot
in flower. Seven Red Admiral Butterflies,
one bright Comma Butterfly
and a worn and tattered Large White Butterfly
were seen in the hazy sunshine.
the gales and the rain, butterflies were seen including four Red
Admirals on the Ivy, one Comma
Butterfly that sparred with the Red
Admirals and settled on the chestnut fencing,
and a ragged Common Blue
on the path.
small Holly Trees
were in berry at the top of the road bank adjacent to the footpath.
Robber Fly with
prey landed briefly on the Pixie Path. Three
with patches of white on their wings and one larger all-black Carrion
were seen together in Frampton's
Crows in Frampton's
Field, Old Shoreham
two or more Crows
with patches of white on their wings were regulars at the southern end
of Frampton's Field amongst the horses (nearer
The Street twitten).
did not take to route to Mill
of the spectacular hoverflies Volucella
zonaria actually landed on my bicycle
tyre as I was wheeled my bike up the Pixie
Path to Mill Hill.
Ground Beetle, Carabus violaceus, hid
underneath the discarded chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path.
looked as though it was blind in Frampton's
Field with the disease Myxomatosis.
A large Crow
was nearby, perhaps waiting for the Rabbit
to die? After less than a minute the Rabbit
ran more slowly than normal to shelter.
diseased adult Rabbit
was spotted at the top of its burrow in the north-west corner of Frampton's
Field. It looked as though it was fatally ill with Myxomatosis.
visit, I attempted to count the Chalkhill
on the small garden-sized area of the Mill
Hill Cutting (SW end by the path up to the Pixie
Path). This was far from easy as the butterflies
were very lively and the males were chasing the hidden females. I arrived
at a figure of 25 males
and 4 females,
was a count, but a bit of an estimate as some had to be excluded in case
they were counted twice. Roughly it was the number of blues that could
be seen simultaneously with the females added on. The error margin is minus
5 and plus 15, so the total is 24 to 44 seen. Mating activity was observed
with three groups of two males and a female simultaneously amongst the
prostrate Horseshoe Vetch and Cotoneaster all weaved in together.
Robber Fly, Asilus crabroniformis,
caught a Greenbottle and landed briefly on the Pixie Path. The Greenbottles
were attracted by about a dozen to a dog's faex and the predatory insect
pounced. This large fly was quick to fly off. This is a Biodiversity
Action Plan species.
that flew across Frampton's Field at the southern end amongst the horses
(nearer The Street twitten) had predominantly
grey upper wings which could be seen clearly as the flew at low level.
Darter greeted me on the Pixie Path near
Blue Butterflies were seen fluttering
around on the Mill Hill Cutting, (SW end with the small patch of Horseshoe
Vetch) and the number was estimated at least fifty, which was by far the
most ever for this small location (medium back garden-sized area). There
was too many for an accurate count. Females
were included at about five (10%) and the Horseshoe Vetch leaves on this
crumbly bank is all intertwined with the prostrate Cotoneaster.
of the Chalkhill Blues (a female) seemed
to have something wrong with it. It was static and was shunned by the other
butterflies and when courted the other male fluttered off rapidly and this
butterfly just crawled and did not fly (even when tickled). All the other
butterflies, even the females were very lively. This may have just been
a female ready to lay its eggs though (it probably was). I think they may
use colour cues to choose the location and in this case it was on the Cotoneaster
and needed to find the Horseshoe Vetch
Robber Fly landed briefly on the Pixie
a dozen Chalkhill Blue Butterflies
was seen fluttering around on the Mill Hill Cutting, (SW end with the small
patch of Horseshoe Vetch). There was one definite
female and it was difficult to count them.
The Pixie Path had relatively few insects: a Speckled
Wood Butterfly a handful of Gatekeepers,
one or two Meadow Brown
Butterflies and Six-spot
to large dragonfly flew rapidly over the bridge
over the A27 to Mill Hill. It flew too
fast to be identified.
has been cleared of the obstructive vegetation (mostly Alexanders
and Stinging Nettles).
The chestnut fence paling had been thrown over the fence on to the road
embankment. I have now replaced it in its original position for the fauna
that lives under it.
of red on the upper part of the Pixie Path
was my first Cinnabar Moth
of 2006. There was the red of the Grass
Vetchling flowering on the sides of the
path as well. Wild Thyme
was noted on the southern bank of the Mill Hill Cutting. A
was seen for the first time this year. This was almost certainly the Meadow
Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus.
equestris hoverfly landed repeatedly
on the the Pixie Path. A Devil's Coach
Horse Beetle was seen underneath the discarded
of the path that runs north-south was almost completely overgrown with
and passage was difficult. Two Common Lizards
seen near the discarded chestnut fencing.
Woodpecker flew over Frampton's Field.
Two Silver Y Moths
were seen on the path.
was feeding in Frampton's Field at the southern end near the horses.
seen in this field are mostly Crows, Jackdaws
and Magpies, but Jays
and Rooks have
olustratum manage to attract so many flies,
and flying insects that it is impossible to record them all. A first hoverfly
of the attractive Leucozona
lucorum was one of them. Crane-flies
noted. Tilius elongatus small
black flies and larger Lucilla Blow-flies
present on the Alexanders.
Mouse-ears & Chickweeds
of Peacock Butterflies
settled on the discarded Chestnut fence paling, where a pair of Common
Lizards, large adults with intact tails
hid amongst the undergrowth making photography difficult, but they did
not skit away as quickly as expected.
were lots of flying insects on and around the path including Syrphus,
or Thick-headed flies,
and other very small flies
olustratum. This umbelliferalso
hosted 7-spot Ladybirds
and large black
of Dog Violets
were showing on the path, but otherwise it was as usual, although the Pill
Bugs (a wood louse) had increased to about
twenty under the discarded chestnut fencing. The Yellow
Meadow Ants and beetles Paederus
were still present as well. A Sparrowhawk
flew low over Frampton's Field and then settled on a fence post. It is
unusual to see a Sparrowhawk
so far out in the open. At first I thought it was a Kestrel
quartering the ground (if that is the right term?) like a Sparrowhawk.
the top of the Butterfly Copse, a flowering
ornamental Cherry Tree
attracted scores of Andrena bees,
altogether at least one hundred and most of them amongst the flowers high
in the tree and out of camera range. Around midday Small
Tortoiseshell Butterfly over Frampton's
Field (Old Shoreham). It was one of the dark red ones rather than the bright
orange. There were three Pill Bugs (a
wood louse) as well as smaller Wood
Lice underneath the discarded chestnut fencing.
The Yellow Meadow Ants
and beetles Paederus
were still present as well.
Meadow Ants (also
erronously known as Red Ants) Lasius
milling underneath the discarded chestnut fencing.
least three beetles Paederus
were still present as well.
is just beginning. Underneath
the discarded chestnut fencing the small spider
rapidly to try and find cover. This is a widespread spider. Amongst the
other lichens there were handful of clumps of
the distinctive Ramalina farinacea
mostly on the erect chestnut fencing.
Cherry ? (flowers
before Blackthorn/Sloe Bush) (left)
Top of Chanctonbury Drive
Pussy Willow (right)
Top of the Pixie Path
least three beetles Paederus
were still present underneath the discarded fencing.
surprised a bluish Sparrowhawk
perched on a branch in the spinney between the top plateau of Chanctonbury
Drive (SE of the bridge over the A27 to Mill Hill) and the A27. This is
on the edge of the Mill Hill Cutting. I got as close as two metres
before the raptor flew off, but it was well camouflaged and it was not
until I was three metres from it, did I see the bird of prey at all. It
was much bigger with marked hooded eyes than the familar Kestrel
I estimated its height at 40 cm. This is much
larger than the book size of the male which is only record to 30 cm.
was another (or the same one) of the caterpillar
of one of two Xestia Rustic Moths.
It was discovered in the same place as the other one, under the discarded
chestnut fence strut. (image) A beetle
was seen with frequent (about fifty) Woodlice
under the strut.
the discarded chestnut fence strut on the Pixie
Path to Mill Hill and illustrated on
the right, the caterpillar is likely to be either one of the (2133) Six-striped
sexstrigata or the (2134) Square-spot
Rustic Moth Xestia
xanthographa, both common species with caterpillars that feed on
a variety of grasses (and other plants if available) during mild winters.
in "Caterpillars of the British Isles" states that larvae of the two species
cannot be separated.
Moths (including the larva and adult of the Square-spot
Tit flew amongst the bare Hawthorn. A
were fifty plus Lapwings
in Frampton's Field with a few Crows
and Common Gulls.
There was one beetle Paederus
the discarded chestnut fence strut.
bee-sized fly, or was it a Carder Bumblebee?
flew off Frampton's Field that seemed to have more dung*
than horses. Under the discarded Chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path, most
of the dozen wood lice
and a few spiders
scampered off too quickly for the camera. One colourful Rove
Beetle (Staphylinida) was slower and is shown
on the left. There were three or four of these flightless beetles known
with four small cream coloured slugs (not caterpillars) and a small snail.
beetles contain a fluid called paederin which can cause the
skin to peel and is more serious if it comes into contact with your eyes.
There are examples of serious
dermatitis caused by this substance (beetle juice).
There was enough dung to alter the flora. It is usually piled up into mounds.)
were Wood Lice (not
Pill Bugs) under the discarded Chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path, but
I did not attempt to find put which species of isopod as they looked like
the common species found in gardens. These were my first terrestrial arthropods
(Crustacea) I have seen this year.
appears to be new growths of the Cladonia
Pixie Cup Lichens on the broken chestnut
fencing at the top of the path by the tall garden hedge.
green leaves are called "squamules" from which the "podentia"
grow. I am not sure of the identity of these lichens without the reference
but they could be Cladonia coniocrae.
to Pixieland 2005
Road and Pixie Path 2005