This year's Magpie babies

Our magpies have been late this year with their babies. We understand why for Vicky's family, because after Maggie's passing it was July before Vicky settled on a new husband, a magpie from a long way away called Bertie. They then took a while to settle in and for Bertie to get to know the local situation. (We know Bertie is not a local magpie because he has a radically different pattern on his back than any birds we have seen, even as far as 120km away in Brisbane.) But our neighbour's magpies Billy and Polly are also late, then finally, ten days ago, a little bub landed in our yard squarking loudly (as all Billy's kids tend to do) demanding his share of the pickings on offer.

Then, a few days later, a second bub flew in—and promptly has a fight with the first bub. These two seem unable to get along with each other. Finally, two days ago, yet another bub arrived. Billy and Pollie had triplets two years ago, so we have used up the names Huey, Dewey, and Louie, so we are not sure what to call these three. Last year's uber-confident bub, Freda (who watches our neighbour do arc welding and walks into the house as if he owns it) has become great friends with one of the new trio (not sure which one) and sits with him and shows him how to sing.

Meanwhile, Vicky and Bertie have had a bub, but he emerged from the nest later and has not yet flown down to the yard. But we have gone and paid our courtesy calls to the family near Vicky's nest, and found that the bub likes the name Kenny, so that will probably be that. Whilst in the nest, he looked so much like a small Bertie, but now I notice that he has two black dots on his white wing flashes, just like Vicky. So he'll never get confused with any of the Billy trio.

On other matters, Curly the one-eyed currawong is still stopping by every few days. He is a bit nervous, not being able to see his left hand side, but apart from that he seems to be doing fine.

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