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.

Friday, 24 December 2010

CHRISTMAS EVE - Friday, Dec 24th, 2010

We didn't go out today either, it is very precarious because there was a hint of thaw yesterday afternoon and it all froze over in the night.
Miss Sophie has spent a long time in the back garden while I got the last house chores done, and was a bit disappointed because there were no cats to bark at.

We wish you all a peaceful and joyful Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Thursday, Dec 23rd, 2010

No - we still haven't been able to go out into the park!

The snow sitting here since last Friday has been compacted, and there was an addition to it on Monday as well. It has been below freezing, with very cold nights, and the couple of hours of winter sun have not had any great effect on the snow. The icicles have grown, however.

As a few cars here in our little road have made it out into the main road, I grabbed this last opportunity to get a taxi into town and back. The state of even main roads is beyond belief, as were the pavements in town - not that I walked there ...

So Miss Sophie had the chance to chew a nice Christmas bone while I was away, which did not prevent her from dragging my proper hand bag off a chair, knocking over the waste paper basket in the living room, nor from getting a couple of balls out of the box in the hall! And then she ran into the front room as I came through the door, not wanting to even look at the balls she'd taken out ...

Now we're snug and warm, everything prepared - and if the weather and snow allow us to go out during the next few days, we will do so, to feed the ravens.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tuesday, Dec 21st, 2010 - WINTER SOLSTICE

The snow we had yesterday was frozen over during the night, and Miss Sophie came back indoors from her first outing in the back yard, licking her hind leg and looking worried.

So we stayed indoors.
The icicles meanwhile have been growing, even my small ones are now a good ten inches long while those on other houses are two feet ...

No sun, no wind, grey sky and cold - don't know yet what we'll do tomorrow ...

Monday, 20 December 2010

Monday, Dec 20th, 2010

We didn't go out yesterday, it was too scary because I could hear the thin layer of ice on top of the fallen snow crunch when Miss Sophie went into the back garden. I have no desire to slip on ice ...

Today, I tried the conditions before taking Miss Sophie into the park - I delivered my Christmas cards to all my neighbours. It was very cold, but walking was ok - so we ventured into Llandaff Fields around 8.40 a.m. It was grey, but the walking was fine because the snow had somewhat sunk in on itself, so no more wading through ten inches of snow - it was about six inches.

We dodged a couple of dogs and I let Miss Sophie run in the toddlers' playground: no toddlers there, and it had started to snow, so I was able to shelter under one of the futuristic climbing frames.
A murder of crows had assembled in the trees.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Saturday, Dec 18th, 2010

We had ten inches of snow here, but we did go out at 7.55 a.m. - about twenty minutes before the official sunrise.
It was cold, just 28 F, but there was no wind at all. There was a light ground mist over the fields.
Nobody was about, so I let Miss Sophie off in the first field for the first time ever! She loved it, but the snow reached up to her elbows, so she did not roll.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Friday, Dec 17th, 2010

It snowed during the night, so when we went out this morning everything was pristine. As we were one of the first to walk down the street and into the park, we didn't encounter any ice, formed by compacted snow. That was at 7.35 a.m., at dawn.

We got into the tennis courts,and Miss Sophie ran around. The two juvenile ravens came and sat on the fence, one of them making a soft croaking noise. They did get some titbits.

Miss Sophie hugely enjoyed chasing them.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Thursday, Dec 16th, 2010

It is grey, gloomy - and the wind comes directly from the North Pole. Fresh snow predicted as well for tonight - it will be difficult again to get out.

We did go to Llandaff Fields today, and the two juvenile ravens appeared. They got some titbits but are still not happy for me to look at them when they pick them up.
sadly, Miss Sophie has taken to chase them, and I swear one of them enjoys this game. He sometimes swoops very low right over Miss Sophie, lengthwise, knowing full well that she will try to retaliate.

They didn't do this today - too windy, too cold, too gloomy.
Here's hoping we can make it into the park tomorrow ...

Monday, 13 December 2010

Monday, Dec 13th, 2010

I am sorry I haven't posted for some time - and I apologise in advance for not posting every day for the time being.

There have been - and are - a bunch of reasons:

*) my health - getting better, but it is tow steps forward, one step back, so it'll take time;

*) the weather - it has been arctic here, with pavements, pathways and even some of the fields actually iced over, which has made walking far more hazardous than last year, especially since Miss Sophie is a bit more of a handful, physically, than Madame Dog was;

*) the ravens - they are erratic at the moment, because there are far more crows in Llandaff Fields than last year. This is due to the building works going on in the area where I live. A couple of trees where the crows used to roost have been felled, so they and the ravens are looking for new accommodation.

Please bear with me - I'll do my best to get this blog back to normal!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday Nov 30th, 2010

Grey - gloomy - cold - damp - frozen drizzle (couldn't really call it 'snow') - no sun: just right for the last day in November.

We left the house at 7.30 a.m., having a quick chat with Karen and Bas in the big field. There were no ravens watching that I could see in any of the trees.

We went into the ravens field because the one dog group had already walked past us, going back. We were the only ones, so I let Miss Sophie off the lead once we were in the far corner.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Monday November 29th, 2010

No snow overnight, no dreaded Easterly winds as yet, so the temperature (28F) at 7.20 a.m. felt positively balmy, compared to yesterday.
It was a glorious sunrise, the sky pale blue and dusty pink in the North east, and the sun rising as a huge, golden orange ball around 7.50 a.m.

We met Bas and Karen at the top of the first field, and we walked across the big field together, Miss Sophie off the lead.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday Nov 28th, 2010

It was a freezingly cold night - even here in Cardiff the temperature dropped to 21F.
Thankfully, we had no more snow, and the winter sun had melted some of the ice on the pavements.
So we left the house at 7.45 a.m. and went to Llandaff Fields. Two ravens came flying over from the quarry side and sat in the trees at the first field, next to the toddlers' playground. One came down when I threw a couple of scraps. But they did not follow us.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Saturday Nov 27th, 2010

It snowed a lot yesterday afternoon, and with the clear sky overnight, everything is frozen over. Pavements and roads are blank ice.
It is just as last year at Christmas.
So we stayed indoors, hoping for a bit of thawing.

Sorry, ravens.

"Wintry weather caused widespread problems on Friday, with schools closed, flights disrupted and a 26-mile tailback on the M4 in south Wales.
The UK has seen the earliest widespread snowfall for 17 years and forecasters say it could last for two weeks.
One of the coldest place overnight on Friday was Trawscoed, in west Wales, where -10.2C (14F) was recorded."

Friday, 26 November 2010

Friday, Nov 26th, 2010

It was much colder than yesterday when we left the house at 7.15 a.m., which is not really surprising as there's been snow in Scotland and down the East Coast, and on the hills and mountains in Wales.
So I wrapped up warm - Miss Sophie luckily doesn't need to, seeing that she's wearing a permanent fur coat ...

We took our time getting to the tennis courts because Miss Sophie did a lot of sniffing. I was hoping to get to the ravens field - but there were too many dogs around.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thursday, Nov 25th, 2010

Clear skies and a nice sunrise when we went out at 7.20 a.m. today.
The clear skies meant it was below freezing, and there was hoar frost on the grass.
Madame Dog would have loved it ...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday Nov 24th, 2010

We were warned of a very cold morning early today - but when we left the house at 7.15 a.m., it was not as cold as we were led to believe. This was probably due to the low clouds which meant it was grey and damp - just like any November morning.
There was a glorious sunrise when we walked back - and now that the skies are clear, it is indeed colder than yesterday, even with the sun shining.

We walked to the tennis courts, but today the ravens were not waiting for us.
They took a while to appear, and then flew off quite soon, after having taken a few titbits only.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Tuesday, Nov 23rd, 2010

Another typical November morning: grey, damp, no sun - and cool. It was not as cold as the weather forecast predicted, so that was good!
We went out at 7.10 a.m.. it was still dark, so Miss Sophie wore her LED collar, blinking red.

Nobody was in the tennis courts this morning, and the ravens waited for us in the cherry trees.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

We were late again today, leaving the house at 7.25 a.m. It was grey and damp, and a bit fresher than yesterday. No sun, but thankfully no wind either.

We made straight for the tennis courts, and the ravens were waiting for us in the cherry trees.
To our surprise, someone else was n 'our' court already - a man with a husky, which we've seen before. That husky is friendly, but an escape artist, and the man used the courts because he'd seen me do it!

We went into the adjoining one, but I am careful in there because there is a gap between the fence and the wall, where Miss Sophie would be able to slink through if a squirrel needed to be chased ... so I kept her on her lead.

The ravens were a bit confused - while the man and I chatted before he left, they sat on the top fence, looking down, not sure what was going on.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday, Nov 21st, 2010

Still damp, grey and gloomy - but not too cold.
We went out at 7.20 a.m. - a bit later than usual, but at least it was light, and its being Sunday, the park was empty.

We went straight to the tennis courts, the ravens were waiting for us in the cherry trees.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Saturday, Nov 20th, 2010

Lots of rain overnight, and still raining in the morning. It was also grey, grim and cold - and MissSophie did not fancy going out into the back garden.

So we only took a brief walk along the avenue in Pontcanna Fields, me still creeping along like a hundred-year old who'd had mislaid her Zimmer frame ...

Thus - no ravens today either.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Friday, Nov 19th, 2010

It was cold and foggy today, with rather heavy mist over the big field and the other fields in Llandaff Fields.

We only walked round the first field - make that: 'hobbled'! I didn't want to deprive Miss Sophie of her outing, and moving about if at all possible is good for me - and that sciatica ... or so they say ...

We didn't see any ravens because we didn't venture as far as where they wait for us.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day, sciatica-wise.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thursday Nov 18th, 2010

Posting at this early time, when Miss Sophie and I are usually out - because it is indoor games for her, and no visit to the ravens ...

Unfortunately, I have got sciatica and am a bit incapacitated.

Hopefully I can start creeping about tomorrow.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Wednesday, Nov 17th, 2010

Heavy rain overnight - and still some coming down when we went out at 7.10 a.m. At least it was a bit warmer, even though the wind was coming from the East at some point and thus was a bit ... cutting ...

We went back into the tennis courts again today, as there was now no danger of slipping and sliding.
The ravens were rather uncertain about what we meant to do! They flew from the cherry trees into the big field, on our left as we walked along the footpath.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday, Nov 16th, 2010

What a grim morning!
It was just above freezing when we left the house at 7.10 in the morning, and there was frost on the grass in Llandaff Fields, but it was bright.
The paths felt a bit slithery, so we went into the ravens field instead of the tennis court, because these courts are hard.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Monday, Nov 15th, 2010

Clear skies overnight meant that the temperature was just above freezing when we left the house shortly after 7 a.m. There was no wind to speak of, but a high, thin fog hid the sun until we were on our way back.

On the way to the tennis courts we'd met Billy and Marianne, whom we hadn't seen for some time. Billy disregarded Miss Sophie, and she disregarded him. But - she did sniff the long stick he'd carried with him. He had dropped it to run after a tennis ball. MissSophie took the end into her mouth

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday - Nov 14th, 2010

Another grey and damp November morning, and rather cool as well.
We went out at 7.15 a.m. and the first raven waited for us at the toddlers' playground.

As soon as we were inside the tennis courts, his companion came as well, and both got their titbits while I did more training with MissSophie. She is starting to grasp that if she doesn't come on my call, I walk off, leaving her alone. So she does come running - well, rushing along five tennis courts is a good bit of exercise for her.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Saturday, Nov 13th, 2010

Rain overnight, but only some faint drizzle when we left the house at 7.10 a.m. No wind, so it felt mild.

We went straight to the tennis courts - the ravens only came once we were inside. Their behaviour has not changed at all.

Miss Sophie chased one, who flew off, cawing, to sit on one of the nets.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday, Nov 12th, 2010

The gale force winds had abated over the night so that when we left the house at 7 a.m. it was only blowing strongly, with some heavier gusts in between. There were also some brief spurts of rain mixed in with the drizzle. It felt a bit warmer than yesterday.

It was still dark, so Miss Sophie was wearing her little LED light collar again.
The ravens picked us up once we were in the tennis courts. Today they didn't wait, expectantly, sitting in a tree as one of them did yesterday.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day - Thursday, Nov 11th, 2010

It was wild weather this morning - and it is still continuing.

We left much later, about 7.10 a.m., to howling winds and gusting, strong rain. I had planned to have a short walk only - but one raven spotted us and flew to sit on a cherry tree near the path we use to get into the tennis courts. He looked so miserable, and I didn't have the heart to disappoint him!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wednesday, Nov 10th, 2010

It was five minutes to seven in the morning when we left the house.

The sky was clear, a beautiful dawn - but it was pretty cold. There was no rain or drizzle, but the NW wind was rather penetrating.

The ravens picked us up just after we'd gone past the toddlers' playground, following us into the tennis courts. Again I noticed how they prefer me turning my back to them after I've thrown some food items - they do not want to be observed. One came within a foot of my back, flying off onto the fence when I turned round.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tues Nov 9th, 2010

We left at about 6.45 a.m. It was very dark because of heavy clouds. It was cold, with icy winds from various directions - and it was drizzling.

Miss Sophie wore her LED collar with blinking red lights, but even so the ravens only came after we'd been in the tennis courts for a good ten minutes.
I think they just couldn't see us properly in the gloom!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Nov 8th, 2010

The storm did its work during the night. When we went out at about 7 a.m., there were lots of twigs and small branches on the ground, and lots more leaves. The playing fields were sodden, and there were some rather large puddles on the hard ground of the tennis courts.
Thankfully, the biggest was in a place Miss Sophie doesn't run through ...!

It was cold and clear, and there was no wind. The sun was hidden behind high clouds.

The two ravens picked us up when we reached the vicinity of the tennis courts and followed us inside, again sitting on the high fencing.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sunday, Nov 7th, 2010

After a prolonged absence, I'll pick up the town raven diary again.

It is about a year since we first encountered the ravens, and much has changed. During the summer, due to Miss Sophie, I did not go to the ravens field much because she needed so much basic training. We spent a lot of time in Pontcanna Fields where there were a lot of crows and the ravens kept away.

Since the Autumn Equinox we went back to the Ravens Field, and a pair of ravens was there.
However, as the mornings got darker and darker, I could not make out who they were - except that the bold raven was not amongst them.

With the clocks back on GMT since last Sunday, and thus more daylight, we have been met by this pair of ravens every morning. They usually picked us up as we approached the toddlers' playground.

Monday, 5 July 2010


... or so this blog will be suspended.

I've got to have an eye operation next Monday. Until then, I have to restrict my use of the PC, and after the operation, it will take some time for things to settle.

I'll still be able to go out with Miss Sophie and feed the ravens, missing perhaps a couple of days, and hope to resume blogging as soon as possible - writing up all the brief notes I've made in the meanwhile!

So please keep checking in - normal raven services will definitely be resumed as soon as I physically can!

July 5th

We went out at 6.30 a.m., it was again overcast and a bit cooler than yesterday, but when we got back an hour later, the sun started to come out.

In the ravens field, both ravens were present, but the one with the pale feathers on the chest simply does not compete for scraps. He only goes to take them once the bold one has gone off to make his holes in the ground. 
When I throw a scrap while the bold one, albeit gone away, still can see this, he comes back and grabs it, flapping his wings at the other one.

Today Miss Sophie went up to say hello to Toby, the lovely Border Collie with the blue and brown eye. He was wary because in their two previous encounters she'd attacked him. Today, it was all wagging tail from her! 
I was happy with that, because I do like Toby ...

Sunday, July 4th

Still a bit damp underfoot, but no rain. Instead we had nice sunshine, a bit cooler than in the preceeding weeks.

We left the house at ... ahem ... no idea! Sometime between 6.30 and 6.45 a.m. - I'd forgotten to put my watch back on ...

The same happened as yesterday, with the one raven calling and waiting for the bold one to pick up the scraps. They both look a bit ragged when flying off. Their tails and wings have gaps where they are missing feathers.

As the ground has become a bit softer now, because of the little bits of rain, both now also go off and make holes in the ground again.

No evidence of any juvenile ravens, not in the ravens field.

July 3rd

A bit overcast and damp, after a rainy night, but still mild.

We went out at 6.45 a.m., going straight to the ravens field where we 'met' the one raven with the pale feathers on his chest, and then the bold one. He only came after the other had called.
It was actually quite interesting, because that raven did not pick up the scraps I'd thrown - he stood and called, and let the bold one pick those scraps.

Having done our round and our exercises, and having seen both ravens fly off, we went home when the dog population increased.

Friday, 2 July 2010

July 2nd

It had been raining during the night, and it was still damp in the early hours of the morning. When we went out at 6.55 a.m., the sky was clearing, there were already patches of blue shining through. It was mild and there was no breeze.

There were again lots of jackdaws in the big field, some feeding their young. Although there were wood pigeons, there were no seagulls this morning.

We went straight to the ravens field, where two ravens were on the ground, on what used to be the top enclosure.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

July 1st

Again it was overcast and much cooler than yesterday when we went out at 6.55 a.m. 

We heard raven calls again, and saw one sitting on the wall near the first field. The big field was again well populated by the jackdaws and seagull, with some wood pigeons amongst them.

We went straight to the ravens field, where two ravens were strolling about in what used to be the top enclosure. When we neared that part of the field on our way to the far top corner, one raven came walking towards us.

June 30th

It was overcast when we left the house at 6.45 a.m., and felt a bit muggy.

For the first time in weeks we'd heard raven calls, both in the evening and in the early morning. There were still lots of jackdaws and seagulls in both the big field and the bottom of the ravens field, but as we came to the spinney and the footpath, just before crossing into the ravens field, we heard a croak - and the bold raven came to us, from the spinney.
He got a couple of scraps and flew off while we went to the far end of the ravens field where we did our exercises.

Before Bas and Karen turned up, the bold raven and one of the quarry pair were walking about and poking the ground in a desultory fashion in what used to be the top enclosure. They got some more scraps and then we all walked or flew off.

It seems to me that the rain yesterday somehow must have revived the ravens ...

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

June 29th

Bliss - we've had some rain during the night! 
it was mild nevertheless when we went out at 6.40 a.m., not to sunshine but to a grey sky, and still some dampness with a few drops of wet intersprinkled ...

We again walked to the ravens field straight away, checking on what remained of yesterday morning's feast. There were two patches of cooked rice, probably too small for the corvids and seagulls, and too strange for the other birds.

In the ravens field, there were no ravens at first, just a handfull of jackdaws at the bottom. Once we' walked to the far end and started on the way back - Miss Sophie doing some more exercises - the quarry raven came, then the bold one. 

Monday, 28 June 2010

June 28th

We went out at 6.40 a.m. and found a quite dense early morning mist, hiding the sun. The visibility was similar to the days of autumn mists - I couldn't see the spire of the Cathedral even from the ravens field. 
For the first time in a good week there was a bit of dew on the grass. It was quite mild, though. By the time we went home, an hour later, the sun had burned off the mist and the sky was blue again.

We went to the ravens field straight away, the big field and the ravens field populated by lots of jackdaws and seagulls. This year's juvenile seagulls were there, with their black beaks and brown flecked feathers. The jackdaw juveniles were begging their parents, with the same position we saw from the ravens in the winter. Their parents though have started to push them away, so they learn to fend for themselves.

Once we were at the far end of the ravens field, two ravens eventually turned up, sitting on what used to be the top enclosure where I used to feed them. This is one place where the grass is less burned than anywhere else.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sunday, June 27th

Yes - it was again warm, dry and sunny, with the hint of an early-morning mist being burnt off very quickly. There was no dew on the few green grasses which were dotted here and there in the great expanse of scorched playing fields.

We went out at 6.45 a.m. and actually did hear a few raven calls, but on the big field and the ravens field, all we saw were lots of jackdaws and seagulls, with a few wood pigeons in amongst them.

I took photos of the scorched fields - here: 

Saturday, 26 June 2010

June 26th

Another warm, dry and sunny morning, with only a whisper of a breeze. 

We left the house at 6.55 a.m. and went again straight to the ravens field. As in the last mornings, the big field and the bottom of the ravens field was populated by jackdaws and seagulls. There was even a black-headed gull in the ravens field - what it was doing there, at this time of its breeding cycle, I don't know! 
But it certainly couldn't have been more black-headed!

The same two ravens - one of the quarry pair, and the bold raven's companion - were in the ravens field.

Friday, 25 June 2010

June 25th

It was a beautiful summer morning today, with sunshine and a few clouds on the blue sky. There was a very slight breeze - just nice!

We went out at 6.45 a.m., and went agains traight to the ravens field. as yesterday, there were many jackdaws on the big field, and some seagulls.

Again, as yesterday, one raven picked us up as we were at the far corner, near the wall and the allotment fence. it was the Roman raven, and he took a few scraps, but only after we'd walked on.

June 24th

Today was a bit cloudy when we left the house at 6.40 a.m. Still, it was warm, and the sun did peep out behind those clouds.

We went straight to the ravens field. The big field was populated by that flock of jackdaws, and there were some seagulls around as well.
In the ravens field, there were two ravens amongst the wood pigeons and jackdaws. One did pick us up when we were halfway across. It was the companion of the bold raven, the other was again the quarry raven with the pale chest feathers. He did not approach us, and he only picked up one scrap when the bold companion had flown off.

The bold companion did come back, but as always was much more circumspect than her companion. At one stage she waited for me to turn my back on her before she picked up that scrap.

We left along the no-more-food way when I'd run out of scraps - well, I had to keep a couple of them back for Miss Sophie!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

June 23rd

We left the house at 6.30 a.m., and it was another wonderful summer morning, with a slight breeze coming from the West, the sun shining, and a very faint haze making the sky look very pale blue.

Today we went to Llandaff Fields, hoping to be picked up by one raven at the raven field - but no. 
There are lots of jackdaws around, and the wood pigeons have also become more numerous. 
The sea gulls had ripped open the bags of food waste in the streets, and had made an incredible noise just after sunrise. 
We haven't heard raven calls close to the house as we did in the winter and spring. I suspect the seagulls, who now have hatchlings in their nests, have become too aggressive for the ravens - they are pretty aggressive towards humans as well right now.

June 22nd

A beautiful summer morning again, dry and not chilly because the wind had died down. The sun was out, and tehre were little white clouds in the blue sky. We went out at 6.45 a.m.

We started again in Pontcanna Fields, hoping to catch a glimpse of a raven - but none were there. There were also no raven calls. Walking back to Llandaff Fields, with Bas and Karen, we saw none and heard none.

Later in the afternoon, walking to the patch behind the toddlers' playground, again not one raven was to be seen. I had to make that walk short because there was a huge amount of work for me to do in the house, preparing for tomorrow.

June 21st

We went to Pontcanna Fields, leaving the house at 6.40 a.m. It was a lovely, dry summer morning - a bit chilly still thanks to the NE wind.

No ravens to be seen or heard when we walked across that patch behind the toddlers' playground, towards the tree with the raven's nest.
No ravens to be seen on the huge expanse of Pontcanna Fields.

Later in the afternoon, there were too many people around in Llandaff Fields, and the ravens field, so again: no ravens.

Coming back from the obedience class in the evening, around 9 p.m., walking across the the patch behind the toddlers' playground, one raven was there. It looked like the Roman nosed one - he didn't come close, but did hop to pick up the few scraps, left over from the training, which I threw him.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday, June 20th

Its being Sunday, we went out at 6.55 a.m. It was again overcast and felt chilly even though there was no breeze.

Having missed the ravens yesterday, we went to the ravens field straight away. 
On the way we saw a number of jackdaws on the ground in the big field. They definitely have their fledglings out now. We saw at least three of them, with parents in attendance. They look quite small, and often assume the juvenile food-begging position.

We also noticed that two different couples with one fledgling each sat with them, quite closely, when the rest of the jackdaws dispersed as a few seagulls came flying over. 
These jackdaws looked very protective.

In the ravens field, only the pale-chested one of the quarry pair came when we were half-way across. He was very skittish, but did pick up some scraps and then flew off towards the allotments, in the direction of the nest.

Later, as we were on the way back towards the spinney, the bold raven made a brief appearance, picking up quite a few scraps before flying off. 
He looked a bit distracted.  

So I am daring to hope that there may indeed be a fledgling or two getting ready to join the rest!

June 19th

We went out at 6.30 a.m., trying to get to the part of Pontcanna Fields where the tree with the ravens nest is. It was a bit overcast and felt a bit chilly, but there was no rain or even dampness.

Best-laid-plans and all that: we ran into Bas and Karen, and walked together round Pontcanna Fields, so no ravens ...

Later in the afternoon, the sun had come out. It was warm, with a bit of a chilly breeze now, and there were lots and lots of people in the park - everywhere! Even on the ravens field which we reached after our long walk round Llandaff Fields!

So - no ravens ...

Friday, 18 June 2010

June 18th

It was a very pleasant summer morning - sun, little white clouds on a blue sky, and no icy wind!

We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went to the ravens field, first walking along the old quarries. The bottom half of the ravens field was occupied by quite a few lesser black-backed seagulls, and no ravens were around.

We got 'picked up' when we approached the wall where it joins up with the fence at the far, the allotment side.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

June 17th

There was bright sunshine when we left the house at 6.30 a.m., and the sky was a clear blue, without any clouds whatsoever. 
But the wind from the NE was so icy cold that at the end of our walk I wished I had worn gloves!

We went to the patch behind the toddlers' playground and then to Pontcanna Fields because I am hoping to see if there are any raven fledglings around.
There were none today, nor were there any raven calls, and the Roman-nosed raven, who came the last time we went that way, also did not come.

Later in the afternoon it was hot because the icy wind had died down. So we had to walk in the shade of the huge lime trees, along Pontcanna Fields, which was being cut. 
A raven or two were visible in the distance, but we were too far away to see who it was - and it was too hot to venture onto the shade-less expanse of grass.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

June 16th


Thank you all, my dear friends, for your beautiful comments to the post on June 14th. 
It was hard to get over this, not least because the weather now is just as  it was then: clear blue skies, blazing sun - but a very cold and strong wind blowing from the NE.
Yesterday, as I did five years ago with Big Dog and Madame, then still Miss Dog, at my side, I walked and walked, this time with Miss Sophie.

So thank you all again for all your kind words!

A beautiful sunny morning, clear blue sky - but icy winds from the NE. We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went the long way to the ravens field. 

Here, the companion of the bold raven picked us up as soon as we entered, then one of the quarry pair came as well. That was the one with the couple of pale brown feathers on his chest.

June 15th

No ravens - just walking with Miss Sophie ....

Monday, 14 June 2010

June 14th

In memoriam of my beloved husband, who died five years ago today.
And in memoriam of my dearest friend Anne, who died a year ago today.

Also remembering Big Dog and Madame Dog, who died during these five years.

We just went for a stroll, both morning and afternoon, remembering and giving thanks for the joy, the laughter, and the privilege of sharing their lives for their allotted time.

Sunday, June 13th

The morning was still summery, albeit rather fresh and overcast - but the forecast rain had not yet arrived.

Having left the house at 6.50 a.m., we went for the same walk as yesterday. The same 'Roman' raven came, this time from one of the big lime trees near the tree with the nest. 
He was very skittish again, but did pick up the couple of scraps I'd thrown for him.

In Pontcanna fields there were some crows, but no ravens where we walked - the same walk as yesterday, omitting the suspension bridge.

Instead we collected lots of different grasses and wild flowers.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

June 12th

We left the house at 6.35 a.m., to another beautiful, fresh and sunny early summer morning, with lots of sunshine, some white clouds, and a slight breeze.

Today we went to that little grassy piece behind the toddlers' playground, because the tree with the raven's nest stands at one end. I wanted to see if any ravens were about, and what they'd do.
None were on the ground, but we could hear them call from the huge holm oaks which are in a line close to the wall behind the toddlers' playground.

Friday, 11 June 2010

June 11th

Not as grey and cold today, and there even was some sun coming through as we went out to Llandaff Fields at 6.35 a.m.

We went to the ravens field, and the bold raven's companion came as we were at the top end, the wall. The Roman nose raven also came, but kept well away while the bold raven's companion picked up the scraps. She is getting a bit bolder, compared to a week or so ago - but still more hesitant than her bold companion.

Only once did the Roman raven try and pick up a scrap. That was when I threw it very close to him. He did get it - just. The bold raven's companion came swooping in to get it, and they nearly clashed their beaks ...

We went home after more dogs appeared.

June 10th

It was a grey day, no sun at all, and the wind was coming from the NE - so it felt cold.
We left the house at 7 a.m. and went to Pontcanna Fields. No ravens at all, and after a run-through of our set exercises we went home. 

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

June 9th

It was overcast and mild when we went out at 6.40 a.m. - not raining, but a hint of dampness in the air.

We took our usual walk to the ravens field, today accompanied by Ollie and Trixie - without mishap. Miss Sophie had tried to 'eat' Ollie a few weeks ago, so we kept them well apart.

In the ravens field, the one and only raven who came to see if we ahd some food was the companion of the bold raven. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

June 8th

We had 'real' rain from last evening and all through the night, with some drizzle left over when we went out at 6.40 a.m. 
At least it wasn't cold!

We went to the ravens field, along the quarry side. At the crossing of the footpaths the companion of the bold raven picked us up. She got a few scraps, and flew off when we crossed into the small arboretum. Well, Bart was bouncing up to us, so no wonder!

Monday, 7 June 2010

June 7th

Another fresh and dry morning, albeit with no sun. They sky was mostly couldy, but the rain has not yet arrived.
We went out at 6.40 a.m., going to the ravens field straight away.

In the ravens field, three dogs and their owners were walking back to the big field, so it was no surprise that no raven came to get some scraps from us. Only when we reached the far end, the fence next to the allotments, did one raven turn up.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sunday, June 6th

We went out at 6.50 a.m. It was dry, but cloudy - but we had no rain. It felt fresh compared to the days before.

We went to the ravens field, this time walking with Otis, the flat coated retriever (he has very pale eyes!) and his owner. She works on Sundays, so is out as early as we are. It went very well, Miss Sophie is not bothered by Otis because he's actually shown in an unmistakeable way that he acknowledges her as his superior: he rolled on his back and let her sniff his nether regions when they first met. He is nearly twoce the size of her, in all dimensions ...

Saturday, 5 June 2010

June 5th

No rain - but it was a bit fresher early this morning, and there were more clouds.
We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went to the ravens field. It was empty again of dogs and their walkers, but there were quite a few seagulls (lesser black-backed ones) about. The jackdaws don't seem to mind intermingling with them.

The first raven to come, again at the far side, near the fence of the allotments, was the companion of the bold raven. She took two scraps, then flew off. She didn not come back.

Walking round, as we got to the middle of the stretch near the wall, one of the young pair appeared. It was not the Roman-nosed one. He also took a couple of scraps and then flew off. 

Next to appear was Otis, the flat-coated retriever. Then a whippet whipped round, and no more ravens came.

Miss Sophie has been doing very well in all her exercises - so well, in fact, that today I let her lead trail, not holding onto it. With all these exercises going on, I'm afraid I was not as diligent in feeding the ravens as I could have been, but Miss Sophie had priority ...

Here is the photo I took a few days ago, of her, sitting, and the ravens:

Friday, 4 June 2010

June 4th

We most certainly had more sunshine today!
It was a beautiful morning: dry, sunny, fresh - what more could we want ...

We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went the usual way to the ravens field. At this time, there were no dogs there yet, so we did some training, and fed the ravens.

The first raven came as we closed in on the bottom end of the far side. It was the bold raven's companion. 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

June 3rd

It was another beautiful morning - mild, sunny, dry, and no breeze at that early time of the morning. 

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and walked up to the ravens field. Towards the middle of it (we had to avoid the far end because of other dogs), the first raven to appear was the companion of the bold raven. She followed us when we did walk to the trees on the far side. 

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

June 2nd

What a beautiful morning - warm, no wind, and the sun shining through a light early morning haze!

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and noticed all the dog walkers in Llandaff Fields. So we crossed into Pontcanna Fields, where the ravens were in the huge sycamores, but not on the ground. 
We could hear their distinct croaks.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June 1st

It was raining again today - quite a bit in the morning, then diminishing to a drizzle later in the afternoon.

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and went straight to Pontcanna Fields. Miss Sophie did well on her various recall exercises. 
We only saw one raven in the distance, looking quite miserable and wet. 
He was too far away for me to recognise him.

Later in the afternoon we went to Llandaff Fields. The drizzle kept the people indoors, so it was nice and 'empty'. 
The first raven met us at the far side of the ravens field, and he was soon joined by his companion.

Monday, 31 May 2010

May 31st

It was a lovely morning, with bright sunshine and a blue sky, with a few white clouds, when we went out at 6.50 a.m.

As it is a Bank Holiday today, most dog walkers were still resting, or had gone away for the long weekend. So Llandaff Fields was 'empty'. We did not hear any raven calls until we came to the ravens field. 

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunday, May 30th

It was sunny and dry this morning, still cool though, and we went to Pontcanna Fields so that Miss Sophie got the opportunity and training to be away from me (still on the 15-yard lead) but come back when I call. and I need to practice to step on the lead when necessary, so that I can let her roam with the lead trailing.

Half-way along we met Buffy and Molly, with Hilary. Miss Sophie is fine with them now, and we all walked together for the rest of the walk. 

I've been told that poor Bas had been attacked by a huge Labrador. He's ok, but he'd been pinned to the ground, on his back. The woman owner of that lab was miles away ... that is why I'm so pernickety about having Miss Sophie come back on command, no matter what. I don't want her to get into fights, or start them, God forbid.

No ravens came while we were walking around Pontcanna Fields, though I did see a couple on the ground, in the vicinity of the nest.

May 29th

It was raining - real rain, not just drizzle - when we left the house at 6.50 a.m. There was also a cold NW wind, so it was no surprise that Llandaff Fields was not very populated.

We went the usual way to the ravens field. There had been no raven calls, and the first raven appeared only as we got half-way to the middle of the wall next to the allotments. 
We had heard a soft croaking, and I tried to see where that raven was sitting. I couldn't make out which tree the croaking had come from - and then I saw him, sitting on the wall!

Friday, 28 May 2010

March 28th

Today we went to Pontcanna Fields in the morning, because I want Miss Sophie to get used to a vast open space, do what she wants while still on the long (15 yards) training lead - and coming back when I call.

It was dry and the sun was brightly shining from a clear blue sky as we left the house at 6.50 a.m. The wind was not noticeable this early in the morning, so it didn't feel quite as cold as yesterday.

Miss Sophie is doing well, and everybody remarks on how much more relaxed she is now, comapred to even three weeks ago. She greets both a new dog and old dog acquaintances quite nicely. Also, she is now fine walking along those dogs, and she even is fine when I pet those dogs. 

March 27th

We left the house at 6.50 a.m. It was dry, the sun was shining - but there was a strong wind from the NW, and it was perishingly cold yet again.
Even in the reasonably sheltered ravens field it felt like January.

Going, or rather rushing, through our usual tour around Llandaff Fields, we arrived in the ravens field. In spite of  quite a number of dogs doing their doggie things, the ravens did pick us up.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

May 26th

The strong wind from the NW made it feel rather cold early this morning. We left the house at 6.55 a.m. - only hints of sunshine, and no raven calls.

Since there were already park dept. workers in Llandaff Fields, we turned to Pontcanna Fields for the morning walk. Unfortunately, this is where the NW winds has a big 'fetch', i.e. blows unimpeded, and we shivered ...!

No ravens came, but we met Marianne and Billy, who can carry two tennis balls in his mouth! He and Miss Sophie were not interested in each other, so both enjoyed their various sniffs and wriggles-on-the-back (Miss Sophie!).

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

May 25th

It was certainly cooler this morning! 
The wind from the NW had picked up and was quite fresh. The sun was a bit obscured by a watery haze. But it was still dry and sunny.

We left the house at the usual time of 6.40 a.m., and went the usual way: first the big field, then the quarry field. 
There, Karen and Bas came towards us from the small arboretum, so we went back down the Horse Chestnut Avenue with the two of them. 

Back again, and with a bit of Bart and his owner into the ravens filed, where there were quite a lot of dogs, with their owners standing in the middle, having a nice chat.

Monday, 24 May 2010

May 24th

Another hot and muggy night - another hot morning. Hot for South Wales, that is ...

We left the house at 6.40 a.m., to a bright an hot sun and a blue sky with no clouds.

No raven calls, and no ravens in the first and then the big field - but as we got to the ravens field, a soft quorking came from one of the huge sycamores next to the footpath separating the big field from the ravens field.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunday, May 23rd

Warm morning, even at 6.45 a.m., when we left the house. 
The sun was blazing down from a clear blue sky, and the dew on the grass had already been burned off.

We went to the ravens field, walking round - one raven came. It was one of the young pair, quite skittish, but she got her scraps, always picking them up after we had turned our backs.
She didn't call, and no other raven came.

On the way back we met Ralph, at the top of the big field. He is a seven-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy - adorable! Miss Sophie was very good. They sniffed each other, and she let that puppy jump around her without getting agitated. Quite the 'adult', was Miss Sophie! She did tell him off rather fiercely when she had enough - but that was after we' walked down the big field together.

As I type - a fly has managed to get into the house, and Miss sophie is trying to catch it. Shades of Big Dog ...

Too hot to go out in the afternoon ...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

May 22nd

It was too hot for Miss Sophie and me to go to the ravens field - we had a very early (6.45 a.m.) and very long walk around the whole of Pontcanna Fields. Not one raven to be seen.

The afternoon we walked in the shade of a Lime Tree avenue, along Pontcanna Fields because it was even hotter - again, no ravens: too many people out enjoying the spell of dry, hot weather.

I'm sure all the barbecues will provide lots of scraps for the ravens ...

Friday, 21 May 2010

May 21st

A beautiful, warm morning: sunshine and a few little clouds. Good-bye gloves, good-bye winter clothes until the appropriate season!

We left the house at 6.45 a.m. and took a leisurely stroll down the big field, interspersed with a bit of training.

In the ravens field, the bold raven's companion picked us up and followed us, taking her couple of scraps, flying off and coming back. Miss Sophie totally disregards her. 

Thursday, 20 May 2010

May 20th

We left the house at 6.35 a.m. It wasn't sunny, but mild, dry and still. We had heard some raven calls, but didn't see any in the big field. 

Into the ravens field, and no ravens came as we walked towards the far end and the fence to the allotments. 
Miss Sophie got some more training - and as we neared the wall to the allotments, one single raven did turn up.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

May 19th

Well, it wasn't proper, full-on rain - it was just a nice, soft drizzle this morning when we left the house at 6.50 a.m.

There had been no raven calls, and again we saw the first raven when we got into the ravens field. It was the companion of the bold raven, acting not very bold. 

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

May 18th

It was still a bit chilly, but the sun was out and there was hardly a whisper of cold wind when we left the house at 6.50 a.m. So - no gloves!

We walked to the top of the big field, inspecting the mound of sand, grass seed and fertilizer. 
No ravens there - but as soon as we got into the ravens field, the companion of the bold raven picked us up. She got her scraps and followed us half-way round. One of the young pair had joined her for the first part, but flew off as we walked on.

Monday, 17 May 2010

May 17th

A cold morning - still gloves-time! - but sunny and dry.
We left the house at 6.40 a.m. and went across Llandaff Fields the usual way. 
There were no ravens at the start, but once we got into the ravens field, the bold raven's companion joined us. She picked up the scraps, and went to hide them after having got two in her gullet.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sunday, May 16th

Well, back to normal then - weatherwise, that is ...!

It was grey and cold, no sun - and the drizzle turned to light rain while we were out.

Today, we went along the usual route to the big field and the ravens field, having left the house at 7.10 a.m. 

On the way, we noticed that yesterday's picnicers had left huge amounts of waste in the bins, so ravens and seagulls had a feast today. As we walked on I heard a scream behind me:

Saturday, 15 May 2010

May 15th

Today, for a change, we had a lovely early morning. The sun was out, there was no need for gloves, and I was able to shed one layer of warm clothes!

We left the house at 7 a.m. and went to Pontcanna Fields, re-tracing the route Miss Sophie took when she escaped ten days ago.
There were lots of crows around, but although we heard a few raven calls, we didn't see one until we started on our way back. 

Then we noticed one on the ground - I had seen him before, he has lost one of his tail feathers.

Friday, 14 May 2010

May 14th

Another cold and grey day. There was a slight drizzle. The wind had turned to the SW, so it didn't feel quite a perishing as the days before. 

We left the house an hour later than usual, me not being up to scratch, and took the same walk as yesterday morning. Miss Sophie needs the experience and training very much.
So again, no ravens in the morning.

Later, in the afternoon, we went across the big field to the ravens field. It was still cold, and then it started to rain ...

May 13th

Still too cold for this time of year - max day time temp at 55 F -, and gloves were still needed. 

Today, I totally changed our walk because Miss Sophie needs to be exposed to different areas, and she needs to learn to come when I call her, even if she is fixating on a squirrel.
So - no ravens in the morning.

In the afternoon we went to Llandaff Fields, following our usual tour. At the top end of the quarry field, the second bold raven picked us up. This is the one who looks as if he/she is peering out from underneath a fringe. She is bold as well, following us closely as we crossed into the ravens field. 

There, she took off and did a low sweep of the whole field, chasing away a handful of jackdaws. She kept close to us, just like her bold companion. 

I'd run out of scraps by the time we got to the spinney. She had flown into the big lime tree, watching us. Then she swooped down, landing next to the sheds, even though she knows this was the 'no more food' way.

We'll see which one of them will turn up the next time.

May 12th

It was even colder - some frost on the grass, no sunshine, and still a cold wind from the NE.

We left the house at 6.45 a.m., and as we made our usual way to the ravens field, we got 'waylaid' by other dog walkers. I wanted Miss Sophie to meet and socialise. Thus we ran out of time to feed the ravens.

In the afternoon, we went to Pontcanna Fields. The ravens nest is now practically hidden by the unfolding leaves. If one doesn't know where it is, one would not be able to see it from the ground.

The one raven who was on the ground, and who took some scraps, was the young one of whom I've posted a photo.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

May 11th

Another cold and grey day, no sunshine in the morning, and gloves still needed to be worn.

We left the house at 6.45 a.m., not having heard raven calls earlier.

We followed the route along the quarry field again. The companion of the bold raven picked us up at the top of that field, before we got into the small arboretum - and she followed us into the first part of that arboretum. She picked up her couple of scraps and flew off in between.

Monday, 10 May 2010

May 10th

It was another grey and cold morning, but the arctic wind had not yet turned into a blast, so it felt milder than expected. Still - gloves had to be worn.

We left the house at 6.45 a.m. and followed the now familiar route. Today, the bold raven picked us up at the bottom of the ravens field, opposite the big field. He kept following us, getting his scraps, and again ate some, hid some and then took of with some, flying to Pontcanna Fields. 

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday, May 9th

This morning was a cold and gloomy as yesterday. It was still so cold that gloves were a 'must'. Of course, there was no sunshine.

We left the house at 6.40 a.m. Llandaff Fields was empty except for one jogger and his dog Tyler, a standard poodle who was heartily disliked by Big Dog and Madame, for having no dog manners. So Miss Sophie and I always take avoiding actions when we see him.

We followed the same route as the previous days, did repeats of the obedience sets Miss Sophie has to learn, and got to the small arboretum. Still in the quarry field, the companion of the bold raven picked us up. She again had her head feathers raised.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

May 8th

We left the house at 6.50 a.m. It was grey, damp - and beastly cold! 
None of us dog walkers have yet been out of our winter clothes, and gloves were still needed! 
We had heard some raven calls, coming from Pontcanna Fields, but they were not as loud as yesterday.

We went into the Quarry field towards the small arboretum, as yesterday. No raven calls here. We again did lots of basic obedience exercises, avoiding other dogs for the moment.
When we got to the end of the quarry field, before we cross the footpath and go into the small arboretum, one raven came.

Friday, 7 May 2010

May 7th

It was grey and rather cold again when we left the house at 6.45 a.m. this morning.
There had been lots of loud raven calls earlier, coming from Pontcanna Fields.

After yesterday's escapade, I decided Miss sophie needed to go back to basics, so I took her round the quarry field, practising all the way.

Near the small arboretum we saw one raven, watched by a magpie. Both were on the ground. I threw the raven a couple of scraps - it looked like one of the quarry pair. 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

May 6th - Day of the General Elections in the UK

Another grey morning, feeling mild-ish and very damp. In fact, there was quite a drizzle.
We left the house at 6.45 a.m. and went into Llandaff Fields. The reason was that I wanted to check if the ravens still keep the ravens field under observation - and I wanted to see how well Miss Sophie did her exercises with other dogs present.

In the first field, we met Karen and Bas. Sophie was at first not fussed by Bas, and loved greeting Karen. 
Sadly, I made a huge mistake. 
I let go of the 5 yard long trailing lead when Sophie was greeting Karen. I've let Miss Sophie go on the trailing lead for a week now. I did not think there'd be any problem.

... and then Miss Sophie took off.

She was after squirrels. She rushed into Pontcanna Fields, no commands to come back penetrated her mind. 
Karen and I - and Bas! - rushed after her, all the way down the huge playing fields, across into the even bigger part. 

There, Miss Sophie saw a group of people with two dogs. 

She changed course and rushed up to them. They were kind enough to get her lead, so Miss Sophie was finally back under my control.

So - no ravens!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

May 5th

It was mostly grey, with some hint of sunshine, when we left the house at 6.40 a.m. The wind from the NE had not yet picked up. Thus it felt less chilly than I expected - but chilly enough so that gloves were still needed ...

We went straight into Pontcanna Fields, seeing and hearing single ravens in the distance. They vanished when we approached, so we did our walk and exercises.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Some new raven photos, taken on May 3rd, 2010

These photos are of one of the young pair. I have described one of those ravens as having a 'roman' nose.

See for yourselves why I used that description:

Here he is looking towards us - note the different shape of the 'brow' compared to the bold raven:

Here he is eyeing a scrap:

Here he is making a hole to hide his scrap:

Note how deep the beak goes into the ground.

Hopefully I'll be able to take more photos as the weather gets warmer - provided the rain keeps to times when we're not out in the park!

Photos of the ravens' nest, taken on May 2nd, 2010

Here are some photos of the ravens' nest:

The tree with the ravens' nest from a distance:

The nest is the 'blob in the centre of this photo:

Zooming in a bit more:

And here ...:

...  that is a raven in the nest!!

We saw him fly in and land - no doubt possible!

May 4th

It was far less chilly when we went out at 6.50 a.m. than it had been forecast. 
We went directly to Pontcanna Fields and did some of our exercises. Miss Sophie is learning fast, but dogs and squirrels in her field of vision still distract her a lot.

I threw some scraps to a lone raven - one of the young pair. Then he was joined by his companion. He hadn't called, though.

However, they then both called - and suddenly we were surrounded by three dozen crows. I counted them. 
The ravens tried to scare them off, without success.
They then retreated in view of this huge crowd. 
So we retreated home as well.

May 3rd

The morning was cold and grey, the sun coming out while we had our walks. 
There were more bouncy dogs in Llandaff Fields, so we went directly to Pontcanna Fields, taking some more photos of the nest.

Only one raven came to pick up scraps, he was one of the young pair, and I managed to get some photos of him.
He didn't call, and no other ravens joined him.

Sunday May 2nd

Leaving at the usual time, to a more grey morning. 
The park was empty. It was the Bank Holiday.
Today we went to the ravens field. Just one raven came to pick up some scraps. He came from the allotments' side.
No other ravens called or joined the lone raven.

Monday, 3 May 2010


Sorry - due to illness I'm not up to writing up my notes.
Full report and photos when I'm better - hopefully soon!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

May 1st

Although rain and icy arctic winds had been predicted, the  early morning was simply glorious. 
It was mild, no wind, no rain - but a very light high mist though which the sun shone. 
A most beautiful start to the day.
At the time of writing, in the afternoon, the sun has gone, the sky is grey, there is a slight breeze from the NW and it feels damp.

We left the house at 6.35 a.m. and went into Pontcanna Fields, from the first field in Llandaff Fields, past the toddlers' playground. We had heard some raven calls in the distance, but saw no ravens in that first field, nor in Pontcanna Fields.

Friday, 30 April 2010

April 30th

We left the house at 6.40 a.m. It was mild, with a watery sun and rain clouds. We did catch a short, light shower while we were out.

We went across the first field in Llandaff Fields to Pontcanna Fields, where we spent some time walking around, doing some exercises and sniffing ... Miss Sophie is slowly getting better, provided no small or big dog or squirrel crosses her horizon: then she just switches off. 

We did see and hear a raven, but he flew from one of the tall, old sycamores into the horse paddocks, I don't think he saw us. 

Thursday, 29 April 2010

April 29th

Amazing ravens! 
Wonderful, amazing ravens!

This is what happened this morning:

We left the house at 6.35 a.m., to a grey, damp morning. No sun today, and it was slightly cooler than yesterday.
We went to Llandaff Fields as always, but as we got to the top of the big field, the dogs came bouncing up again, which we try to avoid because Miss Sophie is not happy to have them around.
So I took her back, past the toddlers' playground, into Pontcanna Fields. That meant abandoning the ravens field, but for Miss Sophie's sake I think her training has to come first.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

April 28th

it was grey upon grey this morning - thicker clouds drifting across the overcast sky, but there were the occasional glimpses of the sun breaking through. It was mild, feeling slightly damp.

We left the house at 6.35 a.m. - nothing to boast about in regard to being early, I know, but we're working on it! 

There were a few raven calls in the distance, but we saw none until we got to the ravens field. Walking towards the boundary to the allotments on the far side, we noticed one raven flying from the quarry side across to Pontcanna Fields: it was actually being harassed by a couple of jackdaws.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

April 27th

It was a bit chilly when we left the house at 6.45 a.m. (yeah, I know: roll out of bed a bit earlier ...), but the sun had already dried off the heavy dew on the grass not shaded by the trees.

Yesterday afternoon, we saw the fence and the posts being removed from the enclosure where I fed the ravens. Therefore I did not expect to see the ravens this morning. We did hear them in the distance, but none came.

With the sun rising earlier day by day, the birds are adapting their presence accordingly. Thus instead of ravens, we came across a group of jackdaws when we walked back. Also, the seagulls were not around, they seem to come earlier in the morning as well.

We'll try for an earlier start tomorrow - our excuse for today is that there was an obedience class yesterday evening, so we were rather sleepy today, both of us!

Monday, 26 April 2010

April 26th

It was grey and mild, and very damp today - a hint of drizzle, so fine one hardly noticed it.
We went out at 6.35 a.m., hearing a few raven calls quite far away.

In the big field, Bas came bouncing up to us - and I am happy to report that Miss Sophie was fine: she didn't growl and didn't try to nip him. 

Getting into the ravens field, we saw none, nor did we hear them. So we walked on, doing some training, and as we got to the corner between the fencing and the wall to the allotments, one raven came into the enclosure. We walked back and I threw some scraps for him, which he picked up and then flew off. I could not make out which one it was. He did not come back.

Unfortunately, our walk generally and the raven-feeding especially was rudely interrupted by a whippet which was most certainly not under the control of its owner. In the end there was nothing else for us but to walk home, doing a few exercises on the way.

Sadly, I'll now have to re-think my options of when to go out, for Miss Sophie's sake.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday, April 25th

Today was grey, damp - and mild! 
No sunshine - but no need, finally, for gloves!

We left the house at 6.45 a.m. There had been some distant raven calls when we left, but there were none as we got into Llandaff Fields. We did not see a single raven - but one raven saw us very well indeed!

When we were halfway to the top enclosure in the ravens field, which is still fenced in, one came swooping down from one of the trees at the tennis court boundary, and sat on a fence post.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

April 24th

Llandaff Fields was indeed mostly empty this morning when we got there, having left at 6.35 a.m. It was still cold enough for frost on the grass, and the sun was hazy. 
The sky was pale blue-grey: the difference between the bright, clear blue skies during the no-fly time and now that airplanes are back, their contrails criss-crossing and spreading over the sky is quite astounding.

We heard a lot of raven calls in the distance, but didn't see any. Now that the fresh leaves on all trees are unfolding more every day, seeing ravens in the trees is getting difficult.

First though, we met Bas, who had finally come home from the place he stayed while his Mum Karen and Dad Dave were stuck in Northern Italy for a week because of the volcanic ash. 

Friday, 23 April 2010

April 23rd

The weather hasn't changed a bit: a cold, sunny morning, the sky blue, but a bit hazy - and while it still is gloves-time, it felt milder than before because the wind has died down.

We left the house at 6.35 a.m. There had been some distant raven calls earlier, but none in Llandaff Fields, which was however beginning to become populated by dogs and their walkers.

Walking to the top of the big field, we noticed that the fence posts have now been removed from the enclosure there, as well as from the bottom enclosure in the ravens field. 
The top enclosure in the ravens field however, where I feed the ravens, was still fenced in, just the gate missing.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

April 22nd:

Bad day: the lock of the front door had to be replaced, first thing in the morning. Could not lock/unlock that door.
Therefore: waiting for the locksmith, waiting for him to repalce the lock: morning gone.

Then: bad news about Jack-the-Westie. He got attacked yesterday afternoon by a bullterrier type of dog, and has been at the vet ever since. Even more worrying is that his owner has a little boy, about 2 years old, which she had in a push-chair.These three are always out together.

We only went out in the early afternoon. Saw one raven on the big lime tree in the ravens field, and fed him in the usual place.
Too many people out with their kids and small dogs, enjoying the beautiful sunshine - Miss Sophie still hugely distracted by all that, so we went home.

Sorry ravens - better luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

April 21st

Well! Today was another day for a raven surprise!

We left the house at 6.35 a.m., to bright sunshine, an icy breeze from the NW, blue sky - and the first contrails criss-crossing the sky because the first planes were arrivening from the USA, the flight bann having been sort of lifted.

Llandaff Fields was empty except for some joggers. There were no raven calls, and no ravens to be seen until we got to the ravens field.

We noted on the way that the wire fencings had been removed from the enclosure in the big field, and from the lower enclosure in the ravens field. The top enclosure there, where I feed the ravens, still had the fencing in place.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

April 20th

Yet another cold morning, with clear skies and bright sunshine, but frost on the grass ...

It was lovely and quiet yet again. I should point out that we're under the flight path for the international flights from the USA, via Ireland, so since last Thursday, the effects of the flight ban, due to the ashes from the Icelandic volcano, are quite noticeable.

We left the house at 6.40 a.m. and got to the top of the big field without hearing or seeing one raven. The usual dog walkers weren't out yet - but some people did physical exercises, push-ups and all, so Miss Sophie was not sure if she ought to be scared or interested.

Monday, 19 April 2010

April 19th

It was not as cold this morning as it has been previously: there was no frost on the grass! There were thin clouds in the sky, and a definite haze. I don't know if that was due to the Icelandic volcano's ashes, not having a huge amount of knowledge of clouds ... 
Certainly the birds were not affected.

We left the house at 6.40 a.m. and did the usual round. This morning, a single raven flew to the ground as we came into the ravens field. 

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday, April 18th

It was another brilliant morning, with bright sunshine and a cloudless sky. The icy wind has now dropped to barely noticeable, but it is still very cold. There was again frost on the grass, and I still have to wear gloves on these early morning walks.

We left the house at 6.50 a.m. (that is the extent of my Sunday lay-in ...), and again heard some raven calls from the distance.

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