I slept through three alarms set on my phone and woke up at an insane time – I'm too ashamed to say what the time was! Anyway, I'm blaming it all on the hard work I did on mother's pond yesterday! Pushed myself to get out of the door and headed to Fakenham Garden Centre to look at Muck Boots. Why am I buying new boots you ask.... long story! The garden centre only had one model in my size and I didn't want that particular model.
I then headed to Ernest Doe in Fakenham and fell in love (yes I have lost the plot) with a pair of wellies! First of all I tried on the Arctic Sport women's boot which were ok, apart from the back of the ankle moved around uncomfortably at every step I took. They always seem to make men's clothing and footwear much more comfortable, which is why I buy nearly all my outdoor clothes etc from the men's section and I know many female birders that do the same. I tried on a pair of Muckmaster men's boots, that looked like a very sturdy farmer's boot with a very thick sole and they fitted like they were made for me! But, being vain, I wanted my new wellies in black. I am waiting to try on the Arctic Sport Boot (in black) in mens, which looks like the same sole as on the Muckmaster boot. I have a pair reserved for me to try on (not saying where!), so hopefully they will be perfect. I need to replace lots of my gear for this Autumn, my Paramo coat is badly worn and split, so therefore not waterproof and not worth repairing. I'm fed up with wearing khaki green and will be buying everything in black – my favourite colour. Black is the new green – I'm kicking off a new trend!
Next stop: Holt. Took some sandals back to Siddalls in the High Street, which I realised I wasn't going to wear now Autumn has set in – just made the 28 days to return them in time! Went into Morston Country Sports and tried on walking boots (my Grisport walking shoes need replacing). I tried on a wonderful pair of boots – a brand I have never heard of: AKU which are Italian footwear. They felt so good, but then I saw the price £174.95! I have expensive tastes – they must have been the most expensive pair of boots in the shop! I left them in the shop to think about it! Quick visit to CleySpy and then on to Salthouse and Cley.
Parked up at Beach Road to walk to Gramborough Hill and bumped into the hill's 'keeper': Mr Furse!!! One Meadow Pipit, a flock of Linnets and 2 Wheatears were the only birds of note seen here. Gramborough Hill is looking red hot for Autumn birding! John pointed out the National Trust fence around the bottom/west side of the hill, to 'help the vegetation grow more' stated the notice board. This fence was put up to protect breeding birds in the Spring, but doesn't need to be up now in most (if not all) people's opinions locally. The vegetation is not going to grow any taller than it is already, in my opinion (and others) – it's more than probably because they can't be bothered to remove the fence – after all, it will save them having to erect it next Spring! This fenced area covers a massive area – an area where rares could be found in the Autumn and I can see many people ducking under the fence line anyway! John headed home east and I headed west.
East Bank, Cley. I ambled along the bank in hope of seeing the Pectoral Sandpiper, but couldn't find it. Best bird I found was a Greenshank. Lots of Wigeon and huge numbers of Greylag Geese on the marshes around The Serpentine. Other birds seen: Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Heron, Lapwings, Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and tons of Gulls on Arnold's Marsh. Heard Bearded Tits pinging on the west side of the bank. Just as I was about to leave, I found the Pectoral Sandpiper at 7.18pm precisely! The light was far too dismal to even attempt any photographs though. I headed back along the East Bank to my car and re-located to the car park at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane. Poured myself a coffee and waited for the gull watchers from Dauke's Hide to say hello. Eddie M. and Andy J. both appeared in the failing light and we all had a catch up before I headed for home.