Not as cold as expected

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Sunday was meant to be freezing. The forecast promised it. I love the cold and one time I can properly wrap up all cosy. And with a lovely late start to the marsh (alarm set for 5am – this is late!) I gathered layers, and more layers.

It’s always hard to dress for wildfowling. You’re going to be sitting for a couple of hours in an exposed spot, probably rather damp. But before and after there’s a long, and sometimes tricky, walk and I ALWAYS get too hot.

I made my best guess and we started walking, and walking. We headed out towards Ray island (previously mentioned here) but this time the destination was the far side of the island itself. J called to walk out up the east side of the island “it’s a bit longer, but a much easier walk!” He was wrong. The thigh high grass, and not having been out for a proper walk for a month, meant that I struggled, including tripping with the tussocky footing hidden beneath the long grass. I fervently wished we were back on the squishy marsh, which at least I understand!

But it was worth it. The spot at the far end is secluded, tucked away under crumbing banks, close enough to the creek, but with relatively firm footing. Alan and James set out decoys, and I had my first proper sighting of ducks coming into decoys. Alan took a lovely widgeon, and later I enjoyed a faceful of beach coming off his excitable labrador’s tail!

For the return walk, I decided to go down the muddy, beachy, west side, and it was far easier! J pointed out that in the dark and with a higher tide level you don’t always know where you’re walking…

A quick change of clothes, (trying to look slightly more presentable!) and we headed to the Garrison Clay club for their turkey shoot. It’s a lovely club, and they really make visitors welcome, including them in the prizes with 6 visitor scorecards being randomly selected for a prize of either turkey or wine. J’s day improved with winning a bottle! I shot really well – a new personal best!

Final change of clothes(!) at the wood, and a little bit of work by the pond. We got the final piece of lining down, and slates pinning it down. We managed to get some of the brambles up and burnt, but it was more a token gesture at the end of a long day!

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