Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/68

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decoy. Here, enclosing and following the course of one of these branches, is a decoy pipe, a long, curving framework of light arches, covered in with strong wide-meshed netting, and becoming lower and narrower the further we go from its mouth, though, as we stand by its wide-arched entrance, some ten feet high and fifteen across, the far extremity is unseen by us as by the hapless duck which swims in, unwotting of sudden and violent death awaiting it not a hundred yards away. One side of the pipe is merely sheltered by a straight reed-fence, the other, upon which it is intended to be worked, by the well-known arrangement of reed-screens placed obliquely, the open ends being about a yard apart. Between each pair of these open ends is a low connecting piece of boarding, the "dog-jump" over which the decoy-man's canine assistant leaps to arouse the curiosity of the ducks. Viewed from the mouth of the pipe, these screens give the impression of a continuous reed-wall, the openings, of course, fronting the other way. The pipe is fifty or sixty yards long, and at its far end not more than two feet wide. Further round the margin of the lake are three similar pipes, each following the course of a shallow reedy inlet. A decoy must consist of several, as the ducks will only swim to windward. Beside a small hut near at hand are hanging up four of five of the tunnel-nets which are fixed on at the narrow end of the pipe when a haul is made. These are ordinary bow-nets, eight or ten