Trip reports

Hothfield Common & Heathland (Leader Marie Tilley)

Sunday, 5 June 2016

After the awful weather we had experienced over the previous week it was with great relief that the weather had significantly improved for the scheduled walk at Hothfield. The sun shone and it was a comfortable warm day, ideal for walking! Eleven of us set out for an anticipated eventful walk.

The first item on the agenda was to investigate the site for the spotted flycatchers. I'm pleased to say that we found them in the same location as in the previous year. We spent 30mins or so there in which time we also had a chiffchaff and treecreeper.

We then set of to circumnavigate the heathland. I'm delighted to say that we had the most amazing views of the yellowhammers (my target bird). They were glorious! I have not seen so many in many a long year! We even found a nest site! I'm wondering if the increase in number is due to the management of the heathland as highland cattle and sheep now graze there!

We were serenade on our walk by not only the yellowhammers but whitethroats, willow warblers, garden warblers, blackcaps and chiffchaffs.

It was not only the birds that delighted us, the plant life was diverse from the boggy area where there were quite a few interesting water species, to the fabulous cotton grasses and foxgloves.

The sun had also brought out butterflies and other insects. Some of the group took a photo of a small copper on top of a yellow flower, you may see the image in future publications! On the list of flying things with more than two legs we had, small white, speckled wood, skipper, banded demoiselle and carder bees.

It was a real delight to be out on the heathland and if you get a chance (if the weather is fine) go there, you'll be glad you did!

Marie Tilley