Trip reports

Hothfield Heathlands - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Karen Snow)

Hothfield Heathlands - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Karen Snow)
Carrion Crow [Richard Hanman]

Sunday, 26 August 2018

This heathland at Hothfield just outside Ashford has a mixture of scrub, woodland, heathland and bog, it's worth a visit at any time of year. Eight members of the group set off from the car park, crossing the road and going through the coppice woodland onto the heath. It was very quiet although there were a lot of dog walkers.

We headed off down to the bottom then across to the main bog area. Unfortunately, with this year's summer heat, the bog was almost dry with no sundews in evidence that we could see. The only birds were gulls overhead which added to the carrion crow and wood pigeon already seen. The highlight was the flyover Spitfire!

We carried on across the boardwalk heading for the woodland. We stopped for a while before entering the wood, but all we saw were a blue tit, great tit and robin. We also commented on the sheep which appeared to be heardwicks. It was at this point that our ninth member joined us having missed us in the car park.

We continued across the roadway to an area not previously visited which took us across another dry bog area. We saw more blue and great tits and heard long tailed tits, the Spitfire did a return flight. We also heard a green woodpecker.

Heading back through to the wood, we again passed the sheep who had taken refuge from the increasing wind under the trees.

We had a moment looking for elusive birds in the top of the trees, which included nuthatch, treecreeper and great spotted woodpecker plus unidentified others. Heading back out onto the heath we passed the Highland cattle and had a couple of buzzards.

We turned left making our way to the far end of the heath. Crossing the third dry bog of the day, we saw the buzzards again and a herring gull. We were almost at the end of our walk when we had another couple of treecreepers and some small birds which we think may have been goldcrests, there were also possible chaffinches.

Heading back up the hill and across the car park to the triangle we hoped for spotted flycatcher, but were unlucky. There were plenty of tree creepers and we added house martin's to the list.

It was just starting to rain, so we called it a day, not a huge list of birds, but a nice walk.

Karen Snow