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marsh man

The Wildfowlers Bread And Butter Duck .

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When I meet like minded people like myself the conversation soon get round to wild fowling , when I say soon get round , I should have said it start off with talking about fowling as to be honest there isn't much more to talk about at this time of the year except tides , full moons , where the geese are feeding and the amount of water on the marshes , this then lead on to , have you had many Wigeon yet ?

Well for the last few years I have been leaving it later and later before making a start and this year was the same , with all the livestock and the marshes been dry it didn't really appeal to me to be wandering about with a gun and a herd of cattle walking behind me and trying to sniff my dog at the same time , then a couple of weeks ago we had monsoon conditions on the Sunday morning leaving many roads under water and my beloved marshes with some huge splashes that would be ideal for a duck or two .

Over the last couple of weeks the cattle have been taken off and a few horses are taken off each day , on some more marshes I go on the livestock have been off for a week or more and some Mallard and a Gadwall have already found there way in my bag, but with these marshes running down to the towns bypass they are not that good for Wigeon due to the bright lights that run down the side of the main road , so it was now time to head to the more remote ones to try and bag what were always called , the wild fowlers bread and butter duck , this most likely came from when the local fowlers made there living from shooting fowl and Wigeon were the main quarry .

My first night was last Saturday night after we had finished the days game shoot , the forecast was for heavy rain from mid day and when we finished about 3.30pm we had more or less got away with very little of the wet stuff , time I got home and had a cuppa I could hear the first drops hitting my roof in the sun lounge but as I already had my waterproofs on a few drops of rain wasn't going to stop me , with the marshes only a few minutes ride from my house I was soon slipping the gun from it's sleeve and heading across to the water that was still visible in the failing light , sitting down on my fold up stool I was beginning to think I will be joining the poor mental health ones that we keep hearing about as it was now nearly dark and the rain was getting harder by the minute and here I was all by myself sitting on a stool in the dark getting soaking wet , then when the first pair crossed in front of me and after two quick shots my dog was galloping through the water to pick this seasons first Wigeon up my mentality was restored and the rain was forgot about , over the next 15 minutes or so I saw a few more duck and managed to add another couple with the one already in the bag , this was enough for me as I could feel my feet getting wet where the rain was running down my trousers into my water boots and my belly was telling me it's getting near tea time .

Reaching home the first thing my wife done was to give the dog a good rub down , something I would have enjoyed a few years ago but nowadays I am more than contented with a good cup of tea :lol:

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A very good report MM.

I saw my first Widgeon of the season this afternoon on an inland pond.

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Enjoyed reading that and seeing pictures of your marsh.

I'm hoping this cold spell were due will bring all the widgeon in.

 

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Nice write up as per usual, nice looking widgeon splashes, nothing better than sat out by such a splash and hearing that whistling and growling....atb….misser  

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THANKS to all the above replies and I hope your all having a good season .

20 hours ago, JDog said:

A very good report MM.

I saw my first Widgeon of the season this afternoon on an inland pond.

 Our first ones arrive from mid /late August , they then continue to arrive more or less daily until well into the Winter , if the weather turn hard then the numbers can increase overnight , according to the R S P B website on Berney Marshes and Breydon Water it stated up to 25,000 Wigeon can be seen on the estuary and there reserve at the top end of the estuary .

I have never seen anywhere near that number and between 10 and 15.000 would be about right , Wigeon were always the most numerous duck but the last few years the Pinkfoot have sometimes out numbered the Wigeon .

20 hours ago, figgy said:

Enjoyed reading that and seeing pictures of your marsh.

I'm hoping this cold spell were due will bring all the widgeon in.

 

We are lucky to have the numbers we get here on a average season , living within two miles of the marshes , having plenty of time and can go when conditions are ideal is also a big help , last night I got another three and will now give them a rest till next week . we have now got good numbers of Pinks so if the weather get rough then one or two of them might be on the agenda .

SAM-9065.jpg 

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I have just got into fowling this year and I'm loving it so far. Mind you it hasn't got that cold yet as my fowling friend keeps reminding me. Nice write up MM

 

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15 minutes ago, Ttfjlc said:

Great write up yet again Marsh man, I'll be blunt, please write a book. :good:

Cheers Ttfjlc ............ Hope your season is going well , should be plenty of geese about in your neck of the woods , stir them up a bit and then they will come down here for a bit of peace and quite :lol:

 

16 minutes ago, Manish said:

I have just got into fowling this year and I'm loving it so far. Mind you it hasn't got that cold yet as my fowling friend keeps reminding me. Nice write up MM

 

THANKS Manish ...... Hope your enjoying it , don't worry to much about cold weather just yet , try and get out there when there is a good blow and rough water , but if you are doing coastal fowling be very careful with abnormal tides, if you are not already in a club then I would advise you to join one .

All the best and GOOD LUCK 

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Glad you're keeping the fowling up marsh man.

 

I managed to shoot a couple of wigeon a few weeks back, my fowling trips have been very infrequent so any duck in the bag is a good bonus!

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

 

THANKS Manish ...... Hope your enjoying it , don't worry to much about cold weather just yet , try and get out there when there is a good blow and rough water , but if you are doing coastal fowling be very careful with abnormal tides, if you are not already in a club then I would advise you to join one .

All the best and GOOD LUCK 

I have joined a club but to be honest I'm thinking of changing to another club next year as they dont have coastal rights. For that I was lucky enough that a friend got me membership to kent wildfolers for my birthday. Now why doesnt the Mrs ever get me things like that

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11 hours ago, Big Mat said:

Glad you're keeping the fowling up marsh man.

 

I managed to shoot a couple of wigeon a few weeks back, my fowling trips have been very infrequent so any duck in the bag is a good bonus!

I dare say with you getting hitched , a new addition to the family , moving house and a new job will restrict the amount of time you can donate to shooting in general , having said that , allocate every Saturday morning or the afternoon to take part in the most important things in your life like fowling , go on you know you want to :lol:

Yes , for as long as I can remember I was going to give it another year , first it was reaching 65 , then as I was still in fairly good nick it was each season up to 70 , now that milestone is beyond me , then last year I lost the marshes I had the shooting on by myself for well over 40 years due to the owner dying and selling it to the neighbour , as luck would have it the new owner let all his land to the local wild fowling club , so in the Spring I dropped out of the club I was in and joined a new one so I can still go on the same marshes that I have shot for most of my short life , with another birthday coming up next month this might be my last year , or on second thoughts , I might just give it one more  :hmm: :good:

GOOD LUCK with life in general .

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Nice report, MM. I have had a few wigeon in the bag, but not many. I have been far busier setting my sights on wild geese. I am due a good flight or two on the ducks, so I might treat myself this weekend.

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Nice one, a wigeon was the first duck I ever shot and I only ever shot one more as both of them convinced me I don`t like the taste. I believe they are better if they have been feeding away from the marsh.

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1 hour ago, motty said:

Nice report, MM. I have had a few wigeon in the bag, but not many. I have been far busier setting my sights on wild geese. I am due a good flight or two on the ducks, so I might treat myself this weekend.

Good luck on the coming weekend , it's due to get a bit rougher than the settled weather we have at present so you might do a bit of good , I like the odd goose like anyone else but I find it harder to pass them on now to somebody who want one , with duck , if I don't want them all I can easily move a few on to people who I know can use them .

The geese are now moving on to beet fields that have been lifted and are beginning to roost on the reserve now the fields have got water on , from next month I normally try and get one or two by Christmas and then it's back on the duck .

53 minutes ago, henry d said:

Nice one, a wigeon was the first duck I ever shot and I only ever shot one more as both of them convinced me I don`t like the taste. I believe they are better if they have been feeding away from the marsh.

You are not alone with your desire to eat Wigeon , I find it the other way round , this time of the year while they are feeding on the fresh marshes they are not to bad , when the weather turn to freezing or below they then tend to feed on the salt marshes and that's when the flavour turn to a muddy / fishy sort of taste , that is when a onion inside them come into play with a couple of rashes of bacon on the breasts while they are slowly roasting .

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

You are not alone with your desire to eat Wigeon , I find it the other way round , this time of the year while they are feeding on the fresh marshes they are not to bad , when the weather turn to freezing or below they then tend to feed on the salt marshes and that's when the flavour turn to a muddy / fishy sort of taste , that is when a onion inside them come into play with a couple of rashes of bacon on the breasts while they are slowly roasting .

Yeah that`s it. I was fortunate to meet and chat with Clarissa Dixon-Wright and she said that leaving them immersed in milk overnight removes the flavour, yet I still could not bring myself to do it just in case I still didn`t like them. I also stopped eating goldies and tufties for similar reasons too.

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22 minutes ago, henry d said:

Yeah that`s it. I was fortunate to meet and chat with Clarissa Dixon-Wright and she said that leaving them immersed in milk overnight removes the flavour, yet I still could not bring myself to do it just in case I still didn`t like them. I also stopped eating goldies and tufties for similar reasons too.

There's a point where they become curry ducks.

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3 hours ago, marsh man said:

I dare say with you getting hitched , a new addition to the family , moving house and a new job will restrict the amount of time you can donate to shooting in general , having said that , allocate every Saturday morning or the afternoon to take part in the most important things in your life like fowling , go on you know you want to :lol:

Yes , for as long as I can remember I was going to give it another year , first it was reaching 65 , then as I was still in fairly good nick it was each season up to 70 , now that milestone is beyond me , then last year I lost the marshes I had the shooting on by myself for well over 40 years due to the owner dying and selling it to the neighbour , as luck would have it the new owner let all his land to the local wild fowling club , so in the Spring I dropped out of the club I was in and joined a new one so I can still go on the same marshes that I have shot for most of my short life , with another birthday coming up next month this might be my last year , or on second thoughts , I might just give it one more  :hmm: :good:

GOOD LUCK with life in general .

I don't recall getting hitched? 🤔 Must have been too busy this year to notice 😂 

Sunday is Wildfowling day mainly, due to being in Lincolnshire, although I have two weeks holiday just after the November moon so I imagine ill be about chasing geese and ducks! 

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1 hour ago, henry d said:

Yeah that`s it. I was fortunate to meet and chat with Clarissa Dixon-Wright and she said that leaving them immersed in milk overnight removes the flavour, yet I still could not bring myself to do it just in case I still didn`t like them. I also stopped eating goldies and tufties for similar reasons too.

I take it you were referring to Golden Eye and not Golden Plover as G / P are not that bad , the duck that top the list for poor eating is the Shoverler , poor eating would give it credit , if you wanted to jar someone off from eating wild fowl then let him taste of them , our game dealer would take everything that was hanging up in the game larder , well not everything as he would leave a Shoverler , he never stopped trying , but up until the day he retired he hadn't found anyone who liked them :no:

I also sampled a lot of Waders including the delicate taste of the Curlew , but that is another days story .:good:

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Great stuff MM, great pictures and well written, looking forward to the next instalment..👍

edit, Is that the seawall at the back of the meadows ?

Edited by islandgun

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3 hours ago, henry d said:

Are curlew like snipe/woodcock? If so I would have loved to try one.

No , in comparison a snipe and Woodcock would taste like fillet steak and a Curlew would taste like a rough bit of brisket , and that would be a young one early on in the season , my ole grand dad was a cook on the fishing boats and he could turn anything a bit rough into something edible , we used to take him one or two Coots , these he would skin em instead of plucking and put all the meat in a stew with a couple of dumplings steaming away on the top of the saucepan , a meal fit for a king .

With the ( Lew ) the poor ole boy was facing a losing battle , as far as I can remember that was the only bird we chucked out after it was slow roasted , maybe he didn't leave it in the oven long enough , he thought three days should have been ample :lol:

1 hour ago, islandgun said:

Great stuff MM, great pictures and well written, looking forward to the next instalment..👍

edit, Is that the seawall at the back of the meadows ?

You are not far out islandgun , the wall in the background would be the estuary wall and not the seawall as the sea is about a mile or so away , very good observation though :good:

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6 minutes ago, marsh man said:

No , in comparison a snipe and Woodcock would taste like fillet steak and a Curlew would taste like a rough bit of brisket , and that would be a young one early on in the season , my ole grand dad was a cook on the fishing boats and he could turn anything a bit rough into something edible , we used to take him one or two Coots , these he would skin em instead of plucking and put all the meat in a stew with a couple of dumplings steaming away on the top of the saucepan , a meal fit for a king .

With the ( Lew ) the poor ole boy was facing a losing battle , as far as I can remember that was the only bird we chucked out after it was slow roasted , maybe he didn't leave it in the oven long enough , he thought three days should have been ample 

You are not far out islandgun , the wall in the background would be the estuary wall and not the seawall as the sea is about a mile or so away , very good observation though :good:

Not a lot of cover out there, were you shooting from where you took the picture, or were you under a flight line, or just hoping [like me] something would chance to get within range

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21 hours ago, marsh man said:

Cheers Ttfjlc ............ Hope your season is going well , should be plenty of geese about in your neck of the woods , stir them up a bit and then they will come down here for a bit of peace and quite :lol:

As per normal not been out as much as I would like, yes theres plenty of geese around, plenty flew over my head while I was at work :lol:, my highlight so far was 2 wigeon for 1 shot, I was so shocked I never fired the 2nd shot! 

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