In retrieving a football from the fenced wildlife area, our gardener proved all too terrifying for this wide-eyed youngster, the first of the magpies to leave the walnut tree nest. Unable to fly, the fledgelings will be hiding in the undergrowth under the watchful eyes of their parents for a while yet, and from the chorus of 'chack, chack, alarm calls ringing round the garden, it is only too clear how watchful the parent birds are being. The next few days will no doubt see an increase in hostilities with visiting crows, a running battle that has lasted for months - for magpies hate crows as much as crows hate magpies. Of course, despite the frantic parent's efforts, there is every chance this vulnerable little bundle will be snatched and carried off, to disappear down the throat of a hungry crow chick. Good luck little magpie!
If you see these little bite-sized bundles around the garden over the coming days, please leave them well alone. The odd's for their survival are unlikely to be improved by being chased about by mis-guided well-wishers.