Vicky's sitting on her nest
Yesterday Gitie and I went to see how Vicky and Bertie are doing this year on the nesting front. Although Vicky's nest is in line with our breakfast room, it is distant and we have not been able to set up the telescope this year. So imagine our delight when we found Vicky sitting proudly on the nest. The nest is in a tricky spot, so Gitie stayed by the road while I went through the paddock to the nesting tree. This is the tree that Vicky and Maggie purchased from a crow some years ago, giving the crow their old tree and nest in return, as well as rights to get food from their human friends (us) for a year). The crow made Vicky's old nest bigger and stronger, while Vicky lined the crow's nest with lots of soft material.
Vicky was delighted to see me, just like any mother proud of her offspring. She smiled down at me in between checking inside the nest where she was sitting. Have the eggs hatched? We'll find out soon enough.
Meanwhile Bertie came down to the grass near Gitie and stayed with her for the whole time I visited Vicky. I took some photos, even one of Bertie, until a sudden explosive movement nearby frightened him into the tree. It turned out Bertie and Gitie had been standing right next to a hiding hare, which had been croutching dead still and unseen, until I blundered upon the scene and frightened him into sprinting away.
Later when we got home, our little friend Freda magpie, who now lives some kilometres away, came for a visit. I was photographing the gang when my batteries expired, and I came back inside to change them with a set that was on the charger. As I picked them up and turned around, lo, there was Freda beside me in the house watching me as I fiddled with the camera. Brave bird, but not, I suppose, a surprise from a bird who once watched our neighbour up close doing arc welding.
There have been some developments today. Bertie and the neighbour's magpie dad, Billy, have been singing together to tell the magpies across the gully to stay away. Bertie even let Billy eat come food in Bertie's territory. By showing us these things, they make sure their friends are up with the latest news.
Actually it has been an eventful day. There has been a small juvenile magpie around for a few days, obviously one from elsewhere looking for a place. I saw it on the bank talking nose to nose with Bertie. Is the young fellow asking Bertie if he can stay, or perhaps he has become friends with Bertie's kid, Kenny (who has turned out to be a girl, despite the name). Magpie parents often allow their kids' friends to come for sleepovers for a few days. If your magpie's child keeps disappearing and reappearing, he or she is probably just visiting friends.