IT'S FINALLY HERE! The 2005-2006 Japan falconry season opened this morning and I was out first thing. The spar was a little fat at 208g (she'll chase, but not withall the fire that she's capable of) but I wasn't going to miss the first offical day of the season! We headed down to our regular flying spot and started to look for pigeons. It starts to get light later every morning and I've noticed that there's not as many pigeons out when I've been flying her before work. Today was no different and I was afraid I wasn't even going to see anything when off to my left a brown bullet goes whizzing by. A wood pigeon! Feral pigeons are great but wood pigeons are a real treat. It landed on an old rusted goal frame about 100 yards away and was soon joined by it's friend. I started heading back in that direction but about 20 yards away they both spooked and flew to some telephone wires across the road. I figured if I walked away for a bit they'd come back so I headed in the opposite direction to a spot I've found pigeons before. About 5 minutes later I looked back to where the woodies had landed and they were gone so I figured they'd come back down to their feeding spot.There's a strip of uncut grass between the two baseball fields that I fly around and that's where I always see them so I headed in that direction. I approached the spot slowly craning my neck and watching for any movement to let me know where the pigeons were. I think I was more in yarak than my bird! And then...nothing. The woodies weren't there. Bummer. My shoulders slumped as I glanced at my watch and realized that I was running out of time before work. I took another step in the direction of my apartment and low and behold, sitting in the middle of the dirt road 50 yards away was one of the pigeons.They'd just headed to a different spot! Wahoo! I began my stalk once again as the pigeon headed into the grass on the edge of the road. I couldn't see it any more but I kept my eyes fixed on the spot where it had disappeared. About 30 yards away a small flock of sparrows suddenly chittered on my left and the spar slicked down and looked interested. "I promise we'll come back to the sparrows if these pigeons bust eary" I whispered to her as we continued to edge forward. Another ten yards and I could see both woodies scratching around for breakfast 20 yards away. I took a few more steps and theystopped scratching and looked in my direction...I knew they were about to bust so I held the spar high and took a quick step forward.They didn't flush right away but the spar took off. She dropped low to the ground and covered the 15 yards in a flash. I thought she was going to nail one right there on the ground, she was only about a foot away when they both got up. The three birds rose into the air and for a moment I thought she was gaining but the one the spar was chasing rolled to the right and as she followed there was an instant jink to the left and my spar knew she was beat. She landed in the sand a few yards further and looked back at me as the pigeons headed for a safer breakfast. I walked over, picked her up and headed for home watching for pigeons the whole way but not finding any. Not a successful first flight but a start nonetheless. It's going to be a fun season! Happy hawking!
4 days ago