Online exhibition of original crow drawings
Spotters guide and sites
On this page I'm sharing some of the places I visited in search of our crows. I'll be blogging in more detail later this year so make sure you're following that but here's our starter pack :)
This lovely viaduct forms part of the cinder track, a former railway track now a popular path that runs through ancient woodland and beside the coast. From the top it offers a fantastic view of colonies of rooks and jackdaws.
The view across the hills from the top of the viaduct at sunset - dusk is the best time to watch the crows coming home to roost.
Many think of crows as inland birds but there are large populations along the coast and they even hit the beach! This was taken one freezing morning near Redcar as I waiting for the locals birds to get up and join me.
At the time the Kickstarter had finished, the crops had been harvested and the fields were full of crows rummaging around for leftover grain and disturbed insects.
The wonderful double chapel at Larpool cemetery - there are crows and magpies here but they are still a bit shy so I'll be spending more time there in spring to get them used to me and my camera.
Almost all of the corvids I got great photos of to draw from for this project were carrion crows - which is interesting as my previous project 'Murder' in Cornwall ended up being a mix of rooks and jackdaws. There are several species local to me but the crows were the most social. Here's a spotters guide to other species seen across the UK.
Ravens have diamond shaped tails in flight, when viewed directly from below. Ravens are our largest corvids, seen mostly across the south west of England. They have a very rough croak call and a distinctive shaggy ruff.
Magpies have distinctive black and white plumage, which is especially stunning in flight. They also have very long, straight tails.
Jays have distinctive blue flashes on their wings and a warm chestnut colour on their head and back. The most brightly coloured of all our corvids. They are woodland birds and rarely seen.
Choughs, found in Cornwall, have bright orangey-red beaks and legs.
Rooks are easily identified by their pale beak – the skin around the beak is also grey rather than black which makes it look much larger. They have a harsher voice than the crow and slightly more feathered legs giving them a baggy trousered appearance.
The smallest of our crows-about-town, jackdaws are very social and often live in large colonies alongside rookeries. They have striking pale blue eyes and a grey cap which can be clearly seen even at a distance. They have a higher pitched, chattering call. A little shyer than their larger cousins, they can still be seen on the outskirts and occasionally in gardens.
The carrion crow - what most people think of when they picture a crow – a good sized bird with glossy black plumage and a characteristic 'caw, caw, caw' call. The younger birds have softer, brownish feathers that lack the oily sheen – you can see the difference in the larger drawings on display here.