A Nature Weekend and Bird Watching Challenges

This weekend we decided to relax a bit and get out and about in the country. This was partly down to my musings about bird watching. My wife wanted to do some walking, as did I, rather than cycling this time around. The two things – bird watching and walking – immediately made me think of the marshes near us. Haven’t been there for years and what a surprise! It’s always been a lovely place to walk, now it has been taken over by a wildlife trust and they have made some great improvements – including installing some bird watchers hides.

After that, we went to a local woodland park that used to be a gunpowder mill. I have never been there – tough Rachel and the kids have. Again I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the day – and I am hoping there some ornithologists or keen birders out there who might help identify some of these.

Trying to capture swallows! Rare to see them these days and so low as well.
An oystercatcher? Or a lapwing? anyone know?
Again – what are these big black birds? There are some other angles later on. I think they may shags? Or are they just geese? I need a better telephoto lense.
I know this one! A heron in the reeds 🙂

A sunny and refreshing weekend

We had a lovely relaxing time this weekend. Saturday was courtesy of one of Alexander’s school friends birthday party held at a local farm attraction – which included a playground and a miniature train. Perfect! We could sit back and let them have fun.

Sunday was a combination of a walk along the coast and the local Transport festival and fun fair!

Here’s a few pics.

A Good Weekend – the Details

Well as promised – though as I am not being allowed time to write properly – shorter than intended – the details of the weekend.


We met up with David, Lois and Spike to have a day out around Leeds castle. This was a lot of fun despite Alexander being totally headlong into everything. We went around the maze and the play park and Alexander insisted on getting a sword and shield for both him and Spike. We also went around the castle though Alexander went through at breakneck speed so didn’t really get time to look at anything.

Alexander IMG_6930 IMG_6946 Fun in the Formal Gardens

We came home and had a quick tea. The Liz came around. She and Rachel chatted while I got Alexander to bed. Then Liz and I went to the pub for a few pints and a long chat like the old days (and not just about the old days but also about the future.)


We had a slow lazy day on purpose. We took a leisurely walk down to the village and went to the pub (Queens Head) and had lunch. There was a reception for a christening going on so it was busy and there were lots of children for Alexander to play with. We came home and Alexander played with his friends out the front for quite a while. We then had a lazy evening.


We went to a Kent Wildlife Trust event at Bigbury Hill. This was an old fill fort where the local Celtic tribe – the Cantii (from where Canterbury gets its name)  resisted the advance of the Romans. Ultimately unsuccessfully but bravely nonetheless.

They had set up a camp with roman soldiers walking around and showing off their armour, and a play dig for children. There was a guided walk which was just starting as we arrived so we tagged along. However at the first  stop Alexander announced very loudly that the man was taking for too long to talk about it. So we discretely slipped away and did our own walk. Liz and Martin were also there but we didn’t see them despite Martin calling out to us. – Sorry guys. We we probably chasing Alexander.

The walk was lovely. The bluebells were out as was the sun and the shade of the trees was welcome. Full of birdsong too.

IMG_6990 IMG_7005 IMG_7055 IMG_7063 IMG_7085 IMG_7124

Then we came home for a relaxing evening – somewhat marred by Alexander and Rachel having bad Asthma – probably aggravated by hay fever – but otherwise and nice weekend. Walks, beer, kids and friends.

Good Weekend

Just a quick update – more to follow.

We had a great bank holiday weekend – meeting up with old friends and going out – drinks and walks. Will post more detail and some pics later.

This morning Alexander woke up and launched straight into conversation. Telling us he needed to have his coat and an umbrella. When asked why he paused – realised he had been dreaming but carried on with the fact that he needed them to be able to make the dream he had been having real – so he has his days playing worked out.