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Young Bird Carentan - September 2014

Steven & Barbara Goulding of Liverpool look likely to top off a great season with 1st Open

When Saturday morning dawned it was as clear as the morning sunshine that it was ‘green for go’ for the 4057 bird entry. It should have been equally clear that it was going to be a hard slog for the birds with only the toughest and fittest up to the task of completing the journey on the day after the birds’ release at 8.40am into clear blue skies with the convoy disappearing northwards in a trice, leaving just one gay pied behind who flew around the racepoint for an hour and was still there when the transporters headed home. So if you have a bird of this description missing then I think he or she has decided to take up French citizenship!

The birds are away into blue skies and in no wind conditions

There are two reasons for my statement, one being the North Easterly wind direction and two being the English Channel. I’m afraid many fanciers tend to underestimate both of these features. Let me be blunt about it, when the wind is ‘on the nose’ it is going to be tough, especially over 80 odd miles of sea because on the open water there is no hiding place to gain a respite from the wind. To me this proves that all the birds that can work home successfully are pigeons well worthy of a perch in anyone’s loft. Unfortunately cross channel racing with inexperienced young birds is precarious and my advice is look at the forecast and if you don’t like what you see then keep them at home. The MNFC for certain did everything in their power to help the birds with two transporters being employed to allow the birds to travel in comfort with only 16 birds per crate once again. Surely a wise decision during this health threatened period for our apprentice pigeons. Which other major organisation looks after their members’ pigeons so well I ask? Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the MNFC is considered by so many now to be the number one.

On reflection I feel that a third reason for many birds’ failure to home in race time this year is due to the after affects of illness. Many fanciers have been heard complaining about the dreaded ‘young bird sickness’ this year. Whether this really is this case in many instances is open to debate or is it really a case of a more serious and debilitating problem? I remember when in my younger days I had a bad bout of the flu and though I got over the most severe affects in a couple of weeks, whenever I stepped foot on a football field for several months after I was ‘fit for nowt’ after 20 minutes or so. I think that this is the case this time. The birds may have got their appetite back and the droppings look nice and healthy but the inner strength and fitness hasn’t yet been fully restored. I must admit I would like more research carried out on this subject because illness in young birds looks like it is here to stay if we don’t find out how to combat the current situation. Perhaps the RPRA could open the safe and fund some much needed investigation on the matter.

Anyway ‘off my soapbox’ and back to the race which saw the Provisional race winner into Liverpool and the loft of Steven and Barbara Goulding when their young Blue Hen recorded a very creditable velocity of 1230. Their team is bang in form as proven the week previously when they took the first three places in the Liverpool Amal Gold ring race. The pigeon responsible is of Van Loon origins and is a granddaughter of a fabulous hen called ‘Income Support’ and boy did she support the partners’ income when she ‘came to win’ seven weeks in succession. Steven told me that his likely National winner is now named ‘Shameless Scouser’ highlighting the strength of the Scouse humour in S & B Goulding. Well done on a superb result.

Steven Goulding with the likely race winning bird 'Shameless Scouser'

When you study the Leaderboard it is clear that the wind has, as is always the case, influenced the result but full credit should go to all of the sections’ leading pigeons and I say well done to them all.

l'd just like to wish Committeeman Norman Bridgwater a speedy recovery from his recent operation and things are looking good because he has reassured fellow committee members that he ‘’will soon be back in the first team!’’. That’s the spirit Norm.