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.

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.
They did not come to us while we did our exercises, so in the end, on our way back, I stopped close to that green patch and threw a few scraps. One raven, the one from the quarry, hopped closer but did not pick up anything. 
The other raven walked up, and that was my bold raven. He has lost a tail feather in the moult, and I could see some feathers sticking up from his back. He ate some scraps, then hopped off. 

Some dogs appeared from the spinney, so we walked back home, along the no-more-food way.

However, there was something very interesting going on in the big field, in the top between the enclosure and the footpath.

There was a big bag of food waste, which had not been there when we walked up earlier. The seagulls were tearing at it, and then some jackdaws tried to get some food as well. They were shunted away by the much bigger gulls.
Then we heard raven calls, and two came, from the direction of the ravens nest. We were too far away to see which ones they were - I had to keep Miss Sophie sitting close because she tried a few times to join in with the seagulls!

So - the two ravens literally shunted the seagulls away and took what they wanted, which gave an intrepid little magpie the chance to grab some food as well. 
After the ravens flew off, the seagulls came back in force, about 18 of them, mostly lesser black-backed gulls, but also three or four herring gulls - which are even bigger. They fought amongst themselves' and the squeaking and squawking was amazing.

Then - Gerry the young, chocolate labrador appeared, piled in, and started to eat! 
The seagulls took off, and Gerry's 'Mum' finally got him to come back to her. They walked off to the ravens field.

The heap of food was only half the size after Gerry had had a go!
Then the gulls came back and again bullied the jackdaws off the food, with a herring gull also bullying off most of the other gulls.

Aaaand - Gerry came back again! 
He scoffed what was left, tail wagging, well, he's a Lab, they'll eat anything! 
His Mum was disgusted and came back to grab him. 

The gulls came back for a last feed, but the food heap had vanished. 
There was nothing left, everything had gone into Gerry, and as the gulls took off we also went back home.

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