Sunday, 1 May 2016

May Ravens

It was a pleasure to be up at the raven roost at 04:45, this morning. It was fine, the sky behind the roost hill was fairly bright and the ravens easily seen. They took a full hour to all fly out in small groups and the total of 344 was the highest of all my fifteen May counts. Most of the Ravens were missing their secondaries and quite a number had some or all of their tail feathers missing, which with the peculiar hook-winged appearance made them look very strange indeed.

It was nice to hear the dawn chorus in full swing and even nicer, at 05:45, to hear two; possibly three Grasshopper Warblers reeling. They were all fairly distant, the closest being at least 100m away, so I didn't see any of them, but they reeled off and on until about 06:00, then they suddenly all shut up.
As I walked back up to the car, a Cuckoo began calling from below, so at least one of the two males that usually dispute territory there, has made it back.


  1. I had 6 Raven fly past when doing my early BBS this moring - all with primaries and/or tail feathers missing - as you say, strange looking, particularly this time of year when most birds are in their finest plumage. As renowned early nesters, this is probably the post breeding moult.