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, 28 May 2010

March 28th

Today we went to Pontcanna Fields in the morning, because I want Miss Sophie to get used to a vast open space, do what she wants while still on the long (15 yards) training lead - and coming back when I call.

It was dry and the sun was brightly shining from a clear blue sky as we left the house at 6.50 a.m. The wind was not noticeable this early in the morning, so it didn't feel quite as cold as yesterday.

Miss Sophie is doing well, and everybody remarks on how much more relaxed she is now, comapred to even three weeks ago. She greets both a new dog and old dog acquaintances quite nicely. Also, she is now fine walking along those dogs, and she even is fine when I pet those dogs. 
Funnily enough, she adopts the same 'sit-and-look-disapproving' posture, turning her back to me and whoever I'm chatting with, as Madame used to do. Must be a girlie thing ....

Later this afternoon, we went to the ravens field. There were not that many people about, probably because the NW wind was icy, and had picked up since the morning. The sun was bright and hot where there was shelter from the wind, but in the parks, the open spaces don't provide that.

At the bottom of the ravens field was a group of seagulls - lesser black-backed ones - which flew off as we got half-way to that group. 
Then, the Roman-nosed raven picked us up, and followed us round our walk along the boundaries of the ravens field. He is perhaps a bit less skittish than his companion, he does seem to come a bit closer, to about five, six feet.

We went into the middle of the field, and Miss Sophie, on her long lead, was staring intently at something. I thought she had seen another dog, or even a squirrel, but no! 
She suddenly took off like a rocket: she was after a swallow! 
I let her do this one more time, the lead always forcing her to stop, then I told her to 'leave it'! 
Unfortunately, one of her runs had taken her straight towards the raven, who had hopped off and then flown off. 

He had not called, and no other raven appeared as we walked back, Miss Sophie still intent on the swallow, and me still teaching her to 'leave it'! 
We did however hear some raven calls, coming from the quarry side, as we walked home down the big field. But ravens we saw none ...


Anonymous said...

Hi there {Yma} it's realwest here!
I'm SO HAPPY to hear that your weeks of patient training Miss Sophie have paid such handsome dividends!
But I'm curious - why would she ignore the Ravens and then suddenly take off like a shot at a swallon - do you think she senses that the Ravens are your friends?
Anyway, I'm pleased to hear of your success with Miss Sophie and hope she gets over that "disapproving" look and back turning soon too!

yma said...

Hiya, realwest.

There are two reasons why Miss Sophie is trying to chase the swallows.
One is that they move around - quite fast - and that movement attracts her attention, especially as they fly quite close to the ground, and not high in the air.

The other is that so far she hasn't had this rather humiliating experience she's had with the ravens. It happened by accident. She was sitting, on a loose lead, and i was standing on the end of that lead, a bit away from her. so when she took off after the raven, her rapid movement meant that the lead pulled her to the ground once she'd come to the end of it. It happened very fast, and it happened twice. Obviously, she saw that I didn't do it, not having the lead in my hands, so she probably thought the ravens are doing this - and she better avoid them!

I hope to somehow manufacture a situation where this also happens when she takes off after the swallows.
Its quite sufficient for me to keep my eyes peeled for squirrels and other dogs!

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