Mississippi Flyway Waterfowl Migration – December 13, 2011
The see-saw temperatures continue through the heart of the Mississippi Flyway. Last weekend, lots of water locked up with temps in the teens, but now, just 5 days later, the forecast calls for rain and highs in the mid 60s. We are reading lots of reports asking where is the waterfowl migration. From what we are seeing, there is a good number of birds in central Illinois, but they aren’t everywhere. It takes some scouting and drive time to put the pieces of the puzzle together and have a good hunt. The full moon this past weekend didn’t help success/sighting either. Birds were flying out late afternoon to feed through the night and dropping back in the roosts before shooting light. As the full moon fades, daytime activity should pick up, but the wildcard is the warm weather. The front should finally push through Thursday with dropping temps through the day and a 15 degree cool down on Friday. The mallard migration map provided by the MDC shows the bulk of the greenheads in northern Missouri and central/southern Illinois. They’re here guys and gals, you just have to work to find and kill them.
The past two years, we have seen a good push of geese by this point in the season, but this year is different. The lack of snow up north has kept the honkers on the norther tier of the flyway. As you can see here: http://www.intellicast.com/Travel/Weather/Snow/Cover.aspx you can find bare ground all the way to the Canada border. resourceful birds can find easily find food with no snow cover and are reluctant to continue south. From the reports we are getting, the leading edge of geese is in Norther parts of Iowa and Illinois. We are seeing a few enter the central part of the state, but definitely not big numbers yet. It’s going to take a good snow storm across the north to get things going down here. With that said, the hopes for snow up north or dismal for the forseeable future.
The Fowled Reality crew is headed to Reelfoot Lake in west Tennessee to follow the waterfowl migration. Reports down there aren’t the greatest. We’ve had the trip planned for two months, so we gonna head south, hope for the best, and try to find some birds. They have an abundance of water which has scattered the birds into back water sloughs and sheet water left in fields.
For the latest Fowled Reality migration update and the MDC mallard migration map be sure to check out our Migration page. We’ll try to update the weeks hunting on Reelfoot wifi/cell service permitting