Magpies merrily carolling
Last Friday I was able to do some birding near Geranium in the mallee district east of home here in Murray Bridge, South Australia. I pulled off the main highway on to a side track (see photo below) and found a good spot for lunch. I’d been on this bush track many times before and knew that the birding can be quite good in this quiet spot.
While I was eating lunch I had good views of a male Superb Fairy-wren nearby. Just as I finished lunch I could hear a group of Australian Magpies carolling about 40 metres away. This singing increased in volume to the point where I just had to check it out. I estimate there were about 20 magpies in the one tree, all calling loudly. Their song filled the air all around. I then glanced over into the paddock adjacent to the tree. There were magpies everywhere.
A quick scan of the paddock with my binoculars revealed about another 60 magpies feeding in the grass. I’ve never seen such a large congregation of Australian Magpies anywhere before. There are records in the literature of large loose flocks of over 100 birds, but this was my first encounter with such large numbers. Truly spectacular.