It was horribly foggy in the valley before the bottom lands. I would've figured the river bottoms would've been foggy but they were really clear. It took me a while to get there so I was hoping the bright sunshine would've burned off the fog I passed through 15 minutes earlier. Anyway, it looked good and I was short on time so I let them go. They circled up an started NW. I thought "That's strange all my birds follow the river from here, but they're headed across land. That's good! They must see the power station smoke stacks." Then, I looked towards where the smoke stacks should be, 5 miles NNW and noticed: They're not there! That was where the wall of fog started. Not good. About then, the birds veered south toward the river and started following it like they always do.
Yesterday's hawk attack scared two of the reds real bad. They didn't trap in until dusk. They didn't even hang around. Not sure where they went. The reds are a skittish lineage anyway. I tend to think the less calm birds are less intelligent - but they keep coming home. Despite that - they were really easy to box this morning. They know the drill now. They are calm and are handled easily. They drop to the loft floor and wait to be picked up. I think they can start self loading now. Last year, I would just set the basket on the ground open and they would just walk in towards the end. You get the sense they now what's going on and they're excited about it. They are so amazingly intelligent! Like dogs - maybe even smarter in some ways.
The Janssen blue bar cock that was attacked through the wire mesh had a gouge in his crop, under his wing. He was on a bottom perch, squinting and obviously feeling bad. Wow! He's a big guy. After handling young birds so much lately, it was an amazing contrast. The wound had already closed and scabbed over by the time I got there or I probably would've stitched it up. I put some triple antibiotic on it and put him in his nest box with his mate. He cooed and strutted a bit which I took as a good sign. He seemed to be doing okay this morning too.