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Clodhopper

Tasty birds on the Beech.

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A bit of a late report.

 

Two Saturdays ago I met up with JDog for a look round to see if we could find a bird or two. We discovered some birds on a line along a field of volunteer Peas some dropping in and others carrying on to a wood a mile in the distance. We thought we would give it an hour. The strong westerly was blowing straight down the field. Our set up was a pattern of some dead birds on spikes, 20 plastics and a magnet with 2 hides 50 yards apart either side. This did not work entirely as the birds would not decoy. Some came in for a passing glance and were dispatched but the vast majority carried on. Those that carried on were shootable but were the wrong side of a large Hawthorn hedge. After 30 mins we agreed to a change and set up in a gap in the hedge, sharing a spacious hide. We took it in turns to shoot, adding some lovely birds that were rocketing with the wind behind them. In the 2 1/2 hours we were shooting we picked 39 birds most of which did not have pea shoots in the crop but fresh Beech Mast that the strong wind must have persuaded to the ground. A special mention must go to Jasper who, whilst picking up, disappeared into the distance and out of sight. JDog was not too pleased and used language that would make a docker cringe although I doubt Jasper could hear him in the blustery wind. After several minutes Jasper appeared with a stone dead bird that neither of us had marked.

Yesterday after getting my chores done my wife suggested I might like to have an hour out with the gun. A phone call was made and an hour later JDog and I were out on the prowl. We spotted a promising line with a good number of birds but as soon as we got set up it stopped. We sat it out for an hour and decided to move. Heading to a known line we spaced ourselves 100 yards apart, no gear just a net apiece and the hope that a bird or two would pass by. Some did, many did not. We shot a handful of nice birds that Barney had a bit of practice marking, he has the makings of a lovely dog. JDog shot his now customary Jay and we called it a night. These birds were also full of Beech Mast which will no doubt occupy them for a number of weeks yet.

From both outings a number of birds have found their way into stir fry’s which my good lady and I enjoy with a glass or two red and maybe a Guiness or two.

 

Thanks for reading.

28B7FD73-4ED5-497E-9E3C-A1812517315F.jpeg

Edited by Clodhopper

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As we have come to expect, a very good detailed report of your day(s) out with the Cotswold countryman , in my younger days I would look for some tasty birds on the beach , not the same breed that you have encountered on your flight line , but tasty just the same 😋

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Flight line shooting, no kit, testing pigeons, the best.

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15 hours ago, marsh man said:

As we have come to expect, a very good detailed report of your day(s) out with the Cotswold countryman , in my younger days I would look for some tasty birds on the beach , not the same breed that you have encountered on your flight line , but tasty just the same 😋

did you eat them marsh man

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3 hours ago, dodgy dave said:

did you eat them marsh man

Have been known to have a little nibble with the younger birds , but most of the older ones were well out of date and past the best :lol:

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all depends some of the older ones can be worth the time there more thankful you only get out what you put in you know

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Late to the party,,,,,, but I am interested to know if the flesh of cushats that have been feeding on beech mast have a distinctive flavour. ... compared to those that have been feeding on greens/rape? Same thoughts on acorn fed birds?

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29 minutes ago, harkom said:

Late to the party,,,,,, but I am interested to know if the flesh of cushats that have been feeding on beech mast have a distinctive flavour. ... compared to those that have been feeding on greens/rape? Same thoughts on acorn fed birds?

I don't think pigeons eating beech mast this time of the year would make to much difference with the taste , with a fair amount of food still available like ,fresh drilling's , beet tops , spud being lifted , rape , and stacks of different berries , they are still spoilt for choice , a bit later on they well might smell of whatever they have been eating but whatever it is they need to eat it for a fair while .

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10 hours ago, harkom said:

Late to the party,,,,,, but I am interested to know if the flesh of cushats that have been feeding on beech mast have a distinctive flavour. ... compared to those that have been feeding on greens/rape? Same thoughts on acorn fed birds?

I did not notice any difference in flavour. I would imagine there is probably a slight difference when they have been feeding on a certain food source for a period of time as with most of our meat.

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1 hour ago, Clodhopper said:

I did not notice any difference in flavour. I would imagine there is probably a slight difference when they have been feeding on a certain food source for a period of time as with most of our meat.

I think that during a long winter feeding predominantly on rape you can detect a slight difference in flavour, as opposed to say feeding on harvest grain.

OB

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2 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

I think that during a long winter feeding predominantly on rape you can detect a slight difference in flavour, as opposed to say feeding on harvest grain.

OB

One of the main differences with pigeons feeding on Green stuff throughout a long spell of cold weather is the smell on them from the outside , way before rape it would be Kale that was grown for cattle feed or Sprouts , these crops would give a pigeon a Green tinge to the breast feathers and when shot in a wood at roosting time the crop would burst open and you could smell what crop they had been feeding on , normally the diet would be any Green crop above the snow , this could have made a difference in the taste but at the time we were that hungry we ate the greens in the pigeons crop as well :good:

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