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Diary Calendar

August 15 - Sept...

August 22nd

On Tuesday the Le Tour birds were exercised for the first time after the Antigonish race.  For the first 2 days they were reluctant to fly but with a little flagging I still got 30 minutes of flying time out of them.  By Thursday they were easily flying 45 minutes in the morning.  On Saturday morning they were let out in a light rain and flew easily for 50 minutes.   This morning they were very anxious to get out.  Soon as I opened the door they flew out of the loft and disappeared for 20 minutes.  When the birds returned they flew high and strongly around the loft for about 15 minutes when a goshawk flew over the loft and then started circling and rising up beneath the birds.  The racers took this all in stride and flew away for another 10 minutes without panicking.  The goshawk flew off to the east.  Oddly, even the stock birds in the aviaries did not panic over the sight of the hawk.  They just remained in the aviaries and did their own thing.  The birds remained flying to the hour mark, landed and trapped in an orderly fashion without incident.

The birds' physical appearance and droppings indicate that they have recuperated well from the last race.  Their appetites and behavior suggest that they will be ready to race again in a couple of days.  So I have tentatively scheduled the next race from the Canso Causeway (400 km) for Tuesday, August 24th .  The long range forecast indicates excellent weather for the next week throughout the Maritimes.  Below is the weather prediction for Port Hawkesbury which is on the Cape Breton side of the causeway.

Port Hawkesbury  
Currently


Not Observed

Today
Sunrise: 6:14
Sunset: 20:01
Moonrise: 13:34
Moonset: 22:58

5 Day Forecast from The Source Environment Canada

Sunday

Sunday night

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Rain ending Cloudy periods A mix of sun and cloud Sunny Sunny Sunny
Rain ending Cloudy periods A mix of sun and cloud Sunny Sunny Sunny
  Low 12C   Low 17C Low 14C Low 11C
High 22C   High 23C High 21C High 19C High 22C
           

August 26th - 30th

By the second day after arriving from their tough 8 hour flight from the Canso Causeway (400 km) the vast majority of birds were back to normal.  On Thursday the birds were let out for their first exercise period since the race.  They disappeared immediately and returned about 15 minutes later.  Two groups could be seen flying around the loft.  One small group was circling quite low and looking anxiously to land.  The other group flew quite high and landed after 30 minutes.  That afternoon the birds were treated to a bath.  On Friday and Saturday except for a small group of less then dozen birds the rest flew for a good hour.  On Sunday the birds flew for 45mins.  Because of heavy rains on Monday the birds were kept in.  Stage 8 from Sydney/Glace Bay is tentatively scheduled for sometime during the Labor day weekend.  I am confident that the birds will be ready for this challenge.  The weather remains the question.

September 1st

This morning Le Tour birds received their last exercise period around the loft for this season.  When let out at 7:30 they immediately disappeared for 30 minutes.  A handful of birds arrived a few minutes earlier and trapped immediately.  The rest remained flying for another 20 minutes.  Unless there is a dramatic change in the weather the birds will be basketted tomorrow for the last race of the Le Tour series - Glace Bay.  Good luck to all.

September 2nd

Due to the postponement of Stage 8 the Le Tour birds were exercised around the loft today.  This morning all but 2 birds flew vigorously for 50 minutes in strong gusting winds.  They were also exercised this evening and flew very strongly for almost an hour in the same wind conditions.  This is the best I have ever seen them fly.  Hopefully this is an indication of their preparedness for the last race of the season.

September 3rd

Hopefully this morning's exercise period was the last for the Le Tour birds.  They were exercised at 9:00 and immediately disappeared for twenty minutes.  It was overcast and on the verge of raining.  They returned 20 minutes later and remained aloft for another 20 minutes in a light drizzle.  Trapping went smoothly and quickly.