Friday, 2 February 2018

Field of battle

This week has seen the BBC air the latest series of its flagship '[Insert season here]watch' over four consecutive nights. And speaking of knights, were Martin and Chris just a bit too keen to dress up in costume for the corvid showdown that was Game of Crows?

Zim the Carrion Crow won the cognitive ability competition for the smartest bird, but not before Martin discovered that Bran the Raven was a bit of a pecker. It was probably karma for all the references to 'penis' that Martin squeezed into a feature on the mating habits of Lesser Horseshoe Bats... not to mention his description of the roosting female bats as looking like 'hairy plums'. [Facepalm]

Back at Tense Towers, most days are Game of Crows days, when the local Hooded Crows endeavour to see off any Rooks who might be trying to muscle into their territory and pinch anything edible.

Often's the time when I've been drawn to the window at the sight of up to a dozen Rooks, wandering across the neighbouring pasture in their search for tasty morsels. It is never very long before a pair of Hooded Crows shows up and chases them away. For some reason, superior numbers don't appear to give sufficient advantage in this particular battle. Perhaps the Rooks, who forage, nest and roost in large colonies, don't put quite the same emphasis on territory that the lone pair of Hoodies do?

Rook on the lookout for trouble
Today, for instance, four Rooks turned up in the field over the road, and began foraging in a ragged line. From my vantage point, I could see the Hoodies were at the far side of the field, though I suspect the two groups were invisible to each other. However, it wasn't long before one of the Hoodies was airborne, from where the Rooks' sneaky sortie was viewable. As soon as the Rooks realised the game was up, they too took to the air and headed for... er... pastures new, whilst the Hooded Crows made a point of positioning themselves in the middle of the field.

The Hooded Crows are never far away
The local family of Ravens rarely become involved in these shenanigans, preferring to spend their time annoying Great Black-backed Gulls, any passing Herons and the occasional Buzzard.

10 comments:

Countryside Tales said...

I thought there was a little too much drawing of attention to the male horseshoe’s working parts myself. Lovely to see the bats hanging up though.
We don’t get hooded crows here. Lots of rooks, Jackdaws, magpies and jays with a few carrion crows and a raven pair. Watched a kite today. Lovely.

Imperfect and Tense said...

The territorial divide between Hooded and Carrion Crows is roughly along the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness. And Inverness is usually the point where we are most likely to see a Red Kite on journeys up and down the A9.

Countryside Tales said...

I’ve seen hooded crows in Ireland, western cork where they are plentiful. Lovely birds. I envy you them.

Imperfect and Tense said...

They are very wary birds (presumably due to bitter experience of persecution), but I was able to capture a few more images today whilst they were preoccupied with those pesky Rooks.

Spadger said...

The fascination people (usually women) have with bat anatomy never ceases to amaze me. On several occasions when out with the local bat group where trapping of bats has taken place the first thing examined is always the appendages. There's often a high proportion of female members present who seem to get quite excited by the size of it!! I bet if any males present were to start commenting on female bat anatomical features it'd be frowned upon.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hmmm, there were comparisons alluded to in the Winterwatch programme. I do not think that we fared well, JD! All we can do is try to be gentlemanly, though I now realise why there's a 'b', an 'a' and a 't' in the battle of the sexes.

Spadger said...

Indeed. Its similarly frowned upon if a female posts a photo on social media of some hunk with the comment 'nice [add inanimate object of choice]' when what they really mean is they fancy Mr Six Pack. If I retaliate similarly commenting favourably for example about a guitar some not unattractive female happens to be playing then I'm pilloried! Same happens when females get excited about Aiden Turner and I'd retort with a picture of Eleanor Tomlinson

Imperfect and Tense said...

To be fair, commenting upon a lady's guitar is probably quite risky. I would suggest that you do not focus attention on a particular string in your remark. I do know who the Turner chap is, but I haven't heard of ET.

Spadger said...

well side stepped Mr W - keeps you on the right side of the good lady!

Imperfect and Tense said...

:o)