Saturday, 31 July 2010

The eve of the first young bird race!

Tonight we basketed the birds for the race from Swindon - 76 Miles. We sent all 26 in the end. 12 members in the club sent 227 birds. I expect the birds to be away early in the morning and be doing the distance in about 1h 45mins. I will update later tomorrow to let you all know how we got on! C'mon the Rockets! P.s Good luck to my brother having his first ever race, he has sent 10.

Good news!

Syndicate 1 bird has arrived back at the lofts and is back in the race! I spoke with Russ this morning and he said 31 still missing from yesterdays race. That is a boost as he has been doing very well up to now.

Secondly we have secured the purchase of a 6th syndicate bird. The bird was bred by Europa lofts from the Europa 500 entries and was 4th in yesterdays 1st Hotspot from 60 miles and would have won cash if he had been activated. I have sold 3 shares and have 1 left for sale. 1st person who contacts will secure this. - NOW SOLD!

Friday, 30 July 2010

The race is back on!

I have now sorted out my work and pleased to say that I am now off on Sunday so the birds will be sent. They have received their 17th and final training toss this afternoon, again from Shirenewton (35miles). The birds all arrived safe and sound and have been fed as much as they want tonight and apart from a little seed tomorrow morning will not get anything else until after the race on Sunday. I am planning on sending 25 out of the 26. I am looking forward to it but at the same time quite nervous hoping they come ok and do themselves justice. Time will tell....

First Hotspot Disaster for Syndicate Birds!

The first hotspot turned out to be a disaster for the syndicate birds. 1048 birds were liberated at 6.45am from 60 miles. The winner clocked at 8.24am and the remaining birds were clocked during the following 3-4 hours. It appears they have hit trouble somewhere along the line as pigeons should be able to complete 60 miles in under 2 hours easily. The birds that have been doing well in training are either missing or a long way down the result sheet. The result is not good reading for the share holders in the syndicate but as there are 90 birds missing we should be grateful they are still in the loft ready to fight another day. We recorded 710th, 728th, 753rd and 923rd. Our best bird who has been doing very well has not timed and this is a major blow, but he has plenty of time to make his way back to the loft. We activated birds for synciate 4 and 5 this morning and details are on the share holders / results page on the website.
A blow to us, but we live to fight another day.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

All home!

Sent the birds tonight with 2 other batches and tossed them from 14 miles. All home safe and sound. Just been confirmed that the race has been put back to Sunday. This has ruined my chances of sending as I am working Sunday morning. So they will now not be sent and another weeks training will continue ready for the next race from Newbury (97 miles).
The Europa birds were trained today from 40 miles and once again syndicate 1 bird was leading the way this time with 20th position. This was his 3rd result in the top 35 from 5 training tosses. The other syndicate birds were 527th and 808th. Both clocked within 2 minutes of the winner.
The 1st hotspot race is tomorrow from 60 miles so I am hoping all 3 put in a good performance in the 1st prize money race. The extra 2 syndicate birds will be confirmed as soon as Derek (Loft manager) replies. Hopefully that will be in time for the bird to compete for prizes in the 1st Hotspot. As soon as the birds are confirmed I will post on this site.

Another one under their belts

The 26 strong young bird team were basketed up for their 7th toss in 5 days and taken to Shirenewton (35miles). They all come home together in a group and trapped with no problem. They have been fed some small trapping seed and in an hour and half will be basketed agin and taken 18 miles to Blaenavon for another. This time they will be liberated with 2 other batches of birds and we will see how they deal with this. These birds are going to be super fit and fine tuned come racing but I realise there is a thin line between this and burn out. However, I believe I know their limits and will take it day by day and just hope I get it right. I need to give them every chance of coming on race days and I see this as the only answer with the time scale I have to work with. I will update this about 8.45pm when the birds have successfully returned. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Good toss tonight!

We had 1 bird back from yesterdays toss so that gave us 27 out of 31. The little blue hen will now join the latebred team and will be fully trained up later in the year. The remaining 26 were basketed up and taken to Shirenewton (35 miles) this afternoon. They were liberated into a strong head wind at 5.05pm and returned home at 5.55pm so taking 50 minutes for the journey. I was very pleased considering it was their first time there, furthest they have been and into a strong head wind. I had 20 come in a bunch, then 1 minute later 5 and finally 1 which about 10 minutes behind. They will go again tomorrow from the same place and then after that toss will decide who if any will go to the Swindon (76 miles) race on Saturday. I would ideally have liked another week to get them fine tuned ready for racing. I still have a number of things I need to do to prepare them fully. Until these are complete I will not risk the whole team, so it looks like I will select 4 or 5 to race this week and get these extra things complete in readiness for the Newbury race (97 miles) in 10 days time.

The Europa birds were trained again today from 40 miles and the syndicate birds scored 174th, 363rd and 988th. The first two were clocked within 90 seconds of the winner with the 3rd bird about 14 minutes behind so he had better start to pull his socks up I think!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Another messy training toss!

A complete mess this training toss turned out to be from start to finish! Firstly I planned to go to Cwmbran (25 miles) this afternoon, then decided to go to Newport (30 miles) instead as we approached the turn off for Cwmbran. We looked for a suitable place to liberate but before we knew it we were in the Newport City centre! We eventually pulled over by the docks just opposite the bus station! We unloaded the birds and were about to liberate them, when my senses kicked in and decided this was not the place to be letting them go. We loaded them back into the car and decided to head back towards Cwmbran. Again we looked for a place to stop and nothing suitable appeared. Before we knew it we were in a built up area again. We eventually found a Homebase car park and decided enough was enough and they would go from there! We liberated 31 pigeons at 4.30pm. We arrived back at the loft at 5.30pm and nothing! At 6.15pm 3 pigeons dived towards the loft and trapped ok. A minute later 1 more arrived. Throughout the next hour we had 20 back all coming in 1, 2 and 3's. By 9pm we had 26 back so down 5. A hawk attack if ever there was one!!!!! We also had another drop through the traps which was lost in the training toss about a week ago where we lost 11! He was looking like a picture and as if he had been on holiday to Barbados for the last week. I have put him in with the latebreds/injured birds loft and these will be trained up later in the year. There is 8 in there so far and another 9 will be weaned off now shortly so will have a nice little back up late bred team. I am planning another toss tomorrow from Shirenewton (35 miles) and will hopefully get there again on Thursday.
I am undecided yet as regarding sending to the race on Saturday. I will see how they come in the next two tosses and make a decision after training on Thursday.

Monday, 26 July 2010

2 more tosses completed tonight

I had 1 bird back this afternoon from yesterdays toss so ended up dropping one. The birds were basketed up at 5pm and taken 16 miles with a friend and liberated together. They cleared well and made good time all returning with one being late. They had an hour rest in the loft before being basketed again at 7pm and being liberated at 8.10pm from 20 miles. Again they recorded a good time. Have dropped one but had my doubts about him anyway. It was the one that returned from yesterdays toss and then returned late from the first toss tonight but none get a free ride in this loft and if the team have to do it so to does every pigeon in the loft. If they can't hack the pace then they are free to drop out any time. (With exception of injured pigeons who are given every chance to recover.)
The Europa birds had another toss from 40 miles today and recorded 434th, 493rd and 650th. All 3 still in the race! Think the speed machine has hooked up with a girlfriend who was slacking behind at the back. Think she is leading him a stray! Will have to speak with the loft manager and ask him to put him into isolation so he gets his mind back on the job!! hehehe

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Training went well

The weather has been kind today so made the most of it with 2 traning tosses with my brother Neil. We basketed up 32 of mine and 28 of his this morning and went 16 miles. It was the furthest they have been since the smash I had last Monday. (The only other time they been to this distance.) The birds were liberated and cleared immediately and beat us home all arriving safe and sound. They had the afternoon to rest and then we decided to basket them back up for a toss from 27 miles! With racing in 2 weeks time, this was a gamble and one ideally we would not have taken with the birds only having 6 from 6 miles, and 2 from 16 miles. They were liberated together but on this occasion we beat them home and they arrived shortly after. I was 3 down but 1 returned about an hour later. All in all, a good day with good training being accomplished. Hopefully we can really push them on now this week in the hope of making the race from Swindon on Saturday.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Speed machine on our hands!

Todays trainer in the Europa saw syndicate 1 bird score 5th from 1035 birds clocked in. Add this to the 35th he scored yesterday and it looks as if we have a real speed machine on our hands! The other two syndicate birds scored 103rd and 793rd. All clocked within 3 minutes of the winner!
My own birds were loft flown today and will hopefully get two tosses under their belts tomorrow before the longer tosses start next week!

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Europa has begun!

The Europa had its first training toss published on the site tonight and I am pleased to announce all 3 syndicate birds are still in the loft. Out of the 1032 birds that were clocked in we finished 35th (just 6 seconds behind the winner), 367th (30 seconds behind the winner) and 878th.
Our change of policy has paid dividends already. Last year we got all three entries to the final rae but they didn't deliver. The best result they put up in all the 32 published results was 163rd. So already in the 1st published result they have improved on this. If we can keep imroving year on year then I will be happy.
C'mon the Rockets!!

Another training toss under their belts

The birds received there 7th training toss tonight from 10 miles. 31 young birds were basketed and arrived safe and sound at the loft. The time was nothing to write home about and they will be kept at this location for a further two tosses (hopefully tomorrow) to ensure they are aware of the job required of them before we step up in distance.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Back to business!

After the chaos of the last 2 days, the birds were let out this afternoon and allowed to do what they like. They flew for 20 minutes and as soon as they landed I called them in and fed a handful of conditioner. I decided to get back down to basics and decided the best way was for an 8 mile toss to restore their confidence. They circled for a while upon release but once found their line were soon on their way. On return to the loft I was pleased to see all 32 safe and sound. (The one the cat had didn't go for obvious reasons.) I plan to give them another tomorrow afternoon from the same place and hopefully another one later in the evening.

And another but......

My 33rd youngster returned today and found him on the loft when I returned home from work. A bloody cat had attacked him and he has 3 big holes in him but he managed to escape and is currently tucking into an all you can eat buffet! So missing 11 to date. The birds will be let out this evening for a fly and will see how they do but they will be given as much time as they need to recover and get their confidence back after this dreadful training toss they have endured. Racing is supposed to be in 12 days but I really think I am going to be struggling to get them anywhere near ready come this date. The thinking hat is going to have to go on to plan what the birds will now do!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

What bravery, heart and determination!

Updated......Phew, now got 32 back from the 44 that were sent! Had 3 return before 7am, 8 mid morning and 18 this afternoon. The weather has been dreadful all day. It is lashing down with heavy rain and low cloud. These birds have no right to be flying, let alone returning home. They have shown great heart and desire to return and this gives me great hope for the season ahead! I have 12 still missing and hopefully will get a few more home over the next few hours and days!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Gutted and Distraught!

I let the youngsters out at 5pm tonight and they flew really well for an hour. I then basketed up 44 for their 5th training toss from 18 miles. I waited and waited and just after 9pm I had 2 come. About 15 minutes later I had another 1. At nightfall these are the only 3 I have had and I am missing 41! To say I am gutted is an understatement. I have never lost more than 5 in any one training toss so to loss the lot is heartbreaking! The weather is not good for tomorrow with heavy rain forecast for most of the day so the chances of them returning is looking rather bleak! My season could well be over before it has even begun. I just have to sit and wait and see what works back! Its going to be a long night I think waiting for the light to come back up!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Share Syndicate Venturer Birds

I am looking to purchase a few extra birds in the Europa Classic and South West One Loft race. These birds I stress will not have been bred by myself but will be raced in our name. The price of these birds will be £100 each and will be available for activation into the main race around the 1st hotspots in these races. The syndicates will follow the same lines as our own syndicates that have been set up with our own birds. It will be £25 each share held, what a great way to enjoy the summer months and also have a chance of winning a nice amount of cash if we get lucky! Anyone interested please get in touch to reserve your space!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Shares for Europa Classic 2011!

Shares are available for next years Europa Classic 2011 Share Syndicate. The format will be the same as this year. Shares are £33.50 for a 1/4 share in one of the entries that we send down for the race. There is potentially £30,000 1st prize up for grabs and I would love to send down between 9-12 birds to give this race a real crack. All birds will be bred from my top 3 pairs. Shares are on a first come - first served basis. Anyone interested please email me for further details. No payment is required until April next year. Come and join us on our quest for 1st Open! Keep up to date how this years share holders do by clicking on the Europa Share page on this website!

Please let the weather be good!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather comes good this coming week. My birds have been going out in between the heavy rain showers but training has not been possible. I have still only had the 4 training tosses and need to push the birds on now as soon as I can.
The first club race is tomorrow and then another short one next week. I hope to get them to the 30 miles stage at least in time for the 3rd race.
The youngsters in the nest are coming along nicely, with 13 in the nest. I will take another round from all my stock birds (7 pairs). I have 2 coming from my friend so will have around 29. This will be a nice amount of late breds that will be kept away from the main race young birds in a separate loft. I will let them mature and grow and then train them hard once young bird racing is over.
I vaccinated the remaining young birds in the race team that hadn't been vaccinated so all now ready to race. I have a few transfers to do which will enable me to race the birds and these will be sent off on Monday.
I made a few changes to the young bird loft today and hoping this helps bring the birds into better condition ready for racing.
Until next time........

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bad Weather & Young Bird Sickness

The last few days has seen the weather being very unpredictable. Training has not been possible over the last few days. To date they have had 4 training tosses from 6 miles and every time have come quicker than the previous.
I have noticed that one or two of the birds were retaining corn and believe it was the start of the dreaded young bird sickness that nearly all lofts seem to encounter this time of year. The birds were treated and are looking and digesting there food a lot better now.
I am hoping for the weather to improve significantly as the first race I am planning to send to is just over 2 weeks away. I am going to have to push them hard in training if they are to be ready for this date. I have another week if required up my sleeve, but that will then push my first race out to 97 miles and would be the 4th club race of the season.
The training has been kept to 6 miles so far and a few more at the distance will then see them increased to 14 miles. After they are coming well from here, they will then go to 27 miles and I will concentrate on getting them coming like rockets from here. I will give them 1 or 2 at the 45 mile stage but time is against me (and at the moment so is the weather!)
However, I am in no rush and will not enter the youngsters unless they have had the correct training and education and I feel they will do the business.
Once training has started every bird in the loft will be expected to fly Folkstone (200 miles) and then the majority will be put by for next year. I will select a few that will then go over the water to Lillers (272 miles). Can't wait now.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Europa Classic Share Syndicate

Good news! The 3 Europa Classic Share Syndicate birds are still in the loft in Cardiff and have been trained up to 10 miles to date. They have had a slow start this year and have put it down to the birds not ranging from the loft. They have lost a total of 120 birds from the original entry of 1178 birds, these have been through a variety of sickness, lost of the loft and in initial training. So that should leave around 1050 birds in the race at this stage.
Due to the slow start, they have revised the dates of the 'hotspot' races and the final race. Training is expected to reach 40 miles within 2 weeks and then the positions of the birds from each training stage will be displayed on the website and will also be published on the Europa Share Syndicate on this site.
The date of the 1st 'Hotspot' will now be the 30th July 2010. The final race is now planned for the 10th September 2010 from Hexham (250 miles).
C'mon Rasbull Rockets!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

2nd Training toss went well!

After the 1st training toss, on counting the birds all had returned safe and well including the 1 that was missing for a short time. I did plan on going to the same place again yesterday but low cloud, strong winds and drizzle in the air I resisted and just had the birds out for a fly later in the evening. Today was a better day all round and I chose to let the birds out for an hour this evening and then basketed the birds and took them training for their second toss. All birds arrived together and trapped very quickly. I was very pleased with the toss. I now plan to take them again tomorrow afternoon and will again take them to the same 6 mile spot. Hopefully they will improve again. At the moment I am looking to be sending to the 3rd race of the season on the 31st July (76 miles) so have a good amount of time to get the birds fully trained up and ready for action.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


The first training toss has come and gone! The birds were taken 6 miles down the road and 46 were liberated together. Upon arrival back at the lofts there was nothing. Then about 1 minute later a blue dropped onto the landing board. It was one of the 10 later bred birds and had only been flying out of the loft about a week. Then about 3 minutes later a group of 5 birds whizzed over the loft and carried on flying. I was starting to get concerned they had been hit by something but as those thoughts raced through my head the main bunch arrived. I believe I have dropped 1. It was the very last youngster I weaned off and to be honest was not ready but I cant wait any longer for the sake of 1 bird. So all in all a pleasing day. I let them out this evening and they will hopefully go to the same place again tomorrow.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

The young birds have been out flying for an hour each evening since the shut in last week. I was planning on starting training today but fed the birds well yesterday evening and could only go at 2.30pm this afternoon. With the birds not being hungry I didn't feel this was the correct way to begin training.
So after their 1 hour fly this evening, they were fed a smaller amount and will go training at 2.30pm tomorrow afternoon. I was going to basket them up earlier and let them stay in the crates overnight, but after some though I decided against this.
So I will take them 5 miles tomorrow for the first toss. I handled all the young birds on Saturday and disposed of 2 which didn't quite look the part.
Should they all come tomorrow from the training toss, they will then have a 1 hour fly at 5pm and fed at 6pm.
I will continue to do the same for the next week to 10 days dependant on the weather. When the birds are coming well from 5 miles, I will step them up to 15 miles. I don't like to spend too much time with short tosses and feel the birds if capable should be able to do 30 miles in no time at all.
So this is it! Just hoping a hawk doesn't go through them on this first toss!