The last two day were great for loft flying. The birds enjoyed the little cooler weather and flew almost the entire two hours they were locked out. A couple of visits by our friendly neighbourhood birds of prey helped them decide rather quickly that it was saver way up high. This morning, the birds arrived in good time but trapping was a slow process. The longer distance on Friday will help sharpen their desire to come inside. We will take the birds 150 plus KM for an early Friday release. This is our first race.
The birds were released this morning in Sharbot Lake in the parking lot of the General Store. They did a half circle and left in a tight ball going imediately very high in the sky. No mucking about this morning.
The birds were loaded last night after their evening meal and had water in front of them all night long. All the troughs were almost empty. They drank their fill.
There wasn't anyone at the loft this morning to watch the birds arrive but the clock shows almost all did come together and entered promptly. I arrived home to see the last thirty or so circling over head. They didn't rush in. I think I'll stay away more often.
Weather will decide which day, next week, we'll have the first race.
I was asked if I could clarify the number of paid entries that we started with. Not a problem. Just match the entry ledger with what,s on the computor and Bob's your uncle. Unfortunately, I found a couple of missing entries and I have now corrected the numbers.
We had 95 paid 4 bird teams. Four teams with 3, 2, 1, 1 entries and after the dust settled, only 18 birds were activated. This gives a total of 405 birds with prize money of 81,000.00. I have added the 2900.00 dollars to the payout for Overall Average speed.
150 Special $ 4000.00 shared, first drop 2 Bird Average 1. $ 2000.00
250 Special $ 6000.00 shared, first drop 2 - 6. $ 400.00 each
350 Special $ 8000.00 shared, first drop
450 Special 1. $ 2000.00 Average Speed
2. $ 1200.00 Short 1. $ 1000.00
3. $ 1000.00 2. $ 600.00
4. $ 800.00 3. $ 300.00
5. $ 600.00 4-9. $ 150.00
6-12 $ 400.00 each
13-20 $ 200.00 each
550 Special 1. $ 6000.00 Long 1. $ 1000.00
2. $ 2800.00 2. $ 600.00
3. $ 1600.00 3. $ 300.00
4. $ 1200.00 4-9. $ 150.00
5. $ 1000.00
6-10 $ 600.00 each Overall 1. $ 1800,00
11-30 $ 400.00 each 2. $ 1200.00
650 Special 1. $ 3200.00 3. $ 1000.00
2. $ 1600.00 4. $ 800.00
3. $ 1200.00 5. $ 600.00
4. $ 800.00 6-10. $ 500.00
5-8 $ 600.00 11-14 $ 400.00
9-10 $ 400.00 each 15. $ 300.00
11-20 $ 200.00 each
The birds have gone through their treatment for respiratory infections and what a difference it's made. Last Sunday, when I let them out, 200 flew high and far and out of sight for an hour, 100 flew around the loft for an hour and 22 stayed on the roof and didn't fly at all. On day three of their treatment, 300 flew out of sight, 30 flew around the loft and 2 didn't leave the roof. On Wednesday, the 5th day of treatment, every bird flew and left the area for more than an hour and returned in small groups, circling until the majority came back. Yesterday, Thursday, we took the birds 43 KM, released them in one group and they returned home in one flock. All except one who went fishing. Upon arrival, one bird dropped down and went in. The rest saw the hawk and veered right and went back into the sky to fly for another half hour. The last 10 birds in the clock, before the late comer arrived, flew 1 hour longer than all the other birds.
All is well again.
Today we'll go 43 KM again and on Sunday, 120 KM.
Late evening, I take the time to check the birds. With all of them on perches, I find it easier and quicker then chasing them around the floor during the day. I remove those with obvious bangs and bruises and handle those that aren't alert. I noticed that there were a few with wattles that were changing colours and then I heard a snork. I found the bird and after handling the ones with wattles that were darker, I have decided to stop training and treat the birds for respiratory infection. If six have it, others will surely follow and it would be irresponsible of me to continue on with the schedule. A week or so of treatment and then we will move forward. With this hot and humid summer that we are having it's no wonder the birds are a bit off. I find myself short of breath at times and in the morning your shorts stick to you before you even get them on.
I'll let you know how the birds respond to treatment.
If by "training toss" we mean we let the birds go, they home as quickly as possible and then go into the loft without hesitation, than this toss was a complete failure.
They left the site as planned, small groups a bit apart. This time my youngbird team was separated out and they were released 15 minutes earlier. They arrived, landed, looked around for all their friends and decided to sit on the roof until the rest were home. The rest arrived in groups but continued to fly until the majority were here. When a couple dropped to go in, another two hundred decided to join them. The rest stayed out to fly some more and as of this minute, 12:20, the loft has emptied out and they are scooting about like young kids on skateboards.
Sunday we go to Bancroft, 115 KM, to prepare for the first race at the end of next week.
Yesterday's flight was a great workout for the birds. The wind was gusty and they had to fly across it to reach home and into it if they overflew. The first group of thirty or so came on the right path and landed witout circling. It was a few moments before small groups came along the same way. We then had a break with just a few landing on their own when all of a sudden, the area around us erupted with pigeons. They were flying very low, fighting the wind, coming from too far north and too far west to be on time. More than half the flock made that mistake yesterday. Didn't pay enough attention during "coming home....101". Only a couple from the last toss didn't make it home on the day.
Today is rain day. The birds will have a shower, splash around a bit in puddles and watch a bit of TV in the afternoon. Friday, another toss.
The birds were taken to our 100 KM stop for a 10:15 AM release. The sky was overcast with the wind from the south. No heat to worry about yet, The first bird in the clock needs a day off, bumped and scuffed his chest. This is their first release of all the birds ar once.
Good Luck, Rick'
Rain this morning, no birds then rain stops and lots of birds. Makes you wonder how close they were last night. Open loft today, rest and relaxation and a bath. Back on the road tomorrow.