20 January 2007

Ravens - a new bird in town

I published my patch 'wish list' a little while ago, and in response a birder from Kenilworth wrote to tell me that he had seen double-figure counts of Ravens in recent months - surely they were on their way to me.

And how right he was. I crept out for an hour-long birding walk around Radford Semele this morning before work (yeah, still too much of that right now) and was having a fantastic time (all the regulars, including great views of a Green Woodpecker and some all-too-rare Linnets) when I suddenly saw a large black bird among the Crows and Jackdaws.

At first I thought it was a dark Buzzard, but no - it was black, with a long, heavy bill and a diamond-shaped tail - this was my first patch Raven! Within moments it had been joined by three, four, five more and soon I was watching these amazing aviators twisting, turning and playing, their feet hanging low below them, in the strong westerley winds towards the top of Crown Hill.

It was wonderful to watch, and became more amazing as more and more Ravens turned up. In the end I estimated 18, but that has to be plus or minus 5 or 6 - they were so mobile that it was impossible to be 100% sure of the number.


Anonymous said...

hi. i was just searching the net for anything on ravens increasing their range in england, since i saw my first ever 2 weeks ago in kenilworth. I had noticed a crow being mobbed by a black-headed gull. i wouldnt have thought much about it, but it was twice as big which got me thinking it wasnt a crow but a raven - but in kenilworth? i'd never seen one before, and thought it was probably just a crow afterall, or just a one-off lucky sighting (like the merlin, hobby and peregrines ive seen lucky to see once in kenilworth), until i heard what i thought could only be a raven a few days ago - an awesome sound! And today at dusk i saw 2 or 3 which just about confirmed they are really around here; but why havn't i noticed them before i wonder. i'm pleased to find your blog, and confirmation my ID was probably correct. So when did they come back ? I'm a member of the rspb but havn't read anything about ravens moving into the midlands. by weird coincidence actually just read 'mind of the raven' by bernd heinrich.

Hornet said...

They've been spreading eastwards for a little while, and single sightings around the county are quite regular now.

Double figures were reported near Kenilworth at the end of last year (don't know where I'm afraid) and these ones in Radford Semele be the largest group yet seen in the county.

Sadly they have not yet returned.

Anonymous said...

my kenilworth ones seem to have disappeared too. there are some sheep in the fields near us, maybe they were after the afterbirths from lambing, and have now moved on to 'fresh pastures'.

I hope they come back next year, and farmers keep an enlightened view.

I still cant believe i saw one - theres something slightly unreal and primeval about them. maybe they can find a nest site on kenilworth castle

zirconium said...

December 2012
Raven over Coundon Coventry, being harried by a large seagull at about sixty feet. No doubt it was a raven, because of the gronk-tonk noises it made.