More counting of Crows

One hundred and sixty one Carrion Crows flew into Bursted Woods from the east between 15.36 and 16.24 on December 26th 2015, joining 31 others that were already sat in the trees near the railway bridge, making a total of 192. This compares with some 343 Crows counted heading into Bursted Woods from the same direction between 19.03 and 19.59 on the 8th September. It has previously been established that they are coming from the direction of Crayford/Dartford marshes.

On this occasion groups of Crows started sitting around on the roofs of flats over the road from the woods, and coming down onto the grass outside in numbers. Perhaps someone is putting out food, as there were 68 Crows hanging around in the trees on this south east corner of the wood on the afternoon of 18th December.

The numbers of Crows heading over Thames Road Wetland towards Crayford has also fallen off significantly since the autumn. Whilst it would need more than occasional counts to establish a seasonal pattern, it is possible that the time and energy cost of a daily commute to the marshes and back makes the journey a less favourable proposition in the winter. Perhaps the marshes provide less food, or sites further inland are a little warmer and better for foraging once the soil gets wetter.

Do the daytime numbers of Crows at sites such as Danson Park and Footscray Meadows increase appreciably at this time of year?

Chris Rose.

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