We have a pair of blackbirds nesting in a very large bush in one of the back gardens nearby.
We've watched them collecting worms from our tiny garden and enjoyed their company.
This morning I awoke to loud distress calls from these blackbirds and looking out of the bedroom window immediately saw the reason. A magpie was darting about in the bush where the nest is.
They tried valiantly to scare it off but it went deeper into the bush.
I had to come away from the window because it was so upsetting and a short time after the noise stopped.
I have to assume that the magpie was successful and all the hard work that these beautiful birds had done was for nothing.
This made me think about the fact that once upon a time magpies were purely country birds and did not come into the built up areas.
Cats have a bad reputation for the loss of the bird population but watching this horrible scene made me realise that possibly the magpie is more of a challenge to the nesting birds than the cats are.
Not a good way to start the day.
The study found that songbird numbers were no different in places where there were many magpies from where there are few. It found no evidence that increased numbers of magpies have caused declines in songbirds and confirms that populations of prey species are not determined by the numbers of their predators. Availability of food and suitable nesting sites are probably the main factors limiting songbird populations.
So after finding this passage on rspb website this would tie in with my hatred of paved gardens. Lack of bushes and trees seem to be the main reason for the decline in birds.