News and Updates
JULY 20,2018

  Yesterday, the birds went 11 km. They were let up in groups of 100. It was about 24 degrees, a few clouds and hardly any wind. They left very quickly and headed straight home. No travellers yesterday. It was an all day undertaking yesterday and with birds being released after coming home, I did not bother with the clock. Today, they will all go this am and will be released at the 15 km site.


SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2018

     Today, the birds spent a lot of time in the air. Probably cooler up there than on the roof of the loft. A lot of picking in the green grass and gravel took up a portion of their time. It takes about two hours to do the cleanup that I want and, for that length of time, they are locked out. They come through the trap but I have an alternate exit that I open after awhile to enable them to go back out. They must come back in via the trap. A large number come in and out but most prevere to stay out all day. They have fresh water on the landing board. 

    Monday was to be their second toss but I have a Toronto appointment that messes with my time. Training starts in ernest on Tuesday. Health is great and losses are very few. The last of the lock ups are with the main group and flying right along with the best. Doesn't take a smart bird more than a minute to get with the system. Inventory on results/Trainer/Sunday Loft Fly is on Wincompanion.


FRIDAY 13, 2018

   The birds went for their first toss yesterday. It was only a 1 K but some managed to turn it into a marathon. They were released in groups of 25, unfortunately, I had trouble setting up the clock and birds were already coming into the trap before I had it up and running. I walked the first group back out and what ever was missed was picked up the second time around. Several groups travelled up the lake and spent the whole afternoon returning home. I am glad they made it back. 

   The weather here calls for rain so it's loft flying today. Saturday is lock down, others are racing and a number of groups come over the loft. Sunday is clean up so again, loft flying. Next week will be a toss everyday if possible.

   Watch out for leaning ladders and black cats crossing today!



  Hi  Hope all is well.

  Today I have a few updates for you. First, Bernie Bedard and his buddy Guy came on Thurdsay past and took videos of the birds flying aroud the loft. It was just wonderful and Linda and I thank them for a job well done. Bernie's daughter Josie did a fantastic job pulling together a smooth, cohesive video of Bernie swinging the camara and saying" look at the birds over here, look at the birds over there, see them up high." Just kidding. 

  Today, before the birds were released, I caught about sixty and placed them in baskets. The birds were released into the traps. As they were recorded we checked to make sure the electronic rings were working. Several were not. Our bands come in 3 colours, black, maroon and blue. Apparently the maroon and blue are not as reliable. This month, as we go along, we will change all to black bands. There are still several birds to band and these will be done this week.

  About 700 birds, give or take 50 or so, look like and act like old birds. The balance still have some baby feathers and just don't look the part yet. All are now tooting around the sky like mad men and they all need to start going up the road. This is the week. Short tosses it will be and in small groups.

  On the not so serious side, I believe one fancier out there, who has entered his birds in our race, has a better grasp of the science of genetics than the rest of us. I spent a considerable amount of time this afternoon observing his creation. He has found a way to cross a pigeon with a duck. The bird is a male. He has webs between his toes. His feather is very shiny, odd paterned but brilliant in colour. It is very vocal and when it parades and spins in front of the hens, it ends every outburst with a quack. That, or it has a speech inpediment.



   For the second time, in as many weeks, this damn program has logged out while I am in the middle of typing and I have to do it all over. I need to type faster or get a program allows one finger typing.

  Happy Canada Day!

  Don't forget your sunscreen when you go out. Lord it's hot.

  On Saturday, early am, we locked the birds out and flagged them for 30 minutes. All fly well except 25 or so that are either to fat or just plain lazy and they need to be helped along. The rest of the day they had open loft. At 5 pm we locked them out again but we did not force them to fly. Most flew any way.

  I assumed my favourite position on the SS Empire deck [streched out,on my back,looking at the sky] and watched the birds circle over the field. At one point almost all of them were flying around the loft in a long chain. As the last passed over, the first would appear again. Then, the salmon in the group, as always, spoiled the sight. There or those who just have to swim up stream and create chaos. A slam bam happened directly above me. Alcohol may have been a factor.

  I know there are a couple of bands that are not working and 2 birds that were missing are back. They have no band. I will correct those soon. We  have purchased the GPS system from Nick Fan and we have a few birds in the loft that are registered under Empire GPS Team who will be our Test Birds. Later, we will offer the use of the bands to you who may want them placed on your entries.

  Today, we will set the clock and open the trap at noon. It will be under Results/trainer/loft fly 1.


JUNE 26,2018 RECAP

   I just spent 45 minutes typing an update only to watch it disappear into the wild blue yonder. Damn, I hate computers.  Now you get the short version of what I had to say.

   Mondays birds came in so fast, I suspected that a large number had climbed over their buddies backs. We let the birds out early and opened the trap right away. Any bird that wanted to come in, was allowed. No waiting today. For two hours I watched them come in and not once did a missing number pop onto the screen. Frustrating, to say the least. 

   To keep myself from going insane, I decided to clean the cupboards and desk top. There I found the answer to my problems. I had forgotten to plug in the trap. Funny thing is that I had read earlier in the morning how 400,000 Canadians had some form of dementia. I'm number 576.

   I walked the birds out again, opened the trap and the first three to enter registered. By the end of the day, all was well again. Last night I slept.

  The birds are healthy and flying well. All were in the air on Tuesday for at least an hour with most flying lots more. The hawk only has to show himself at the property line now and they are up and away. A bit more loft flying to give the later once time to grow into their wings and then it will be up the road I go. We will do updates on Wincompanion once a week from now on.



   A bit of a problem setting up the clock today. When I opened the trap for a few the rest became anxious and when it was their turn the numbers coming in at once were unbelievable. The clock went a bit haywire. I did a physical count, three times and I believe 896 birds are in the loft. All were in when darkness set in. We will try again tomorrow only I'll feed before I let them out and open up early to give them lots of opportunity to come in at a slower speed.


JUNE 25,2018

   The sun is out, a slight breeze, so it's a great morning. We have completed the hand inventory and this morning, I will complete the corrections on the our site. There were 885 birds that were AOK, their bands worked. There are about 20 that do not. We will redo these this morning, and when the birds come in tonight, we should have a new inventory list. Check under results/trainers on the website for the list. The problem with winter is you,ve forgotten all you learned last summer. It takes an old horse a little longer to get the cart rolling again.

   Saturday afternoon was not a fun time for the birds that were out. They were scared out of their wits and about 60 spent the night out on the backside of the roof. On Sunday it was better, but 12 still wouldn't come in. I let the birds out at 6 AM this morning and hope that by tonight, all will settle down. The health of the birds is fantastic and there are groups of birds flying almost all the time they are out. On Sunday, all the birds were in the air for more than an hour. They are rambling and disappearing out of sight. We'll give the last group a bit of time to catch up to the earlier birds and then it's time to start training.

   On a side note, for those of you who's birds like to fly into your faces, could you please trim their toe nails before you send them to me next year. Thanks


SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

   It may have been fathers day, but for me, it wasn't a quiet one. With all the birds out and while we did our Sunday clean up, The Coopers continually haressed the birds. It is time to bring in the army, or at least someone who can focus on the target.

  Tomorrow we start hand inventory and the correction of our mistakes and replacing a few bands that didn't read properly. It was great seeing so many birds fly, just would have been better if they had gone up when they were ready, not because of fear. 


   We have completed the banding process and uploaded all the info to our site. Unfortunately, you can't see it untill the birds enter the trap and are clocked. All of the birds are settled except for about 70 late ones. They will join the flock on Sunday and then all will enter the traps. Untill then, I  can tell you that as of last evening there were about 918 birds in the loft. Sickness, hawks and losses off the roof took care of the rest.

   There are definetely mistakes. We are off by a didget or made a typing error here and there and some, the identity names were wrong. That we can't fix untill the birds go in by the traps and then we do hand inventory. Next weeks job.

   All the birds were outside on Friday including the last 70 in their settling cage. The Cooper made sure all of them did a lap or two around the farm. 

   The molt has come a long way. Most look like yearlings now and now spend an awfull lot of time in the corners calling for a mate. 


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