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The perfect Bivvi

The perfect bivvi will be level and flat

  • Writer's picturemeldennison

A bird in the hand

Updated: Feb 29

Magpie summerzip
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Last year we had a family of Magpies nesting in our Ash tree, right at the bottom of our garden. It was a source of of joy and amusement watching the family develop and grow. It was also ever so slightly annoying, as young Magpies are mischievous, and want to explore everything, including my flower pots. I would wake up to find compost spilling out all over the place, and plants dug up. They even damaged the washing line, pulling out the connector on the garage. Still, I enjoyed their presence, as I watched them chase each other up and down the garden wall, or land for a drink at the bird bath. Their calls were the theme tune to my life, a constant wall of sound (not the gentlest, rather dinosaurial at times). Birds often inspire my writing, and here are a few examples.

Magpie Song


You sound like a hinge

or a squeaky wheel that needs oiling

Football rattles


A pepper mill grinding

No melody

Like the blackbird

or thrushes’ song

Your calls remind me of witches cackles

Hyenas laughing

on the savannah

No harmony


or blues

But if I had to choose

I'd say melodies

are overrated

With your black bejewelled


You have tools


A corvid brain

Which no refrain

can surpass


Magpie Thief


My garden is like a precious jewel

that magpies would like to steal

they glide over,

landing on the

garage roof,

a sycamore branch,

pulling out roots



beaks probing

amongst cracks and crevices

looking for a morsel

in gutters, and newly planted pots

digging up bedding

making a mess

alighting on the trellis



with your fathomless eyes




scissored calls


the silence

of these four walls

feathery haiku 1.


Proud magpie stands like

a mountaineer on a peak -

beak full of spiders




feathery haiku 2.


garden of black

white and petrol green - crumbs

swirling on water




feathery haiku 3.



black and white jet dives

high speed fighter, sunlit wings -

blink and she's gone.



feathery haiku 4.


dazzling rainbow with

blue, green and purple sheen

lost Magpie feather

The Magpie and the Fox


Sniffing inquisitively

With a coat of dirty auburn

Urban fox

Trotting through a suburban


Rustling leaves


Rushing through the willow

On its tail not far

Behind; a Magpie!

Resolute with

Determination glittering

in its sharp

Black Eye

Harrying the fox




Chasing the nervous fox away

Across the road

No mercy or quarter shown

Driving the fox out of his

lair to roam

Incredible that a bird

Can bully a fox,

Giving him such a scare

That he runs far from his home

If I have driven you mad with poems about Magpies, take a breath...I also have one or two about other birds....

I live in the suburbs not far from a main road, and it is not uncommon to hear the deafening din of traffic alongside the diverse calls of local birdlife....


and a blackbird's

full throated song

One visitor we see daily is the little brown Dunnock, a much maligned and unappreciated creature...


little brown bird ...



























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