We're officially on the board. We headed out at first light and found quite a few birds on the ground. I tried to sneak up on several groups of starlings and throw Goliath at them like we've been practicing but never got close enough for a good attempt. I did get a toss at some sparrows but Goliath overshot and went up to some telephone wires. At 87.4g he was back on my fist before I even had a chance to pull out a tidbit though! I knew he was ready, it was just a matter of finding the right slip.
The right slip presented itself in the way of a large group of sparrows hopping about on the edge of a low hedge at Walmart. Goliath darted off the fist and disappeared in the bushes. I honestly didn't think he got one but cautiously moved the bushes aside and found that he had one tightly by the neck. Bingo, sparrow #1 in the bag. I believe that my last bird, Hayduke, caught his first sparrow on the 17th of October last year so we're right on track.
If that wasn't good enough, we then went over to a nearby industrial park to fly my friend's red-tail. We had a couple close calls with some bunnies being flushed from some cattails and then a bit of confusion between his bird, a wild immature red-tail, and an owl all in the same tree, but his bird ended up catching a bunny off the fist in a nice short flight through some landscaping.
It was an awkward catch at first with the bird being pretty tangled in the bush:
But we got things sorted out:
All in all a FANTASTIC morning and hopefully the start of many more morning just like it!