Magpies up close and personal
I was working at our picnic table on our back veranda yesterday. I was marking a brilliant essay written by one of my uni students; she obviously listened well to my lectures and absorbed all the important points. Either that – or I’m a good teacher. The house was cold after a frosty night and the table was bathed in beautiful winter sun. I decided to take advantage of the sun while it lasted.
Half way through my work one of our resident Australian Magpies – a brilliantly coloured male – flew in, perched on one of the chairs and then onto the table where he proceeded to strut around in front of me, not more than a half metre from where I sat. He was obviously looking for bread crumb scraps left over from our lunch.
He stayed for several minutes before a juvenile bird joined us, sitting on the BBQ a few metres away. A sudden squawk from other magpies in the orchard startled them both into action, and they flew off rapidly in that direction.
Pity I didn’t have my camera with me.
Never mind – a similar incident happened to us last year near Mildura when we were having a roadside picnic. On that close encounter, the birds did score a few crumbs from our biscuits – and nearly nabbed a whole one from the biscuit tin left open on the table. The photo below was taken on that occasion.