This morning, every combine in Central Ontario is somewhere north or east of us. Even though almost all of our birds have become part of a mean fighting machine, there are still twenty or so where the wind can whistles in one ear and directly out the other. When it gets dark, they panic and then fly like the dickens for the comfort of the home perch. Happens every toss. No need to confuse the few. We will take them for a sixty KM toss this afternoon and tomorrow, 164 KM. There are four hundred and eighty four birds that will train today. Six others need a rest because of bumps and bruises. One extra day off will help them.
I was just informed of the solar eclipse that is happening on Monday. I will train this afternoon, miss all the combines, but I will be going to Whitney, 165 KM. They need one longer toss before the 200 mile event next weekend.
It`s amazing have fast time flies when there are deadlines to meet. Mine are almost here. On Sunday, August 27 we will hold our Empire 300 KM. That is, if the weather gods will co-operate. We may have to move it ahead or back a day or two, we`ll see.
Our main event, the Empire 500 KM will be held the Long weekend of September. Basketing of the birds will begin about 1:30 PM, Saturday, September 2. When the truck and trailer have departed, we will sacrifice some burgers for supper and then we will have the loft auction. For those who can`t be there, you may purchase your loft for $ 75.00. Please send the money in asap. It has to be here before the auction begins. We will also be accepting pool sheets for those who want to bet on their birds. Same for the pool sheets, send asap. They have to be here before race day.
On Sunday, September 3, we will be here at 9:00 for coffee and bagels and for those who have yet to pool, we will be ready and waiting. All bets have to be in by 12:00 noon. For lunch this year, we are having a pig barbeque. We`ll also have chicken and a few hamburgers for those who need something different. Please bring your family. Linda will have lots of fixens, so you won`t go hungry. If by chance it rains, you know what I`ll be eating for the next year or so. Monday is our rain date.
Versa Laga will have a display of their products and Baden Feed will have their feed on hand for those who need a bag or two.
Linda and I look forward to seeing you, It will be nice to meet the person from the other end of the phone or from behind the computer screen.
Today, the birds had to work a bit harded. The sky was a bit over cast but lots of sun poked through. The wind was from the north and helped them leave the area tout suite. Half way home, the wind changed to the east and by afternoon at home, the wind was strong and pushed them way to the east side. Some over shot into the county. In the late evening, I watched them return from the south east. Even though we are only an eighth of a mile from the lake, Prince Edward stretches into the lake by about thirty miles. When the birds go by us and into the county, you can count on them coming back following the shore line. Four birds stayed home today, two late ones needed a rest and two banged up their chest a bit Two days off, maybe a short toss on Saturday afternoon then a long one for everybody on Sunday.
Every bird that was bruised or had a cut is now back on the road.
I am working on a mailout for the pool sheet and details for the main event. Shall have them out tomorrow. I still have about20 calls to make and I'll try to do that tomorrow as well.
This was a good day. First, I woke up. I could see my hands and feel my feet, always a good start. Second, the birds had their gear on and were ready to be let aboard when I arrived at the loft. No hesitation, no showing and pushing, no tripping and falling, just lets get on and lets get going. In 45 minutes the last one put on his seat belt. The highway drive was absolutely perfect. No cars, only one truck and he led the way. I arrived in Bancroft at Foodland and was backed into the field by 9:45 AM. I watered the birds, gave them half an hour to quench their thirst and at 10:23, I opened all the baskets and off they went. No mucking about above the trailer, just a little toot left, a little toot right and then straight for home. The sky was bright and beautifull with a few fluffy white clouds. There was no wind to be found. At home, cloudy skies, again no wind but hot and hazy at ground level. There were 480 birds in the clock when I got home. There were also two birds, who are 1 and 2, that returned from a previous training toss. The first bird in the toss was followed by 359 other ones within the next 5 minutes. It won by less than a beak.
Tomorrow a bath, a little loft flying and sun bathing. Wednesday we will go back to Bancroft and next weekend, to Whitney, 160KM.
Four Hundred and eighty seven birds were released in groups of sixty at the Ten Acre Truck Stop, Belleville. This is 34.1 KM to the loft. They were released starting at !4:10 and it took about 40 minutes to let them all go. The sky was bright blue with plenty of white clouds and the winds were directly on their noses at about 15 KM per hour. They came from the right direction and all but five landed directly in front of the trap. It was a pleasure to watch them come home. Tomorrow they will go 120 KM and will be released all at once.
I would have put this up last night except I got a call that one of my birds had been found in North York, top end of Toronto, and would I please come pick it up. I did. It was a 5 hour round trip. Not that I mind, she had the decency to pick it up and look after it. It is my bird so I should be willing to go out of my way to retrieve it. She can't read numbers or maybe the bird wiggled too much. What ever the reason , I now have CU 17 1536 BB in my holding pen. If it's yours, it's doing well. Please call.
Yesterday, the birds were released in small groups at 90 KM in over cast skies with a side wind that turned and became a gusty head wind. At home, thunder rumbled, but no rain fell. The birds had an excellent workout and all but a few made it on the day.This morning, at 6:15, two were on the roof. The wincompanion site was being serviced this morning so I could not reset the clock. On Sunday, I'll take them on a 30 KM hop to stretch their wings and prepare for Monday's 120 KM jaunt. On Sunday we will have the clock on for an inventory check. Meanwhile, they have open loft and a bit of R & R.
I have the 2017 payouts ready but I am having problems accessing my home page. If it isn't fixed by Saturday, I will put everything on the message board.
Today, the birds had a 90 KM toss. It was sunny, a few white clouds and a strong wind that pushed them to the west. They had to buck the wind the last 10 KM home. They were released at 12:10 and arrived home at 13:18. Trapping was very quick. An excellent showing today.
I had planned on releasing the birds in small groups but I had the help of the Jacksons kids. I didn't realize that when I said " don't open the door untill the others disappear", just closing your eyes counted. At home, the first group had barely landed when more than half showed up and they were barely in when the rest appeared. Over 450 clocked in the first 20 minutes.
Tomorrow, loft fly in the morning, pick in the grass in the afternoon and Thursday, back to 90 KM.
The birds were released in cloudy skies, a sprinkle of rain with a very slight side wind. Along the way, broken clouds and at home, a light rainfall. A large percentage of the birds opted to play in the puddles for a while before clocking in. Tonight , I will start calling everyone and hope to finish in the next day or two.
Tuesday, the birds will go 90 KM.
I wish to thank all who volunteered the use of their trailers. I have the use of a superb unit that belongs to Dave Ramcharan. Thanks so much Dave.
Early this afternoon, I completed the inspection of all the birds. Half I did on Saturday morning and in the afternoon, they had a couple of hours to fly and play in the grass. Today, yesterdays went out at ten AM and the rest as I completed their check up. All flew for an hour or more, most were up and down for at least two hours. I set the clock so that you would be able to tell which on your team is here to compete. When they came in, they were looking for supper and jambed the traps in their hurry. Tomorrow we are going on a 50 KM toss and the birds will be released in 16 small groups. There will be less congestion at the traps and the reading will be accurate.
Complete list of those deceased, injured, etc will be published by me tomorrow.