Nothing to crow about!

Back in March, crows built a nest in a tall plane tree, one of many lining a road nearby.

As the nest neared completion, council workers arrived to prune the tree drastically, leaving just vertical boughs at the very top of which was the nest, completely open and exposed to the elements with no foliage cover left.

I fully expected the birds to abandon the structure but no, they stuck to their task of raising a brood of four young.

The chicks grew rapidly until they almost overflowed the nest (pictured) and after a few days experimental wing flexing fledged on 1st June positioning themselves in nearby trees cawing for food.

On that same day, my ten year old prize fat female goldfish began spawning with her partner in my garden pond, thrashing about on the surface among water plants as they do.

A  little while later I happened to glance out just as one of the adult crows swooped down to the pond and plucked out my female fish, dropped it squirming on the grass then picked it up and flew off to feed its young. The episode was over in a few seconds and I could do nothing to intervene.

Last winter a couple of my goldfish disappeared and I suspected a heron to be the culprit but now believe a crow was responsible.

They also caught several stag beetles in the garden leaving their dismembered remains scattered across the lawn.

I now readily appreciate just how appropriate is the collective noun for crows, namely 'A MURDER' !!!