Sunday, November 6, 2011
Plenty of water, no waterfowl
We motored out of the gut, out of the creek, and across the river before dawn. The winds were high - and wrong- for October - out of the Southeast at 10kt. Another windy, sunny morning after a flooding rain. As the clouds raced across the sky before dawn, the moonlight showed the tops being clipped off by upper level winds coming from the southwest. All of this made for some pretty strange conditions on the water.
Our rivers have been at record high levels and record low salinities throughout the year, so it should have been no surprise that the river was up 1.4' during our hunt. As we tossed out the decoys, we could hear mallards carrying on up in the creek, and we hoped the wind would lay down and the sun would come out, giving the ducks the needed motivation to get moving.
Eventually, the sun came out, but the wind didn't let up.
The mallards got quiet, which means they moved off the roost, and in all likelihood, up into coastal woods that have been flooded from all the rain. They never came out. By 8:30am, it was pretty clear that we'd been had, so we packed up and headed in to the dock. It felt great to be out hunting birds again, but I'm really hoping for some more memorable days out this season.
Here's to low clouds, slow birds, and cold mornings this season.
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