Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex

September 2016

Mill Hill
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Adur Nature Notes 2016
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Link to the Adur 2012 Nature Notes pages
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 of Mill Hill
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Link to the Mill Hill Nature Notes 2016 web pages

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Lancing Blogspot
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Andy Horton
RX (Rye) Wildlife

Fungi of Shoreham
Wild Flowers 2016
Adur Insect Links:

Solitary Bees
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Grasshoppers & Crickets
Damselflies & Dragonflies




Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

2016  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 



27 - 28 September 2016

Brackish Water Margins
Widewater and the River Adur
Sea Heath, Lesser Sea Spurrey, Sea Rocket, Cord Grass
Cord Grass, Glasswort, Glasswort

23 September 2016

Wall Brown

Wall Brown Butterflies

Two Wall Brown Butterflies squabbled over Mill Hill in the afternoon of weak sunshine. Five species of butterfly were still around. 
Adur Butterfly Report

22 September 2016
At the time of the Autumn Equinox the subdued colours of autumn were evident with falling leaves exceeding fluttering butterflies of which three Red Admirals blown about on the breeze was the day total from the verges of the Downs Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham. Under a cloudy sky, the high equinoctial spring tide lapped against the towpath. There was very little colour or movement: the chattering House Sparrows, immigrant flocks of Starlings, a Great Tit, and a hundred strong flock of Common Gulls on the western bank of the River Adur following a tractor. 

Downs Link Cyclepath

This lack of colour prompted me to have a closer look at what was around on the verges of the cyclepath and I added two previously overlooked flowering plants to my local list: two clumps of the large flowers of Perennial Sow Thistle, Sonchus arvensis, and my first identification of the Hoary Ragwort, Senecio erucifolius.
Adur Ragworts
21 September 2016
Eventually, I spotted my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year in Old Shoreham by the River Adur. Typically, it visited the small amounts of Fleabane still in flower next to the towpath north of the Tollbridge, but only for a few seconds before it disappeared. Small White Butterflies were still frequently seen in the sunshine, especially over Shoreham Beach
Adur Butterfly List

20 September 2016
An early morning start to see an Little Egret fishing in the very muddy shallows on the low (0.5 m) equinoctial spring tide receding past the Chart Datum tide marker on Kingston Buci Beach: the fish eating bird probably had a good feed as there were hundreds of hundreds of edible-sized Edible Prawns, Palaemon serratus, large enough to eat. Microscopic Brittlestars were a surprise discovery under a large rock. Two small Long-legged Spider Crabs Macropodia rostrata, were decorated in red algae. 

Full Rockpooling Report

18/19 September 2016

Sea Blite
Ray's Knotgrass, Glasswort, Orache

Adur Oraches
Adur Glassworts

15 September 2016

Shoreham Beach
Oxford Ragwort, Hare's Foot Clover
Childing Pink, Kidney Vetch

It was still sunny for almost all day and the southerly breeze hardly blew the flowers about. Near Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach, a few Childing Pink, Petrorhagia nanteuilii, were still in flower with the seed heads of Hare's Foot Clover, and the last  flowers of Kidney Vetch. On a road verge nearby, I recorded the Oxford Ragwort, Senecio squalidus, for the first time; a more showy immigrant plant than the native Common Ragwort. A couple of juvenile Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered over the carnot wall of Shoreham Fort

12 September 2016
Swallows flew to and fro over the top of Mill Hill under a blue sky in a prelude to migration. In the complete opposite to my normal route, I walked over the top plateau toward the upper car park. The very short turf was covered in hundreds of budding Autumn Gentian plants with a few in flower. I stopped by some Small Scabious and chanced upon a single spike of the late orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses for the first time on Mill Hill for several years.

Adult Adder

Nine species of butterflies and at least four moths were dominated by Meadow Browns and worn but amorous Adonis Blues with a few Clouded Yellows. All paled compared to the unexpected highlight of the afternoon, as I discovered a 75 cm long adult Adder.
Mill Hill Report

11 September 2016

Anchor Bottom and Upper Beeding
Small White Butterfly  on Ragwort
Carder Bee, Yellow Wort, Small Scabious, Welted Thistle

In the autumn sunshine there were frequent butterflies and they were almost all Whites, with a few Red Admirals, and at Anchor Bottom there was a Small Heath and a couple of Meadow Browns. A school of twenty Grey Mullet of various sizes could be seen feeding in the shallows underneath the Ferry Bridge at low tide. The white bobbing rump of a Wheatear was seen as it flew over the shingle seaward of Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach, prior to emigration.

6 September 2016

Sloe & Haws

There was a very autumnal look to the downs with wild flowers going to seed and the first berries. Two Kestrels hovered over the ridge of Mill Hill at the same time. Butterflies on Mill Hill were appreciably less than at the beginning of the month falling to under a hundred and with a similar variety of eleven species.
Adur Butterfly List

4 September 2016
An organised walk by Sussex Botanical Recording Society on Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve led to the discovery of plants that were not on the Friends of Shoreham Beach list or noted before on these Nature Notes pages. This most notable of these were the diminutive four-petalled flower and easily overlooked Sea Rocket, Cakile maritima, and even easier to miss very rare Ray's Knotgrass, Polygonum oxyspermum. Both straggling prostrate plants were discovered right down on the shingle beach only a metres above the strandline, in an area where the prostrate form of Orache, Atriplex, was previously thought to me to be the only wild plant present in this zone. 

Shoreham Beach
Ray's Knotgrass, Sea Mayweed
Sea Rocket

1 September 2016
A quick visit in to Mill Hill in good afternoon conditions, sunny but not too warm, was rewarded over hundred butterflies of the expected small selection of five species on the lower slopes. Only eight species of butterfly were seen in the afternoon. A Buzzard glided at quite a low level over the northern part of Mill Hill, seen from the lower slopes. 

Kestrel on Mill Hill

Forty five minutes after the Buzzard had flown off, a Kestrel hovered over the top part of the hill, seen above as clambered up the steep steps to the ridge and the top of Mill Hill. Three  times in ten minutes it was seen to fold its wings and descend rapidly. But no prey was seen in its talons. 

September 2015 Reports

Adur Wild Flowers 2016
Shoreham Weather 2016

EasyTide (Shoreham)

Shoreham Beach Weather Station

Adur Nature Notes 2013

Adur Butterfly List 2016
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 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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