Thankfully, it seemed not too bad this morning, and we decided to take a chance and go somewhere not too far afield for a walk. Although Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve is only a few miles from where we live, neither of us had ever been there, so we didn't quite know what to expect.
The sun continued to shine, and the wind stayed reasonably low, so we were able to comfortably explore the reserve, which covers over 200 acres of land, and is a mixture of ponds, marshes and woodland.
The map were were given when we got there showed several paths around the reserve and some "hides" from which you can watch the birdlife. According to one of the signs we saw, there have been well over 200 species of birds spotted at the reserve, so it must be very successful. I knew it was popular with the wildlife enthusiasts, but had no idea that such a varied number of birds could be seen there.
We walked along the well made paths to begin with, but ended up trying out some of the slightly muddier ones after a short time to get to the more interesting areas. Despite it being quite a nice day there were not too many people there, and some of the 6 hides we visited had no one else in them at the time.
Of course, we hadn't really got the faintest idea what we were looking at most of the time, but nevertheless, it was a very enjoyable few hours we spent there. It was very tranquil, and it was hard to believe that we were only a very short distance from both a major dual carriageway and the local airport.
We did spot a few helicopters flying around, but this did not detract from the tranquility we felt.
One of the hides did have a bird watcher in it, who greeted us with "would you like to see a cuckoo?" - not really knowing what else to say, we said yes! He pointed to a tree in the distance, and Sally having the binoculars around her neck looked first and spotted it straight away. I had a look and found it too after a short while. We had heard the distinctive noise of a cuckoo while we have been walking, so it was nice to see it. Sadly, my camera has not got a zoom lens on it, so i wasn't able to take a photo of it, however the twitcher had taken one on his camera which he showed us.
All in all, it was a very pleasant time there (almost 3 hours, so you can tell we enjoyed it!), and we are looking forward to going again, and are also searching the internet for other similar places that we can visit.