It’s 8pm and I hear them before I see them, squawking, arguing, flapping furiously. And then they arrive, all at once, circling and swooping and jostling, each trying to grab the best vantage point on the steeple, finials and rooftop of the church across the road. I’ve counted at least 40 but there are many more on neighbouring building roofs, chimney stacks and tv aerials. They don’t stay long, perhaps 10 minutes, and off they fly, to roost for the night.
They’re jackdaws (Corvus monedula), members of the crow family, sociable, curious, intelligent, and devoted to their partners. I am particularly attracted to their bright blue eyes.