Yesterday I went on my daily walk in the Pentland Hills just outside Edinburgh. It was quite windy as it has been around here for the past month or so, making it impossible for me to go out and record anymore dawn choruses.
The area is not too far away from civilization, although only accessible by a forest road that's normally closed to traffic. I haven't seen anyone else drive there apart from loggers earlier this year. On a really still day the City of Edinburgh Bypass can be heard, but luckily the wind covered all this with a semi pleasant blanket of noise.
I had seen both Ravens and Buzzards in the area on occasion, along Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Peregrines. Whenever I'm around there I always have my binoculars and handheld recorder with me just in case I stumble on any interesting species.
This time I was in for a treat as I got to see both Buzzards and Ravens, the latter of which are of course my favorite birds. As I was enjoying the (relative) lack of man-made noise I started to hear the peculiar "kronk kronk" flight call of the Raven. Soon after that I could also hear a Buzzard mewling, and both types of calls seemed to be coming from the same direction.
As soon as I heard the first call I dropped my backpack and took out my handheld recorder. I set it on its small tripod and moved away into the trees so they wouldn't see me but I could watch them with my binoculars. There were 5 Ravens taking turns chasing and harassing one Buzzard for no apparent reason. At times two or three of the Ravens would land on a crag close by and let the others do the mobbing. All this took about 10 minutes until one of the Ravens uttered a completely different, much lower call and then they all seemed to have lost interest in the Buzzard. You can hear this towards the end of the recording.
As already mentioned it was quite windy so I set the levels really low (3/10 on the D100 input levels). The recording came out decently considering the birds were at least half a mile away. As soon as the wind drops I will be back there with all my kit, hoping to capture more raptor calls.