August 7 -
For each of the 2 days before the Moncton
race the team flew for good hour. The day after the race the birds
flew for 75 mins. This morning they flew for 75 minutes as well.
Cooler temperatures help. I hate to say this but Fall is in the air. I have
never seen better droppings.
August 9 -
Fall is definitely in the air.
Yesterday the birds flew for over an hour in cool weather. This
morning with NW winds approaching 30 km and gusting up to 50 km, the birds
flew for over an hour.
The birds are exercising well, trapping well,
eating well and after exercise period when they land they are as fresh as
before they started exercising. There are no birds huffing and
puffing and gasping for air. Furthermore, droppings haven't been
better, they handle corky and buoyant, throats are clear and rosy pink,
feet are clean and the skin covering their chest muscles is clear of
I am a bit of a pessimist.
Things have been going very well to the point that improvement will be
very hard to achieve. The challenge will be to maintain this
condition for the rest of the series. There is still about 1900 km
of flying left.
The molt is a bit of concern. The birds have been on 16 hours of
light since July 1st. At this time some birds were beginning to molt
around the beak and some cover feathers began dropping. Since
training began and then racing, the molt seems to have been retarded.
There are no birds with their ears uncovered and body feathers seem to be
tighter. The real racing will start this weekend from Truro (300