Pick up sticks

The Magpies are busy. It’s spring and they’re toiling building a nest. Last year they built two nests, yet despite all the effort, could only use one. I suspect this is their secondary nest too. It’s hard to tell without tracking them, as there are at least two pairs on the industrial estate. It gets confusing not being able to be in four places at once.

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

They’re very impressive members of the Crow family. The long tail must get in the way but makes them very agile in flight. It certainly helps them put on the brakes as they land.

I wait, while all the dog walkers, walkers, people in electric buggies and cyclists go past me in both directions. The pair are enthusiastic for a low Hawthorn bush next to a path. I can’t believe they’ll end up keeping this nest. I check out the photo opportunities. There’s only one decent spot to see them with blue sky behind their likely flightpath and that’s next to a dog waste bin. It’s full and the sun is on it. There are also very large cute Brown Rats by my feet. I take a few flight shots and am disappointed by them.

Then I see one of the pair perched on the metal roof of the nearby industrial building. It has a large stick in its beak. I follow it as it flies to the Hawthorn and get the shot I want:

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

Isn’t that iridescent green tail amazing? Anyone might think I was out in idyllic countryside based upon the photographs. It didn’t look or smell like that.

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