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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Floyds Diary 16th Jan 09

16thJan Fri
I was due to meet up with Jamie at 7.00 – 7.30 but looking out into the blackness at 7.00 am showed it to be raining quite heavily. Jamie had text me shortly after saying that he would not be coming as he had a lecture at 9.00 and it would be cutting it too fine. I chose to work for a while in the studio and see if the rain would clear away around nine. Sure enough it did so at 9.00 am I was on the road out to Aveton , I had decided to do the yabbacombe Side of the farm. On the two stubble turnip fields and hedgerow strip. As I pulled up in the field, Woodies spilled from the trees and headed out into the neighbours stubble field. I went ro the back of the truck and got Floyd ready with transmitters etc. I stepped him up and walked out into the stubble turnips accompanied by the bland staring of a group of sheep bleating monotonously at me thinking I was going to give them extra food. Wilf the farmer had moved them there a few days ago to start grazing the turnips, keeping them fenced to small sections of the field as they work their way through it like woolly locusts. The Woodies were still in the stubble field and I was uneasy about their proximity to where I’d be slipping Floyd. I twirled the lure as I walked towards them to force them to take off some singles dropped out from the conifers too and left much to my relief. I walked on and stuck the braces on Floyd’s hood and un hooded him. He looked about him and I gave him a little longer than I usually give him before casting him off into the wind. He took off low across the field heading for the top of the wood. As he flew out over the top my insecurities about him surfaced and I gave him a short shout to remind him of his role. He nonchalantly looked over his back as if to say yeah alright, alright stop worrying. Just over the top of the wood as I expected a Woodie to commit suicide coming out underneath him he turned back down wind towards and high over me. Then he powered out into wind over the valley, climbing not with his usual clippy wing beat but with a powerful driving rowing action. As I walked on I thought I will give him more time today. I won’t run at any point or get animated in any way and see what happens to his attentiveness. Dave told me that he seems to need this animation going on underneath him but the more I fly him on my own the more I’m not sure of this. He is very quick to anticipate any behaviour that signals an imminent flush so I need to mix up my approaches with him to keep him guessing. As I got to the end of the first field I looked up, he was 400ft+ and making into the wind, out to my right. I moved to my right, getting below him and then started up through the cover strip from the bottom running next to the hedge dividing the two fields as I passed the first feeder a hen pheasant broke cover from the other side of the hedge. It flew out and then curled round, racing up the hedge on the other side towards the green lane. Floyd came streaking past above to my right following the path that the pheasant took. I didn’t see the impact but I heard it and saw his throw up about sixty yards further on from the other side. He winged over and was down in a flash. As I ran through the gap in the hedge three more hens and a cockbird flushed. I found him on his hen at the bottom of the hedge. Well Pheasant for the pot Yumm.

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