The Heron and the Magpie

Heron Magpie

The title of this particular blog posting almost suggests a connection with one of Aesop’s fables! However, the antics observed didn’t in any way benefit the cheeky magpie.

There have been one or two sightings of a heron along the Brook recently – usually at dawn; then two days ago, one flew up onto the roof tops of one of the houses close by, and surveyed its territory. It had obviously ventured into an area claimed by a group of magpies. There then followed some interesting behaviour- three magpies literally tried to muscle in on the heron-smaller birds would have been intimidated, and would have departed the scene rapidly.

The heron stoically ignored the attentions of the magpies, who drew ever closer to the majestic bird. One magpie then suddenly darted towards the heron, and with lightening-like speed aimed a quick peck at the heron’s tail feathers, which only succeeded in eliciting a slow movement of the heron’s head in the direction of the rapidly retreating magpie. The big bird continued to look elsewhere, unruffled by the unsolicited attentions of the one cheeky magpie.

Like a child demanding attention from an adult, the magpie twice repeated its quick peck of the heron’s tail feathers. Having failed to attract it’s attention, the magpie lost concentration and flew off, followed by its two other followers. The heron continued its lonley vigil for another ten minutes, until it spectacularly spread its wings, before flying away into the wooded area behind Rookery Road and Redcliff Drive.

No doubt comparisons with everyday life could be associated with the scene described above.

Broken willow branch-Gravel Hill

Broken Willow branch
The gradual loss of leaves this Autumn has revealed a large broken willow branch adjacent to the Gravel Hill road and the Wom Brook. There would appear to be no risk to cars, but the more adventurous young people who sometimes explore that area by the side of the Brook, which is easily accessed from the Wom Brook Walk could be at risk, particularly if they are tempted to climb the branch.

South Staffordshire Council have been informed about this branch.