Monday, 25 January 2016

A crowd for the magpie roost

Well, if you can call three a crowd. And two weren't actually there for the roost.

The viewpoint has a charm of its own. Nice view, good birds, comfy enough bench. And loads of rubbish. Two of the Park rangers were on litter patrol, and cursing the so-and-sos who had dropped cigarette papers all over the place. Doesn't sound bad? The usual cans and bottles are quicker to retrieve and there are usually fewer to pick, but these soggy papers just went on and on and on.

I let them know their efforts are appreciated by some of Berengrave's user (especially when they go above and beyond the barrier rails to get pick litter right to the edge of the quarry). The response was a shrug of the shoulders and a weary smile. Appreciation isn't going to stop them being caught in perpetual pick mode. And this isn't the busy time yet. Wait until it warms up a bit.

All the time the Magpies piled in overhead. One loose flock of 32, about ten minutes before sunset, was the biggest single group I've seen arriving in the three winters to date. I refrained from pointing them out to the ranger. Two reasons; (one) she'd probably think me mad as a box of frogs, and (two) she seemed too intent on getting a decent count of those dropped papers for future stories. Observations and data. We all do it.

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