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.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Feb 27th

The high winds stormed over us yesterday afternoon, so it was dry and not windy early this morning, with a watery sun being obscured by clouds. Earlier, robins and blackbirds had been singing, and now the great tits have also started to join in. No raven calls, however.

I left the house at 7.25 a.m. and in Llandaff Fields not one raven was to be seen or heard. I assumed that they'd all flown into town, as last night there was a huge rugby match, so there must have been lots of left-over food for them.

I walked to the top of the big field, which had been colonised this morning by about forty black-headed seagulls. They flew up, and kept circling over my head as I was standing there. I walked on to the ravens field, thinking that none of my six ravens would turn up with that lot of seagulls overhead.

There were no ravens in the ravens field either - so I just went to the enclosure and threw some scraps into it. But then - my young pair arrived. They were very circumspect, keeping their distance, as usual, even in the enclosure. As I was turning away, one of them flew onto one of the fence posts and cawed repeatedly and very loudly.

I went back to the big field,, now without seagulls, and while the young pair had not followed me, the quarry pair turned up. As I threw them some scraps, the bold pair turned up - and then the young pair came as well. 

At one point they all froze, didn't move at all - I looked up and saw a bird of prey fly high above us. I know there is a sparrow hawk about - it might have been him. He flew towards Pontcanna Fields, and as soon as he was out of sight, the ravens started moving again. 
Then, a single raven turned up, coming from Pontcanna Fields - and the young pair and the bold pair immediately started to harrass him, and to beat him up. 
He left, but the fight had not left the bold pair, who went for one of the young pair as that bird was going to pick up a scrap. The quarry pair had left, meanwhile.

However, peace soon broke out, and with me in the middle between the two pairs, they got on with chasing the scraps. The companion of the bold raven then puffed out her feathers, assumed the begging position, quorking and at the same time making clapping sounds with her beak: that is the first time I've observed and heard one of the ravens doing that.

Having run out of scraps, I turned to go back. Both pairs flew off, to the ravens field and to Pontcanna Fields respectively, none was following me.
Well - they must have seen Bas approaching in the distance ...

More bad weather predicted for the night and tomorrow. We'll see if the ravens will venture out into the rain and gales (if the weatehr forecasters have got it right, that is ...!)


Anonymous said...

Hi {Yma} - wow, I love this new format! Longer essays and ease of commenting helps a LOT!
Thank you very much.
Did the Bold Raven "pair" do any damage to the younger one? I find it fascinating that you were able to read that you were able to walk between them and end the scuffle!
I'm not familiar with "Sparrow Hawks" are they big enough to take on a Raven - especially the Bold Raven whom I gather is larger than the others?
Again, thanks for Town Ravens and this extended story ability and ease of commenting!!
Oh and this is realwest!!

yma said...

Thanks, realwest -

I'm slowly finding my way round this blogging malarkey!
They do have help groups where questions will be answered, and then its just about a bit more fiddling.

No, I didn't end the scuffle between the ravens, but when they moved apart, I walked a few steps so I was standing between them.
They didn't do any damage to each other, but it looks pretty ferocious when they beat at each other with their wings - they are pretty big birds!

The Sparrow Hawk wouldn't take on the ravens - like the buzzards, they do not hunt birds on the wing, they hunt mice and voles and other small furries.
It is the other birds, like crows in flocks, and seagulls, who mob a single bird of prey and try to drive it out of an area.
Iv'e seen it often enough - and sometimes I had the impression that both parts rather enjoyed the exercise!

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