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, 9 March 2010

March 9th:

It was much milder today, simply because there was no wind to speak of. The sunrise was again soft and pastel-coloured. Robins and blackbirds had started singing well before dawn, and before I left the house at 6.50 a.m., the great tits had taken over. No raven calls, though.

Again, no calls and no ravens as I got into Llandaff Fields, but the quarry pair started calling as soon as I was half-way up to the top of the big field. They then came flying in, sitting on top of the rugby goal posts, watching, from where they overtook me to fly to sit on the fence posts of the enclosure in the big field.
So they do know me - but why are they still so skittish when I feed them? They always wait to pick up the scraps until I have turned my back to them.

The next pair to come in, from the ravens field, was the bold pair - and then there were calls coming from the toddlers' playground, and the young pair flew in.
Everything went on as usual now - but with no seagulls flying overhead, nor with crows trying to butt in.
This tells me that an early start is important: it is indeed the quality of daylight which determines what the ravens do, and what the other birds do.

While there was still a lot to do in the house this morning, making me late, and while there is still more to finish off today, I hope I can indeed manage an earlier start tomorrow. 
Fingers crossed ...

March 8th:

Another icy morning! This time there also was some arctic wind - not nice. But the sunrise was lovely, with the pastel colours of dawn, then the sun slowly appearing over the rooftops.

I left the house at 6.55 a.m. (too tired to get out earlier). No raven calls as I got into Llandaff Fields, but the ravens started calling as soon as I was in the middle of the big field. Their calls came from the boundaries. The young pair appeared first, from the toddlers' playground, then the quarry pair. The bold pair came last, from the ravens field.

I waited with the feeding until a lone seagull had stopped circling over us and flown off. Then we had the usual routine, and as it was so cold, the ravens really tucked in. No scuffles - and no calls, but the companion of the bold raven did the begging display. 

Having all three pairs together at the same time allows their different feeding behaviour to be nicely differentiated: 

Sunday, March 7th

Another icy night, with clear skies, so this morning there was another nice sunrise. Again there was frost on the ground. Although the robins and blackbirds did sing before dawn, the ravens did not call.

Once I got into Llandaff Fields, having left the house at 6.55 a.m. (yeah, I know - later than I aimed for ...), there were raven calls coming from all the boundaries. None was visible in the treetops, however, and none turned up until I had reached the top of the big field, standing at the enclosure for a minute or so.
On the way there, I counted fifty black-headed seagulls sitting (literally!) on the ground - a few were standing, as if to keep watch, the rest seemed to be sleeping. They flew off when I walked past, a good twenty feet away. Only after they had gone - by which time I stood at the enclosure - did the ravens turn up.

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