Ducking down in Argentina
Jonathan Young loves the people, the food, the humour… but, most of all, he loves the sport.
Tomas, our designated guide, climbed aboard and within 20 minutes we’d arrived at our flight pond. Pond? It was more a minilake. How would we manage to pull in the birds when they had such an acreage of water? But we had underestimated the power of roboduck and Tomas’s ability with duck calls, a different one for most of the species available. We reckoned he could have quacked and trilled the entire orchestral score of the Ring Cycle. He cooed, he coaxed and at first we struggled with the teal. Like their British cousins, the silvers specialise in ground-hugging approaches and if you’re not on red alert they’ve landed before you can say “plop”.
Nevertheless, we did our jet-lagged best and returned with 28 head made up of silver, speckled and ringed teal, rosy-billed pochard, red shoveller and a fulvous whistling duck. The Southern boys put together similar bags but had added a Brazilian teal with spectacularly blue-iridescent primaries. Having made suitably appreciative noises (we were jealous as hell), it was time to hit the preprandials.