|not a crow...|
It's a typical January day out there today. Grey, overcast, damp, and icy teeth on the wind.
Mid afternoon, we dressed up warm and headed out for a stroll around the field. I guess this may sound dull, but it really isn't.
For one thing, quite apart from the usual wildlife-spotting, I'm now constantly on the lookout for good photo opportunities. The light was very poor today, so I abandoned thoughts of taking a "good" photo, and instead prioritised simply finding an interesting subject.
The usual array of Corvids were out and about, as was the usual good natured banter they provoke.
We have pretty much all of them around us; Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Raven, and the occasional Jay.
As the main four look so similar, being big black birds, telling which is which can be tricky.
One way of distinguishing is their call. They vary from a deep rasp to a chirpy voice, on a sort of spectrum. I think of it this way;
Raven - nothing but deep, slow rasp, no voice
Crow - medium pitch rasp, with a hint of voice
Rook - medium voice, with a hint of rasp
Jackdaw - all voice, no rasp
Another way to tell which is which is how many of them you can see.
Raven - one or two
Crow - two to five
Jackdaw - five to twelve
Rook - dozens to hundreds
Today, a flock of about 50 or so corvids flew past, sounding like crows - most confusing! Then we realised they were mainly rooks, with a crow or two amongst them.
We also saw a large single bird, that took off as we entered the field, then settled a bit further away.
Now, for a bit of context, ravens are quite rare around here. They're really big, with a very deep voice, and very cool. We tend to hear them in the mornings, but we're never sure when we see them.
Well, I think we see them all the time...Anna thinks we never see them.
I think all large black birds are ravens...Anna thinks none of them are.
Consequently, we have this endless debate about whether any given example is a raven or not.
I'm always, like "Woah, dude, take a look at that thing, it's huge!!", and Anna's all, like, "Yeah but nah, brah', that ain't so big!"
So anyway...the one we saw today? Raven, definitely!! ;-)
Sadly the raven(!) was too far away for a photo...
But then we met this old lady lurking in the next field, and went over to have a few words. She said she didn't mind having her photo taken, although she wasn't keen on the dog nosing around. She said she was cold and bored, so much so that even we puny humans seemed vaguely interesting.
I took a few snaps and then we wandered off in case she started to find us intimidating, all standing looking at her with our big, front-facing eyes...
Then we spotted someone walking down the lane that runs adjacent to the field, with a jack russell terrier.
Jazz must've spotted the dog, as he suddenly looked very interested.
After all that I said yesterday, he suddenly seemed young and bright and sprightly for a second! I encouraged him to go and see and for a moment he was like his old self...head up, ears cocked high and wide, super alert, and he even started to run with a canter for a few steps!
It was lovely to see. It seems that he can still get a little excited about other dogs. Maybe he's missing his brother...maybe we need to think about whether he needs more canine company...
Maybe he's depressed...hmm I need to go ponder that...
So anyway, a stroll around the field, not so dull, is it?
Is it?! It's just me, isn't it...? Well, me and Anna...
I blame Anna...yeah, that sounds about right...she's turning me into a countryside geek like her and all her mates...