Town Raven

Town Raven
In flight


This is a diary, or rather, field notes written up each day, with the latest entry at the top.

To get the full story, start at the bottom entry in the archive, and read upwards.
Then read the current diary entries from the bottom up as well.

Once you've got the full story, just visit and read the new story for the day!


Location Map

Location Map
This shows where we walk and meet the ravens
The yellow and pink squiggly lines are two walks we take. The yellow one is the one we usually do. The squigglyness indicates how Madame visits her several important sniffing check-points!
We stop several times to feed the ravens, and you can see where they come from.

If you right-click on the image and open it in a new tab, you can then zoom in to see more details.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Nov 13th, 2009

Another surprise today?

Oh yes! 
Two, in fact ...

In the first place, it was dry, and there was no gale - the weather forecasters got it wrong, again! 
Some rain bands had been moving across the country during the night, the ground was a bit muddy, but no weather horrors. 
At the time of writing this (mid-afternoon), it is raining a bit, but not hard. Mind - just now Madame looked out the back door and then looked at me - nope, she definitely did not want to go out at all!

In the second place, as soon as we got into the big field, I could hear a raven croaking to our left, from the horse chestnut avenue. This croaking seemed to accompany us as we went/strolled/played with the ball our way up to the top footpath. 

At the usual place there, right in front of the trees on the other side of the footpath and in front of the spinney, first one, then another raven appeared - and got scraps. Madame was very good at sitting next to me, waiting for her bit - but as the ravens seemed a bit diffident, she managed to rush off and give chase, getting their scraps as well as hers as the ravens flew off.

We then went into the ravens' field, and again the ravens followed us, getting their scrap or two. 

And then ...! I still can't believe it: two ravens came swooping down from the tennis-court side of the spinney, squawking and croaking loudly. The two on the ground flew up, and actually flew across the spinney back to where I couldn't see them any longer, while the two newcomers landed.

Turns out the two 'newcomers' were actually my ravens - the bold one with the pronounced bow ridge, and his companion!

So I obviously fed two different ravens first. Absent any leg rings, its very hard to distinguish them - they are very similar in size. I think the one diagnostic feature has to be the pronounced brow ridge of the bold raven - otherwise there is no way of keeping them apart.

All four (if I have fed two different lots, accidentally) show similar behaviour, being not keen to come too close to me when picking up a scrap and preferring to pick it up when I turn my back. I don't want to re-interpret my observations, but it might just be possible that I've fed this other pair at some stage. 
In the background of my memory lurks the observation that once or twice i vaguely wondered about the absence/presence of that brow ridge, without paying too much attention.
That attention I shall certainly pay now!

We went back along the tree-side of the spinney and the ravens followed us again and got a few more scraps. Then a cluster of dog walkers turend up, with the very bouncy whippets Archie and Dougie taking over practically all of the place. Oh, and Bart also came, saying hello to Madame. 

That was it for today - we'll see what the weather brings this evening and tonight and in the morning. The weather forecasters are besides themselves, thick windspeed arrows on the weather map, right over Cardiff, doom and gloom, but so far nothing is happening. 

It will be interesting to see, if there are gales, how the ravens cope: will it deter them? Will they still come?

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