Both of our sons were born in Kent - west of the Medway, making them Kentish Men as opposed to Men of Kent from the east - and we were back in the County of their birth this weekend, for a wedding and to catch up with old friends. The bride was my former PA when I had such a thing, and the venue was the same place where my wife and I got married over a decade ago. Very happy memories: it was great having a PA.
|Male Turtle Dove - unlike the old days, none were singing over my old garden last weekend, but Kent is still a good place to catch up with them|
|This Hawfinch landed on my garden feeders for 3 minutes in 2003 - just long enough for my shaking hands to digiscope it through the French windows|
|Our friendly garden fox - pictured here in 2007, the year we left Kent for Dorset|
|Male Banded Demoiselle at Leybourne Lakes, the day after the wedding|
Another highlight on my inland Kent garden list was a migrating Wheatear which turned up one foggy Autumn morning. More exotic, but also more dodgy, was a Harris Hawk which used to frequent the area - that caused a bit of confusion, not to mention panic, when it first soared past the upstairs window.
|This is the female Banded Demoiselle, also at Leybourne Lakes|
Amid the happy memories, a stop-start journey there and back around the M25 was a jolting reminder of why we moved down to Dorset. But while we certainly have no regrets, it was good to go back for something other than a Dusky Thrush. Or a Crested Lark. Or an Eastern Black Redstart...
|A rare visit 'home' for these Kentish Men and their Mum. And an even rarer visit to Church...|