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.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday, Dec 27th

There was heavy rain during the night - it woke us up, it was that heavy. That got rid of the ice all right - back to mud, then, with a very few small patches of ice remaining on the grass.

The ravens started calling about an hour before official sunrise, which is shortly after 8 a.m. here. with the days getting longer, I'll check if this holds true.
When we left the house around 7.40 a.m., there were huge dark clouds in the West, and the dawn was very overcast and dark. There was also a very stiff breeze from the West, which was cold and penetrating.

Once we got to the bottom of the big field we could hear ravens call from the boundaries of Llandaff Fields, from each side. We didn't see any, however. Making our way up, and being the only dog walker around, I kept looking, but it was too dark to make out any ravens in the trees.

Right on cue, though, as we came to the top of the big field, the bold one came swooping to the ground, and then his companion. After they had picked up a few scraps, both fluffed themselves up and croaked at me. 

Then the young pair arrived, again from the Horse Chestnut Avenue, but this time they were allowed to take some of the scraps without being attacked. I assume that they can now access their food caches, as the ground has unfrozen, so the hunger is not quite as bad, and the competition not as fierce.

I am constantly amazed to note how close the bold raven is willing to come to us, Madame sitting at my side. When we walked away towards another raven, he followed so close behind, hopping - he was about two paces away, within a yard. 
He also does not wait until we turn our backs before he picks a scrap - he just goes for it.

Another thing I noticed today: he is the only one of the three pairs I've now met repeatedly, who fluffs up the feathers on his head, to make himself look bigger. All the others not only do not do this - they try and make themselves look slimmer.
That means he is the dominant raven in this group.

On the way back, a flock of black-headed sea gulls had settled on the far side of the big field. That is a place where I've noticed ravens make holes in the ground, to hide food. 
Its too far away to note which raven it is - but today, I saw one raven actually swoop towards and low over the flock of gulls - it looked like an attack to me. The sea gulls immediately took of and flew away, being chased for a short stretch by that single raven, who then went back to the part of the field he'd cleared.
I've never seen that before!

I hope the wind will dry the roads and pavements by evening - we're in for another night of frost, with freezing fog tomorrow ...

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