Jan 4th   2 comments

I walked down Kitto’s Den this morning to check on the ravens down there. When I got down to the shore there was a raven displaying briefly over the crags. It disappeared for thirty minutes but then I saw it further down the coast towards Boarhills mobbing a buzzard. A second bird joined it. The pair then flew around a bit over the fields before displaying again over the cliffs at the south end of the Fairmont golf course. At one point I noticed that one raven was carrying what looked like a large egg – but there are none available in January? It carried it over the golf course and then dropped it over the cliffs before diving after it. It should have been obvious what it was carrying…I enlarged a photo when I got home and saw it was a golf ball! Ravens are far too smart to mistake golf balls for eggs or anything edible, so I suspect they were just playing. Ravens have been seen picking up objects (sticks and rocks), dropping them and then catching again in mid-air many times, and ravens quite often behave exactly as if they are playing. The most memorable of these incidents that I have read about is a group of ravens sliding down a snowy slope on their backs, before walking or flying back up to the top and doing it again and again, like a group of children sledging. So, expect an “East Fife ravens learn to play golf” headline in the Scotsman any day soon, or alternatively “Killer crows bomb coastal path with pilfered balls” from the Daily Record. I often find golf balls along the coastal path and have always blamed bad golfers, but clearly something else might be responsible now. It was great to see the ravens again on the patch. They are behaving as if they might nest: they should start nest building now and lay eggs in February. Fingers crossed.

Ravens at Fairmont this morning – hanging around and playing golf

Posted January 4, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

2 responses to “Jan 4th

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  1. I think that you will find that if the Ravens continue to steal golf balls they will disappear forever.

    • The number of “lost” golf balls littering the East Neuk is very high; no-one is playing Fairmont at the moment as you might expect. Ravens are very wary – and are unlikely to take a ball in play. But I think if they did, it should be considered a natural hazard, like alligators on Florida courses :-)…Puts new light on getting a birdy. Rooks were trained to pick up cigarette butts and put them in bins at a French theme park, so maybe there is potential for a partnership?

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