HISTORY OF DECOYS.
| It is, however, not in such a favourable position as is the one at Iken, the public road, on which there is a great deal of traffic, being but 300 vards distant, and the village of Chillesford only a quarter of a mile. There is also a steam corn mill in its vicinity. The opinion of the Decoyman is, nevertheless, that if this Decoy had as much care and seclusion bestowed upon it, as is the case at Iken, it would improve greatly in its results.|
The Decoy is close to Butley Creek, a tidal estuary, that unites with the River Ore, some 2 miles above Orford Haven. Its size is 19 acres. The pond 2 acres, the remaining space being underwood and marsh, as is the case at Iken. Its age is unknown, but it also appears on the estate map of 1807. Its yearly average is from 200 to 300 fowl.
Orwell Park Decoy.-About fifty or sixty years ago a Decoy was constructed at Levington Heath, near Orwell Park, by Sir Robert Harland. It is four acres in extent, and when in full working order had five pipes. The present owner of the estate, Colonel George Tomline, worked it for many years, and then gave up doing so for a time. He states that the largest number of fowl he ever captured in one year was 3,000 In 1853, 2,380 were taken; in 1854, 2,279 ; in 1855, 1,803; the total number of Ducks secured in eighteen years being 27,991, of which 5,711 were Wigeon. At the present time only one pipe is worked, in which during the season of 1884-85 more than 700 Ducks were taken by the end of November, but Colonel Tomline is now constructing a second pipe with the assistance of one of the Skeltons. There are some pinioned Wigeon here which breed freely, and the young birds are quite tame. A curious circumstance is, that although the Decoy is within 300 to 400 yards of the Felixstowe Railway, the wildfowl appear to take no notice of it. In sharp weather there are great numbers of fowl in this Decoy, and Colonel Tomline has seen thousands assembled on the ice, and informs me he has lately met with such success that he intends fitting up the disused pipes again.
This Decoy is 5 miles SE. of Ipswich, and a mile from the north bank of the River Orwell, here a wide tidal estuary.