Almost daily diary!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Visitors

Magpies. A whole family of them. I watch them from the kitchen window, they are playing, at the bottom of the garden, on and under the new 'steamer' chair that I had for my birthday, one hides underneath and one pecks from above, they seem to show great delight in the game.

At the same time another one has worked out how to get seed from the bird feeder -meant for the little birds which I have tried to encourage for the last year or so. The house is new, and the gardens all non existent when the owners here moved into their new homes over the last year or so. However at the bottom of the garden is a rugby field with many mature bushes and I can hear the little birds well, so I know they are there, so far only a few have ventured into the new garden that provides only a little shelter in bushes that are still not mature. Anyway the clever Magpie birds, though much too big for the feeder, have worked out how to climb onto the stem if the feeding structure and then push the feeder so that it spills a little of its contents (to be eaten later) and, at the same time, when the feeder swings towards them, they climb on board and can balance for an instant - just enough time to grab a seed or two as a prize. The are clever birds, a delight to watch, corvids with brilliant bird brains!

I have become fond of them and put out food for them most days. However they have no scruples! I looked out yesterday to find them, the whole family, shredding my bright orange nasturtium flowers. They were shrieking with delight in their scratchy voices and making a complete racket. Each piece of flower that they had shredded they carried in their beaks as they strutted confidently down to the patio to let go of it in the breeze. As the petal strip started to blow around they would each chase it in turn, like a dog with a ball, as it blew across the slabs. They were amused, they had made up a game, at my expense; though nothing much is flourishing in the garden in this unusually wet summer that we are having. Typical, I thought, I feed you all and this is how you repay me. That and waking me up at the crack of dawn calling to each other with their scratchy little voices and 'laughing' loudly in the new light of dawn.

I am considering putting something shiny outside for them to explore, perhaps it will divert them from their flower wrecking ways?!


Steve said...

I like magpies too - they are magnificent birds and their feathers (when you are lucky enough to find a discarded one) are truly beautiful.

Maggie May said...

They do seem to be highly intelligent & they do love shiny objects, sometimes, like ravens, they steal shiny things for their nests.
I expect once you get some thick bushes, the smaller birds will come in too. Its very risky if they have nowhere to hide.
We have magpies nesting in next doors tree & they make quite a racket some times.
Love the wild life.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Rob-bear said...

Magpies. Killers of baby birds. Stealers of others' eggs. Are you sure you want them around?

family affairs said...

3 for a girl??? Lx

Suburbia said...

Yes Bear, you have a point... they do have some bad habits!

FA: there were more than 3 actually!!!

nick said...

We have plenty of magpies but ours are very well-behaved. I've never seen them shredding the flowers or causing any damage. They're obviously more delinquent down Bristol way.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I have a bullying pigeon who visits my garden and tries to chase away all the other birds so he can have the bird food all to himself. But no magpies, perhaps because I don't seem to have many flowers :)

Kitty said...

I watched a family of magpies when we were on holiday in Jersey a couple of years ago - they are very clever, and oh-so loud! I am having ongoing battles with a pigeon here, who appears to think the bird feeder belongs to HIM and nobody else. He pecks other birds on the head! I have shooed him away more than once! x

NitWit1 said...

It appears they are very ungrateful, inappreciative creatures. Their propensity to steal and destroy, especially other mama bird
s prospective offspring is despicable and comparable to the Cuckoo, who not olny does that, but then takes the next and uses it for their own. Thy probably top the magpie is being despicable.