Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Magpie youngster

At the weekend my wife and I saw a sparrowhawk eyeing up our garden and surrounding area and later heard a sort of 'bird scream' with magpies joining in the chorus, we'd assumed that the sparrowhawk had just scored tea. I wouldn't have thought a sparrowhawk would have found a magpie a manageable target if I hadn't seen one flying away with a magpie in it's talons and the victims impressive tail feathers flapping behind-Bizarre and impressive, especially as there were other magpies mobbing it.

Fast forward to yesterday and I could hear a 'churrp, churrp' in a tree near the back of my garden, similar to a greater spotted woodpecker but softer. It was there all day pretty much and through the thick foliage I could just see a silhouette of a largish bird...which was accompanied by the incessant machine gun churr of the magpies. I assumed it was a youngster.

Late in the day I assumed that there was a cat in a garden near me because I could see three or four magpies 'chacking' at something in the garden with one doing the afore mentioned 'bird scream'. that suggests that it wasn't a bird taken at the weekend but is this an escalated magpie 'chack'?

Today I heard a buzzard calling and went out to see if I could see it (buzzards are one of half a dozen birds of prey I can expect to see, the others being tawny owls, red kites, hobbys, kestrels and of course the sparrowhawks)...I didn't look up as I noticed a little head bob up and down at the back of the garden. I sneaked up close with the camera and discovered that itwas a young magpie. He ran into cover, out of cover, in, out...


I could hear a chacking parent overhead and whilst pondering if magpies dive bomb like terns I decided to open the back gate.


 He stopped, looked up, he made off...


He stopped and looked up again, then at me...


The parent looked at me, then the chick...


I can still hear the youngster and his annoying loud parent(s) some hours afterwards so hopefully a good conclusion. Good distraction twixt putting shopping away and ironing!



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