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Saturday, 2 June 2012

A young magpie

I saw this young magpie just outside the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes. He (or she) was just standing in the grass with his parents nowhere to be seen. After a while he began hopping along and looking towards the sky. Then he started to try and squeeze himself through gaps in the wire mesh fence by the path (unsuccessfully). He wasn't able to fly properly, only managing to flap a couple of feet off the ground. I started to get a bit worried for him, as he looked quite vulnerable. However, eventually he hopped up close to a tree, whereupon an adult swooped down, gave him some food and disappeared again. I wondered whether the parents had been observing him all the time, but were concerned about my presence. So I backed off to a distance. Then an adult swooped down again, and gave more food, before flying off. After this, the chick found a gap in the fence that he was able to squeeze through, and he vanished into the bushes.

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