Town Raven

Town Raven
In flight

ITS A DIARY !

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!

Enjoy!

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, 5 February 2010

Feb 5th


It was not raining today, but it was cold. As I left at 7.45 a.m., to get to the ravens field at the same time as yesterday, there was a pale dawn - and a rather dense morning mist over Llandaff Fields. There was even a slight frost on the grass.

Although I had heard raven calls earlier, pre-dawn, there were none to be heard, nor any ravens to be seen, as I walked to the top of the big field.
Half-way there I was joined by Bas and Karen, Bas rushing about and rolling on the frosty grass, really enjoying himself. There were no other dogs about.
When we neared the spinney, one raven swooped to the big tree inside it, coming from the toddlers' playground. No calls.
Bas and Karen had to get back as we got half-way into the ravens field, and while we were saying good-bye, that single raven called from the next tree he had flown to. Getting impatient, perhaps?

So I went to the enclosure, threw the scraps, and the raven came into the enclosure. from his behaviour it was clear that this was one of my young pair. He was briefly joined by his companion - both keeping their distance, as seems now usual for them.

I went back to the big field, along the 'more food' way, and one of them followed - sort of. I noticed that when I stood to look at him, before throwing a scrap, he wiped his beak on the grass. He's been doing this before, and I am beginning to think that this is a displacement activity: he's not sure if he should stay for the food or fly off because he's scared.

He eventually came to the big field, but took off after collecting two scraps because the little blackheaded gulls were again cycling over, in a huge flock. The quarry pair had not turned up.

I went down the big field, towards home. The mist was still quite dense, but the sun had risen over the rooftops and was shining brightly. 
In the middle of the field, I noticed two ravens, each sitting on the top of the rugby goal posts, like sentinels. One came down when I stopped, and approached when I threw some scraps. He made himself look very slim, looking scared - but it was one of the quarry pair: I recognised him because he had this pale brown patch on his chest which I had noticed before. He flew off however even before Cookie came bounding up from the bottom of the big field.

So - ravens are around, but not my bold pair. I think both the flock of seagulls and the beginning of the breeding season might have altered their behaviour. It is now much lighter than four weeks ago, so the change here may also play a part. I'll try and get out earlier tomorrow, to see what happens.

2 comments:

realwest said...

Hi {Yma}- what's the deal with the seagulls and the Ravens? Do the Seagulls threaten the Ravens? I'm no where near an expert, but I always thought Ravens were bigger and meaner -like Crows - than Seagulls.
And what, pray tell, is a "cahgne"? In any event, I do hope and pray that you're doing well dear {Yma} and that you are taking care of yourself!

yma said...

Hiya, realwest!
First, I 'cahgned' back to 'changed' ... blame my tiredness.

I wish I knew what is going on between the ravens and the deagulls! I assume that the two pairs of ravens I encounter are still quite young, and not keen on getting into fights.
I know one raven chased them away, in december - but I couldn't see if it was my bold one: too far away.
Also, these gulls are now in quite big flocks, well over five dozen birds. They are flocking together now because it is getting to the start of the breeding season. One can see that their heads are starting to show the characteristic black feathers, which give them their name 'black-headed gulls' They lose these black feathers in the autumn. For breeding,t hey go into the moors on the hills North of Cardiff, but in autumn and winter they come back to town.
So the two young pairs of ravens may well be just about a year old, and not have had experience with these flocks before.
It is very intriguing!

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