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General > Wildfowling - Flighting Pinkfeet at Lindisfarne...
Wildfowling - Flighting Pinkfeet at Lindisfarne.

Sam & I had heard that a few Pinkfeet had dropped back into at Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and, as a bonus, there were also a few Pintail in so we decided to have a run up for evening flight.

 

It’s bad enough remembering your own gear for a ‘fowling trip but also having to organise a 9 year old turns it into a nightmare! This time I had a plan – I wrote him a list of everything he needed:

Handwarmer                      

Wildfowler, laid on the car
Sam laid on the roof of a sunken car and waiting for the geese to come.

Gun

Calls

Cartridges (Duck & Goose)

Gloves

Permit

Shotgun Certificate

Hat

Waders

Thick Socks

Coat

Rucksack

Neck Warmer

Snack

Money!

Fleece top.

 Amazing, armed with his list Sam managed to get himself ready and help load up the Pickup – things were looking up! With my gear and the dog in the motor we were away with only a quick stop to collect a fellow wildfowler, Stephen.

 

We had a steady run up to the Island and arrived in decent time for evening flight. As we pulled up we could see an interesting selection of Waterfowl & Waders feeding on the grass – Brent Geese, Shelduck, Curlew, Oystercatchers, Whooper Swans & several other protected species!  On this occasion we had decided to go over the causeway and walk out from the Island rather than the mainland. We’d identified a bit of marsh jutting out into the sands and with the wind pushing 70mph we felt that the geese going up to roost at Goswick sands could cut across nice and low.

 

We’d glassed the area up for a while and darkness had started to sneak up on us so we had a bit of a rush as we slipped into our gear and set off across the mash.

The Wildfowler Kitted Out
The young Wildfowler back at the vehicle
It was only a 5 minute walk to the edge of the grass after which Sam & I went a further 100 yards out onto the sand to lie against an old car that had been washed away on the tide – judging by the old cross-ply tyres & spoked rims it had been there since the 50’s!  

Sam loaded his 20g with some Winchester Goose loads and I stuck three 3.5” Steel BB’s into my auto, all we needed now were geese! It was now so windy that it was hard to hear anything and visibility was impaired by a mini Sandstorm however we could hear a few Brent moving up and down the channel. Sam was the first to hear the Pinks coming from behind, just a small lot of 80 or so battling into the gale. They were only 25 yards up but looked to be going just wide so I gave them a call, first with my Eddie Nixon Custom Call and then with my old Haydels MSG96. The party turned in towards us and straight into the teeth of the gale to set our pulses racing. I slipped my right hand towards my gun and tried to make myself as small as possible. On they came and getting lower into the bargain. They seemed to take an absolute age to come within range and as they hit the limit of range a gust lifted them slightly and they slid out wide before turning back in. Another call got them back on track but the strong wind was blowing them all over the place and they had a real battle to get to us. Just as I moved my body position to allow a shot they slid out wide again, no real sign they'd seen me and no warning call but enough to put them out of range and this time there was no turning them back towards us. The excitement changed to frustration and an inquest - had they seen me, did I move to soon? No matter that was the end of the flight and I wanted to get Sam back to the vehicle before total darkness so we had to head back having "blanked" - a feeling 'fowlers all know well!! 

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