Magpie – forty years ago in my nature notebook

I’m on a personal journey to rediscover the natural world I described in my nature notebooks when I was a 12 year old boy. In 1976 I was dedicated to identifying all the species I saw. Given the state of Oldham, the post-industrial wasteland of a northern town I grew up in, this meant sometimes quite thin pickings. Outside our terraced house was a row of large, well established, Poplar trees in which the Magpies nested every year. I used to watch them through my parents’ bedroom window as they foraged, flew, built their nest and fed their brood. An hour could pass by without me even noticing.

Magpie - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Today I’m in Devon and a pair of Magpies are in the park. The iridescent sheen on their plumage is stunning. An hour passes by before I even notice. Here’s the entry from my nature notebooks when I was twelve years old.

Magpie - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

Magpie - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I watched their nest building antics with a keen eye.

Magpie - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

If only children were as bored today as I was then.

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Coot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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Forty years ago I obviously had very little to say when I saw a Coot, as this was my entry in my nature ... Read more

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