- -36Â°C when I walked across the yard this morning at 8:30, warming up from the -38Â°C at daybreak. I was halfway across when I heard a croak. I stopped to listen and saw two ravens to the west. They were playing! Cartwheeling and circling, playing tag. As I watched, already feeling the cold, they continued, one chasing, the other diving, then the chaser becoming the chased. All the while croaking away, sounding for all the world as if they were having the time of their lives. They continued the aerobatics until out of sight to the south. Amazing.
- After the recent messages about Raven numbers I have started to notice them more. On Jan 3rd I drove by the Regina dump and saw a large flock of them. I counted 105 in this group but I am sure i was off substantially as they were moving and flying in all directions. Lots of starlings there too. Then continued out the north road to Balconies and at the other part of the dump was another group of 20 or so at least. Saw a group of 5 and then 3 along this highway feasting on roadkill. Went to Indian Head, Lebret, Fort Qu'appelle and home and saw small groups at various locations.
The next day in the drive to Val Marie I pulled into the Moose Jaw dump and saw a small flock of at least 20 plus 30+ Starlings. The latter were sunning with house sparrows on the leaside of the dump out of the bitter wind. Saw 2 more by Chaplin and 3 at Herbert. Don't remember any after that.
So while I have never given much thought to ravens before, I will now try to keep an eye on their relative abundance. Driving over and back to the East Block today so will keep count along that Mankota highway. Checking out some of the grazing regimes that have been tried to increase sage grouse habitat and that appear to have been successful. Hope to see my first sage grouse since starting in the park. Did not see one for my 2014 list which I was trying to finish compiling last night.
Kevin in Val Marie