Up at two for July's raven count (where do the months go?) and out into the tail end of a shower. Dry by the time I got to the roost, at three, but cool, windy and flipping dark. The little blighters started flying at three last year, so just in case, I had to be there by that time this year. TWENTY PAST FLAMING FOUR! Is the time the little darlings started leaving this year, by which time I had advanced hypothermia and a frost bitten nose. Well perhaps a bit of exaggeration there, but it did seem more like the beginning of October than the second of July.
At least, by then, it had become light enough to see them easily, which was just as well, because as well as a stream of pairs and small groups, there were a couple of large bursts, with ravens appearing from all points along around 110 degrees of horizon and filling the sky, making keeping track of them and counting difficult and a bit fraught.
It all came to a grinding halt at five twenty, the total, an encouraging 505, which is the highest ever count for July.
The roost seems to be doing really well this year, with the totals for February, May, June and July all being the highest ever for their respective months and January and April's being the second highest for their months.