I have blogged here and here about the relative lack of magpies in my garden. As is probably obvious, I have recently been in Donegal and in the last week was away again. So my focus on the birds of my garden has been a little less. And, in any event, it is the slow time of year, with a certain heaviness this Irish summer. Most of the time you feel the weight of imminent rain, rather than the rain itself.
About a week ago I suddenly not only one or two but three magpies, all with a slightly disheveled and underfed look that I take to denote juveniles, gawkily scavenging in the garden. As I have not been used to magpies, and I don’t share widespread anti-corvid prejudice, this was something I greeted.
I haven’t seen all three since, but this evening I noticed one (one of the same three?) rather tentatively maneuvering for some scraps. I noted that rooks and jackdaws seemed to, put all too anthropomorphically, intimidate it. Initially it flew away but then returned to the edge of the spoils, while a jackdaw strutted with an air of possession. I have speculated whether my lack of magpies is attributable to a proximity to a rookery and I suppose over the coming weeks I will see if my observations of the birds interacting will support this.