This morning just as I was getting into my car to head out for work I heard the very distinctive "cronk cronk cronk" call of a Raven. Not a call you hear in Leicestershire that often but to have heard one within hearing distance from my home was very rare indeed! I glanced down the road to where the calls seemed to be coming from just as a pair of Ravens spiraled down out of the sky and seemingly into the nearby sheep field. I couldn't be sure that they had landed as a huge pile of manure obscured my view?
I needed no further incentive, my work documents and briefcase were thrown into the car and I rushed back into the house to grab my camera. The walk to the end of my road took me all of 30 seconds, there I stood at the t-junction watching over the field for a few minutes. No Ravens could be seen, however there was an unusual amount of activity from the local Magpies and a solitary Buzzard that dropped down behind the large manure pile. I walked along the road for a hundred yards or so. thus enabling a better view behind the manure pile, what I saw next was amazing!!! All on the ground tucked in behind the manure heap was three buzzards, at least 20 Magpies and 2 Ravens!!! It was too far away for an image so I quickly crossed the road and went through the kissing gate and into the field, I was then presented with a dilemma, a muddy quagmire was in between me and where I needed to get to!!! Now normally this wouldn't present a problem but because I was in my suit and dress shoes I knew they were going to get pretty messed up, I hesitated for a few seconds and then just went for it. A few seconds later I was up against the far end of the manure pile which ran a hundred yards or so away from me. Because I was crouched down the birds couldn't see me, my black shoes were now brown and to compound matters there were muddy splashes all over my trousers dooohhhhh!!!
Gingerly I glanced around the pile which spooked the Buzzards, then the Magpies all at once took flight but the two Ravens remained. The camera was raised and a few shots of them were rattled off, one second later they too were spooked and took flight!
Considering the distance and the lack of preparation I am very pleased with the results, albeit the murky brown blob (manure pile) in the front left corner of the first image does spoil it somewhat?
It wasn't until I studied the images later that I realised the attraction to all this activity was a carcass laying in the field, I can only presume it was that of a poor sheep?
These are absolutely my best ever images of a Raven, even if they are a bit gory. Definitely worth the dry cleaning bill!!!
Thanks for stopping by, catch up soon.........