Corvids, a Buzzard and Bumbarrels on Arnside Knott


A fortnight after my last brief nature-fix on Arnside Knott and I was back, once again sneaking in a few minutes peace and solitude whilst A was busy tinkling the ivories. This time I was barely out of my car when a commotion in the trees just to my left heralded the emergence of three corvids and a buzzard.


I wasn’t fast enough to get them all together, but did manage to get some photos as one of the crows continued to harry the retreating buzzard.


Meanwhile the other two landed in a tree not too far from where I stood. Last time I was convinced that I had seen three ravens, but this time I couldn’t decide whether they were ravens or crows.


I’ve consulted my AA Book of British Birds on how to distinguish ravens from crows – a wider tail, splayed wing-feathers, a heavier beak, and greater size – about the size of a buzzard.


My feeling is that these probably were ravens. But they weren’t as big as the buzzard they were harrying. Then again, buzzards vary considerably in size, so maybe I shouldn’t read too much into that. Any opinions?


I climbed a little higher up the slope, but was almost immediately diverted again, this time by a small troop of bumbarrels – it’s one of the regional names for long-tailed tits, probably from Northamptonshire, since it’s what the poet John Clare called them.


Two weeks before I had set-off after the sun had set in the last of the gloaming, now I was returning to my car with the sun still dipping towards the horizon. The evenings are lengthening!


The Coniston Fells across the estuary: Caw extreme left rising to Dow Crag (partially obscured by cloud) the significant v is Goat Hause then Coniston Old Man above it to the right. More about the Old Man soon(ish).


Corvids, a Buzzard and Bumbarrels on Arnside Knott

9 thoughts on “Corvids, a Buzzard and Bumbarrels on Arnside Knott

  1. I was walking round the base of the Knott on Thursday. National Trust seem to have been on the rampage felling trees all over the place. I’m as uncertain about you with the corvids. Googling seems to indicate that crows are generally the ones that harry buzzards.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Yes, my impression is that it’s generally crows, but I also think it’s fair to say that crows, ravens and buzzards are likely to all be seen as a threat to others birds nests if they get at all close, so I can imagine that ravens would also chase buzzards away in those circumstances.

  2. Hi Mark,
    I loved your photos again. I’m no good at telling the difference between crows and ravens either. Bumbarrells is such a fun name for the wagtails and the sunset is spectacular.
    Sorry if I called you Mike before?

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      No problem Jacquie! Wagtails have a whole host of old country names, many of them seemingly referring to their preference for being close to water.

  3. No idea what my Auto-correct was thinking for the first couple of words of that comment, to the point that I have no idea what I was trying to type. I thought it was “superb sunset photos” buy hey, Auto-correct knows best

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’m glad you clarified that point, I thought maybe you were translating from a non-indoeuropean language, using a dodgy online translator. Or that you’d repeatedly translated you comment through most of the world’s known tongues and finally back into a semblance of English again. Or that you just got up too early this morning (which you clearly did).

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