Sunday 11 February 2018

Aerial antics

What was I thinking?! It doesn't seem very long ago that I was typing the words 'The local family of Ravens rarely become involved in these shenanigans...' when I was reporting on the corvid on corvid action which could be witnessed from the front door of Tense Towers.

Then, this afternoon, between wintry showers of hail and snow, I noticed two birds locked in aerial combat. They were some distance away, both dark in appearance, with one much larger than the other. It wasn't until I had jettisoned my laptop and picked up my bins that I was able to identify the twisting, turning shapes as a Hooded Crow (smaller) and a Raven (larger). The binoculars, too, were then cast aside as I grabbed my camera and headed for the front door.

The Hoodie appeared to have some food in its beak, upon which the Raven had clear designs. As the dogfight continued, climbing up into the deep blue then spiralling and diving down, I struggled to keep the distant specks in (a) view and (b) focus. Occasionally, the squabble over food disappeared from sight altogether, as the birds dropped down towards the shore and behind a hill, but then they would zoom back skywards to continue the melee.

I could not possibly imagine what it must be like to run pell mell with, for instance, an apple clamped between my teeth and being chased by a burly rugby union centre, intent on relieving me of it. (I so wanted to write 'hooker' in that last sentence, but that would have sent a mixed message and possibly resulted in a different outcome.)

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