Over the years it has been hard not to notice the increase in the amount of magpies there are about. Yesterday ten were boisterously strutting about on the lawn. This time of the year they have the look of a raptor about them and it is not hard to imagine a somewhat similar creature from a few million years ago making the same aggressive movements in the time of the dinosaurs.
I can remember thinking (when hearing the old rhyme about magpies that predicted how good your fortune was going to be "five for silver, six for gold") well that's impossible because you never see more than one or two at a time. They now come into the garden in flocks. There always seem to be a minimum of three or four. They also are less shy than they used to be and venture onto the bird table. Their appetite seems to be increasing and they appear to have a taste for most food stuffs.