Walland Marsh

7th December 2010, Tuesday

I visited Walland after the excessive snow on Walland Marsh yesterday, with  temperatures not rising above freezing all day. The numbers of Bewicks have increased to 105, Mute swans 180, wigeon, 1100, shoveler 37, mallard, 130, teal 200 . The ground conditions remained mostly frozen with open water largely frozen. The continuous  days (8)with freezing temperatures did not however preclude the wildfowlers from shooting over the Cheyne Court SSSI with a regular barage of gunshots forcing most of the wildfowl including the swans to be constantly forced to leave the area before returning to feed only to be shot over again. The wildfowlers were shooting throughout the day remaining until dusk leaving little opportunity for wildfowl to feed successfuly. It is unfortunate  that the voluntary restraint on wildfowling during prolonged periods of severe weather seems to have been largely ignored in this area.