Tuesday 26 December 2023

An Unexpected Call

 Walking in town this mercifully clear, sunny Boxing Day morning (yesterday was typical English Christmas weather – wet and warm), I was startled to hear a loud, almost comically harsh, croaking call, pitched, as it seemed, somewhere not very far above infrasound. It could only be one thing – and looking up and seeing a large black corvid settling in a cypress tree confirmed that it was indeed... a raven. A raven that was soon joined by another one, croaking every bit as loud, assertive and basso profondo as the first. So it would seem that the ravens have come into town. Formerly a bird of wild, rugged places – like the now thoroughly urban buzzard and red kite – ravens have been steadily extending their range, at least in the North and West (including, evidently, the West Midlands), but this was my first urban raven, and it came as something of a shock. Neither bird, I have to report, was quothing 'Nevermore'...

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