August 7th - Just before
7:30 this morning I went into the loft to let the birds out for their
exercise. I was pleasantly surprised that the birds were that active
so early in the morning. Actually I haven't seen them this active
before. Usually they are more interested in getting fed then going
outside. I took the opportunity to handle a half dozen of the birds
that caught my eye. I was very impressed with what I handled.
The bodies were well muscled, light and buoyant and the feathers were
tight. In addition the throats were clear of mucus and a nice rosy
pink and the slits in the throat were closed for whatever that means.
Also the wattles were snowy white.
I still have a concern that some of the earlier birds
that have dropped their 6th and 7th flight are showing signs of body
moulting. They have been on 16 hours of light since late June.
I have two 100 watt bulbs on in the lobby section and one 100 watt bulb in
each of the roosting sections. Hopefully the stress of the upcoming
longer races will retard the body moult.
At 7:40 I
let the birds out for their morning exercise. It was a very
pleasant morning - cool, mostly sunny, not humid and with a very brisk
wind blowing. I put up the flag and all the birds went up high and
flew strongly. At the 30 minute mark I took the flag down and less
than half the group came down about 10 minutes later. The rest of
the birds continued flying well into the 60 minute mark. This made
me feel "reeaal gooood".
August 9th - On
Tuesday the 8th the birds exercised in light rain for the first
20 minutes. All but the regular few flew for an hour. At 7:40 this
morning the sky was cloudless and it was cool and calm. The birds
flew around the loft for the first 45 min and then disappeared. At
the 1:15 mark of flying they reappeared out of the south high in the sky.
They flew around the loft for another 10 minutes and then began landing
and trapping. Some appeared to be a little nervous as they had been
I have chosen Truro (315 km) as the next
release point. Releasing the birds on the northern outskirts of
Halifax would only give me 35 km more but add at least 2 more hours to my
August 10th - The
birds were exercised in a continuous light rain. Most of the birds
flew for 60 minutes and the last group landed at the 65 minute mark.
The photo of the birds flying was taken at the one hour mark.
August 12th - The Le Tour Team flew for 75
minutes this morning. I will be leaving in the morning tomorrow for
Truro and plan a 7:00 am release Sunday morning. The present
prediction for the release point is a 40% chance of showers (which usually
means the afternoon) and 60% chance of showers through NB. It could
be a challenging race. With the Le Tour birds and my team there will
be about 100 birds shipped.