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, 26 February 2010

Feb 26th

There was some light rain in the night and in the early morning, which did not prevent the robins from singing.
I left the house at 7.25 a.m., not having heard any raven calls. It was cold, damp, and cloudy - so no cheerful sunrise.

There were a few soft calls coming from my left as I walked to the big field, and I saw a pair of ravens on the ground, close to the Horse Chestnut Avenue, quite a distance away from the path I was on. I kept to the path to see if they'd follow anyway, but they did not.

When I got to the top of the big field, they appeared: my quarry pair. Next to come were the bold pair, then the young pair turned up. The flock of blackheaded seagulls had been chased up by a couple of dogs (dunno who they were, too far away), so the ravens waited for their scraps, which I duly gave them. They did not mind the seagulls circling low overhead. Those gulls were obviously looking to grab some of the scraps, but the ravens stood their ground, not making a move until they gulls went away.

But then, something happened which was unexpected, interesting, and totally new: crows appeared from Pontcanna Fields, and landed amongst the ravens. 
Every time they tried to get a scrap, one or the other of the ravens flew at them, chasing them off. The ravens did not attack them, they just kept them off the food.

It was hugely interesting to see crows and ravens together: the difference in size was evident, as was the frequency and tone of their calls. The crows caw in a much higher voice, and the cawing is faster than that of the ravens. 

Also of interest was that the crows appeared in greater numbers: there were about ten of them altogether, and they came quite quickly once the first crow had landed and started cawing. They prefer to be in a flock - which is called 'a murder of crows'.

I went back home once all scraps had gone into the ravens. All three pairs went off to where they usually come from - but the crows started to follow me down the big field! As there was no food for them, they also gave up. 
Well, Cookie the Border Collie came rushing up the length of the big field, to greet me - that might also have played a role in their dispersal!

Rain and high winds are predicted overnight - we'll see if the ravens will venture out tomorrow morning. 
I certainly shall ...

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