Wow, seems like ages ago since I updated here! Infact it has only been 10 days but so, so much has been happening!
Firstly we have given the birds a hammering in training:-
30th June - 9 miles
1st July - 9 miles
1st July - 9 miles - immediately after the 1st toss
4th July - 18 miles
4th July - 18 miles - immediately after the 1st toss
5th July - 18 miles
5th July - 18 miles - immediately after the 1st toss
6th July - 28 miles - 2pm
6th July - 28 miles - 6pm
7th July - 34 miles
8th July - 34 miles
9th July - 61 miles
12th July - 18 miles
14th July - 76 miles - 1st Race
15th July - 44 miles
As you can see the birds have been trained very hard this year. They went to Shirenewton twice since the last time I updated and all came very well. Then I decided to do something that I have never done before and cross the Severn Bridge and liberate in England. I went to Hullavington (83 miles by road and 61 miles line of flight) It is the first race point in the Federation I was in last year! I let 58 go and on return only had 2 back! By nightfall I had 13! The following day they returned all day up to 7.30pm. We had 30 so down 18! They had a days rest after this and then went to 18 miles for a short one.
I basketed 30 for the first race of the season from Swindon (76 miles) and they raced on Sunday 14th. I was expecting them at 9.00-9.15am and clocked 9.14, 9.15, 9.15, 9.16! I ended up being 5th and 6th Club from 90 birds. Just two minutes separated the top 6 positions so I was very pleased with this. I had 25 out of 30 on the day so dropped 5 which have no arrived as yet.
I then finished work on Monday and found another bird that was lost 6 days ago from Hulavington in the garden. He had been hawked. Within 5 minutes I had a phone call from a vet in Portishead (North Somerset on the other side of the Severn Bridge) which to me shows the 58 birds from Hullavington were hit prior to entering Wales. I went to collect the bird who had also been hawked. I decided to take the 25 birds that had returned from the previous days race with me for further experience of crossing the Bristol Channel. I let all 25 go and they cleared very well. On return home I was down 4 which were the later ones from the race. I also noticed another bird in the loft from Hullavington so I ended up with 3 on the day after having nothing for 4 days! Sadly today the one collected from the vets was dead in the loft when I got home from work. He didnt look that well and must have been more injured that first thought.
I have rested the birds today as they are completely worn out and have spent the day in the bath and lounging in the sun. I will see how they are tomorrow before deciding whether to train again or another day rest. We are racing again this week from the same race point - Swindon. I have quite a few on the injury list and out of the 29 we have in the loft only 22 are fit and healthy and in a position to race.
In the Somerset One Loft Race we still have 2 birds in the loft and hopefully the 3rd will turn up. They had bad training toss yesterday from 30 miles with around 210 still yet to get home! In the Welsh Classic Challenge we still have all 4 birdsand they are looking to go to 22 miles tomorrow. In the Pigeon Pixels One Loft Race we have 3 out of the 4 still in the loft and these have been to 50 miles. I will keep you updated on all topics as they happen! I will update soon - good luck to all!