#30dayswild Day 10 A visit to Hothbury Heathlands

Today, we stopped on our way to a wild weekend at a Kent Wildlife Trust Reserve. This was a new reserve for us, as Kent is quite a way from home. We spent a couple of hours at Hothbury Heathlands, a reserve just off the A20 not far from Ashford. IMG_6004

We started our visit with a picnic on a huge fallen oak tree, in full leaf and rude health despite being on the horizontal rather than the vertical. The wide trunk made the perfect bench for us to perch on and enjoy our lunch in the sunshine.  IMG_6009

The reserve is heathland, with some wet areas with ponds and cotton grass, where dragonflies can be seen. We strolled slowly across the heath, our eyes wide open, trying to spot some of the small and rare creatures that live here.

The reserve is home to viviparous lizards, and we were lucky enough to spot one, hidden on the top of a log pile. _DSC0616 (2)

We saw a broad bodied chaser dragonfly whizz past, too fast to photograph but always fabulous to watch. Low down amongst the grasses, a red poplar beetle gleamed, bright red and beautiful, a new species for us. _DSC0625 (2)

In a tree nearby, a bird sang loudly, sitting clear to be seen, unfortunately I’m not able to identify this lovely bird, can anyone help?

We also spotted this shiny little beetle, scurrying across bare ground on a pathway. I’m still working on identifying this one, I’m guessing it’s some kind of dung beetle? _DSC0637 (2)

Insects buzzed, flowers bloomed, the sun shone and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon ahead of a wild weekend to come. IMG_6006

We really enjoyed our, all too short, visit to this Wildlife Trust reserve, quiet and peaceful, a good break in our journey. IMG_6018

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