Wed 14th Jan Temp 2 oC
Weighed him in the field, He was 1lb 11 3/8 oz a little heavier than i would have wanted but I was keen to get him back on the wing. I decided to fly him on the Valley set at Aveton, I drove down the road from the top barns where I weighed him and passed the other north side of the farm . Seeing the frost covered strip running down the the middle of the open wheat field on my right I wondered whether to switch but decided to stick to my plan. 2minuets later I was stepping out of the Landrover looking across the open stubble field into the sun and crisp morningchill. I opened the back and stepped floyd up onto my fist , Attached his transmitter and walked out , wondering all the time whether he would take to the morning flying that we will be doing till the season burns out at the end of this glorious of months. Floyd fidgeted on the glove, anticipating the game ahead . I looked across the valley to the Conifer trees at the valley's head . There were a few Woodies in there but time was pushing on and i needed him to be in the air. I removed the fastening clip and struck the braces of his hood , He leaned forward tiptoeing on the glove i left the hood in place,one last look around then tipped it from his face. The gold from the horizon glinted in his eyes as he took in the scene. I cast him off only for him to land in the stubble . i walked forward and he left the floor heading for the wood and the Pigeons just stirring from cold. As they spilled from the tree's he quickened his wing beat flying in amongst them as a
puppy would chase butterflies from a meadow. He pressed one hard making it bail into the trees. He continued on into the wind above the conifers and now high above the valley he turned and climbing came back towards me. I felt my body relax so much so that I hadn't realized how tense I must have been watching him have his play with the pigeons. Floyd was now high above in the crisp air and i was approaching the top of the strip. He now turned behind me at an impressive pitch keeping tight circles as I moved down the strip. About twenty feet in a Cock Pheasant broke from behind me and headed for the top hedge not far away. Floyd began his stoop but pulled out knowing it would make cover. Damn I should move that feeder I thought to myself, If only he had been another 30 ft down the strip Floyd would have had a good crack at him. Floyd immediately started to mount again above me I wasn't sure where the partridge would be in here today and I crouched to not alarm them further. Floyd read the signal and remounted to
a higher pitch than before and when ready came over signaling his his readiness.Not wanting to encourage this form of him training me, I stayed put ! He then powered off over the other side of the valley climbing as if his life depended on it . As he got out over the other fields I started to walk , Mistakenly I should have let him further latitude as he immediately broke off climbing across towards me but not as high as I wanted or knew he could have got out there.No matter he was on his way back now . I walked on thrashing cover and generally disturbing the peace. Eight Partridge flushed from about five meters in front of me and raced hell for leather down the field. Floyd rolled into a stoop but I watched the Partridge he Honed in on one at the bottom of the stoop , hitting it with a glancing blow which forced it to turn down the valley. Floyd threw up an turned on it too tail chasing it towards the valley bottom and cover. He connected just before cover and came to rest with his prize.