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.

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! 
The bold one was picking up everything again, while his companion again waited for him to fly off before she picked up her customary two scraps.
Miss Sophie meanwhile was sniffing, then sitting and observing the ravens.

We stood at the top part of the enclosure, our backs to the wall to the allotments and looking towards the boundary to the tennis courts where the bold raven was on the ground, making a hole to hide his food.

Suddenly his companion made a noise which sounded like screaming, as if she was in extreme pain, and he flew to her into the enclosure. I looked at her - she looked fine. Then the bold raven also made this noise, which sounds like a mixture of scream and caw and is hugely penetrating. I looked up to see if there was a bird of prey flying over: no, nothing in the air. 

As I looked down again, I saw a fox, bold as bold, trotting across the ravens field from a place near the allotment fence, right to the spinney. He or she wasn't even running.

Miss Sophie just stared, she didn't bark, I think she was stunned as well. 
As the fox vanished in the spinney, the ravens, who had only made this alarm call this one time, resumed their feeding, me getting rid of all the scraps.
This whole episode, which took place at 8.05 a.m. BST (yes, I checked!), was over in less than a minute ...

We walked home the more-food way because I did not want to get close to the spinney, but the ravens did not follow us.

Well, now I know what a raven alarm call sounds like - absolutely extraordinary!


Anonymous said...

Hi {Yma} this is realwest - good to see you back posting again!
Wow, a fox? And Miss Sophie just sat there? I'm stunned!
I thought her border collie instincts would have kicked in and she'd have gone after the fox for sure! LOL!
Anyway, interesting post and good to have you back!!

yma said...

Hiya, realwest,

yes, seeing that fox trotting along, no care in the world, was quite extraordinary.

Miss Sophie was on her lead, so she had no opportunity to chase the fox - but she did not bark either. What she did was giving him the 'collie stare', not that the fox knew it.
Border Collies use the stare to show that they've drawn a line in the sand, and any animal, sheep, fox, cat, better not think of crossing it or else!
Or else - that's when they're going to use their teeth, like nipping the ankles of obstinate sheep.
I think Miss Sophie has got more Collie genes in her than Madame Dog did, who'd have gone after the fox like streaked lightning!

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