On Thursday afternoon at about 2pm we left for Winburg, the hot spot was supposed have been earlier in the week but the constant rain predicted made me postpone the hot spot a few times. Eventually the weather looked clear enough for liberation on Friday so we scanned the pigeons again and drove to Bougainvillea Guesthouse in Winburg. We stopped off at Ventersburg and gave the pigeons a light feed and some water; we got something to eat and drink as well and then drove to Winburg. The normal liberation site which we have been using for so many years were now fenced in but about 1km further we saw a spot that would be good enough to liberate at. Again we gave the pigeons water and I must say that most of them drank water which is always good.

At 4am we were up had a shower and some rusks and coffee and at 5am we left the guesthouse to go to the liberation site close to the hospital in Winburg. We gave the pigeons some water again and some drank but I have seen early mornings they do not generally drink. We had a few spectators gather and waited for 05h45 to liberate. The sun was high already but it was overcast and cool which in the summer race series is always a bonus! At 05h45 we liberated the pigeons and they did not circle once but just headed towards Johannesburg.

We stopped as usual at Ventersburg were we filled up with diesel and got something to eat ourselves, I stopped just outside of Ventersburg and had my breakfast and then we headed back, a few kilometers out of Ventersburg we saw 8 or 10 pigeons heading towards Johannesburg, another 2 or three kilometers we saw another few pigeons heading home, then on the left of the highway we saw a kit of about 150 pigeons heading home, they came across the highway and headed towards Edenville, at this stage there was little to no wind and the temps were mid teen’s which makes for easy racing generally, especially in summer!

We arrived back home and I expected the pigeons to be here at about 09h30 but as myself and oom Robert walked towards the loft the other fanciers sitting at the loft saw the first kit of pigeons making their way to the lofts.

I was actually in time this hot spot to make the video of the first kit arriving, they dropped down and walked in over the Benzing timing system. The results were uploaded onto the website and the winner was Emerald Lofts from KZN, 2nd position was Kriek Hokke from Villiers and in 3rdposition Webster Lofts, actually 3rd, 4th and 5thclocked together on the same decimal. The full results can be found by following this link http://www.oneloftrace.live/?page=1&loft_id=14…

The pigeons really did well and on day one not many were missing, even the pigeon I have collected 3 times already on the previous hot spots from various different place he strayed to made it back to the lofts this hot spot.

It has thus far been an easy season and the pigeons have been extremely lucky in the sense that they have not encountered one clear day yet, I have seen so often in the past that on those clear days were there are no clouds and the temps at 8am is in the mid 20’s that the pigeons struggle. This however is not good news for the final as the pigeons I feel have not done enough time on the wing yet, we still have one hot spot left that will be flown this weekend (Saturday 16 January 2021) or very early next week weather depending as there are plenty rain predicted again from Wednesday till Sunday. We will have a close look at the weather and then make a decision later this week. The hot spot will be flown from about 300km’s. The final race is still scheduled for the weekend of 30 January 2021.