Higher Hyde Heath

Sand Lizard (male) at Higher Hyde Heath

A little sad to see the ongoing decline of the DWT’s Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve but still amongst the most reliable sites in the country to see the rarest of our native lizards.

Basking on the pantiles

Although they can be seen pretty much almost anywhere across the vast heathland the most reliable spot is amongst the building materials and debris adjacent to the Hanson’s yard.

Sand Lizard (female)

Slightly more wary then the males great to come across a female Sand Lizard enjoying the sunshine.

Common Lizard again enjoying the warmth amongst the pantiles.

Surprisingly few Common Lizards on this occasion but with it being so warm there was little need for them to be out basking in the sunshine.

One of our rarer moths.

One of the really enjoyable aspects about visiting nature reserves is meeting other keen naturalists.

I’d like to be able to say that I found this moth hiding amongst the leaf litter but it was kindly pointed out to me. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten its name but I do know that in common with so much of the wildlife at Higher Hyde its a nationally rare species. If anyone can identify it please feel free to drop me a line.

Large Skipper, Higher Hyde Heath

In contrast to NW England the range of insects to be found in Dorset is phenomenal. Although looking a little different to the Large Skippers found back home I think the silver spotting on this one is simply due to it being a bit older and worn.

Large Skipper basking in the warmth of the mid-day sun.
Spotted Longhorn Beetle on Hemp Agrimony

A really distinctive Spotted Longhorn Beetle. Surprisingly large and with an ability to hover before landing to feed on the nectar rich flowers of Hemp Agrimony.

Keeled Skimmer (female)

For many years Higher Hyde Heath was one of the best areas in the country for Dragonflies. Sadly the dam holding back a large pool of water at the edge of the Hanson’s yard breached a few years ago and despite efforts to repair it the pool is more often than not little more than a patch of mud. Hopefully one day Hanson’s will realise the value to be gained by restoring the pool to its former glory.

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