18 January 2010

I think I've started something

Yesterday there was a gentle tap at the kitchen window. I turned to find three magpies on the windowsill gazing in at me as if to say Excuse us but we're ready for our quiche now, if that's alright.

I grabbed some crusts out of the compost bucket (eww) and went outside, to be greeted by seventeen magpies swooping down from the trees. I fed them happily for twenty minutes or so, during which time their numbers swelled to twenty-one, and then ran out of bread.

A couple of hours later there was another tap on the window and two maggies looked in at me. This time instead of bread, I fetched my camera.

Please excuse the shoddy visuals - this was shot through the flyscreen of the window. And that's the dog's bed on the table in front of the birds - it had been taken outside for a shaking and airing. Yes, those are stray buttons (and dust) on the windowsill, and for the person who asked to hear my voice, I obliged. (No gorgonzola though, sorry).

36 comments:

fifi said...

That is so gorgeous and I LOVE IT...
how wonderful they are..and you coaxing them along. Sweet!



Mind you I'd probably make similar noises for a bit of your quiche given the chance!

Ali said...

I don't think I have heard magpie song before - ours are curiously silent (or I just didn't recognise it).

Can't believe how they are communicating with you - smart birds!

Elizabeth said...

I've read somewhere that maggies have the most complex of all birdsong. We love watching the clans moving along the nature-strips looking for food. The babies get a bit confused, one or two have tried squawking at me for dinner.

SharonH said...

Yeo S you have... I have had two similar experiences with magpies... The first time was many yeas ago when we started to feed a couple which rapidly grew into many... I always remember one Sunday morning waking to a tap tap on the laundry window - much the same as yours - "it's late and where is breakfast"??? They would sit on the power lines and watch the house as soon as the blinds went up they would fly down and warble at the back door until they got a response... The second time was here in Box Hill if you can remeber where you left the wool that day that is where this one feller would come into and warble through the front door until P or I would feed him... He wasn't even deterred by out cat which sat scowling at him through the flywire... They seem to be very intelligent birds with personality plus...

Laura Jane said...

Such talented company!

ANd I was amazed to hear your voice, because...this sounds weird...it sounds like me! until the last few sentences all the short phrases, the tone, sound just like me. My daughter came wondering who I was talking to? Heavens!

Elizabeth said...

I have a blue jay (I assume it's always the same one because I am naive? fanciful?) who sits in the tree outside the kitchen and squawks at me when the feeder is empty. And blue jays squawk loudly, not the lovely sounds of those magpies.

You sound different than I expected! Less Aussie, more Brit. Thanks for sharing.
It pays to have a long memory, although I won't mention that purple cardigan again unless I want virtual crusts thrown at me through the computer screen, right?
Have a good one.

blackbird said...

I hadn't heard Magpies before either!
They sound like wooden flutes.
And I don't believe I've heard your voice - so that's moved me too.

sueeeus said...

I love the birdsong, yes, but the sound of your voice put a smile on my face. Do you realize it's been nearly two years since I visited?

Colleen said...

How amazing! Their voices are simply unreal! Wish I could visit aussieland. Wonderful

Shirty said...

Do you know that my two house cats, who normally leap to alert at the first sound of birds, didn't register the magpies at all? As Blackbird mentioned, they sound like flutes; certainly not like any birds my Pennsylvanian cats have ever heard.

MsCellania said...

I hadn't heard them sing for a supper, either! Wonderful to hear both you and the birds.

Sue said...

Gosh you do sound more English than Australian. Lovely to hear both you & the birds

zephyr said...

How lovely!...hearing you and your feathered friends is such a treat!!

herhimnbryn said...

From one dog bed airer to another,
That was lovely. You do know that now you will be their servant...forever.

Bettylicious said...

Goodness, that sound makes me homesick!

Another Outspoken Female said...

That really got my cats going. Everytime they heard the bird song they shot their heads up and looked around, then redumed their head under paws "I'm really trying to sleep here" position.

Jolie said...

I love it - that's fabulous...they clearly think they've got you trained! And the conversation between you - priceless - even if the magpie song did all but do our kittens' heads in!!

craftapalooza said...

Awesome Suse! We have a lot of them around our home, I think the previous owners used to feed them. They now play with our dog. They wait for him to leave his bone alone and come in for a snack, drives him nuts. They have flown off with a shank bone before and dropped in on the neighbours shed!

Sinda said...

Why yes, I am a Magpie - and I want more, more! More birdsongs, more Suse-speak, more glimpses into summer.

Thank you for sharing with us :)

Amy said...

I loved hearing these magpies! Thank you for transporting me from a cold and gloomy day in the USA to summer sounds halfway around the world!

Uli said...

I like the bird song, but I'm more concerned with "three magpies tapping at the window". I'm just imagining your place turning from 'pleasant bird song' to The Birds...

Lesley said...

Wonderful!
That was the first birdsong I ever heard in Australia, waking up at the crack of dawn, seriously jetlagged, a brand-new migrant.
I'd arrived very late the night before with my family from London, back in the day when the plane stopped five or six times between the UK and Australia!
I could not imagine what was making that sound, and crept outside into the brilliant light and unfamiliar heat to find out.
I saw my first ever hibiscus right then, as well!
And that was February 5, 1970. Almost 40 years ago.

Angel Jem said...

Is there a particular quiche they like?

Suse said...

Pumpkin and feta.

Jen said...

Amazing! I don't think I've ever heard a magpie before. Your voice and camera perspective lead me to believe you're shorter than I pictured: you post tall. ;)

pam said...

I ended up posting this on flicker!? O well - here it is again in it's proper place!

I am sitting here with a huge smile, stretching from ear to ear, listening to your lovely magpies! What a huge treat to hear them singing their beautiful song.

I am sending you a big virtual hug for taking the time to share this delightful moment in your day.

Erin said...

Okay, I've watched the video(s) three times now, so I think it's time to leave a comment. Is it normal to be stalking Australian magpies? Don't answer that.

Really, those Magpies are amazing...so smart. Their song is breathtaking, too. And aren't they lucky to be eating pumpkin and feta quiche! They're eating better than I am, damnit.

I'm with the rest who've never heard a Magpie make a peep. Our neighborhood here in Germany is filled with European Magpies--and never a sound from any do we hear.

Definitely sending this link to my mom.

XX

eurolush said...

Er, that last bit was from me.

Margie Oomen said...

what a beautiful song
thanks you so very much

Kathy said...

Oh, I loved hearing those Magpies. I'm from Iowa in the USA and have long loved all sorts of bird song and noises. Some of my earliest memories of times when I felt a deep connection with nature and perhaps the transcendent, were when I was a young girl of 5 or 6 hearing birds in the farm yard or school yard. They are moments I've not forgotten. It is thrilling to me to see and hear birds I've never heard before. What a wonderful singing they make!!

Elaine said...

Lovely. Thank you, I miss the magpies! For me, It's the iconic sound of Australia. I miss kookaburras too, and even the screeching of the cockatiels and lorakeets! We left Oz last year, and I love little reminders of daily life like this.

Karen said...

Boy, those magpies look big! Are they as loud as they look?

alice c said...

That's magpies for you - you can't shut them up - especially if there is food on offer!

Thank you for this lovely, lovely glimpse into your day.

Isabelle said...

Yes, what they all said. Our magpies are beautiful glossy birds with white and blue bits but they certainly don't make that amazing liquid trilly noise. And your voice is so lovely too! I love the way you say, "Beet moh?" Now I think you should let us hear your "Gorgonzola"!

Minymo said...

Those wonderfully flutey magpies made me laugh. I've never heard them before. Thank you:)

shula said...

Now you've done it.

By next week there'll be 50. You know that, don't you? All of them pecking clean through your flywire.

(not that there's anything wrong with that...)