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, 29 June 2010

June 29th

Bliss - we've had some rain during the night! 
it was mild nevertheless when we went out at 6.40 a.m., not to sunshine but to a grey sky, and still some dampness with a few drops of wet intersprinkled ...

We again walked to the ravens field straight away, checking on what remained of yesterday morning's feast. There were two patches of cooked rice, probably too small for the corvids and seagulls, and too strange for the other birds.

In the ravens field, there were no ravens at first, just a handfull of jackdaws at the bottom. Once we' walked to the far end and started on the way back - Miss Sophie doing some more exercises - the quarry raven came, then the bold one. 

Monday, 28 June 2010

June 28th

We went out at 6.40 a.m. and found a quite dense early morning mist, hiding the sun. The visibility was similar to the days of autumn mists - I couldn't see the spire of the Cathedral even from the ravens field. 
For the first time in a good week there was a bit of dew on the grass. It was quite mild, though. By the time we went home, an hour later, the sun had burned off the mist and the sky was blue again.

We went to the ravens field straight away, the big field and the ravens field populated by lots of jackdaws and seagulls. This year's juvenile seagulls were there, with their black beaks and brown flecked feathers. The jackdaw juveniles were begging their parents, with the same position we saw from the ravens in the winter. Their parents though have started to push them away, so they learn to fend for themselves.

Once we were at the far end of the ravens field, two ravens eventually turned up, sitting on what used to be the top enclosure where I used to feed them. This is one place where the grass is less burned than anywhere else.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sunday, June 27th

Yes - it was again warm, dry and sunny, with the hint of an early-morning mist being burnt off very quickly. There was no dew on the few green grasses which were dotted here and there in the great expanse of scorched playing fields.

We went out at 6.45 a.m. and actually did hear a few raven calls, but on the big field and the ravens field, all we saw were lots of jackdaws and seagulls, with a few wood pigeons in amongst them.

I took photos of the scorched fields - here: 

Saturday, 26 June 2010

June 26th

Another warm, dry and sunny morning, with only a whisper of a breeze. 

We left the house at 6.55 a.m. and went again straight to the ravens field. As in the last mornings, the big field and the bottom of the ravens field was populated by jackdaws and seagulls. There was even a black-headed gull in the ravens field - what it was doing there, at this time of its breeding cycle, I don't know! 
But it certainly couldn't have been more black-headed!

The same two ravens - one of the quarry pair, and the bold raven's companion - were in the ravens field.

Friday, 25 June 2010

June 25th

It was a beautiful summer morning today, with sunshine and a few clouds on the blue sky. There was a very slight breeze - just nice!

We went out at 6.45 a.m., and went agains traight to the ravens field. as yesterday, there were many jackdaws on the big field, and some seagulls.

Again, as yesterday, one raven picked us up as we were at the far corner, near the wall and the allotment fence. it was the Roman raven, and he took a few scraps, but only after we'd walked on.

June 24th

Today was a bit cloudy when we left the house at 6.40 a.m. Still, it was warm, and the sun did peep out behind those clouds.

We went straight to the ravens field. The big field was populated by that flock of jackdaws, and there were some seagulls around as well.
In the ravens field, there were two ravens amongst the wood pigeons and jackdaws. One did pick us up when we were halfway across. It was the companion of the bold raven, the other was again the quarry raven with the pale chest feathers. He did not approach us, and he only picked up one scrap when the bold companion had flown off.

The bold companion did come back, but as always was much more circumspect than her companion. At one stage she waited for me to turn my back on her before she picked up that scrap.

We left along the no-more-food way when I'd run out of scraps - well, I had to keep a couple of them back for Miss Sophie!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

June 23rd

We left the house at 6.30 a.m., and it was another wonderful summer morning, with a slight breeze coming from the West, the sun shining, and a very faint haze making the sky look very pale blue.

Today we went to Llandaff Fields, hoping to be picked up by one raven at the raven field - but no. 
There are lots of jackdaws around, and the wood pigeons have also become more numerous. 
The sea gulls had ripped open the bags of food waste in the streets, and had made an incredible noise just after sunrise. 
We haven't heard raven calls close to the house as we did in the winter and spring. I suspect the seagulls, who now have hatchlings in their nests, have become too aggressive for the ravens - they are pretty aggressive towards humans as well right now.

June 22nd

A beautiful summer morning again, dry and not chilly because the wind had died down. The sun was out, and tehre were little white clouds in the blue sky. We went out at 6.45 a.m.

We started again in Pontcanna Fields, hoping to catch a glimpse of a raven - but none were there. There were also no raven calls. Walking back to Llandaff Fields, with Bas and Karen, we saw none and heard none.

Later in the afternoon, walking to the patch behind the toddlers' playground, again not one raven was to be seen. I had to make that walk short because there was a huge amount of work for me to do in the house, preparing for tomorrow.

June 21st

We went to Pontcanna Fields, leaving the house at 6.40 a.m. It was a lovely, dry summer morning - a bit chilly still thanks to the NE wind.

No ravens to be seen or heard when we walked across that patch behind the toddlers' playground, towards the tree with the raven's nest.
No ravens to be seen on the huge expanse of Pontcanna Fields.

Later in the afternoon, there were too many people around in Llandaff Fields, and the ravens field, so again: no ravens.

Coming back from the obedience class in the evening, around 9 p.m., walking across the the patch behind the toddlers' playground, one raven was there. It looked like the Roman nosed one - he didn't come close, but did hop to pick up the few scraps, left over from the training, which I threw him.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday, June 20th

Its being Sunday, we went out at 6.55 a.m. It was again overcast and felt chilly even though there was no breeze.

Having missed the ravens yesterday, we went to the ravens field straight away. 
On the way we saw a number of jackdaws on the ground in the big field. They definitely have their fledglings out now. We saw at least three of them, with parents in attendance. They look quite small, and often assume the juvenile food-begging position.

We also noticed that two different couples with one fledgling each sat with them, quite closely, when the rest of the jackdaws dispersed as a few seagulls came flying over. 
These jackdaws looked very protective.

In the ravens field, only the pale-chested one of the quarry pair came when we were half-way across. He was very skittish, but did pick up some scraps and then flew off towards the allotments, in the direction of the nest.

Later, as we were on the way back towards the spinney, the bold raven made a brief appearance, picking up quite a few scraps before flying off. 
He looked a bit distracted.  

So I am daring to hope that there may indeed be a fledgling or two getting ready to join the rest!

June 19th

We went out at 6.30 a.m., trying to get to the part of Pontcanna Fields where the tree with the ravens nest is. It was a bit overcast and felt a bit chilly, but there was no rain or even dampness.

Best-laid-plans and all that: we ran into Bas and Karen, and walked together round Pontcanna Fields, so no ravens ...

Later in the afternoon, the sun had come out. It was warm, with a bit of a chilly breeze now, and there were lots and lots of people in the park - everywhere! Even on the ravens field which we reached after our long walk round Llandaff Fields!

So - no ravens ...

Friday, 18 June 2010

June 18th

It was a very pleasant summer morning - sun, little white clouds on a blue sky, and no icy wind!

We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went to the ravens field, first walking along the old quarries. The bottom half of the ravens field was occupied by quite a few lesser black-backed seagulls, and no ravens were around.

We got 'picked up' when we approached the wall where it joins up with the fence at the far, the allotment side.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

June 17th

There was bright sunshine when we left the house at 6.30 a.m., and the sky was a clear blue, without any clouds whatsoever. 
But the wind from the NE was so icy cold that at the end of our walk I wished I had worn gloves!

We went to the patch behind the toddlers' playground and then to Pontcanna Fields because I am hoping to see if there are any raven fledglings around.
There were none today, nor were there any raven calls, and the Roman-nosed raven, who came the last time we went that way, also did not come.

Later in the afternoon it was hot because the icy wind had died down. So we had to walk in the shade of the huge lime trees, along Pontcanna Fields, which was being cut. 
A raven or two were visible in the distance, but we were too far away to see who it was - and it was too hot to venture onto the shade-less expanse of grass.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

June 16th


Thank you all, my dear friends, for your beautiful comments to the post on June 14th. 
It was hard to get over this, not least because the weather now is just as  it was then: clear blue skies, blazing sun - but a very cold and strong wind blowing from the NE.
Yesterday, as I did five years ago with Big Dog and Madame, then still Miss Dog, at my side, I walked and walked, this time with Miss Sophie.

So thank you all again for all your kind words!

A beautiful sunny morning, clear blue sky - but icy winds from the NE. We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went the long way to the ravens field. 

Here, the companion of the bold raven picked us up as soon as we entered, then one of the quarry pair came as well. That was the one with the couple of pale brown feathers on his chest.

June 15th

No ravens - just walking with Miss Sophie ....

Monday, 14 June 2010

June 14th

In memoriam of my beloved husband, who died five years ago today.
And in memoriam of my dearest friend Anne, who died a year ago today.

Also remembering Big Dog and Madame Dog, who died during these five years.

We just went for a stroll, both morning and afternoon, remembering and giving thanks for the joy, the laughter, and the privilege of sharing their lives for their allotted time.

Sunday, June 13th

The morning was still summery, albeit rather fresh and overcast - but the forecast rain had not yet arrived.

Having left the house at 6.50 a.m., we went for the same walk as yesterday. The same 'Roman' raven came, this time from one of the big lime trees near the tree with the nest. 
He was very skittish again, but did pick up the couple of scraps I'd thrown for him.

In Pontcanna fields there were some crows, but no ravens where we walked - the same walk as yesterday, omitting the suspension bridge.

Instead we collected lots of different grasses and wild flowers.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

June 12th

We left the house at 6.35 a.m., to another beautiful, fresh and sunny early summer morning, with lots of sunshine, some white clouds, and a slight breeze.

Today we went to that little grassy piece behind the toddlers' playground, because the tree with the raven's nest stands at one end. I wanted to see if any ravens were about, and what they'd do.
None were on the ground, but we could hear them call from the huge holm oaks which are in a line close to the wall behind the toddlers' playground.

Friday, 11 June 2010

June 11th

Not as grey and cold today, and there even was some sun coming through as we went out to Llandaff Fields at 6.35 a.m.

We went to the ravens field, and the bold raven's companion came as we were at the top end, the wall. The Roman nose raven also came, but kept well away while the bold raven's companion picked up the scraps. She is getting a bit bolder, compared to a week or so ago - but still more hesitant than her bold companion.

Only once did the Roman raven try and pick up a scrap. That was when I threw it very close to him. He did get it - just. The bold raven's companion came swooping in to get it, and they nearly clashed their beaks ...

We went home after more dogs appeared.

June 10th

It was a grey day, no sun at all, and the wind was coming from the NE - so it felt cold.
We left the house at 7 a.m. and went to Pontcanna Fields. No ravens at all, and after a run-through of our set exercises we went home. 

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

June 9th

It was overcast and mild when we went out at 6.40 a.m. - not raining, but a hint of dampness in the air.

We took our usual walk to the ravens field, today accompanied by Ollie and Trixie - without mishap. Miss Sophie had tried to 'eat' Ollie a few weeks ago, so we kept them well apart.

In the ravens field, the one and only raven who came to see if we ahd some food was the companion of the bold raven. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

June 8th

We had 'real' rain from last evening and all through the night, with some drizzle left over when we went out at 6.40 a.m. 
At least it wasn't cold!

We went to the ravens field, along the quarry side. At the crossing of the footpaths the companion of the bold raven picked us up. She got a few scraps, and flew off when we crossed into the small arboretum. Well, Bart was bouncing up to us, so no wonder!

Monday, 7 June 2010

June 7th

Another fresh and dry morning, albeit with no sun. They sky was mostly couldy, but the rain has not yet arrived.
We went out at 6.40 a.m., going to the ravens field straight away.

In the ravens field, three dogs and their owners were walking back to the big field, so it was no surprise that no raven came to get some scraps from us. Only when we reached the far end, the fence next to the allotments, did one raven turn up.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sunday, June 6th

We went out at 6.50 a.m. It was dry, but cloudy - but we had no rain. It felt fresh compared to the days before.

We went to the ravens field, this time walking with Otis, the flat coated retriever (he has very pale eyes!) and his owner. She works on Sundays, so is out as early as we are. It went very well, Miss Sophie is not bothered by Otis because he's actually shown in an unmistakeable way that he acknowledges her as his superior: he rolled on his back and let her sniff his nether regions when they first met. He is nearly twoce the size of her, in all dimensions ...

Saturday, 5 June 2010

June 5th

No rain - but it was a bit fresher early this morning, and there were more clouds.
We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went to the ravens field. It was empty again of dogs and their walkers, but there were quite a few seagulls (lesser black-backed ones) about. The jackdaws don't seem to mind intermingling with them.

The first raven to come, again at the far side, near the fence of the allotments, was the companion of the bold raven. She took two scraps, then flew off. She didn not come back.

Walking round, as we got to the middle of the stretch near the wall, one of the young pair appeared. It was not the Roman-nosed one. He also took a couple of scraps and then flew off. 

Next to appear was Otis, the flat-coated retriever. Then a whippet whipped round, and no more ravens came.

Miss Sophie has been doing very well in all her exercises - so well, in fact, that today I let her lead trail, not holding onto it. With all these exercises going on, I'm afraid I was not as diligent in feeding the ravens as I could have been, but Miss Sophie had priority ...

Here is the photo I took a few days ago, of her, sitting, and the ravens:

Friday, 4 June 2010

June 4th

We most certainly had more sunshine today!
It was a beautiful morning: dry, sunny, fresh - what more could we want ...

We left the house at 6.30 a.m. and went the usual way to the ravens field. At this time, there were no dogs there yet, so we did some training, and fed the ravens.

The first raven came as we closed in on the bottom end of the far side. It was the bold raven's companion. 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

June 3rd

It was another beautiful morning - mild, sunny, dry, and no breeze at that early time of the morning. 

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and walked up to the ravens field. Towards the middle of it (we had to avoid the far end because of other dogs), the first raven to appear was the companion of the bold raven. She followed us when we did walk to the trees on the far side. 

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

June 2nd

What a beautiful morning - warm, no wind, and the sun shining through a light early morning haze!

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and noticed all the dog walkers in Llandaff Fields. So we crossed into Pontcanna Fields, where the ravens were in the huge sycamores, but not on the ground. 
We could hear their distinct croaks.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June 1st

It was raining again today - quite a bit in the morning, then diminishing to a drizzle later in the afternoon.

We went out at 6.50 a.m., and went straight to Pontcanna Fields. Miss Sophie did well on her various recall exercises. 
We only saw one raven in the distance, looking quite miserable and wet. 
He was too far away for me to recognise him.

Later in the afternoon we went to Llandaff Fields. The drizzle kept the people indoors, so it was nice and 'empty'. 
The first raven met us at the far side of the ravens field, and he was soon joined by his companion.

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