Sunday, August 22, 2010

Young Bird Team 2010 Graduates - 100k+ drop

After 5 drops from 42 miles and another 3-4 drops from the breakpoint, they were more than ready to jump up another 22 miles.  I had been waiting for a nice, clear Saturday morning to take them out this far.  Too much for a before work drop - I would have to release at the moment of sunrise to make it to work on time.  Anyway, they beat me home from one hundred kilometers!  (Sounds better than 64 miles, eh?)  I accidentally woke up before 5am and thought "What the heck! Let's go!" (Later I took a 1 hour nap)  I stopped and ate breakfast - dined in (I wanted to wash my hands after boxing 38 birds) - and still had them down there a bit after 7am.  I let them settle a bit and then released them.  They had a slight head wind and made a huge circle, then went east-west twice before heading for the treeline off towards the north.  That treeline in the picture is up on a hill.  It has quite a bit more elevation to it than this picture portrays.  When they hit this treeline, they tracked east to a clearing instead of climbing in elevation to top the trees.  I guess they pretty much headed straight home after that because I did (except for getting gas & donuts) and they beat me home buy quite a bit from what I could tell (no, still haven't hooked up my clock - but I did finally get their electronic bands on them yesterday).  I often beat the flock home from this drop - even with a stop or two.  It was good to see this site upon my arrival.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Watch Out For Those Light Posts!

I've been alternating between the breakpoint and my main conditioning drop of 42 miles.  This is their 3rd drop from 42 miles.  This one and the first one went well.  I'm not sure what happened on the 2nd one although I'm beginning to suspect hawk interference.  I dropped 7 and then got back 4 the next day (3 in the early morning).  So, the team is down to 38 now.  As soon as I get a good Saturday or Sunday, I'm going to take them out 64 miles.  That won't be this weekend.  Looks like another stretch of bad weather.  I hope I can get them out to the breakpoint again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Come back - that's southwest!

Perhaps the training was too rushed.  2.5, 2.5, 6, 6, 12, 12, 14, 14, 23, 23, 42 then rest two days!  Wow!  It was the fastest I had ever gotten them out to this point - by far.  But they were doing so well!  Maybe it was because they were on such a fast track everything was fresh in their minds.  Not today.  With a chance of thunderstorms in 7-8 hours, I released them from 42 miles a 2nd time after a two day rest.  In stead of NNW, they headed SW.  "They'll change course..." I thought as I drove off.  At 8:50am, they were already nearly an hour later than their first drop from this point.  That's not good!  I was getting worried!  A bit later, the loft manager called and said one blue check splash came in alone.  Yikes!  Incidentally, that bird was off of my first bird to come in from 500 miles, a small red splashed hen.  About 5-10 minutes later - they all came in.  Whew!  

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Good Enough!

I took them out 42 miles (by air).  Again, they did great, barely completing a full circle before heading off straight home.  This is my favorite drop - quick and easy - right off the Interstate and a nice large empty mall parking lot!  This group did better than my old birds, who did a lot of zig-zagging before heading home.  Wow!  I'm pretty excited to see how this bunch of mostly hens does.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big Jump Up

I am so amazed at this group! They are different each year.  This year, I must have 2/3rds hens.  The complete opposite of my previous 3 years.  I guess nature is trying to make up the difference.  These guys (and gals) never circle more than once!  Today, after jumping up 14 to 23.5 miles, they did a half circle and headed straight off on the exact bearing for home!  The only reason I knew it was an exact bearing was because I had studied satellite maps from Google.  How do they do it?!  The best part is the loft manager called me before I crossed the Ohio to tell me the birds were already home!  I wish I could've see it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finally Remembered the Camera

I finally remembered the camera but still missed the shot.  Juggling 4 boxes is tough!  I unlocked the first 3 baskets and then basket #1 figured out it was unlocked (or maybe they just bumped it open, either way) they bolted so I quickly released the others but by the time I got the camera they were up pretty high and moving pretty quick.

This completes the short tosses.  Jumping up from 14 miles to 23 miles tomorrow.