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How's the migration in your area?

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How's the migration in your area?
After having one of the slowest starts to a waterfowl season that I've ever experienced, I was really glad this morning to go out and see that some migrators are finally moving in! I saw some big groups of 50-100 wigeon, mallards, and gadwalls flying, a welcome sight indeed. Over the past few weeks her in northern Utah we've seen tundra swans trickling in but very little in the way of puddle ducks and divers. After an unseasonably warm November we're finally starting to freeze up a bit, it's good to finally have some duck weather! I saw some goldeneyes also, a sure sign that things up north are starting to freeze up and get the birds moving south. This is the latest in the year that I can remember seeing migrating birds move in, I have to wonder that with the climate changing if the bird movements will get later and later in the year. I hope that everyone is having a good season wherever you are!







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"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Lousy. Good to see you!
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Alta Aqua and no canardos. Since you asked, in Eastern NY State, above Albany and below Champlain and Lake George, we have experienced lots of water and no ducks. Our haunts which are usually carrying dozens of wood ducks on the opener and for a couple of weeks after have none. We have not seen this in our experience here for over two decades. No big ducks but the usual number of geese. You can attribute the lack of big ducks perhaps to the warm weather. But our woodies breed here and are omnipresent come opening days. We have had high water before so I guess that may not be the issue. Perhaps a virus ran through the breeding population? Friends in the lower Lake Champlain area report the same. Worst opener and season in their experience.

Glad each day on the marsh is so otherwise rewarding.
James Woods
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Glad you had a good day!

I have not seen a single flock of bluebills on Tampa Bay yet. Zero.

Back in Mobile, when I first got down there in 1997, we always had good numbers of ducks by Halloween. Then birds started showing up later and later, starting around 2005. And in fewer numbers. Especially gadwalls and ringnecks. Don?t know I saw a single goldeneye after 2008.
Things are definitely changing!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
 
Looks to me that ya had a very rewarding day indeed.


We are at the split for ducks. Not much seen when the early season was in. Living in a flood plane, usually action in the "wet spots" and shots can be heard. Not this year so far.

Scouted the most western Finger lake two days ago. Few mallards, no black ducks, not many Canada geese, small pods of divers, buffleheads, ruddies, mergansers and some grebs. Even the gulls are not showing up in large numbers. Usually plenty of Redheads, Cans and Scaup about now.

Will continue to check when not deer hunting. Migrant Canada geese usually pile in Thanksgiving week. Chow down in the cut corn for a spell and then move on further down the flyway. Resident geese seem to be down in numbers.


During a full Spring, Summer, and early fall of fly fishing saw few Wood Ducks and no broods. Very strange.

On the plus side. Now that it's OK to use the bird feeders, we have a full house everyday of the birds we love. All songbirds were scarce in spring & summer.


Things changing? Yup.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Try to remember the drought much of the western and central portions of the continent had this past spring and summer. Vast areas of prime duck habitat were the driest since the mid to late 1980s. Production was non-existent. That is going to affect your hunting as well as the unseasonably warm weather in the eastern states this fall.

Last edited by:

Brad Bortner: Nov 20, 2021, 9:39 PM
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
I suspect the drought's displacement effects on breeding populations of waterfowl is being reflected in the alteration of historic migration corridors, Cody. What I have seen in my bag and reflected in the pics. posted by others on this sight consists of predomminantly adult birds-not good for the futre of populations. Brad, care to opine on how the Feds will structure seasons next year in light of the lack of transect data from the pandemic cancellations?

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RLLigman: Nov 19, 2021, 7:47 AM
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Sounds like things are weird everywhere! We did have an extremely dry spring and summer, and the Great Salt Lake is at the lowest level in recorded history. We did have a pretty wet October that got things almost back to normal but who knows what next year will bring.




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"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
 
The drought conditions, and the impact upon populations most of us can comprehend. We have been through this before.

Due to the pandemic, USA waterfowlers by the many thousands have not been able to enter Canada to hunt for the last two seasons. (Boarder here just opening up). Could well be the least amount of USA hunters in Canada since WWII.

Hunting pressure does play a role in waterfowl movement and migration. Should this be considered, and entered into consideration?

We are living in very toppsy turvy times. Many factors and situations to consider and study to maintain healthy waterfowl populations. While still providing hunting seasons for the folks that pay much of the bill.


my 2 cents











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Geese are moving pretty good here but everything else is slow. It's still mid to high 40s when often it's in the 30s in the day here.
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Migration is behind schedule in southern Ontario. Divers are arriving in better numbers on Lake Erie, and the teal and wood ducks are finally starting to move out. Through the grapevine I heard that the Long Point waterfowl unit harvest is at least 600 birds below what it was this time in 2020.
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Region 1 eason ended on Nov. 21. Migration turned-on four days ago...again.

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RLLigman: Nov 23, 2021, 10:42 AM
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
RLLigman wrote:
Region ! eason ended on Nov. 21. Migration turned-on four days ago...again.

This seems like a more and more common scenario, I really do wonder if we will see some states move their seasons later in the year to try to address this.




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"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
It would seem to make sense to bump things back if migration and freeze up are later.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
 
Whenever there is a split, or the season is closed you can count on a push of birds. Not a recent trend at all...

Eyes in the sky. Who sez the birds don't know the regs? Could be they know em better than some hunters.

They ain't dumb, and all that calling and communicating to each other = "OK this is how we gonna try to not get killed."

The longer ya observe and hunt em the more ya respect em. Kind of a 50-50 deal between the hunted and the hunter.

All part of why we choose the lifestyle.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
It was in the high 70s/low80'sF for most of November. For the first time this month we have seen temps in the 60sF now. Our season opened in late October and I have only seen one duck in the three days that I have hunted. Yesterday, 11-22, I drove down the low flow ditch next to the Rio Grande. I stopped a half dozen different places to walk to the river to see if there were any ducks and I did spook two pairs of big ducks (mallards and Mexican ducks) off their loafing area.

Bev and I have been going to the Bosque del Apache NWR but since they don't have much water yet it is difficult to tell if we have any new arrivals. Right now we have mostly pintails and mallards.

I did go to the ranch that I hunt and found it drier than popcorn kernals. It will be a good three to fourweeks before there will be any water in the drainage channel.
Allan

The dried cake pan material that you see is about 4 to 6 inches of dried silt. It wiped out/smothered all the grass that was there before. It will take some time for that to change back but I will at least look forward to maybe some good shoots with the woodducks that will show up when the water does. I have to wait for it seep underground from the Rio Grande which is about 3 blocks from this spot. Wherever you see silver leafed trees, those are Russian Olive trees. The nuts that they grow each year are the woodies favorite food down here. We have a simple formula down here during duck season. No water=no ducks.



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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Still waiting! It's a lousy year for waterfowl anyway. Weather is to warm, Canada is burned up and dried out Prairie Pot Hole area is all I hear around my neighbor. Fewer hunters in Canada coming from the states may actually be a good thing for next years crop. Some talk about states may push back season dates then you have the states that don't have a waterfowl agenda such as Illinois so they post a 5 year season dates until 2025 with no habitat agenda at all. The new federal biologist and the local Illinois refuge guardians are fighting because she wants to make the refuge area a mudpuppy haven and doesn't want the area used for waterfowl habitat. It's going to be 56 degrees tomorrow but I'll be back out now that my boat and trailer are fixed. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
Here in NJ, my compatriots have been doing well with ducks, and that is a welcome change from the last two years. Our season was a week in late October and then opened up again on Nov 20. I, unfortunately, have not been hunting yet, but that's my fault. I have been seeing migrating flocks of Canada's for the last couple of weeks, including today. But I have been through two boom and bust cycles in the Atlantic Canada goose population since I have lived in this area(southern NJ, outside of Philly). Atlantic Canada populations are down, and I have noticed it the last few years. In big years we traditionally had a big group move into to a local lake for a couple of weeks in October, but I haven't seen that for 5-6 years. In bigger years, they keep coming through into December, when we also typically get more big ducks.
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
the duck hunting in central Iowa and in northern Nebraska has been slow. the drought in the prairie's has definitely had an effect. The birds harvested have typically been adults rather than juveniles. our hay ground production was down on average 50%. corn and bean yields were all over the board depending on where the "spotty" rains hit. the early teal season in Sept was better than average with several pushes of birds.

the regular duck opener in October was marginal at best and the season from then on has been poor with several small pushes. we were on the Mo. river at Springfield, SD for the week before Halloween and had good shoots on the midsize birds. 5 species one day, 6 species the next day. we went back the week of 15 November. and saw very few birds. the first day there; we launched the boat at noon for a scout/quick hunt and the temp was 72 degrees. as I am typing this note on the 1st Dec it is going to be 64 degrees here in central Iowa. one of our refuges that normally would be holding 2K to 3K ducks and 6K to 8K dark geese are holding ~200 ducks and 2K geese.

with the 10 day weather forecast for Canada, ND, SD, and Iowa being in the 40"s and 50's it is unlikely that we will see any sort of a major push of waterfowl in the central flyway.
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
I am back in Mobile on business and drove over the bay bridge twice today, getting a good view of many of my old favorite hunting spots. Two things struck me:
1. The striking lack of ducks or coots on the bay.
2. The lowest number of ducks blinds I have ever seen in the 23 years I hunted there. Easily less than 50% of the number of blinds seen in "normal" years.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: How's the migration in your area? In reply to
A duck hunting friend just moved down to the Ann Arbor area from the UP. He and his fiance' crossed the Bridge yesterday, after it re-opened from the windstorm closure. Drew said there was a massinve raft of redheads (95%), scaup and goldeneyes strung-out east of the toll booth station toward St. Ignace, sitting in the lee of the causway. Nice to know they still exist in large numbers, but it also make me wonder where they migrated in from. Basd on past bands, most of the redheads we shoot are from an area west of the southern tip marshes on Lake Winnipeg..