At the start of this year John and I spent a little time to take stock of our life. There isn't anything majorly wrong with it but we do get very little space to do things as a couple. I know this is a complaint that many couples have and when your children are young it is expected. Back then we used to get a babysitter so we could go out together at least once a month. Meals for two in a quiet restaurant, a movie or a visit to the theatre were our preferred outings. Trips out to visit places or long walks were enjoyed by the whole family. Now our family is grown up but we still have two of them living at home. During covid lockdowns it was great as there was no chance to feel lonely but we realised we don't get much space for just the two of us. Over a glass (or two) of wine we realised we needed some time together each month. We already try to go away for a long weekend/weekend at least once a quarter but we needed to increase the 'us' time. Our decision was to plan in at least one day a month to do something together, just us, no other family members or dog. Our choice of outing for January was a trip to Dungeness nature reserve for birdwatching which would also include a walk.
We had done a circular walk in this area when we had stayed in Folkstone for a weekend way back in 2014, You can read about that trip Here The walk had been along the beach, past the power stations and round the outside of the nature reserve. We had popped into the reception area to find some information about the reserve in anticipation of a future visit.
The drive down the motorway was sunny and crisp, a perfect day for an outing. We started at the reception area and after getting the information about what birds had been seen we set off to circle the reserve. The sky was blue with fluffy clouds.
If you look to the right of the picture you can see an area of land with posts around it. Through the binoculars I could see a lot of cormorants on the island and perched on the posts. I didn't have my big lens with me so couldn't get a good picture of them.
Whilst we could see the gulls, and waders when at the waterside we couldn't always see the smaller birds. This bush was a good hiding place to a big group of blue tits , and whilst we could hear them we couldn't see them.
We should have been able to complete a circular walk but having walked over three quarters of the way round we had to turn back as the path was completely flooded and the surrounding area was very soggy under foot. It wasn't a hardship to walk back the way we had come, especially as the weather stayed good all day. As we were almost back at the start we met this herd of sheep. Most of them were very obviously pregnant.
The reserve is difficult to photograph and as always the birds are even more difficult. Although we didn't get photos we saw a good range of birds including 3 marsh harriers. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo so I found this one taken by Pete Dommett