Nest Watch : Week One

So – I hear you ask – how are our magpies getting on with their nest-building project?

Well, they’ve been at it all week (except Monday, which they seemed to have taken off).  They’ve certainly been hard at the work thinning out the old nest –

and carrying the twigs to the site of the new nest at the top of the tree.  Unfortunately most of these twigs then promptly fall down again, pursued by a vexed magpie.  There is a tiny smudge of twigs where the new nest ought to be, and a growing carpet of them at the foot of the tree –

I believe that magpies have a deep rooted instinct to mate for life.  It’s a good job that it is a deep rooted instinct, because I don’t think most relationships could take very much of this nest-building.

Male (as umpteenth twig falls to the ground) – “Well, I still can’t see what was wrong with the old nest …”   

Female – “Well, I read in the paper it’d be full of parasites.  Of course, if you want our chick to grow up in an unsanitary nest …”

M – “When I was a chick our nest was full of parasites and it never did me any harm.  It’s health and safety gone mad if you ask me …” 

F – “I suppose you mean your sisters?”

M – “You leave my sisters out of this and if you could keep your beak shut for five seconds you wouldn’t drop so many twigs …”

F – “Are you going to fetch that twig you just dropped, or are you going to spend all day arguing?”

M – “Why don’t you fetch it yourself, if you’re that bothered?”


That's it - I'm off to the pub!


And so on.  Mind you, I’m sure it’ll be lovely when it’s finished.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Square Mile, this duck – inspired by the atmosphere of cut-throat competition – prepares to make a hostile takeover bid for my sandwiches –

2 thoughts on “Nest Watch : Week One

  1. There are three great piles of nest on the green in Great Bowden. I noticed them this morning and I’ve never seen them before. You’ve opened my eyes. It’s sort of like when you get a Yorkshire Terrier and suddenly you see hundreds of Yorkshire Terriers everywhere. Strangely I don’t have a Yorkshire Terriers and yet I still see them everywhere. Everywhere, I tell you.

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