Race Reports

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Auction Birds

Diary Calendar

June 13 - 19

June 13th

Two birds arrived early this morning.  I am guessing that they were part of the group that went ranging yesterday.

The team exercised this morning without incident.  Most of the flock flew for about 30 minutes.  Some of the first time flyers landed earlier.  Initially there were 3 groups in the air all doing their own thing.  It was amusing to watch them trying to avoid collisions as their paths crossed.  Finally, the flock joined together and flew as a kit for about 15 minutes.  A group of 50 birds flew for an hour but around the loft.  When they landed they trapped immediately.  Today was an excellent flying and trapping day.  Only a couple of Le Tour birds stayed out.   

Today, almost all the birds flew.  Half of these sitting on the loft roof are my 2nd round replacement birds.

The week ended with one casualty due to sickness and with 4 birds in sick bay.  So far six birds have been lost due to sickness.  Earlier in the week I noticed vomited food on several perches.  I am guessing that there is a flare-up of E-coli in the loft because of the nature of some of the droppings.  On Wednesday I made the decision to start treating the birds with Altabactine.  After 4 days of treatment there seems to be an improvement, unfortunately for 2 birds in sick bay the medication is not working.  Tomorrow the birds will be trapped using the eclock and the inventory will be updated.  I suspect all the birds did not come back from their ranging excursions during the week.

 June 14th

The birds began their exercise period at 8:00 and all but a handful flew.  Some began to land after barely 15 minutes of flying but the rest stayed up for 30 minutes.  The main group flew well but close to the loft.  About 1/4 of the flock landed and trapped before the hour was up and as the rest of the birds were about to land they suddenly became hesitant and nervous about landing and those sitting on the roof took off.   To make a long story short, the Goshawk flew by 3 times in the next 30 minutes and on his second trip selected his prey but failed to catch it.  By 10:30 most of the birds had trapped .  To make matters worse at 11:00 as the last bunch were about to land out of nowhere 2 more hawks flew over the loft and began soaring higher and higher above it.  I doubt if these were Goshawks because they appeared more brown in color whereas the Goshawk looked more gray.  By dinner time, 164 birds were in and one came back at 5:00.  Four birds remain in sick bay and one bird was reported about 40 air miles from here.  Tomorrow the bird will be retrieved and the inventory will be updated. 

June 15th

The birds were kept in today because it was heavily overcast and the prediction of thundershowers.  Besides the birds needed a day of rest and the opportunity for all birds to get their equal share of the feed.  The inventory list has been updated.  Goto: Inventory

June 16th

I don't believe it; I wanted to cry today. 

The birds went out for their morning exercise and all but a handful did not fly.  The flock flew as a tight group around the loft.  The winds picked up all of sudden and I am sure the gusts were up to 50 km/h.  As usual, I was well prepared to encourage the Goshawk to go away and hunt elsewhere.   At the 30 minute mark the birds behaved as if they had enough flying in these strong winds and wanted to land.  That was fine with me.  I stepped in the house for 30 seconds to get a refill of coffee.  And as I came out I heard a noise above me that sounded like the flapping of wings hitting branches and leaves.  My first thought was - it was one of the infrequent flyers trying to land on a branch.  When I looked up I froze out of shock because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  The Goshawk was directly above me sitting on a branch struggling to hold onto its victim.  Before I could do anything it flew off into the woods.  I couldn't tell what it had clasped  in its talons.  Through all of this commotion a pigeon remained motionless on the peak at the edge of the roof less than 15 feet away from where the Goshawk was.

I looked over on the loft roof and the birds continued circling and landing as nothing had happened.  When I went to the loft to whistle them in for their feed, they trapped calmly and I had the best trapping day ever.  Only two birds remained flying around for the next 30 minutes???

This is starting to sound like a "Soap Opera" but it's true.

June 18th 

Birds were exercised on Thursday without incident.  This morning 160 birds went up to fly.  Most flew for 15 minutes before some of the novice flyers began to land.  Over 100 birds flew almost 45 minutes and about 40 stayed flying well into the 90 minutes mark.  Trapping went smoothly and 170 birds were scanned by the eclock.

I regret to report that 2 birds were lost due to sickness this week raising the total to 9 birds or 4.3% of the entries  and 30 birds or 14.4% have been lost around the loft.  One bird lost around the loft has returned. There still remain about a dozen birds that are of a health concern; however, they are eating and active.  I would not expect more than a few to reach the critical stage.

Goto June 20th