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A cold windy day out on the marshes

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Its been a while since I put up a report so here goes, Friday I checked the weather , sunny with blustery winds from the north west, so I packed the car around 11 am and set off to my local perm, 300 acres of rape which was top dressed with nitrogen last week.

Arriving on site , I drove along the river bank to a spot I like where there was some shelter offered by old ruined buildings, unfortunately the wind had veered into the west and had picked up to 20 with 25 mph gusts, with the sun on me it was ok but still very cold, six layers of clothing was going to make it difficult to move freely but keeping warm was higher on the list of priorities.

I set out 20 dead birds along the edge of some well eaten rape, not much in the air but I am always optimistic they will come in later 😁, I dragged a large sheet of plywood from the ruins and propped it against the fence to create an effective wind break, built the hide in behind it with a desert camo net and some local tree branches, and settled into the hide at around 12 midday.

I didn't bother with any flappers or magnets, and even left the floaters in the car as the wind would have thrown them around too much, I realised the gun was still in the slip , so quickly picked it up , pulled out the Beretta to load it and within seconds around 20 birds dropped in over my head, 4 or 5 coming to land while the rest circled overhead, I rammed the cartridges into the gun and got up to take a shot, but they had already spooked and were on the wind moving away at a rapid rate of knots, no chance of a shot , kicking myself for not loading first ( something I almost always do ) I settled down to wait , but not for long, two birds returning into the pattern from the main bunch, I took the closest one and missed, cursed and swung again onto the bird now accelerating away down wind, out around 35 yards I took the shot and a puff of feathers appeared, but the bird flew on, normally if I had missed on the second shot I would not take another as the range was increasing by the second, but concerned I had clipped it I again swung out giving him a farm gate lead and fired, to my amazement he did a backward summersault and fell dead, I paced the range where he had hit the ground at 92 yards, the shot had hit at around 80 yards, I think my longest kill shot yet .

I picked him up and returned to the hide only to be greeted again by two birds out on the edge of the pattern, 1st shot took out some feathers but he rose on the wind , the 2nd brought him back to earth but he was up and running for cover, once again I took off after him, ( no dog and tired 73 year old legs ) I got there as fast as I could and found him down in a water filled dyke, one look at me and he took off again managing to get air born off the high bank , I brought the gun up and took the shot at around 25 yards resulting in a huge cloud of feathers and an almighty splash as he went down, the retrieve was down a steep muddy bank into very cold water but I managed it without falling in.

So back to the hide , just two birds for six shots , not my best performance ,but a well earned coffee was very welcome, from then on the birds came in very small numbers, long waits between shots with the wind making life very difficult, it got colder as the sun went behind large heavy rain clouds but thankfully the rain held off, by 3.30 I was frozen solid, with only six birds picked and two lost in the river it was time to call it a day, seven or eight birds seems to be my average bag at the moment with poor weather and so few birds around, I probably only saw around 50 birds in total , had 16 shots in very difficult conditions so 8 birds was probably a reasonable score on the day, then all I needed to do was drive home and clean off all the mud from boots decoys etc., but nothing puts me off and I am already checking the weather for the next chance to get out. 👍

To any on here with Irish heritage , happy St Patricks day tomorrow, both my wife and I have some Irish blood and its my 73 rd birthday as well :yay:,  thanks for reading.:yahoo:

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I love write ups like this, working hard to get a few birds and still being happy. A well earned coffee after a cold day is just as good as a cool beer on a warm evening after some good sport. Happy birthday!

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Great write up and having spent a large part of my life on the same marshes I know for a fact that every pigeon shot is well earnt and none come easy , but I still enjoy the challenge of trying to outwit pigeons in these isolated areas , mind you being roughly the same age of Lakeside I am not to keen to be down there with very little cover in the very cold winds we have had recently , roll on the lazy crazy days of Summer .

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