Uninvited Picnic Guest

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

We were having a peaceful picnic in the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens near Adelaide last Sunday when we had an uninvited picnic guest. This Australian Magpie settled on our picnic basket for about five minutes. It was only about a metre from where we sat. There were several other magpies that came quite close too, so they are obviously very used to being around humans.

While it was sitting on the basket we noticed that one of its legs was severely deformed, as if it had been broken at some stage. This did not seem to hinder the bird in any way, though balancing on the handle of the basket was tricky. We were delighted that he decided to honour us with a beautiful carolling song. Hearing the magpies carolling at any time is a delight; hearing it sung at such close quarters was magnificent!

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Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens in winter

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens in winter



3 Responses to “Uninvited Picnic Guest”

  1. Duncan says:

    I remember having magpies within touching distance at Two Peoples Bay, after feeding them a bit of bread the male threw back his head and rewarded me with a wonderful burst of song. Delightful.

  2. Trevor says:

    It’s moments like that which make birding a wonderful hobby. This particular incident was even more poignant in that my wife was sitting only a metre away (out of shot – on another one she said “Look how grey I’m getting!”). Just twenty minutes before this photo I had collected her after a week in hospital recovering from a major operation.

  3. […] Sheer delight Whatever method one uses to learn about bird calls, listening to them can be a sheer delight. I few days before writing this I was with my wife having a picnic in the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens in the Adelaide Hills. An Australian Magpie came and sat on our picnic basket and proceeded to entertain us with his beautiful carolling. And all this only a metre away! Magnificent. Click here to read about it. […]

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