I am a newcomer to wildfowling, this being my first season with SLWC.
I have had a few morning and evening flights of varying success on Frampton Marsh.
A few weekends ago I ventured out mid-afternoon on a falling tide to have an explore and get settled in for an evening flight. I was pleasantly surprised to find birds moving for most of the afternoon, all be it many out of range. I got settled in relatively near the front, in a gutter next to a large creek. Many birds flew over as the afternoon progressed to evening. I took one or two that were passing to my right, over the marsh, as I lack a dog and didn’t want to drop birds in the creek bottom. Many packs of widgeon paid a visit and I was pleased with my efforts. On the walk back I put up a number of teal and widgeon from splashes about the marsh.
This weekend just gone tried to replicate the same, but thought I may float a few decoys on the splashes. First thing I noted was that there were much fewer widgeon and teal in the RSPB reserve. Second thing I noted was that many of the knee deep areas of water were now muddy puddles. Undeterred I found a 10in deep splash near the large creek I was camped in before. I floated my decoys and set to waiting and watching. I noticed very few brents about, the ones I could see seemed to be further along on Kirton.
As the day progressed a pair of mallard, very high, came from the estuary and headed inland. I could see a mass of (I assume) widgeon out over the estuary (or beyond) and excitedly waited for them to pay me a visit. However when they did decide to make a move, they seemed to disappear from view in any direction but mine. Last visit, streams of birds came out of the reserve and down the creeks, but this did not seem to happen either. Three pintail did buzz straight past me, feet off the ground, but these were the only shootable birds all evening.
Essentially the flight failed to appear.
The wind was a steady 10-15mph south easterly. High tide was at 7:30pm ish. Conditions were rain to begin, but clearing to high whispy cloud.
Do I put my lack of success down to the following:
The vagaries of wildfowling? Being a complete all the gear, no idea ******? Should I have tried one of the other marshes like Butterwick or Wrangle given the wind? (I have not been to any other marsh than Frampton as I am a little girl and scared of Kirton.) I was in the wrong place and should have been back in the gutter from the previous trip?
I suspect it is all of the above.
Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m not asking for co-ordinates to your favourite secret spot, but a general pointer of where I should be when which wind is blowing would be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.