It’s now over three weeks since the start of the season and although wildfowlers can be as secretive as their quarry I have had some reports.
Those members who have ventured onto the foreshore say there are a few duck about but that they are probably staying in the ponds and ditches with this mild weather, which means flighting is unreliable. However wigeon have been seen on the foreshore and the weather will surely get colder and rougher as we head towards winter.
Inland is much the same story, there is still plenty of natural food in the ditches and ponds for the the duck and while the weather is quiet they will be roosting on the ponds. So not much moving, a usual start to the season around Clevedon.
Other news. We have been asked and agreed to doing a talk and presentation at the 2018 BASC Wildfowling Conference. The conference is usually held in March near Birmingham. The subject of the talk and more details will be posted later as they become available.
The accompanying picture shows one of the recently cleaned out ditches [at our land on Nailsea moor] where we are intending to put a sluice, up to two more ditches will have similar sluices. The ‘North Somerset Levels Internal Drainage Board’ and the ‘Environment Agency’ control the water levels on the North Somerset Moors. They do this by using a intricate system of interconnecting drainage rhynes, ditches, sluices and floodgates. They reduce the water level in the winter and raise it again in the summer months these are called the ‘Winter Pen’ and the ‘Summer Pen’. By putting sluices at the appropriate places in our ditches we can ensure there will always be water in them, this will be of benefit to ditch life and should keep the field wetter. This work will be most likely be done in December.