First duck

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I’ve come away from the weekend, happy, content, sore and I can’t wait for the next one!

Last week was emotionally tough – lots going on at home and work and I needed to get out Saturday morning to reset my mind and body. I didn’t care whether or not we saw anything (we didn’t much), but to feel the fresh air and see the sunrise would be good for the soul. J happily agreed and we pootled out to a close point on an easily accessible marsh. Good thing I wasn’t fussed about seeing ducks, because there were a grand total of 5. 4 teal flew down the channel past J who, I later found out, didn’t see them as he was having a little snooze! The fifth bombed past me so fast I did nothing at all. The sunrise was stunning, and opposite the black clouds were a striking backdrop, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

My morning finished with a swan flying low, altering course to check me out; so majestic.

We bumped into my parents at the wood and after the requisite chat, we joined them in clearing a few fallen trees. Some had been there awhile.

I love this time of year and am currently craving the snow that is forecast for next week. I don’t feel like we’ve had a proper winter yet (I’ve only had to scrape ice off the windscreen once) and so these blue bell shoots seem a little early.

With high tide being at 4am, there is very little water in the creeks at dawn, so Sunday we went out with our friend A to the furthest point from civilisation. I led for the first time, and nearly made the whole way. Near the end A warned me to watch out for holes; 30 seconds later I faceplanted the ground! A knee deep crack in the marsh completely took me by surprise.

You may have noticed that I although I talk about wildfowling a lot, I have never actually mentioned taking my own duck home. Collusion had happened during the week, and A was insistent that yesterday was the day that I would break my duck (pun totally intended!), and he put a lot of effort into getting decoys set out just right. (Thanks A!)

4 wigeon dropped beautifully into the decoys, I pulled the trigger, heard James do the same and watched only 2 fly away. Millie, A’s lovely labrador, worked exceedingly hard against a strong tide and brought both wigeon home.

The rest of the day involved shifting furniture, and was completed with both a cycle and then a walk round the wood.

The sunset matched Saturday’s sunrise.

And to round off the day, the ducks and a pheasant (a gift) were prepared for this week’s dinner.

It really was the perfect outdoor weekend.

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