Sunday, 5 April 2009

save the magpies


All the trees on the street had big yellow signs attached to them, warning that the tree surgeons would be at work on Friday. I was presented with a dilemma; the magpies have nested in the tree at the front of our house, and while I like magpies because they are lively and exuberant, I also feel protective of the songbirds who nest in the neighbourhood.

There was a blackbird nest in the ivy on a garden wall overlooked by our kitchen window; for a few years running, we watched the blackbirds' to-ings and fro-ings, and their valiant dive-bombing of the magpies that occasionally marauded their way in, looking for the eggs.

Finally, though, it was not the magpies that put paid to the blackbirds' nest. It wasn't even the local cats. It was the aspirational neighbours, who had the ivy ripped down and replaced with a wooden fence, to go with their wooden decking, wooden shed and wooden castle-thing-for-the-kids.

So there are worse things than magpies.

I had a word with the chaps with chainsaws. They agreed to leave the tree alone; indeed, they are obliged to not work on trees with active nests in them. Which must be a problem, this late in the season.

It was fun watching the men swinging around in the trees. Quite fancied having a go myself.

On the climbing of trees, we bumped into Kayle Brandon in IKEA the other week, when we were in there buying frames for my pictures. She it was who organised the Feral Food thing at the Cube in Bristol that I got involved with. She told us that she was having a tree climbing event in Ashton Court, for National Tree Climbing Day or something. Interesting idea. Tree climbing is not really a group activity, in my book. Unless you're a tree surgeon, of course.