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, 7 May 2010

May 7th

It was grey and rather cold again when we left the house at 6.45 a.m. this morning.
There had been lots of loud raven calls earlier, coming from Pontcanna Fields.

After yesterday's escapade, I decided Miss sophie needed to go back to basics, so I took her round the quarry field, practising all the way.

Near the small arboretum we saw one raven, watched by a magpie. Both were on the ground. I threw the raven a couple of scraps - it looked like one of the quarry pair. 
We walked on, getting into the ravens field at the far end, opposite the small arboretum. When we got towards the fence to the allotments, I heard a swoosh behind me - the bold raven had landed.

I combined throwing him scraps with more Miss-Sophie-teaching. The bold raven followed us all the way round the ravens field, coming as close as about a yard to the both of us.

We left along the 'no more food' way, because I had run out of scraps, not having expected this!

Later this afternoon we took exactly the same route - and he saw us again, following us closely. 
He is the only raven of my group who can pick up a scrap 'on the bounce'! 

No other ravens turned up, he did not call either, and this time he left us, flying towards Pontcanna Fields, after we'd gone half way round. 
He came back a bit later, as we got to the end, near the spinney.
He was again following us closely, and getting scraps for being so intrepid. 
He even flapped onto the tiny rise in front of the sheds as we went towards the 'no more food' way, as if to insist that at least one more scrap was his due.

I'll follow this routine tomorrow - not just because of the bold raven but because of reinforcing Miss Sophie's obedience.


Anonymous said...

Hi {Yma} - it's realwest again! That was quite an experience! Has the bold raven ever approached to such a close distance before?
And - forgive my ignorance - but are Magpies bigger or smaller or same size as Ravens and are Crows bigger, smaller or same size - do they all get along?
And I'm glad to hear that you're keeping up Miss Sophies' training and am quite amazed that she didn't lunge after either the Bold Raven or the scraps!

yma said...

Both magpies and crows are smaller than ravens, the magpies looking bigger than crows because of their long tails.
Both are not really mixing with the ravens, although crows will come if they think they can get some food. But they arrive in large groups, also calling for each other. Usuall the ravens (who are generally in pairs only) retreat in disgust.
Magpies are also keeping themselves to themselves, if there are more than four birds, they are usually related to each other.
Only in winter do magpies and ravens form flocks of more than half a dozen birds.

Miss Sophie has been lunging at the ravens a few times, but as I have her on the long lead, her head collar means that the lead pulls her back and onto the ground. She looks very sheepish when that happens. As I am stood a distance away, she does not think its me who does this, but that the raven somehow pulls her down. so she is now eyeing them, but has stopped trying to chase them.

We're doing repeats of the most basic obedience training - I've just got to be patient and not demand too much of her.

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