THE BOOK OF DUCK DECOYS.
| T. Gilbert Skelton made another at the NW. angle of the lake, and lastly, old George Skelton (junior) and the Rev. Mr. Fountaine added a third and fourth in 1856. Finally, in 1882, as stated, the present Duke of Leeds removed the netting, screens, and hoops to the new Decoy hard by, and completed it with four pipes. Among a variety of birds taken at Hornby a Harlequin Duck once occurred, and was preserved by the late Decoyman, Savage|
This Decoy averages from 300 to 400 ducks a season, chiefly Mallard and Teal. On one occasion only has 1,000 birds been exceeded: in that instance some 1,500 were taken by Barrett, the present Decoyman. The late Decoyman once captured 250 fowl in a morning, and several times 50 to 60 Duck and Teal have been taken in this Decoy at a drive.
The Hornby Decoy, like the one at Osgodby, was constructed owing to the successes reported at Mr. Healy's Decoy, in the neighbouring county of Lincoln. The owner of the Hornby Decoy related to me that the Greek guide who was with Lord A. Hervey, Mr. H. Coore, and others, at the time they were captured by brigands, when yachting in the Mediterranean, and who arranged their ransom (and maybe captivity), visited Hornby when being entertained in the neighbourhood.
Nothing he had previously been shown in England aroused his interest so much as seeing the ducks decoyed.
The treachery and cunning exhibited stirred his national instincts, and he is stated to have returned to his own country vastly impressed with all he saw in the Decoy.
Perchance he considered whether something of the kind could not be constructed to entrap rich, roving English sportsmen, without the necessity of threatening death from behind a rock, à la brigand.
Thirkleby Park, 3 miles S. of Thirsk.-I have lately (1885) constructed a Decoy here. It consists of 1 acre of water and has 3 pipes, and resembles in form Lord Lilford's in Northamptonshire, and is shown on the plan facing page 55.
Coatham, near Redcar-On the estate of the late Mr. A. H. Turner Newcomen, of Kirkleatham Hall, a Decoy was constructed in Coatham marshes in 1840. The area of ground enclosed for the purpose was about 3 acres, with a pool of two acres, the extent of water being occasionally increased when the marsh was flooded.