Ravens, at last

For the last few weeks, a pair of Ravens have been frequenting the field behind us. According to a Twitter friend, they are probably the same pair that have bred in Trent, a village a couple of miles away. Recently they brought first one of their offspring, and then a few days ago a second. I know Ravens are around, but they’re not something you expect to see from a Yeovil outskirts bedroom window!

However, trying to photograph them has proved tricky – they are often way up the field, and too far away even for my old Sigma 150-500 zoom, and when they come nearer, the heat haze off both the field and the flat roof under the bedroom window makes it impossible to get anything close to a sharp shot. They have even landed in the garden on a couple of occasions, sitting on the pergola outside the back door, but of course on both occasions my camera wasn’t anywhere near.

But yesterday evening all four of them were in the field, and the heat of the day had gone from it, so I crept up the garden with camera and big zoom, hidden from them by the ever-expanding honeysuckle arch that leads to the small patio at the back, and the nettles and brambles that line the gap between our fence and the wire netting that borders the field. Of course, as soon as I peered over the fence, the parents immediately spotted me and took off before I had a chance to focus on them. But the two young ones weren’t so wary, and carried on investigating the field’s insect life, long enough for me to get a few heat haze-free photos. I have a dozen or so of one of the young birds walking through the grass, but they’re virtually identical, so it only needs one here.

After a few minutes though the young ones also spotted me, or more likely heard the machinegun motordrive, and took off – but this time I was ready for them…

You can tell they’re juveniles, because they don’t yet have the inky blackness of their parents. This one flew around for a bit, mostly evading my autofocus – but then he/she flew towards the house, presumably on his/her way back to Trent, and somehow I managed to keep him/her in focus at least for a couple of shots…

…and finally got the photos that had been evading me for the last few weeks!

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