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.

Monday, 1 March 2010

March 1st - St David's Day

The storm which looked to hit our coasts, took another course and ravaged France and Germany, so we had just a bit of wind yesterday, not bad, and a quiet night. 
That meant a clear sky, frost on the grass, and temperatures around freezing. The robins and blackbirds were singing already by 5 a.m., but the ravens were not calling yet.

I left the house at 7 a.m., to a glorious sunrise: golden sky in the East, pale pink sky in the West, and later the sun rising and rising over the rooftops. The raven calls I heard as I got into the frist field were soft, sparse, and coming from the boundaries.

As I got to the top of the big field, I saw two ravens sitting in the treetop of a tree in the spinney. Then I heard calls coming from Pontcanna Fields. They were quite loud, and one raven came swooping in from that direction, over the toddlers' playground, landing in the big field. Meanwhile, the two ravens from the spinney had also come down to the ground. These were the young pair, and as the single raven approached, I saw that this was my bold one. He was quickly followed by his companion.

I started throwing the scraps, and while I was doing this the quarry pair arrived, cawing softly. 
Then a single raven flew in from the ravens field - and the bold one attacked that raven immediately, while the young pair flew into the trees at the spinney. The companion of the bold raven did not participate - she was too far away. 

Then the single raven assumed the juvenile begging position, cawing softly, so the bold raven desisted. One of the young pair came back, and feeding was resumed.
Again, the companion of the bold raven, who had kept her distance, fluffed up her feathers, quorked softly and made these clapping sounds with her beak.

This time, no crows came - but I noticed that the ravens reacted to the seagulls who started circling overhead, first one seagull, then about ten. 
The ravens not only stopped approaching the scraps - they actually turned their backs on the scraps I'd just thrown, and walked away, as if to indicate to the gulls that there was no food there. 
That was interesting, and I'll be on the look-out tomorrow to see if the ravens will do this again.

It looks as if getting into Llandaff Fields before sunrise was a good idea - I better set my alarm for an earlier time tomorrow, and have an early night!


Anonymous said...

Hi there {Yma} - get up even earlier?!? Good Lord you're already up and at 'em while I'm still sleeping!
I'm curious about the seagulls, though. Couldn't they SEE the scraps or were they also avoiding the Ravens?
And I wonder where the crows went?
Oh, btw, this is realwest!!

yma said...

Hiya, realwest!

The seagulls can see that he ravens are feeding, but are apparently not inclined to mix it up with the ravens.
These are black-headed seagulls, and they are a little bit smaller than the ravens, which have chased them away from places where they'had made their food-storage holes in the ground.
Seagulls do steal food from other birds 9and each other) - but that happens when both parties are in flight and bear food in their beaks.
I think they'd like to get some of the food, but don't know how.

As for the crows - I assume they only come when it is later in the day. The two times they arrived to mix with the ravens was on days I'd been in the field nearly an hour later than yesterday and today.

It may still be cold here, but the sun rises earlier now every day - only three more weeks and sunrise will be at 6 a.m.
Don't know yet if I have the fortitude to go at that time, though ...

I hope you had a good night's sleep!


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