Unfortunately, the weather has taken a slight turn. Over the last week or so it has been very showery and thundery on occasion, so opportunities for getting out and about have been few and far between. Yesterday was one of the better days, so I packed up my backpack and camera and headed for the local strand.
The tide was on the way out when I arrived and I spent a while watching a family of Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) forage and pick through the seaweed looking for tasty morsels that lurk beneath the damp patches of seaweed. As you can see from the pictures, the Hooded Crow has a very distinctive appearance, having both grey and black plumage. They feed on pretty much everything and are not above scavenging a meal when the opportunity arises.
I have always been interested in corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc). They are clearly very intelligent birds, and this intelligence has been demonstrated across many corvid species. Scientists have observed tool use, sociability, and self awareness (placing corvids amongst the most intelligent of all animals). However this species has long been persecuted in this country. Many livestock farmers perceive them as a threat to young animals, lambs in particular. In folklore, they have often been seen as harbingers of bad luck or even death!