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, 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.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

April 17th

We left the house at 6.45 a.m. It was a brilliant morning:  a clear blue sky, bright sunlight, and only a slight, cold Northerly breeze. However, it was so cold during the night that there was frost on the grass in Llandaff Fields!

We had heard some raven calls earlier, and when we got to the ravens field, two ravens flew across from the quarry side towards the allotments and Pontcanna Fields. They did not stop, however. 

Friday, 16 April 2010

April 16th

It was a very early start today for us, because I had to go and collect something before the rush hour started.

So we left the house at 6.40 a.m., with a few faint raven calls in the distance. It was still cold, but not as horrible as yesterday, and the sun was starting to appear behind the clouds.

After the usual long walk round, we came to the virtually empty ravens field. Sophie had a little run in the bottom enclosure, and then we walked up to the ravens enclosure, where I closed the gate and fiddled around with a piece of wire to have it stay closed.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

April 15th

Another grey morning, with a penetrating blast from the Arctic! The icy wind from the North East made the morning feel as if we were still in January, not in April.
We left the house at 7.20 a.m.. No raven calls the whole long way round, and none while we were in the ravens field.
The jackdaws we saw yesterday have now moved to the bottom of the ravens field, a good half dozen of them.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

April 14th

This morning was very grey and rather cold. There was no sun, so we again only left the house at 7.15 a.m.
No raven calls, instead two of the now breeding seagulls were having a duet, from the rooftops and one of the trees at the first field. 
Its being 'rubbish day' today, they were on the look-out to get at the thin food-waste bags and warning all others off.
Indeed, on the way back we saw that they had torn open a couple of those bags, with some waste spread into the road.

We walked the long way, doing some brief obedience exercises on the way, and at the corner of the ravens field and the quarry field, we saw about seven jackdaws on the ground, but no ravens. Nor were there any calls.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

April 13th

The morning was dry and sunny, but definitely more chilly than the last few mornings.
We left the house at 7.20 a.m., sorry, I had to watch an interview with a politician, seeing that we're having our General elections on May 6th.

We walked again along the long way, no ravens but some crows.
Coming into the ravens field - no ravens, but some calls coming from beyond the wall to the allotments.

Monday, 12 April 2010

April 12th

We left the house at 7.07 a.m. BST, to a slightly overcast and slightly chilly morning. While Llandaff Fields had a few more dogs (and their walkers) this morning, there were no ravens nor any raven calls.

After our usual walk, and after Miss Sophie had been allowed to run for a bit, lead trailing, we then went to the enclosure in the ravens field, where I started to throw scraps. 
I'd seen one raven on the ground, near the wall to the allotments, before I reined in Miss Sophie. He'd flown off however, and no raven came while we walked round the enclosure, throwing scraps. 

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sunday, April 11th

Its being Sunday, we left the house at 7 15 a.m. BST ... it was still sunny (not any more, at the time of writing this, alas), but definitely cooler than the days before, with a keen wind picking up from the East.

No raven calls as we entered Llandaff Fields, which again was dog-less at this time of day.

We walked round the long way, and coming to the ravens field I saw that the gate into the bottom enclosure had been left open by the workmen. So I took Miss Sophie into that enclosure, shut the gate as best I could, and let her off the lead. 

Saturday, 10 April 2010

April 10th

Another glorious morning, sunny and blue sky - but still a bit cold.
We left the house at 7.10 a.m. BST, and for the first time this year I was not wearing wellies!

There were no raven calls as we walked round in a park totally empty of dogs. we spend some time in the ravens field because for the first time I let Miss Sophie run for a bit without holding her lead - that was trailing on the ground, for emergencies ...

Friday, 9 April 2010

April 9th

Another fine spring morning, albeit rather cold! 
Still, it was dry and the sun was out when we left the house at 7.10 a.m. BST.

No raven calls - and after having walked round the long way, as now customary, we heard a few faint calls as we approached the enclosure in the ravens field - but still, not one raven to be seen.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

April 8th

Another beautiful morning, with sunshine, clear blue sky, and no wind. There was no frost on the grass, and it didn't feel as cold as the weather people had predicted yesterday.
We left the house at 7.30 a.m. BST - no raven calls until we got to the ravens field, walking the long way along the quarry side and through the small arboretum.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

April 7th

It was a lovely sunny morning when we left the house at 7.30 a.m. BST. It was still rather nippy, though.
We went round the long way again, not hearing raven calls until we came to the ravens field. Here, ravens did call, but it sounded quite distant.

We had to walk half-way round the enclosure, me throwing scraps, before a pair of ravens appeared.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

April 6th


It was mild and overcast when we left the house at 7.40 a.m. BST. There had been a couple of raven calls earlier in the morning, but there were none when we got to Llandaff Fields.
The park was reasonably empty of dogs, as lots of people are still away on their Easter Breaks.

We walked round the long way, which now looks like becoming the established route, and got to the ravens field via the small arboretum, walking along the fence to the allotments before we crossed over to the top enclosure.

As we walked along the fence, we could hear raven calls, but did not see where the ravens were sitting.
It took a few scraps thrown into the enclosure before a pair appeared: my bold pair! 

April 5th, Easter Monday

Grey but a bit milder this morning, as there was no arctic wind. No sun either.
We left at 7.40 a.m. BST, walking round the long way (quarry side, small arboretum, ravens field from the arboretum end), and did not see or hear any ravens.
We then walked round the enclosure, and while I threw the first scraps I also tried to train Miss Sophie to sit. She did that, getting some scraps as reward, and was thus not disturbing the ravens which eventually did turn up.
It was my bold pair, and the bold one, doing all his usual things, again came so close, at one point he sat on a fence post just about a yard away from us. 
I had nearly run out of scraps, and as Miss Sophie spied some dogs in the distance and got nervous and distracted, we went home the no-more-food way.
The ravens did not follow us.

April 4th, Easter Sunday

Out at 7.45 a.m., weather as yesterday, but with both a bit more sun and, unfortunately, NW wind. So it was nice where sheltered, but cold where not.
Again walked the long way round, no ravens, not even in the ravens field. No raven calls either.
The Ash trees are breaking out into flowers, the Oaks are still looking totally dead. It was the same last year, and the old rule (ash before oak - in for a soak, oak before ash - in for a dash) was utterly confirmed, with the wettest July in Wales for decades, and wer and cold August as well ...
Later, around 2 p.m. in Pontcanna Fields, we did see a pair of ravens, first in the paddock next to the river/lower field, then they flew up to the tree-lined avenue, where they drank from the puddles. I did throw a couple of scraps, not sure if this was my bold pair. At least they did not fly off ...

April 3rd, Holy Saturday

Out at 7.30, felt milder than the last two mornings as hardly any wind. Dry, still overcast.
Walked round the long way again, no raven calls at first, then, as we went along the wall to the allotments at the ravens field, ravens called, and we made our way to the enclosure, walking round once without any ravens - then a second time, the ravens came.
Sophie, on the lead, jumped at them and barked (First Time Outdoor Bark!!), jigging my arm, so I spilled all the scraps on the grass ... Still, the ravens (the bold pair, natch, who else!) were not scared off, and got all the scraps to eat.
Saw some ravens when out later, p.m., in Pontcanna Fields - but none came close. They did quork, though.

April 2nd, Good Friday

Out at 7.30 a.m., cold, darkish, no sun, damp, wind from the West.
Walking round the long way, one raven on the top of a rugby goal post, flying to a young lime tree along the Horse Chestnut Avenue, watching us. His companion also appeared, flying to the ground. I threw a couple of scraps, but then we walked on. I think this was the quarry pair.

Into the ravens field, walking along the tennis court hedge, not into the middle to the enclosures because of Otis and Tyler - Miss Sophie being apprehensive. Along the wall to the allotments - two ravens flying into one of the maples, one making croaking sounds. I threw some scraps - they came to the ground: the bold pair, no doubt about that!
We kept walking on, because I'm still working to get Miss Sophie to feel secure and relaxed in this park.

Interestingly, I dreamt of the ravens last night, they came flying to the ground, so close as to make us stop, and asked why I hadn't fed them ...

Thursday, 1 April 2010

April 1st, Maundy Thursday

It is still wintery here, the icy gales are truly penetrating through several layers of clothing, but today the rain has been very sporadic.
We left the house at 7.15 a.m., but only did a short walk, round the big field, mostly on the footpaths, which Miss Sophie seems to like better. 
No raven calls, no ravens.

Later, when we went to Pontcanna Fields around 2 p.m., we again stuck to the tarmac paths, but did see two ravens on the ground. I approached them, and one, the one further away from us, actually did a begging display and cawed. His companion walked on, unconcerned. As theyw ere quite a distance away, I couldn't make out which pair they were.

We also observed a pair flying to the ground, to the space in front of the riding hall, picking up stuff, then flying to sit on the boundary fence, obviously carrying something in their beaks, and then flying off in a loop over the allotments to the far end, perhaps to a tree on the boundary wall to the ravens field.

So they are not starving, and it looks as if they are helping a breeding pair 'at the nest'.

There won't be any entries in this blog from tomorrow, Good Friday, until Easter Monday, when normal blogging will resume.

Miss Sophie and I wish you all Happy Easter Holidays!

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