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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

24 February, 2016

Raven: on the up

I have seen many changes in my many years of birding and one of them is undoubtedly the rise in numbers of ravens (Corvus corax) in recent years. It is not that long ago that I had never seen a raven and now when I am out and about on the Dorset coast I usually see them and occasionally they are seen at inland sites, especially on the north Dorset downs.
They can be a bit difficult to distinguish from carrion crows at first but they are significantly bigger and have 'fingered' wing ends. They also have a definite 'croak' call which they are more than happy to use! That call is often the first thing you notice; you hear it, look up and there is the raven overhead.
Like all the crow family (corvids) they are very intelligent birds and this can show itself in a variety ways. There are also lots of superstitions surrounding them too, and they feature in various folk tales and folk songs. 
Whilst rarely seen in great numbers during the day they do congregate in to communal roosts at night and in some areas of the country I know they can be together in huge numbers. Anyone know of a communal roost in Dorset? 
Raven: on the up