Where are the best wildfowling spots this shooting season? Well the mild winter, late frosts and warm wet summer have all played their part in shaping wildfowl numbers. While early broods may have been smaller than usual due to weather, the size of the second clutches of the season is looking strong. Wildfowlers who were disappointed during early season shoots should find that the rest of the year offers much more sport.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) examined bird numbers at the end of August and determined that the overall population was lower than average for the month. Some species were average or above average. Mallard, for example, were found in normal numbers, while the teal population appears to be higher than usual in Eastern England. However, with lower numbers of many other birds, few expected to see the season open on a great note.
Fortunately, following the yearly migration and better weather, the season is starting to look better. Wildfowling clubs have reported that flock sizes have increased, and many are feeling more optimistic about the rest of the season.
Wildfowling outlook in Northumberland
Newcastle Wildfowlers Association Secretary Kenn Ball pointed out that the prospects for the Northumbrian coast are reasonably good. While a number of broods were lost due to weather, later broods are much stronger. If you’re looking for a good wildfowling spot this season, the east coast, and in particular, Northumberland look favourable.
Cumbria wildfowling news
Andy Stott, the secretary for the Westmorland Wildfowlers Association, added that members spotted a number of broods in February due to the fact that the winter weather was milder than usual this past year. However, the colder weather that came in over the next couple of months made it hard for the ducklings to survive, especially since few insects were available for nourishment.
While the first clutch was fairly poor in numbers, the second has fared much better, with many new mallard and gadwall now grown and flying. This second clutch came into adulthood in July and August and now appear in a number of areas. Mallard, graylag, and Canada geese numbers are up in the areas Westmorland Wildfowlers Association members routinely explore, so the Cumbrian coast could be a good wildfowling spot this season.
Wildfowl numbers in the south of England
In the south, things are also looking up. Kent Wildfowling and Conservation Association Chairman Alan Jarrett reported that ducks and geese have been sighted in good numbers in the marshes, plus a number of teal migrated in prior to the opening of the season. Nick Millamn, the chairman of Devon Wildfowlers, believes those in the South West part of the country have much to look forward to, stating that the stable summer weather has certainly helped improve numbers. He also pointed out that some late broods are still hatching, and the later part of the season should be quite good in the south east of England.