Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Raven, Redditch


First of the month, so my rather irregular jaunt round the coppice at Walkwood to get the September list going. Well, last month I was on my voluntary job in Cornwall; in July on an outing with the RSPB at Cannock Chase; June dipping on purple heron at RSPB Saltholme... Dave and I hadn’t gone far into the wood when a loud cronk issued from the canopy.

So, out on the moors, up a bleak hill or on some storm-lashed cliffs, raven would have come to mind immediately. But in Redditch? I caught a black shape flap noisily away above us. It was indisputably a raven.

The call took me back a few days to walking back from Tesco, a route through suburban Redditch, when I also heard a single cronk. I looked up then, saw nothing and dismissed it as a figment but now realise that it too must have come from a raven. The species does seem to be spreading. I see it regularly at Bittell and reports appear on BirdForum from Upton Warren, so I can't be long adding it to that list.

There's no reason, apart from persecution, why these “honorary raptors” shouldn't spread. I used to see them regularly in the Bay Area where, like golden eagles and harriers, they thrive in the absence of gamekeepers. Funny that, ain’t it?

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