Problems with flight pond.

Teddyst

Member
Hi, thought I'd come here to see if any one would have any input on a little problem I am having

got a decent sized flight pond, been feeding it since early august and watched the numbers build up and up till we reached the point where we were counting 150 ducks on there on an average evening or coming in, any way shot it once all went well numbers started to pick up as you would expect then suddenly the numbers started to drop no wheat was being eaten till it's got to the point where not a single duck has been on there for a good week now, have been watching prints in the mud around the pond quickly worked out a fox had made a few visits but took one trip with the rifle to get rid of her, set a couple of mink traps no joy yet over the past few days I am lost for a reason why the ducks would have vanished and even more lost for a cure as I'd like to see them return! A friend suggested maybe an otter has made its way up from the river and moved in to some reed beds the farmer uses for slurry Above the pond but to me that sounds very unlikely firstly the river (which is part of the Sussex Ouse) is just over a mile down the valley and secondly I fish a stretch of the river down stream and have never seen or heard of otters on that part of the river although I do know of a man made otter holt further down stream but I assume that is to encourage them more than anything, any way any input on what may be the cause of this or any miracle cures would be much appreciated cheers

​teddy
 

Goingback

Well-Known Member
Probably getting food elsewhere - don't worry 150 will remember it when they are hungry again. Don't over feed it in the meantime as the corn will stagnate the pond.
 

Teddyst

Member
Been feeding it as and when it needs topping up, and have only managed to shoot it once this season in the morning but only shot 4 birds. Been feeding mainly wheat but have some oats and some barley and the farmer occasionally puts sweepings in there for us when he has some he wants rid of
 

teyhan1

Well-Known Member
I used to have a little flight pond that relied on wild ducks to populate it.
It was very fickle, but I found that you could over feed it.
First of all I only used barley. Second I only used to feed in the week running up to when I wanted to shoot it (normally for 5x days)
And lastly I only used to shoot it every 2x weeks.
This worked but I did find that flighting was hugely dependant on there being rubbish weather around
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
Ducks are a law unto themselves. Assuming these are all wild, the problem could lie elsewhere, it doesn't sound as if you are doing anything wrong however they could be being shot in other areas.
As has been said keep feed there and when the weather gets harder they will probably be back
 

norma 308

Well-Known Member
Not even started to feed one of my ponds yet as historically it won't produce till we get frosts too many stubbles about Ect my reared duck are pulling in wild birds on other ponds but I won't touch them till the reared are fit to shoot .
be patient !
​Norma
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
I had a flight pond for a few years. We didn't feed it at all or use reared duck but it was a well used pond over many years. We found the key was not to overshoot it, once every two weeks maximum, especially as there were other ponds nearby that were maybe not getting shot over and offered a quieter alternative.

The pond was often used by duck coming up from the Severn and we could generally reckon on seeing at least one flight of duck each night and on a good night possibly three or four lots, mostly mallard but a few teal as well, especially if a nearby pond was being shot over as they seemed to divert and look for another pond. We never shot more than a brace each and never really noticed any significant drop off unless the weather was too mild and calm.

What was interesting was that we lost the pond in the mid 70s but I was taken back there a few years ago by the new tenant and after 30 odd years the duck were still coming in on the same flight lines, (which the new tenant hadn't quite worked out), and it was as if nothing had changed. He was feeding the pond but he wasn't seeing noticeably more duck than we used to get.
 
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sir-lamp-alot

Well-Known Member
theres still a lot of food around for them so i wouldnt panic wait for it to turn cold and i think you will be pleasantly suprised
 

scubadog

Well-Known Member
There is SO much food around at the moment! Still got wheat stubbles around us! The pheasants arnt interested in feeders, wich is a good thing!

How about some call ducks? Big fat and tame they wont go far from the pond.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
I would feed it like a fish tank, carefully balancing the needs as the weather hardens, as mentioned above, you will have stuff settling out, and drifted stuff to deeper water, stagnation will not need to be great to put off waterfowl, We used to feed once they got a good hard frost, & not until.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
I would imagine the most likely cause is they are getting food elsewhere, plenty feed on the stubbles yet,also what like weather have you had is there lying water in any of the fields, ponds are never a great success if there is much lying water.


Feeding gives the best results when you can do it each day, though thats not possible for many people, feed just enough that they clean it all up over the hours of darkness, that way they tend to move off the pond during the day and flight in at darkness knowing there will be food there.


If there is a constant food supply they tend to sit on the pond all day,only moving off when you approach for a flight, but as they have had access to the food all day they are not hungry and will not be in a hurry to return.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
I would imagine the most likely cause is they are getting food elsewhere, plenty feed on the stubbles yet,also what like weather have you had is there lying water in any of the fields, ponds are never a great success if there is much lying water.


Feeding gives the best results when you can do it each day, though thats not possible for many people, feed just enough that they clean it all up over the hours of darkness, that way they tend to move off the pond during the day and flight in at darkness knowing there will be food there.


If there is a constant food supply they tend to sit on the pond all day,only moving off when you approach for a flight, but as they have had access to the food all day they are not hungry and will not be in a hurry to return.
Got it in one here!
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Yes huge ammount of food esp acorns so they will be fussy, don't overfeed. Never found morning flights to a pond to be that productive. Don't overshoot and get weather and moon correct. Good frosts will help as flashes get locked up. If not on stubbles they might be on potatoe fields.

Any chance you have a 2 legged poacher only needs a couple of visits at the wrong time and they will soon find a safer pond.

D
 

boulders11

Well-Known Member
Funny you say that you don't find morning flights productive... We shot our pond on Saturday morning and we had over 80 mallard coming in! I guess different areas lead to different scenarios, the duck obviously around us aren't feeding anywhere else (Just to say, we don't put masses of food down either - feed the pond twice a week with 10kg of wheat and that is all).
 
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