Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Could be a good race for us!

This weeks Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone is due to take place on Sunday. It is the biggest race I would say I have been involved in since rejoining the sport. Although I have flown from Reims in France during this Old Bird season this will be with the new dynasty of Rasbull Rockets and this is the biggest test they have faced to date. They have currently flew in the South East Combine from Maidstone and put up a good performance in an unfavourable wind winning 2nd Club. This weeks forecast is for a South East wind which is the best we could have and quite strong as well!
The birds are exercising well around the loft and tonight put in their best work for weeks. They have put the weight back on they had lost coming out of the Newbury race last week. I plan to loft fly them all week with a training toss on Friday just to sharpen them up ready for Sundays big one!
If all the preparation goes as planned, I get the feeding correct (which I got completely wrong last race!) and the wind stays as South East there will be no excuses come post race time on Sunday if they have come up short! I am so looking forward to this race it can not come soon enough! I have not yet decided how many I am going to send and will decide nearer the time.

The Europa Classic today announced that the first prize for this year will be £21,000! The others will all be 30% of the advertised prizes as the loft is only 1/3 full. The birds have a tough week ahead of them with training from 90 miles, 60 miles and 120 miles planned for the next 3 days. They have already been 80 miles and 60 miles already this week. If they come through this week they are more of less guaranteed a place in the race for the final on the 12th September!

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained today from 60 miles and the syndicate birds recorded 15th, 113th, 274th, 286th and 641st from the 816 that timed in. The first bird was just 3 seconds behind the winner and all 5 had timed within 10 minutes of the winner.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained today from 80 miles. Firstly syndicate 6 bird was not in the result so it looks like he has been lost. The syndicate birds recorded 42nd, 204th, 325th, 344th and 681st out of the 812 that timed in. Our first bird was 8 seconds behind the winner and our last bird was 11 minutes behind the winner.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Won't be making that mistake again!!

I sent 10 birds to Newbury (97 miles) and didn't they struggle! During the last week I did not have the birds trapping that well and thought in my wisdom that I would keep them hungry in attempt to increase the trapping speed. I sent them to the race having been fed lightly Thursday and a handful friday. So they were very hungry going to the club last night. Waiting for the birds this morning I knew I had made a very big mistake! To be fair my first timed in before a few of the club members but the race turned out to be a hard affair with clashing suspected. The birds come in dribs and drabs all day and I am currently missing one (who was having its first race). The winner in the club timed at 9.20am with the 2nd member clocking at 9.32am. I was in at 9.49am and there were people clocking at 10.20am etc. So all very spaced out which from 97 miles is a surprise. My returns by the end of the day were very good compared to some but I really didn't give the birds any chance to be competitive today and thankfully have got away lightly!
I have spent the afternoon ripping all my lofts apart and restructering my loft. I have scrapped my stock section and removed the partition so the L shape is now one loft. I have moved all the next boxes into the young bird compartment and fitted it out with 5 sets of boxes. I hope this will allow more sunlight into the loft and increase airflow. I have to say I am pleased with the results and hoped this translates into results further down the line. I have a few extra plans in my head but they will remain for another day!
Right - Next week is the big one - Folkstone (200 miles) with the Welsh South East Combine so where do we go from here?? Firstly the birds have eaten all they can eat tonight in an attempt to get the weight back onto the birds as some have returned like a bag of bones! They will get a days full rest tomorrow and will have all they can eat. I will remove the food at 6pm and then on Monday they will get to exercise around the loft. Depending on how they do I will decide on the weeks preparation. I would like to get a training toss into the birds around Thursday if I feel they are up to it. Today could have ruined my plans for a good race from Folkstone but you learn from your mistakes and I certainly have learnt from today!

Friday, 27 August 2010

10 Gone!

I checked over the birds tonight and out of the 14 in the loft, I was planning to send 12. However, handling them prior to basketing two of them had hardly any tail feathers and as they have flown 177 miles I decided to leave in the loft. The other 2 left behind were the one who has broken his ankle and a bird I had return 2 weeks late from Guildford (131 miles). He arrived back this morning. 2 birds out of the 10 are having their first race and a pigeon which returned last week after being away for 2 weeks is back in the basket. How these 3 do I haven't got a clue but the other 7 I am hoping come through ok. The birds handled well although haven't pleased me in exercise this week and I am not holding out much hope for a repeat of last weeks excellent result in the club. The wind is the worst possible for them so I am expecting them to off the pace this week in the club result.
A pigeon who keeps going to a club mate sure enough hasn't let me down again from last weeks 177 mile race. He arrived the following morning with my club mate! This is his 3rd time he has dropped in from 3 races. He will not race again this season and I will pair him up and train him back up next year and if he goes there again will be transferred. He keeps coming but to the wrong loft!!!!
I also have one to pick up from Burnham on Sea on Sunday. He is in a rescue centre after I lost him in a training toss from 14 miles away. It was a dreadful toss and lost 10 altogether in their first at that distance. I only had 3 on the night from 44! So how this pigeon has crossed the Bristol channel is crazy, but that is pigeon racing for you!
Back to the race and 7 members sent 109 birds. I will update tomorrow evening on how we got on but not holding out much hope. They have mainly gone as a preparation race for next weeks Folkstone race. For the shorter races its almost impossible to be amongst the club result from our position but we will see what tomorrow brings!

5th Hotspot Europa Classic

The 5th Hotspot was flown today from 160 miles. 884 pigeons raced and by 3pm 818 had timed in. We had all 6 syndicate birds participating. The syndicate pigeons recorded the following:-

Winning pigeon arrived 9.51.35

96th (9.52.04), 224th (9.55.26), 320th (9.56.41), 584th (10.00.44), 599th (10.01.21)

As can be seen only 5 of the 6 syndicate birds have timed in, the one that is missing is a Europa Venturer that we activated after the 1st Hotspot.

Our 1st pigeon has now been our best pigeon in the last 3 hotspots and has recorded 124th (22 secs behind the winner), 37th (3 secs behind the winner) and now 96th (29 secs behind the winner). She is bred from 'Rasbull Trish' who herself was 24th Open, 250 miles and 9th Ace Bird in 2009! So hopefully this little hen can go a few steps higher up the result sheet come the final race!

The other syndicate pigeons were all timed within 10 minutes of the winner. All 5 hopefully now have earned the right for a crack at the big one! So good luck to all shareholders!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Right whats the plans?

With just 5 races left for the season I have been thinking a lot about the future of the loft.
As it stands we have 9 birds that have raced 177 miles, 1 who has raced 97 miles and 2 who have been trained up to 37 miles. I have 12 late breds in the loft, as well as a special pair of youngsters from my number 1 stock pair who are still in the nest!
This weeks race is from Newbury (97miles) and I am going to be sending all 10 birds who have raced as well as the two who have been trained. The weather has been dreadful all week and I have been unable to get the birds out of the loft. This is not too much of a concern as the marathon of a Maidstone race was on Monday and 2 birds returned Tuesday so they have had a well earned rest. I will use this race as preparation for the Folkstone (200 mile) race the following week.
For the Folkstone race it is our breeder/buyer and I currently have 6 who are eligible. I will not send the 2 birds who will be having their first race on Saturday but the other 9 will be expected to go.
The moult will be progressing quite rapidly by this time and with the Lilliers race the following week and with it being the final of the Europa Classic we will not be sending.
That will then leave 2 comeback races from Swindon (76 miles). The 12 latebreds will not be ready in time for either of them so I will see how the 12 race birds are doing regarding the moult and they can go to these.
Breeding wise I have been planning what I want and what will be making way. I have highlighted 3 or 4 new additions that I hope to add to the stock loft and these will brought into Rasbull Lofts when they become available. At this moment in time I am looking to take 8-10 pairs of stock through the winter and up to 24 race birds so quite manageable!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Europa Birds tested today!

The Europa birds were trained today from 100 miles and the result shows the field were well spaced out with the winning bird timed at 12.53 and the final one in the clock 837th at 15.32! The wind has been blowing a gale all day here in Brecon so the birds would have found the going tough on the journey back to Cardiff!

The positions of the share syndicate birds with their times is brackets are as follows:-

Winner was clocked 12.53

73rd (12.55), 179th (12.58), 237th (12.58), 308th (12.59) 612th (13.09), 641 (13.11)

So a tough training toss for the birds but this is why we sent them to be tested. All 6 syndicate birds remain in the loft and that can only be positive!

This weeks 5th Hotspot is due to be on Friday but may be sooner if weather permits! Watch this space!

Few more back!

I have had another 2 birds return from yesterdays marathon of a race! My brother's breeder/buyer pigeon which has been going well for me and Clive Harris's breeder buyer pigeon who also has done well so far. Pleased to see these 2 return. I also had a bird I lost at Newbury 2 weeks ago return so the team is rising in numbers slowly! I am now up to 12 for next weeks race with another 1 who has raced recovering from her broken ankle. So all very pleasing but still 6 more to come from yesterdays race!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mixed Fortunes!

What a stinker of a race the Welsh South East Combine had today from Maidstone! The weather was unbelievable and turned the race into a marathon for these youngsters! I sent 15 and to date have had 7 which judging from others is good returns. Some top flyers are missing huge amounts with reports of 2 from 15, 1 from 16, 2 from 14 etc. The birds have really had to work to get back home today and throughout Wales there will be a lot of empty perches in fanciers lofts tonight!
Although I only had 7 back I achieved my best finish in club racing since starting back up in the sport with 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th in the club. This was achieved despite a lack of south wind. What I will be hoping for now is a strong south wind for the Folkstone race in 2 weeks time!
So all in all, shocked the birds were liberated, mixed feelings about the returns and over the moon with the result in the club!
However, it is not 1st place and 'Defeat is not an Option' so the birds will be back hard at work come Wednesday ready for the Newbury race on Saturday!
A special mention to my Brother Neil, who took 9th in todays race and had 3 out of 6 return in his first ever season. Well done!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

If one goes!

Made my decision tonight and thought to myself if 1 has got to go then they all go! So with this in mind 15 were basketed including two who had hit the wires 2 weeks ago. They have healed up and have been training since. That has left me with 1 in the loft with a broken ankle and 2 who have not yet had a race but these 2 will go next week to Newbury. The weather is forecast to clear up around midday so a liberation is expected around lunch time. Only 7 of the 12 members in the club sent with 91 birds in the race. However the birds are being liberated with the Welsh South East Combine so a massive birdage is expected! I will update later tomorrow night when the birds are home, fingers crossed!

Weather changing!

The weather forecast has improved and it looks likely that the Welsh South East Combine will get a race tomorrow after all! The birds are being basketed tonight and I have made my mind up that I will be sending. The only thing I am unsure of is how many will go! I have 12 that are definitely going and possibly another 2 who hit wires but have healed up apart from a little feather loss. So I will make my final choice this evening when basketing the birds. The race is from Maidstone -177 miles, so will be tough as an West wind (headwind) forecast all the way! But I have never been frightened to test my birds and will not be shirking on this one either!

The Europa birds trained from 35 miles today and all clocked with 35 seconds of the winner. Their positions were 125th, 133rd, 137th, 319th, 332nd and 349th out of the 900 that timed in. I believe this weeks 5th Hotspot is going to be from 160 miles and they will go on the first nice day. I am hoping for a big performance from the syndicate birds as they have been improving rapidly as the distance increases so far to date.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Europa Classic Final Race!

Just been confirmed the final race will be from Hexham on Sunday 12th September! It was due to be on Saturday 11th. Admission is free but food and drinks this year will be at cost price!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Maidstone Race

This weeks Maidstone race has been changed now due to the weather. Basketing Sunday for a race on Monday! I am not sure what to do now as the weather is still not ideal for Monday. Added to the fact I am going to struggle for transport for the clock reading and working Monday is it worth risking the birds for this one race or pass the opportunity and leave them for a more suitable week?
In the past I would have pumped them in and thought nothing of it. Now I have to think long term and these babies are my race team for next year. So one bad race and they are gone and something is telling me this could be the one! I will continue to monitor the weather over the next 36 hours before making a decision on what to do. But at this moment in time its not looking promising.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Europa 4th Hotspot!

Todays 4th Hotspot from 110 miles was a great success for the Syndicate birds with 3 being in the top 65 and all within 5 seconds of the winner! All 6 syndicate birds have returned to the loft and their positions are 37th, 54th, 65th, 175th, 521st and 646th from the 925 that were in the race.

The birds are improving with each Hotspot and below shows the improvement they are making as the distance increases!

06601 - 1001st, 681st, 207th and now today 54th!
06607 - 710st, 851st, 124th and now 37th
06604 - 728th, 318th, 197th and now 175th
04668 - 753rd, 566th, 145th and now 65th

So all looking great as we start to get to the real distance where the cream rises to the top and leave the also rans behind! I have every faith in the syndicate birds and believe they will not be letting any of our shareholders down come the final race!


Just had the other bird I was missing from yesterdays training toss. He has made it back despite a badly broken leg. He is now going to go into the latebred/injured birds loft and have as much time as he needs to recover! Glad I have had him back and just hope the injury heals now.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Preparing for Maidstone!

The race team have been loft flown this week so far for about 45 minutes each evening. I have changed the food in readiness for the race on Sunday from Maidstone, 171 miles, with the Welsh South East Combine. I lost my first bird off the loft last evening when the race team were out for a fly. I let 19 out and only 18 were in the loft at feeding time! I checked through them quickly to discover the missing bird was '15'. This pigeon has had 3 races up to 131 miles and was one of the most consistent birds in the team. I have no idea where he has gone but he hasn't shown up today either so not looking good for him.

I decided to give the birds a training toss tonight from 35 miles and decided it was time to send the whole lot. I have had 4 birds who were recovering from injuries and had healed up so in they went as well as 2 birds who had returned from previous training tosses late. So in total 18 were basketed up and liberated in Shirenewton. The birds made it back in 49 minutes so quite pleased with that but I am missing 2 at present. One is my most consistent young bird being 3rd, 3rd, and 1st bird home in the previous 3 races and was 10th Club last week, 193 birds. The other is another bird who has had 3 races so far. So out of the birds I was expecting to drop these were certainly not amongst them! But plenty of time yet for them to work back. ***Update*** '19' has just returned before nightfall!

The Europa birds trained today from 50 miles and recorded 221st, 233rd, 240th, 284th, 378th and 387th from the 900 that were timed in! All 6 timed within 2 minutes of the winner.
The 4th Hotspot is being flown tomorrow they are going a minimum of 110 miles and hoping to get to 160 miles depending on the weather. Hoping all the syndicate birds put in a good performance and make it back! Good luck to all share holders for tomorrow!

Monday, 16 August 2010

2 more back!

On return home from work today I was pleased to see 2 more race birds from yesterday. I was especially pleased as out of the 7 these 2 were the ones I would have picked to get back if I could!

I have been looking through my results and have worked out the following:- I started the 1st race with 26 birds and currently I have 17 of those in the loft after 3 races. I started with 13 of my own bred birds and currently still have 11. I started with 13 Foreigners and currently have 6! So in total with the late breds in the loft I have 34 young ones in total left.

The Europa Birds were trained from 70 miles today and the result was a little disappointing but judging the times there was very little in it. The results of the syndicate birds were 119th, 232nd, 646th, 714th, 732nd, 825th out of the 877 that were timed in. So they obviously need to improve and believe the training is going to be from longer distances with a 120 mile toss thrown in as well some time this week. All 6 still in the race that is the important thing!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Down but not out and plenty to work with!

Todays race from Guildford turned out to be disappointing in truth. Out of the 19 birds I sent I have had only 12 back tonight! I was 6 minutes behind the club winner, and finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th section, 9th in the club from the 193 birds that were sent. It was always going to be a hard race with the strong North wind but to lose 7 is not ideal!
I plan to give them a hammering this week in training in an attempt to shape them up a little. I am hoping to get them out to 35 miles at least 3 times next week. I will also change the food and quantity in an attempt to be more competitive. Next weeks race is from Maidstone (177 miles) and mine will have done plenty of work in preparation for the race!!!

P.s I would like to give a special mention to Mr Roderick a club mate who thought he had timed the winning Breeder/Buyer in the club and almost killed himself trying to get to the knock-off so fast to have his clock checked! However, he was to finish 4th in the competition. But a good effort all the same!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Race from Guildford

After checking over the birds tonight, I decided 19 were fit for tomorrows race from Guildford,133 miles. 2 of the race team are on the injured list and 2 I have re-introduced into training are not yet ready for their debut races.
12 members sent 193 birds tonight. The club are running a nom race tomorrow, with each member selecting one bird for £10. The 1st Nom bird clocked will win £80 and the 2nd £40, not bad for a maximum of 12 pigeons competing!
I had one of the birds I lost in last weeks race back tonight. Well I actually lost him 2 weeks ago, He went into a club mates loft so I resent him to last weeks race when he brought him to the club for me last Friday. Needless to say he went into my club mates loft again and tonight I have him back for the 2nd time! He is now in his own loft and will remain there for some time to get himself sorted out!
I will update later tomorrow evening when the birds are back home from the race! C'mon the Rockets!!

Friday, 13 August 2010

3rd Hotspot - Europa

The 3rd Hotspot was raced today with a reduced distance. Instead of the planned 120 miles they ended up 25 miles shorter at 95 miles. The reason for this I am not yet sure of, but will more than likely be due to the weather.
The birds recorded 124th, 145th, 197th, 207th, 593rd and 792nd out of the 948 birds that were sent. Our first birds was 22 seconds behind the winner, and our first 4 were timed within 2 minutes of the winner. Even our last bird was clocked within 9 minutes of the winner.

Looking at the results the birds have had so far it is very pleasing to see that the birds results for the majority of the syndicate birds are improving each Hotspot they are sent.

06601 - 1001st, 681st and now 207th
06607 - 710th, 851st and now 124th
06604 - 728th, 318th and now 197th
04668 - 753rd, 566th and now 145th

So very promising as the race distance increases. All 6 syndicate birds still in the loft after the 3rd Hotspot and what we need to remember is that these Hotspots are bonus races and they were entered in an attempt to win the big one! They appear to be getting themselves into form each week and that is a good thing!

Thursday, 12 August 2010


The birds had a training toss tonight from 14 miles and out of the 22 I sent, dropped 1. This was one the cat had a few weeks back and was having his first toss since. I have had to put two of the race team by as they are nursing injuries sustained from wires from Training the other day and they didnt go this evening.
The young ones are really starting to moult out at the minute and I wish they had been on darkness really as it is going to get harder and harder to compete with them falling to bits!
I plan on sending 19 this week to Guildford (133 miles). The are basketing on Saturday so I hope to get another toss into them tomorrow hopefully from 27 miles. They have done very little work this week. So they are in need of the toss tomorrow and all being well will come through ok.

The Europa birds were trained from 35 miles again today. Only 5 of 6 were timed in however. They all clocked within 1 minute of the winner. Their positions were 131st, 256th, 297th, 392nd and 463rd.
They were also basketed tonight for tomorrows hotspot from 120 miles. I was pleased to see that the basket list included the missing bird from tondays training result so a full team will take to the starting blocks tomorrow along with 946 birds in total.
I have no idea who I fancy and cant make my mind up who I am going to do in the pools. I have gone for syndicate 1 bird the previous two occasions but on both times he has disappointed. I will give it some thought before deciding. Hopefully they will put up a better performance than the previous 2 hotspots as I have been bitterly disappointed with them up to now. In training they have been peppering the top 200 all the time but come the hotspots they have not performed! Hopefully they can put that right starting tomorrow! It should be a good one!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Things looking better tonight!

Well today has seen the return of 4 of the 5 missing young birds from the training toss last evening. However, it looks like they hit wires as two of the four that have returned have gashes and cuts down their chests. They are two of my race bird team so this will put them on the sidelines for a little while. I wasn't sure which birds were missing last night but upon closer inspection I have been able to establish that the missing young bird was not one of the race team and a youngster that returned late from the bad Cwmbran training toss about 10 days late. It was having his first training toss since his return so out of them all that would be the one I would choose to lose if I had to pick one. The other plus point was the late bred that has been out for two nights finally come in tonight and that now sees all the new ones who were let out back in the loft.
I have tonight vaccinated all the new latebreds which needed to be done. The weather was lovely this evening but I spent it doing jobs around the loft and the vaccinating. I will try and get a training toss in tomorrow, hopefully from 27 miles to make sure they are sharp. This weeks race is now on Sunday so they will have an extra day for training again this week.

The Europa birds were trained again today from 35 miles and 5 out of 6 were clocked within 15 seconds of the winner to record 122nd, 233rd, 258th, 289th, 326th. The 6th bird was 1 minute and 9 seconds behind the winner and was placed 776th. The number of birds timed in was the lowest so far with 913 being recorded. The 120 mile Hotspot on Friday will hopefully space the birds out a bit and I think there may be some losses. Hopefully the 'Rockets' will all return safely to the loft, be in good time and achieve a creditable position.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ouch that was a bad training toss!

Well its been an eventful day with 3 of the latebreds still out for most of the day! Pleased to say 2 are now back in the loft. One via the normal trapping method and the other via next doors chimney! So still missing the other one, but he has been sat on the house roof for most of the day so may choose to come in tomorrow!
I had a bad toss tonight training. I put in 2 birds that have returned from training tosses and rested until now. So in all took 22 (1 race bird) didn't go. On return to the loft I am down 5 in total! I went with my brother and he is also down 5! Hopefully these will all return early tomorrow morning.

The Europa birds were trained from 35 miles today and the syndicate birds recorded 88th, 260th, 374th, 465th, 496th and 840th from the 935 that were clocked in. For such a short toss the times of the birds were quite spaced out so whether they hit trouble on route I dont know!

Monday, 9 August 2010

I hate this moment!

I let the latebreds out for the first time this afternoon and I must say I dont know whether I enjoy or hate the moment you open the door. I have not bothered with them at all and they have been left too long if anything. So I thought today was the day! I have 12 in total that went out today for the 1st time and I have another 4 still in the nest. I also have my top pair sitting one last round of eggs. They potched around the garden and flew upto the roof. Then it started to rain and they lazed about having a bath! I still have 4 out somewhere at nightfall!!! I hope they have found a safe place to spend the night and hope to get them back into the loft tomorrow. I hate this and sooner they are under control the better. It is my own fault, as I have not taught them to come when called. But the main race birds have taken my time up so these will have to learn and learn fast. I have just been working out what I have in way of young birds if I get all these back into the loft what with the ones still in the nest and the 2 eggs. I total it to be 43 in all, of which 21 have had 2 races up to 100 miles. So another team of 22 to play about with for the comebacks - although 6 of these will not be ready in time.

The Europa birds were trained today from 35 miles and apart from 1 being 9 minutes behind the winner, the other 5 were all timed within 1 minute. The positions were 87th, 201st, 293rd, 294th, 398th and 924th out of the 940 birds clocked in.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


The birds were raced today from Newbury (97 miles). I ended up sending all 26 birds and I have had 21 so down 5 tonight. They arrived steadily. With the wind being NW (the worst possible for me) it was always going to be a hard task to gain any club honours. However, they put up a spirited performance. I ended up 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th section and 9th club out of the 210 birds that were sent. I was 9 minutes behind the winner and 5 minutes behind 2nd. For the 2nd week running I was 4th member of the 11 that sent. I have to be happy with that given the conditions and hopefully next week will be assisted by a more favourable wind direction. I hope the other 5 work back during tomorrow.

I plan to give the birds a rest day tomorrow and they will have a bath in the afternoon. They will then be back at work on Tuesday morning with a tough week planned ahead!

I have made some radical changes to the loft and sections this evening in an attempt to claw back the 5 minutes I am behind. I hope the changes have a positive impact and don't upset the birds too much. But they have a week now to get used to the new setup and how I want to progress for the rest of the season. Its a matter of them having to get used to it, because it will not be changed back. I will talk more about the changes in the week when I see how things are going!! ;-)

The Europa birds were trained today from 35 miles and were 65th, 96th, 182nd, 287th, 432nd and 501st out of the 948 that were timed in. All clocked within 1 minute of the winner.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Europa Training

The birds were trained today from 40 miles and the 6 syndicate birds had positions 67th, 183rd, 253rd, 266th, 277th and 645th. All were timed within 1 minute exactly of the winner! The main thing at this stage is for the birds to remain in the loft and to be there for the longer hotspots and the final race.

He made it!

The 1 bird I was missing returned last evening shortly before 8pm. Thats all mine now back. I had a phone call from my mate who was missing 1 and he had his back about 10am this morning.
The birds have been fed this morning before 9am in readiness for the race. I have done my race sheet and have put all 25 birds into the race and see how they do. The wind is the worst it can be for me. NNW forecast so any hope of a club result has gone if it stays as planned. Will update tomorrow with news of how the 'Rockets' have done!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Tough toss

Tonights training has been a hard one with the birds coming in batches from 27 miles. The weather at the home end was light rain and low cloud. The birds were liberated from Usk at 6.30pm. They cleared well. On arrival home 17 were in the loft and I was missing 8. Four then flew over the house and the the other 3 arrived on their own. The trapping was once again shambolic with 4 refusing to enter the loft. I am putting this down to the change of feed I have given over the last 3-4 days which I think is starting to have an effect. With this in mind the feeding I regime I had planned for tonight was scrapped and altered slightly to take into account the lack of hunger! I am currently down 1 bird and I know my one mate is missing 1 of his as well. His arrived in batches as well. I have not heard how my brother has got on and how many he has home but I am hoping they are good. The birds will now rest until tomorrow night when they will be basketed up and taken to the club ready for Sundays race from Newbury (97 miles). I am looking at sending 25, but if the one is not back by tonight it will be down to 24. I have not picked up the race bird from a club mate as yet that was missing from the race last week, so he will have a week of training before he goes into a race again.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Training went ok

The birds were trained this evening from 18 miles with 2 other batches. They cleared ok, but hung around further down the valley which I was not happy about. I want them clearing and heading for home as quickly as possible. I am hoping the weather is good for tomorrow evening as another toss from 27 miles is planned. The race has been confirmed as expected for Sunday. I and the other 2 fanciers all had 100% returns tonight but 4 of mine didnt want to trap and stayed out. Needless to say they have gone without food tonight and no doubt will be the first through the trap tomorrow. I also had a bird back in the loft on my return that I lost from the Cwmbran toss about a week ago. No idea where she has been but is home safe and sound. Also just picked one up that was reported in Blackwood so that is also back in the loft.

Mixed bag

The 2nd Hotspot was a bit of a mixed bag today. The plus points were all 6 syndicate birds are home and still in the running for the big one! Syndicate 6 bird was 33rd and just 3 seconds behind the winner. And Syndicate 3 bird put in his best perfomance to date. All 6 birds were clocked within 12 minutes of the winner. The most consistent two birds were trailing behind the winners so that is the negative! The positions of the 6 syndicate birds were 33rd, 296th, 318th, 566th, 681st, 851st.

2nd Hotspot

The 2nd Hotspot is from 90 miles I have just confirmed. There are only 5 syndicate birds being displayed in the marked list. However, I have questioned this and the 6th Syndicate bird is definitely in our name. The bird is down as Europa Venturer and probably will be for this race unless changed but will still be one of ours!! Well hope they do themselves justice. I will personally will rooting for '06601 and 04668' as I have back these heavily in the pools! But all have a good chance I believe. I also expect there to be a few birds not making it back to the loft today as the field begins to thin out as the race distance increases. The cream will always rise to the top!!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

2nd Hotspot brought forward!

The Europa Classic 2nd Hotspot has been brought forward to tomorrow due to bad weather forecast for Friday. I am waiting for confirmation what the distance will be. The initial schedule planned to be 100 miles but due to the difficult time the birds had the last time from 60 miles Derek was considering keeping them at that distance for another crack. I will update this as soon as I am aware.
The birds today had a poor day in truth, a training toss from 30 miles with positions 98th, 159th, 639th, 727th, 737th and 909th! Must do better tomorrow I am thinking! ;-)

Rest day!

The birds have received a well earned rest day today. They have been trained for 7 of the last 9 days with one of those free days taken up with the race from Swindon. So apart from last Friday they have been worked and worked hard every day.
I let them out this afternoon and they enjoyed a bath and lounging around the garden. It was nice to see as they have earned it. They were out for about an hour in total. I fed them on return to the loft and they will have one last training toss tomorrow evening - probably from 27 miles - in preparation for Saturdays race.
At the moment the race is due to be on Saturday but it would not surprise me to see the race put back to Sunday as the weather appears to be somewhat better. But which ever day it is, Rasbull Rockets will be fully prepared and waiting!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Another good toss!

The birds went tonight again to Shirenewton (35 miles). Around 60 birds were liberated from 3 members at 6.40pm. On arriving back at my loft all mine (26) were home. A couple missing from the other 2 members but I am sure they will return shortly. A phone call to my brother confirmed the birds took about 55 minutes to complete the journey. I am not happy with the times they are doing this distance in and will continue to be trained until they are achieving a faster time than this!!
The weather is looking bleak for tomorrow evening so it could be a rest day for the birds with just a loft fly the order of the day. I plan to get to Shirenewton again Thursday if the weather permits.

Been knocking on the door!

Syndicate 1 bird has been knocking on the door for quite some time now and today delivered with 1st place in the 40 mile trainer in the Europa. This really is a speed machine. His breeding oozes speed with quality results from both his sire and dam! Quality breeds Quality! This pigeon has now been 5 times in the top 35 (1st, 5th, 11th, 20th and 35th) in the first 9 races that have been published on the site! Quite an achievement when then are roughly 1,000 in each of these races!!
The other syndicate birds were 66th, 171st, 189th, 568th and 630th out of the 950 that timed in.

My own birds are off for another 35 miles toss later this afternoon. We had the other 1 we were missing return this morning at 6.30am and my brother and my mate have had a good many return as well.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Back to work!

After the good day we had with the birds yesterday I made the decision to get the back on the road as soon as possible. With this in mind I basketed up 25 young birds. My brother basketed 21 and my mate 23. We took them to Shirenewton (35 miles line of flight) and let them go at 6.15pm. I had a phone call at 7.10 to say my brothers had trapped but he was missing 2. On arrival at my loft 23 had eaten and were on the perches. I was missing 2. A phone call from my mate confirmed he was 15 down after getting 8. I had 1 later on in the evening and my mate also had 1 of his. So between us we are missing several birds. I dont know if they have mixed with another batch as my mates were less experienced than my brother and myself and he is the worst affected. So will have to wait to see what he gets in the morning.

The Europa syndicate birds done well today obtaining 3 results in the top 28! Our results were 11th (by 01 who now has 5th, 11th, 20th and 35th to his name), 27th, 28th, 151th, 282nd, 898th. So all going well at present!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fantastic day all round!

Well we have had a great start to the season. Out of the 26 birds we entered for the race, 25 are home safe and sound in the loft. The 26th went into a club mates loft 20 miles away. I picked the bird up and tossed it out on the Beacons on the way home, about 15 mile away - if 1 is expected to fly the distance they all are! I do not allow skivers in my loft. I hope he returns but he doesnt then he is not worth keeping. The birds were quite spaced out and worked hard to get home even though it was only a 76 mile race. The other members in the club have had indifferent returns with the best being 19/20 and the worst 2/20. So to get all but 1 of mine home on their first race I am chuffed to bits with. Out of the section (the 3 lofts within 2 miles of each other) I finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th! In the club out of the 227 birds that went I finished 7th and out of the 12 members who sent I finished 4th. So I am over the moon and will give me a great platform to improve and I have no doubt they will improve for the next race.

The birds are going to be trained and trained hard again this week with 35 mile training tosses planned for the next 4 days prior to the race. I am planning on going with 2 club members tomorrow and will be liberating the birds all together.

In the Europa Classic the syndicate birds put in a good performance in todays 40 mile trainer with 5 out of the 6 timed within 1 minute of the winner. Their positions were 99th, 104th, 127th, 160th, 163rd and 754th. So all still in the race and I am hoping they put in a big performance in the next hotspot on Friday from 100 miles.