June 11th - All the participants' birds have arrived
and have been inoculated for PMV. The youngsters were ebanded upon
arrival and will be registered the next rainy day. The birds have
been out for almost a week without incident and beginning to trap well.
The first day they were out some of the older ones went up immediately and
disappeared out of sight and then returned. I suspect not all returned. In the mid afternoon, a couple of
hawks circled high above the loft.
this time of the year, the general health of the birds is as good as it has ever been. Only
one bird has been removed due to sickness and only a few are still struggling
in their new environment.
Including my flock there are about 150 birds in the loft.
June 13th - On Monday the goshawk struck around 10:00 scattering half
the birds. The last I saw of the goshawk it was chasing a bird
down Rosehill Road. I assumed the worst. Normally if the hawk
gets its prey it doesn't visit for a couple of days. So Tuesday
morning the birds were let out at 7:30 am. The intention was to
leave them out for 30 minutes and then call them in. At 8:00 I tried
to call them in but less then a third of the birds responded. The
rest just sat on the eastern end of the roof as if nothing had happened
the day before. It was quite obvious that they were not hungry.
I will fix that tomorrow, I thought. I continued trying to call them
in and I could only coax a few more to trap. At 10:00 the goshawk
struck. At that time I was standing about 15 m in front of the loft.
As goshawk flew over me I yelled and distracted it from its first
target. It quickly flew off chasing another bird. Half the
youngsters were scattered everywhere. I tried to call in the ones
that remained on the roof. They just sat there as if their feet were
glued to the roof. Ten minutes later the hawk struck again.
This time only a few young birds remained on the stock loft aviary roof
below. At 12:00 I did a quick head count and only about 50 birds
were left in the loft. Needless to say the loft looked empty. It was a long
afternoon. The birds trickle back until late in the evening and a
few more returned the next day.
The birds remained
in this morning. I did an inventory and took the opportunity to put
2 drops of Ivomec pour-on on the back of each bird's neck. The head
count was much better than I expected. Ten birds are missing however
I suspect some of the older birds disappeared the first day out.
The Inventory List is on the OA Results
page until racing begins.
June 14th - The
plan was to have the birds out early this morning, get them up to fly and
call them in as soon as they landed. Because of fog the earliest I
could get them out was 7:30. I got most of the birds up to fly.
About 25 disappeared to the south. As soon as the birds landed I
began calling them in. Twenty-five refused to go in. At 9:00
the 25 that disappeared earlier returned and flew around loft for another
30 minutes. When they landed I called most of them in but 25 were
still refused to come in. Right on time at 10:15 the goshawk
appeared and did it's usual thing. There were a lot of hungry birds
in the loft this evening. They will remain hungry until they start
June 15th - The birds were
let out at 6:30 this morning. The birds were flagged and almost all
flew for a short period. At 7:00 I began calling them in and the
vast majority trapped immediately. A group of 25 returned just
before 9:30 landed and trapped immediately. Only a few refused to
trap. Of course they had to be mine. A few birds trickled in
for the next hour. The 10:00 o'clock goshawk did not appear this
morning. The plan will be repeated tomorrow beginning at 6:00 am.
June 16th - The 10:00 o'clock goshawk at 10:15 flew by the loft
from the east to the west and down
the tunnel between the house and the back woods. As it flew
by the loft it glanced inside, spotted me and kept on going. The
plan almost went perfectly this morning. The birds were let out at
6:30 and scared up with a flag. The vast majority went up and at
least flew around the loft for a few minutes. A group of 40 to 50
birds disappeared as during previous days but the group was larger which
pleased me. After 30 minutes the group that remained around the loft
was called in. All but a handful trapped immediately. That
pleased me more. Some birds began trickling in for the next 2 hours.
Just before 9:00 I did a quick head count and calculated that about 40
were still missing. Just after 9:00 three birds arrived. One
was a 38 day old dark red wflt who had only been up flying a couple of
times and with its 10th flight still 1" shorter that the rest. At
this time I began to worry because it looked like a perfect day for a
flyaway. It was perfectly calm with not a cloud in the sky and the
temperature in the shade was almost at 25 C. At 9:30 and almost 3
hours after being let out a group of 40 birds arrived, circled a couple of
times, landed and trapped immediately. They were tired and very
thirsty. I gave them all they could eat. Tomorrow will be the
14 day that they have been out of the loft. I will keep them in
tomorrow and if everything goes well I will register the ebands and update