Interesting. Strange. I used to scoff at this global warming thing, but more and more I am a becoming a believer. We have had ducks and geese around here the last several years like nothing before - and I think because it's been warmer. I have lived in this general area for about 30 years. The winters now are nowhere like what they were in 70s and 80s. (Note: this winter isn't over yet - may eat at least some of my words.)
The temps have dropped. Currently about 10 deg F (minus something by Cel scale). And snowing. Found some open water and blasted some quacks. Got a bit cold when I unexpectantly got in up to my waist on a stream crossing (no waders).
But, overall, except for the few I jumped, still no ducks and geese to speak of. Interesting. Would be nice if there were masses still yet to come.
Dang! ... I think maybe they overshot. About a week or so ago we had some relatively major winter weather hit. I got into a few birds, though not tremendously many. While I was looking for a wounded bird out in the fields around my friend's pond (I had jumped three or four mallards there) ... a group of about TWO HUNDRED mallards came in. It was bizarre. The only problem was, everything is frozen. There was only room for about 20 birds to land on the remaining open water, and so about 20 did, and the MAJOR GLOB flew on.
I snuck back up on the pond and did some major carnage on the twenty - but that is the FIRST AND LAST I have seen of any major duck migration.
A buddy of mine in southern Idaho says that the northern birds are now down there.
Things are now thawing - so the creeks are opening up - but not yet the ponds. I sure hope MAJOR GLOBS re-appear. Last year my friend's pond was not entirely frozen, and at one point there were up to about 900 mallards on it. I want repeat. I want repeat.
There is a lot of water about 20 miles from here in various directions - so that's probably where all the quacks are. Ponds are still frozen, but creeks opening up a bit. The FIELDS are opening up - and about four dozen geese have moved back in. Far cry from 800 normally this time of year. We will hit them Thursday morning.
I have always looked for ways to save money and gain skills. I have the firearms basics covered so I rarely buy firearms these days. But I do watch for bargains. Sometimes a little TLC with simple tools will let you bring an old gun back to life without investing a lot of money. One such find was a side by side 12 gauge marked “W. Richards” It is not from the fine English gun maker Wesley Richards, it is a cheap knock off copy probably made in Belgium about a hundred years ago...