Thursday, 7 January 2010
Caaw - that's amazing!
After the last amazing year with 560,000 webcam hits, plus the trials and tribulations of not all our four young peregrines surviving, we kick off 2010 with some exciting news. Yes, ravens have returned to Derby!
At lunchtime today there was deep and loud caaw-ing coming from the top of Derby Cathedral's Tower. A pair of ravens were on the highest ledge, and making quite a racket, too. Looking for all the world like an extra-large crow with a rather thick bill, this bird had been seen in a nearby tree by Simon, one of Derby Museums' gallery staff earlier in the week.
Normally such a report might have been dismissed as unlikely, but we know that two years ago a pair of ravens did show some interest in nesting on the tower. They brought in sticks to the top ledge, but all fell to the ground below.
That was also the first time anyone had every seen ravens doing anything more than just flying over the city - so it was quite exciting. They returned briefly last year, though did not show quite so much enthusiasm as in 2008. As you would imagine, our peregrines were not too keen on them, and there was quite a bit of "inter-specific aggression" shown. We suggest that any one passing through Cathedral Quarter in Derby over the next few weeks keeps both an ear and an eye out for them.
The picture above shows the two ravens in the bottom left corner. They were propbably raiding the peregrines' cache of food as I found the head of a snipe on the ground, just below where they were located. The image was snapped on my pocket camera this lunchtime whilst on my way out of the Cathedral with some even more exciting news. But we'll be telling you about that later on. Watch this space!