Over the years, as family holidays took us to the west country, Wales and Scotland, I came into contact with these magnificent birds, but always associated them with the rugged landscapes of coastal granite and Scottish mountains purely because of these experiences. It was sometime, in the early/mid - 80's and I was fishing Wilstone Res. The headquarters of The British Trust for Ornithology was in Tring and many of the employees spent time around the reservoir complex and it was, a very young, Steve Dudley who called a Raven, one evening, as huge flocks of mixed corvids made their way towards a communal roost site away in Ashridge or Wendover Woods? He got ruined by the disbelievers - me included. Whoever heard such nonsense, a Raven in the Home Counties, not a cliff or mountain in sight - bloody clown! Everyone now knows who had the last laugh - Steve's sighting had been the vanguard of a rapid colonization, of the region, by these highly adaptive birds.
|A photo from our Scottish pike trip 2016. It can't do justice to the "personality" this species exudes when|
experienced first hand. It's far more impressive than simply being dismissed as a "big" crow!
I am now confident of recording the species, during the course of a year, no matter where in Kent I go. The vast flatlands of the Romney Marshes or Ash Levels, are just as likely to provide a sighting as the sea cliffs of Folkestone and Dover. I even have it on my garden list and hope that I'll never cease to be thrilled by their resonant low croaking contact calls and the impressive spectacle of these massive corvids as they "play" on the wind.