Thursday, 4 March 2010


Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed.
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

Edward Thomas

No pictures of rooks, unfortunately.

Nor any pictures of what I saw over at the edge of the Gorge the other morning,when I paused there on my way over to Clifton with some books that I'm touting around the shops, including the new pirate one.

It was a glorious day, calm and clear, with a bit of warmth in the sun. Very high up and to the west, a raven was circling in an updraft. It was so far up that I only thought that it might be a raven, until it dropped into a vertical dive, throwing in the occasional swoop and flick-roll, until it dropped into the quarry opposite and landed on a tree. That's a raven, all right.

Then there was a kerfuffle from the peregrines that nest below the viewpoint, and one appeared, circling in the Gorge until it too caught an updraft and spiralled up until it had gained enough height to drop down into the trees of Leigh Woods, where it flicked around the branches and out of sight. Ravens and peregrines are a bit Jocks and Geordies. I wonder if it had gone over there to irritate the raven?