Hothfield Common field trip report

The weather forecast was rain followed by lightning and we had neither, but the skies did get darker as we made our way back to the car park.

First off we heard woodpeckers and other woodland birds, notably song thrushes and chiffchaffs trying to out sing each other. A treat was on hand when we first heard, then saw, a nightingale, the first this year for most of the group.

Getting lost in the woods for the second year running, we made our way to see if the orchids had started to flower. Sadly not, but we heard cuckoos and had a lovely sighting of a yellowhammer on a gorse bush.

Moving on a little, we heard and some saw a garden warbler which was eventually drowned out by its cousin, another chiffchaff.

The Kent Wildlife Trust have cut back many bushes this year to open up the heathland in order to hopefully accommodate and encourage native flowers and there were masses of English, Spanish and hybrid bluebells on show.

Steve Clarke – field trip leader