News from Terry Williams of somersetoneloftrace.co.uk   2 comments

This blog is based on information that Terry sent me to give the U.K. picture and we thank him.
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The Club Liberation
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Liberations in the Uk are a mixed bag, there are pigeons going all over the place. We have North roaders going South and we have South roaders going North and we have East and West birds going across them all. You could have over 100,000 pigeons in the sky going home and all the conveyors are trying to get the birds up early!! How it works here is the transporter goes to the liberation site and he calls to say he has arrived and gives a quick weather update and receives the home end report as well. He waters and feeds the birds and the next morning he is on the phone to his home end to find out what is what and gives his weather report his end. In between these two are race advisers who are around the line of flight. These advisers are people who have friends or pigeon fancier friends that can give weather reports in their area and that is all they can do. The club race controller has to make his/her mind up if it is safe to release the birds in the weather they have in front of them. They also have to watch out for clashing, which is a nightmare to chase and will never really be prevented. The last call is for the race controller to speak to the driver and conveyor as to the updated weather at the liberation point, it is then agreed to hold over or release the birds at a set time. As far as people are concerned it is the birds which are thought of. Now if there is a bad race everyone is to blame and nobody puts their hands up as there is a string of people on the line of flight telling their view. If the conveyor lets the birds go because he thinks it is good to go and he is wrong, he then must talk to the race controller who is in contact with the race advisers on the line of flight. In a nut shell the conveyor is there to release the birds and to keep them watered and fed for as long as is needed. The weather and wind make the race possible, the bird has to prove itself and perform. Hold overs should not be a problem as the transporter should be geared up for it. A pigeon in the basket will rest and be waiting for ‘the shout’ that they will be going. Thirty odd years ago we were in a National (that is my father and I) and the birds were heldover for 2 weeks and a person in our area won the race. The problem today is the fancier has worked hard to get the bird in condition for the race, as not many are put in condition naturally, the conditioner is now out of the system!!!! Some people lose their best birds, but if 50% are home in the clock then it is the bird that failed and on a hard long race if the conditions are right it is up to the ‘pigeon’ to be in the best ‘condition’ as well. That is why you sent it to ‘win’. “There is always something to blame.”
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The One Loft Liberation
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We could have 100 or 1000 birds to race, more if we could. As soon as the birds are in the loft the entrants are watching the progress every day on the website, so from the start the pressure is on!! Once the birds start training everyone is watching the whole thing, time, place, feed, basketing, the lot! Starting off is just the same as any training and of course we go on the weather, it is the ‘big factor’. We watch it well, as the miles go on we have to make sure there is no large club racing in the week as this is now a big thing as people are racing midweek to miss the Saturday rush!! We are going across country so we have to know ‘who is going from where’ and we also have the ‘ones’ that don’t tell anyone. So we can have a problem as ‘some’ see good weather and decide to have a big training toss!! Anyway, with the liberations we watch and ask people in the area we are going to if there is any problem. So we too have our ‘line of flight advisers’ in place. On the ‘Hot Spots’ not too much of a problem, just have to hope there’s no real big clashing. However when we go over the water into Belgium a totally different tack is taken. We watch the weather pattern a month before our final race to see the different pattens of the wind. Of course we know it won’t be exactly the same, but you have to see the English Channel to believe it, it changes from day to day, so we ‘watch and listen’ to where the wind is ‘coming and going from’ and we take note of the state of the sea etc. As the race day approached we cancelled the race due to high winds and rain coming in, (we can do this as we are racing to one loft). We went the following week, no real bad reports of weather only for later in the day. Had the birds up early (6.45am) and expected they would have a good race. All the advisers said a good day, no problems, so ‘up went the birds’ and that was the last we saw of the birds and the race was a disaster. The weather changed in a matter of an hour or so. We have advisers on the coast line of Belgium and England and we have a camera on a buoy in the Channel. The best is the advisers on the coast. I ring them and I am in contact with the conveyors and I make the decision. So no one is to blame, an adviser is not going to tell something it ain’t! It is the weather that changes the race, wind, sea conditions, even the weather forecasters get it wrong, (more times 2011), common sense is a must in conveying pigeons along with ‘good advice’.
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2 responses to “News from Terry Williams of somersetoneloftrace.co.uk

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  1. I can’t agree more Terry. The Race Controllers and Convoyers in UK do a fantastic job in my experience but can never avoid the clashing especially as far as young birds are concerned. Our Combine regularly clashes with the Welsh pigeons heading in the opposite direction. Also occassionally the weather catches them out as happened with the BICC SARAN smash in 2010 when the antcipated window of fine weather never eventuated and a bad weather front with a strong westerly airflow moved in an easterly direction across France and the Channel much quicker than anyone expected.

    Brian Batchelor

  2. Reblogged this on ferguspigeonman and commented:

    Enjoyed it.

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