Pair of Magpies nest building

Magpie pair nest buildingAs I was arriving home today, one magpie carrying a stick was followed by another magpie also carrying a stick. It reminded me of the wonderful quoteby T.H. White in Helen MacDonald’s ‘H is for Hawk’:  ‘A magpie flies like a frying pan!’

It’s spring, and the nesting instinct is stirring in corvids. Earlier today, a Carrion Crow pulled large sticks from a plane tree and carried them to another one trying persistently to position them so that they would stay put in the very first start of a nest.

This year, the pair of magpies I saw in my street have moved tree and started a new nest on a tree on other side, not far from the old one. The old nest still stands proud, having miraculously survived the battery of storms we’ve had this winter. This is quite usual in Magpies, they will often build a new nest each season, sometimes on top of last years nest if trees are in short supply.

A Magpie in the garden

magpie in the gardenLast month, we returned home after a week away to find that a pair of Magpies had built their domed nest near our house, in one of the trees lining the street. This morning, I saw  one on the pavement, which was surprising as they are usually shy. In the afternoon, a Magpie exploring the garden was caught by the remote camera, and I based this sketch on the photo. The light was perfect to show the beautiful metallic shine of this bird.