| To Edward Storey for money paid to sundry workmen for setting the reeds and poles round the Decoy and wiring it, £9 10s.|
To Sydrach Hilcus for ye contriving of the Decoy in St. James Park, £30.
For oatmeal, tares, hempseed, and other corn for the birds and fowles from September, 1660 to June 24, 1670, £246 18s.
To John Scott for carpenters work done in wharfing and making bridges in the Island and borders, and for boards used about the Decoy and other work, £45 15s. 4d. (Signed by Charles II.)
There is no doubt that Charles had many thousand waterfowl, both tame and wild, on the Canal in those days, and he doubtless used the Decoy for catching them from time to time, as required for table use, and to reduce their ever-increasing numbers.
It is also quite possible that large numbers of wild duck frequented the Decoy and water, and mingled with the half tame ones, for at that date firearms, in a sporting sense, were few and clumsy, and little used on game or fowl.
The Thames, and the great marshes that bordered its banks, and the outskirts of London as well, would in those days be haunted with wildfowl, and so form a good lead to the Canal and Decoy. Indeed a writer in the "New Critical Review" for 1736 alludes to the Park and water as on one side being bounded as by a wilderness and desert, though he says its other side is the height of civilization and beauty.
Le Serre, a French writer, speaking of St. James's Park in 1633, says, after describing the public buildings and houses, "These are bounded by a great Park with many walks, all covered by the shade of an infinite number of oaks . . . . . . . This Park is filled with wild animals."
In 1661, observant and quaint old Pepys remarks in his Diary, ', To walk in St. James' Park, and saw a great variety of fowls I never saw before."
But perhaps the best description of the birds in the Park in those days is to be found in Evelyn's Diary, March 29, 1665. He says, "I went to St. James' Park, where I saw various animals, and examined the throat of yo 'Onocratylus,' or Pelican, a fowle between a Stork and a Swan, a melancholy waterfowl brought from Astracan by the Russian Ambassador;
it was diverting to see how he would toss up and turn a flat fish, plaice or flounder, to get it right into its gullet . . . . . .