I’ve struggled a bit with a theme for last weekend, and I think the main one is mud.
The weekend started Friday night with Myr’s first proper off-lead walk, and her introduction to her marsh life. In summary, she loved it!
We’ve found a nice stretch of marsh alongside a rarely used public footpath and it’s going to be an ideal location for her training, but Friday was mostly about fun, with a little bit of steadiness work thrown in (while J and I looked at maps and worked out where we were relative to favourite wildfowling spots).
She didn’t swim, there wasn’t much water, but she was very happy dashing about on the mud. This meant she also had her first proper bath, which she was less keen on!
Saturday evening we borrowed my parents cocker spaniel and headed without much hope to the marsh. Kai is known for being a fruitloop, and I wasn’t sure how he’d handle sitting still for a couple of hours. J started with a couple of longish water retrieves of a dummy, long before sunset, which Kai did perfectly, and then he sat with me on a lead. And mostly, he was great. Every half an hour he had a bouncy minute before I corralled him again and he settled to watching what was going on, which was not a lot!
Apart from some beautiful swans taking off, the only interesting things we saw were mosquitoes, and I could have done without them. The only thing more irritating than the noise of a mosquito is the sound they make when right next to the microphone of sound enhancing headphones. About 15 mins before we called it a night I remembered I had smidge in my bag, which was really rather annoying.
Sunday morning we tried wildfowling again, and with high tide not long before sunset, we picked a marsh with lots of pools and a good view of the sunrise. We were dogless, but not too worried as again, weren’t expecting to see anything given the hot, still, sunny weather.
As we arrived. there was a noticeable breeze, and J and I settled down on different ledges about 30m apart. After 10 minutes, a pair of ducks took off and climbed beautifully in front of me. I lifted the gun, fired, and one folded perfectly. I was slightly stunned at my shot, but it seems the clay shooting is paying off. This was also the first shot I’d taken with my new marsh gun on the marsh – I’d only used it for clays previously. Some testing of my new coat and waders and it was soon in my hand. The first wigeon we’ve seen this year.
We finished the weekend with another marsh trip for Myr, again with the idea of coaxing her into the water with a retrieve, but it wasn’t to be. We ended up with a last minute change of plans on location, and while she loves splashing in chest high water she’s not quite ready for a full on plunge yet. This isn’t a spot we’ll be taking her back to, the entries are all quite steep and tall (apart from where this photo was taken!)
There’s no rush to get her in the water, she has a year!