You’ll be pleased (maybe) to know that Magnus is still alive and kicking, which is more than I can say for our baby greenfinch (but more of that later). Magnus is in the garden the whole of the time and he seems to have given up on the idea of flying, preferring instead to just hop around. Our assumption that he is only partially sighted was confirmed today when I watched him walk right into the leg of the garden bench. (Although, when I was a policeman, I once walked into a lamppost in Toxteth, Liverpool, during their riots because I was looking for petrol bombs rather than watching where I was going). Magnus has not got that excuse. He’s not totally blind because he can see me coming and he seems to find his food easily enough.
Having never cared for a magpie before, I’m experimenting with his diet. So far he seems to enjoy meal worms, sultanas, fat balls, the odd plum or apricot, and occasional seeds dropped from the feeders. For a special treat he has had bread in egg yolk (eggy-bread?), a left over from some baking project, and today a piece of burger dropped on the floor by youngest grandson. All were well received. He sleeps under a bush and when sitting around, prefers his back to something solid like the garden roller. Keeping his back safe seems like a sensible precaution given the circumstances. So, he seems happy enough and is surviving. So far, so good.
Last evening, we found a baby greenfinch in the garden. He had no feathers on his head. Instead he had four nasty ticks which were sucking the life blood out of him. We tried to remove them but couldn’t so we popped down to our local vet, who kindly said they’d remove them for us. On our way back, we discussed keeping him overnight and if he was ok next day, we’d put him in a tree near to where we found him. Sadly, when we got home, he was dead and he had yet another tick attached to his throat which, presumably, the vet had missed. This put a damper on our spirits a bit but, at least, we tried. Better to try and fail than… etc etc.
Tonight, I’m putting my camera out to see what is gnawing at a log next to the plum tree and what is responsible for stripping a low lying branch of all of its plums. I suspect a badger.
The next day – Well, it wasn’t a badger but three, or maybe even four, raiding the plum tree by reaching up, climbing on the wall and standing on the branches. Maybe it wasn’t the weight of plums that broke one of the branches. More likely, the weight of badger! And then a fox having a mooch about.
Magnus was very brave today, or else, he couldn’t see me. I was sitting on the bench when he wandered up to feed. He walked into the garden roller and fell over the water dish but, otherwise, managed to find his food quite successfully.