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).