Race Reports

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General Management 2003

Management 2002

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September 1st - 3rd    The team was exercised on Sunday for the first time after the Canso race.  They were not very anxious to fly.  The most they would fly was about 20 minutes.  Not wanting to fly was a concern.  But it is easy to forget that a just few days before most of the team flew for over 8 hours.  They were given a bath that afternoon and the vast majority fought for a spot in the bath water.  I understand that is a good sign because unhealthy pigeons don't bathe. 

On Monday the birds weren't much better.  They flew for 30 minutes.  On Tuesday they were exercised in the morning and afternoon.  They flew for 30 minutes during each period.  This morning I started to see a team that I am more familiar with.  They voluntarily flew for 45 minutes.  However there is a dozen that didn't join their loft mates and came down after 30 minutes of flying.  About 25% of the birds dislike my mandatory exercise period.  Reminds me a lot of kids in school.  This evening all birds flew for 45 minutes. 

By the way,  normally I am in school at this time.  Boy, it's great to be retired.  Still looking after kids but these I enjoy much more.

This is the long range forecast for Sydney.  Tentatively the race is scheduled for the latter part of next week.  It will interesting to see if Tuesday's prediction will hold.  North and Northwest winds over 20 km/h will be a concern.  In these conditions, a 500 km race will be more like a 700 to 800 km race.

    Light rain Cloudy with showers Variable cloudiness Cloudy Cloudy periods Cloudy with sunny breaks
HIGH   17C 21C 21C 16C 16C 13C
LOW   - 12C 12C 12C 15C 13C
CONDITION   Light rain Cloudy with showers Variable cloudiness Cloudy Cloudy periods Cloudy with sunny breaks
P.O.P.   80% 60% 30% 40% 10% 20%
WIND   S 20 km/h N 15 km/h N 5 km/h E 10 km/h NW 30 km/h N 30 km/h

September 4th - 6th    The Le Tour team has been exercising for 90 minutes a day which includes a morning exercise period and an evening one.   Saturday morning they were given a 70 km toss and arrived in one group except for a couple of stragglers.  The first bird clocked in 63:05 minutes.  These must be the smartest and most dependable group of young ones that have been entered in the Le Tour.  They are just like clock work.  I can predict within a few minutes when they will arrive.  Photos are of birds just landing and eating after this morning's training toss.    

I have taken the opportunity over the last 2 days to handle about 50 birds.  I have observed the following:  very few birds have blue flesh - most have rosy-pink flesh, vast majority of birds are growing in there sixth flight and very few are at their seventh, feathers are silky to the touch, wattles are bleach white, throats are clear and pink and most birds are corky, buoyant and light.  Body molt might be a concern for some birds.  A few of them are beginning to molt around the wattle area and some are dropping their wing cover feathers.  We will see on Thursday how good my assessment of their condition is. 

The Sydney race is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 11th.   Below is the new long range forecast for Sydney as of today, September 6 is and below that is the prediction for Thursday along the course. 

10 SEP
11 SEP
12 SEP
13 SEP
    Variable cloudiness Cloudy periods Cloudy periods Sunny Cloudy periods Sunny
HIGH   16C 15C 15C 17C 17C 17C
LOW   12C 7C 6C 15C 15C 16C
CONDITION   Variable cloudiness Cloudy periods Cloudy periods Sunny Cloudy periods Sunny
P.O.P.   30% 30% 10% 0% 10% 0%
WIND   NW 30 km/h NW 35 km/h W 20 km/h SW 15 km/h S 10 km/h S 10 km/h

September 8th   The birds were let out for their morning exercise at 8:00 am.  They disappeared for 45 minutes and upon their return were reluctant to land.  I knew immediately that the Goshawk was lurking around again.  About a dozen birds landed at the 60 minute mark and trapped immediately but the rest disappeared, returned and disappeared again.  At the 2 hour mark the Goshawk slowly floated over the loft like a balloon.  Now it became a waiting game.  Who had the most patience the hawk or the birds?

At the 3 hour mark the birds returned and were still cautious about making the decision to land.  For the next 20 minutes they dropped in groups and trapped without incident.  I sure didn't need this a couple of days before the last race of the year.  It goes without saying that the Le Tour team have had their last exercise period while at this loft.

September 9th    A day of rest for the birds.  The team was very active and restless in the loft.  It was obvious that they were full of energy and wanted to go out for some exercise.  They will be basketed early tomorrow morning.

September 10th    I arrived home this evening at 8:30 after 9 hours of driving.  The birds were left in the capable hands of Bill Madore of Glace Bay which is a few kilometers further than Sydney.  Bill has released the Le Tour birds on 6 previous occasions and twice for me and birds have reached home on the day of toss every time.  Keep your fingers crossed that he preserves his record.  Weather conditions permitting the birds will be released at 7:30.  Good luck to all.

Tomorrow's forecast is below and relative to the expected time the birds should be in the areas listed.   That is Sydney's forecast is at release time and Bathurst is for late afternoon.

Thursday along the course.  Will be updated daily.

  Sydney New Glasgow Amherst Moncton Bathurst
    Cloudy periods Mainly sunny Cloudy periods Sunny Sunny
HIGH   14C 16C 18C 19C 20C
LOW   13C 8C 6C 8C 6C
CONDITION   Cloudy Periods Mainly Sunny Mainly Sunny Sunny Sunny
P.O.P.   10% 0% 0% 0% 0%
WIND   NW 20 km/h N 15 km/h N 10 km/h N 10 km/h NW 10 km/h

    Updated : Tuesday September 10 2003, 19:00 ADT