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Join Direct Shooting Supplies Pro-Staffer and Wildfowler "Sotty" for a September Tide Flight
by DSS Pro Staffer "Stotty"

A ‘Sweet’ Tide Flight

 

It was the 4th September. Following another unsuccessful early morning wild goose chase, this time on an inland lake frequented by greylags, I drove back to our estuary to catch the tide in the hope of intercepting duck coming off the river channel. It was blowing a good gale by mid morning with heavy squalls being forced horizontally down the estuary. Proper September ‘fowling weather! However, the sandbanks looked deserted through the binoculars and chances looked pretty slim. “Surely no duck in its right mind would be sat out there”, I thought to myself as I tucked myself into sedges at the saltings edge? Only a keen (or mad) wildfowler would be out and about in this weather.

 

A Tide Flight Mallard
DSS Pro-Staffer "Stotty" with the first foreshore Mallard of the season.
After the last drones of the ‘tide warning’ siren had been plucked away on the wind, the first packs of waders were hurtling past at break neck speed in advance of the brown churning mass of water rushing underneath the railway bridge in the distance. Tight clusters of Knot and Dunlin all seemed to be moving ‘as one’ looking for a safe refuge from the relentless torrents. The time had come. This was the familiar ‘witching hour’, when, if anything was going to happen it would happen soon. Suddenly a movement of birds to my distant left caught my attention. Mallard!! Ten of them flying wing tip to wing tip riding the wind and about to cross the seawall 600 yards away from me. An urgent ‘hail’ from the Big River Series Sweet Cherry Duck call was immediately racing to greet them on the wind!! The lead bird turned instantly and drew the pack parallel towards me. A series of lonesome hens and urgent ‘comebacks’ encouraged them on towards me. I daren’t move. I watched their rapid approach through the sedge tussocks. Now at 40 yards and crossing, not the easiest of shots from a crouching position. The gun mounted on the nearest bird and in one instinctive movement the steel shot charge crumpled the target bird. The once tight formation of duck exploded outwards around the tumbling bird and threw themselves back on the wind. No time for a second shot as they were quickly flung out of range by the wind. Within seconds the dog was bringing to hand the first plump mallard of the new season. There won’t be a finer moment. The first estuary mallard of the 2009 season brought into the bag by the calling power of the ‘Sweet Cherry’ and some straight powder of course!   
Sweet Cherry
Wildfowling - A Mallard falls to the Sweet Cherry Duck Call

 

                                                                       

Paddlesdown Prostaffer "Stotty"

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