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This is why it is so difficult.


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In an attempt to trace the food source of some of the large flocks of migrants round here my master plan was to go roost shooting.

The wood is within two miles of my house and I left a crackling fire at 2.30 and was at the wood after a fair walk downhill before 3. Two hundred pigeons left the wood at my arrival and another one hundred and fifty got up from an adjacent field. The wood is very long and it is not always possible to determine the pigeon's favoured roosting spot. The wind was good and I managed to shoot a few which was pleasing.

The attached photo shows the crop contents of the first three I looked at. One had acorns plus old barley gleanings, a second had purely barley gleanings and the third was crammed with Hawthorn berries and a green plant which I was able to identify as winter Linseed.

 

 

 

Crop contents 1.jpg

Edited by JDog
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yep, still tons of acorns and berries about, the way this winter is going I think it will be January before we see some on the rape, the only birds I am killing are flighted birds, the bird full of corn is interesting as we have a few corn stubble fields that have not been cultivated but not seen a pigeon on them.

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Not been much about my area of late , Suffolk Cambs border , catching a few roosting or the odd flight line but seeing none feeding on anything in the fields , think we need some winter weather to hit , still it’s nice to get out and wander round with the dogs and  a handful of carts, never been one to always want the big bags it would be nice to see a few and throw some decoys out but at least the farmers happy nothing  getting hammered at mo 

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Interesting to find that the crops of the three pigeons in the above photo didn't contain any rape , we are now in the last week in November and up till now the rape have been untouched , gas guns are going off down the marsh but not to scare Pigeons , the culprits are Pink Footed Geese on Winter Wheat and Swans on the rape .

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A great insight jdog, thanks.
 

The weather is in my opinion very very mild for November, I have believed for a few years that the seasons have shifted by a month or so and don’t really expect very poor weather conditions until the middle/end of December and subsiding middle/end of April and now coming into the world of shooting can see how this has an effect with the berry’s etc sticking around longer. We’ve had a couple of frosts  where I live but the days have been very mild at 12 to 13 degrees (still working outside in t-shirts some days), I’m sure I remember November being much colder as a youngster...maybe just my imagination. Hopefully the weather will soon turn and put the pigeons onto the osr so you gents can get back to business 👍🏻

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The pigeons around here are in small flocks (plenty of them) and are drifting around. Mainly in the trees, going from one stand of oaks to another & rarely on the ground beneath the oaks. I think they are still getting acorns off the branches. Saw one huge flock on a barley stubble whilst walking the dog ,but were gone in an hour; Looked at the stubble (from July)  & there were a huge amount of whole barley ears still lying on the ground... a massive food source but they were not really interested. They are mooching around like bored teenagers & I rate the chances of decoying them at about zero as yet. I agree with Old'un in that they will have enough around my patch to last well into the new year. Whether the rape will be too tall by then is my worry; The grass is still growing around here (& the horses are still fat). I have a farm with barley stubbles undersown with mustard which is my usual 'banker in late Oct/Nov, but I looked last week & the germinated barley is about 8" tall... the same height as the mustard. Anyway they are not interested yet. I had a couple of good days there last year at this time.

  As soon as I see them on the ground after the fallen acorns I will give them a chance. Until then roost or flightline shooting is the only option.

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57 minutes ago, pbutd said:

The pigeons around here are in small flocks (plenty of them) and are drifting around. Mainly in the trees, going from one stand of oaks to another & rarely on the ground beneath the oaks. I think they are still getting acorns off the branches. Saw one huge flock on a barley stubble whilst walking the dog ,but were gone in an hour; Looked at the stubble (from July)  & there were a huge amount of whole barley ears still lying on the ground... a massive food source but they were not really interested. They are mooching around like bored teenagers & I rate the chances of decoying them at about zero as yet. I agree with Old'un in that they will have enough around my patch to last well into the new year. Whether the rape will be too tall by then is my worry; The grass is still growing around here (& the horses are still fat). I have a farm with barley stubbles undersown with mustard which is my usual 'banker in late Oct/Nov, but I looked last week & the germinated barley is about 8" tall... the same height as the mustard. Anyway they are not interested yet. I had a couple of good days there last year at this time.

  As soon as I see them on the ground after the fallen acorns I will give them a chance. Until then roost or flightline shooting is the only option.

I agree, roost shooting and flight lining are the best options at the moment. 

Good to see you posting again.

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hi j,dog.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     im from the same county, seem impossible to shoot at the mo. most are on the acorns,and any old stubble with a feed left on it.                                                                                lot of linseed being grown this winter not seen many birds on it yet.   not so much rape gone in this year due to the disaster of last crop being eaten by beetle.                            so  might be a draw for the birds.   hoping to get  some shooting on it next few months.                                                        

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