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.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Nov 18th

We did leave the house 20 minutes later this morning.

To add interest, the weather was atrocious.
We had huge downpours in the night, so the ground was sodden. There were even some incipient lakes of standing water on the big field.
The storm, which had been forecast, did start in the early hours of this morning, was at full blast when we were out, and while the rain has stopped at the time of writing - mid-afternoon - it is still blowing hard.

To start with, there was one lone raven at the bottom of the rugby pitch adjoining the car park. Then, as we battled our way up the big field into the storm and driving rain, we saw two ravens sitting under a bench a bit further up that first rugby pitch.
As we reached the top of the big field - two ravens flew down onto the ground. Just as I expected, these were not the 'young' pair of yesterday morning, they were 'my' ravens.

I gave them a couple of scraps, then went into the ravens field, Madame meanwhile was off the lead and went into the spinney. As I stood under the trees adjoining the footpath, the bold raven flew onto a lowish branch and croaked at me.
We started walking up to the enclosure, intermittently feeding the ravens. I've now got a good training regime for Madame: a scrap each for the ravens, one for her. She's learning ...!

Three new observations:

1) They are doing fine in the rain and storm, and are brilliantly adept at balancing on the wind, even when low to the ground, trying to land. It looked wonderful.

2) Timidity is definitely not a sign of lacking intelligence. The timid raven flew into the enclosure, on its own, to wait for us there, while the bold one went off to hide his scraps in another hole. It did get a scrap before the bold one came swooping into the enclosure. I thought that was rather cunning.

3) Due to the fierce storm, one scrap got blown to the ground this side (my side) of the fence, about an inch away. We were too close for either raven to try and get it, and as I was walking on and round to the top of the enclosure, the bold one followed me on the inside. But - the timid one let us go and then picked that scrap up, stretching its neck under the bottom of the fence! How is that for intelligence!

Interestingly, the ravens felt quite safe inside the enclosure even when Archie and Duffy turned up. They are whippets/lurchers, and Archie was convinced the scraps were for him! He kept jumping up and pestering - but the ravens just flapped a bit to the middle of the enclosure.
When Archie and Duffy had given up, the ravens got another few scraps - as did Madame.

We walked round the 'no-more-food'-side of the spinney, to get back. The bold raven followed us a bit. As he got nothing, he landed to drink a bit from the huge rainwater puddle which always forms at that part of the park.

I had to leave my camera at home. It isn't waterproof, and the rain was being driven at us by the storm. Well, there's always the next day!

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