Little Bird Diary

Published by: Caducean Whisks on 16th May 2011 | View all blogs by Caducean Whisks
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487 Comments

  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    All, I've written this up to save clogging up the main wall with photos and individual discussions - I realise not everyone's that interested! For those that might be, I'll update this blog daily until we're all bored rigid, he flies or he dies. Thanks for your interest so far, it's been nice :)
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I still don't understand why a wildlife magazine wouldn't be interested in your chicken stories and this. They are so heartwarming and full of your charm.

    I definitely don't think he's a woodpecker. My mum has a family of them that regularly visit her bird house and hanging nuts. They have lethal beaks a completely different shape to the chicks. I think a magpie is probably nearer the mark. When you are ready to release him into the wild, bring him here. There are hundereds of magpies (literally) in the woods behind me. There's only one thing about a hand reared chick, how are you going to teach him to fend for himself? I think you may have him now for the length of his natural life.
  • nats / nina
    by nats / nina 2 years ago
    How beautiful almost like your a mummy bird
    Really Charming
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    This is lovely. He is obviously in very safe hands. Has he a name yet? I wondered if he's a chaffinch, because the colour of his body looks pretty chaffinch-like. But I suspect he is already too big for that. It sounds as though he's growing by the minute. Fingers crossed for him, Whisks!

    This reminds me of my cousin who used to be the local refuge for avian waifs and strays. She was once given a tiny duckling who couldn't make any oil in his feathers to keep him afloat. She trained him to swim in her children's paddling pool and in the bath. Her husband had just bought himself a new armchair and wasn't impressed when the duckling, now called YoYo, made a mess all over it. YoYo eventually went to live in an animal sanctuary as he'd become too domesticated to fend for himself with other birds.
  • MinxieAD
    by MinxieAD 2 years ago
    It’s so nice to read and see how well Woody is doing.

    I’m not surprised Ruby reacted like that! She probably knew you were planning a blog about ‘him’! It was a good idea, and could have been quite funny to see Woody strutting around the yard pecking and ruffling his feathers like a chicken if she had adopted him.

    I think people would love to read his story. It can’t be just us! Maybe a local newspaper would be interested? It’s uplifting and humorous. Definitely try.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    I agree with Minxie. What a lovely read - I also thought when I was reading it that it would sound great on Radio 4 :-)
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Whisks. Thanks for this and thanks for you. I now have this image of you in the supermarket with the equivalent of one of those baby carriers strapped on you, only it's tiny.

    I saw your speculation on if Jenny had in fact driven off the parents. Some years ago I found Chloe (cat) standing guard over a blackbird chick. It had fallen out of the nest. The parents were dive bombing. But it couldn't stay on the lawn. I could see the nest and also reach it. So I got the ladder out and, putting the little chap in a box I took him back and put him in the nest. Left the garden empty so everything could calm down. But no good. They abandoned the nest. Bugger!

    So, I shouldn't worry. You're almost certainly the little fellas only hope. But I don't know how you'll do the flying bit. Is it about 4 weeks to fledging?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Weens, the plan is to introduce him to the henhouse when he grows more feathers, stops shivering, can stand and preferably fly. Once he's learned to live outside, I'll leave the door open when I can, so he can come and go. Eventually, I hope he'll re-integrate into the wild. Not sure who's going to teach him to fly.
    Thanks nats, I'm doing my best!
    Spangles, neighbour liked 'Woody' when we thought he was a woodpecker. It's as good a name as any, and you can't go mucking about with people's names. That's a salutary tale about the too-domesticated duck and your kind cousin! I'd really like him to turn into a wild bird. The chickens will be wild when he moves in, anyway. Incidentally, his oil gland is in the pics - it's a little nipple just at the base of the tail - you can see it since he has no feathers.
    Minxie, I hadn't thought about doing anything more with this - thanks for your enthusiasm. Hmm, maybe I will. On reflection, it might not have worked anyway, since chicks feed themselves after their mothers point them in the right direction - they're not nearly so helpless, so Ruby wouldn't have dropped roast pork into his mouth, nor worms!
    Skylark - radio? Thank you, there's another thought. Aren't you lot fabulous?
    Alan, have you been spying on me in the supermarket? The madwoman with a pocket full of worms and a squawking baby bird on my chest? People steer well clear :) I'm fairly sure now he's not an actual crow, so she didn't do something terrible and break up the family.
    Yes, birds - like the rest of us animals - are never sure if others are trying to help or harm them. You can only do what you can do. As for how long to fledging/flying, it all depends on what he is and how old he is. Got me there!
  • Bren
    by Bren 2 years ago
    A lovely read - You are very patient and caring - I do hope he survives - he probably will when he has managed so long. I was thinking of you today when watching the doves nesting here. it is the closest I have ever been to a nest and babies.
    They grow so quickly, big improvements each day. I expect the doves to have flown the coop in a week - early.
    Good luck whisks.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    A really lovely story and as usual written in such an entertaining way. I know you only wrote it to satiate our curiosity over your new foster child but I agree with Minx- you should send it to a magazine.

    I hope he continues to thrive and I'm sure he will- he's so big now. I'm intrigued as to how Woody's little life plays out. I have visions of him sitting on your shoulder while you feed the hens.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Not chicken lit. Velociraptor lit? Who-can-tell lit? Absolutely lovely writing for a lovely story.
  • conjensen
    by conjensen 2 years ago
    Great stuff Whisks- warm and funny. Try the RSPB mag- and your local RSPB should also be able to help identify it. Not a cuckoo is it? Mind it doesn't grow bigger than you!
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Whisks, this is lovely and a great read. I'll be tuning in daily. I wonder if Springwatch would be interested in running this as a feature on their website?

    No idea of species...time will tell. Brilliant job you're doing, just amazing.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Hi all, just updated this diary, continuing from where it left off yesterday.
    Bren, yes, isn't it lovely to see life developing so quickly? Hope your doves thrive.
    Geri, thanks girl, I don't know the end of this story either!
    Debi, thanks - I like Who-can-tell-it lit!
    conjensen, thank you; I looked up 'cuckoo' - no, don't think so. I only wanted to know what it was so I'd know what to feed it, but I seem to be on the right track, so it doesn't matter so much any more. It's quite exciting, guessing!
    Thanks Mark, you're always so encouraging. Springwatch, eh? Hmm. Bit late? Sprungwatch?
  • Miss Muffet
    by Miss Muffet 2 years ago
    Wow- this is amazing- I didn't think this sort of thing happened outside of 'Animal rescue 24 7'!
  • Kate7
    by Kate7 2 years ago
    This is so awesome and cute. Thank you for writting this, i had a bit of a pants day today but reading this really cheered me up :) So very awesome, I'll keep my fingers crossed for the little guy.
  • maryluv
    by maryluv 2 years ago
    Whisks, you're a foster mum with a huge heart, armed with face cloths and meal worms. This is as entertaining and heart warming as all your other blogs. Keep updating please! Like Kate, I've had a trying day at work and this has warmed the cockles of me old heart...
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    So pleased to see Woody remains alive and squawking, Whisks. Your devotion is wonderful and he was a lucky little fellow, landing in your cleavage. Long may he thrive. Whether he goes 'chicken' or into the wild doesn't really matter as long as he's well and happy.

    It's a lovely story, told with humour and he has quite a fan club now so he'd better not disappoint us all! :-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Next short update added, plus a couple more photos.
    Thanks, Miss Muffet - somehow, the TV cameras passed me by :)
    Kate, glad he's cheering up your day - he cheers mine!
    Luvvy, good to keep those cockles warm and happy to share his progress as long as peeps are interested in his, er, peeps.
    Ama - I'd prefer he went wild - think of all the poo! Thanks for following his progress. I'm sure he knows, that's why he's strengthening by the hour.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Looking at his incipient feathers I wonder if he's some kind of Finch. Or is he too big for that?

    Odd we're all assuming it's a he. Is this because only a bloke would be stupid enough to fall out of the nest?
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    Maybe its legs already pretty much grown - you know, like a puppy's???

    In which case I'm guessing a magpie. Whisks, you may be nursing the avine equivalent of a viper in your bosom!
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    A puppy's paws, I meant to say.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Well- he pretty much looks like a magpie now doesn't he?! Still he suits the name Woody better than Maggie x
  • Liss
    by Liss 2 years ago
    How wonderful! Thanks for posting Whisks, Woody is a beaut, so glad to hear he's doing well! x
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Whisks - stop ignoring the calls from all of us that you have to do something with this. Imagine us squawking if that means you'll listen. PLEASE! Springwatch is a good idea for starters.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    I've just caught up with all the excitement – wonderful writing, Whisks. We have four distracted starling-parents in our garden at the moment, being chased here, there, through the hedge and onto the roof by a gang of fully-fledged youngsters, squawking FEED ME!!! I'm sure the parents would sympathize with you.
    J x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 3 attached.
    Alan (also Spangles), no, he's far too big for a finch. I'll measure him tomorrow as it'll be a week since the last measurement. 'He' assumption is just for ease of address. Can't really say he/she/it every time, can I? :)
    Yes Aonghus, you may be right. Not that I know anything about puppies' feet, but I'll take your word. Should that be puppy feet? Or without the apostrophe?
    Geri, yes, I think magpie is the main flavour of this stargazy pie.
    Liss - yes, isn't he? Well, maybe not right now, given Update 3, but in general, yes!
    Debi, thanks; surely not? OK, I'll think seriously in the morning. I've just been poo-ed on.
    Yes John, it's a full-time job and no mistake.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Do it, Whisks. Do it for Woody. Do it for the Cloud. And most of all, do it for yourself!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Okay, lovely Debi - will tomorrow suffice? Do what exactly? I emailed them once about some film footage I'd taken of chickens chasing foxes. Who wouldn't want to see that? They never replied.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Have you taken him to the vet or asked a vet about his beak? Will it affect the way he catches his own dinner when he's older do you think? My cat lost his right fang last year and permanently looks simple now because the tooth on the bottom catches on his top lip. Unfortunately it didn't hinder him when he caught a pigeon last week. (Sorry Woody).
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    No, not taken him to a vet. At first, we didn't know if he'd survive any length of time but he's lasted a week now and he looks strong. Do you know how rare avian specialists are? As rare as hen's teeth! The one I take the chickens to has gone into semi-retirement and is there for half a day once a week. Next window, a few days time. If he'd been a Green Woodpecker trying to catch ants, a non-closing beak tip might have been more of an issue, but if he's a magpie, perhaps not? They scavange, whatever they can find - carrions, fruit, meat, bread, all sorts. It's sort of healed now, so I'm inclined to wait and see. Oh dear, I'm going to worry now :( I keep trying to press it together, to make it heal that way. Oh dear, oh dear.
  • nats / nina
    by nats / nina 2 years ago
    Whisks,
    Wow, amazing how he/she has grown. I am more than sure this has been a special time for you..........your doing a very good job.
    Bless You x
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Do you think he's damaged his legs in the fall? If you have him much longer, he may start talking to you thinking he's human, :) It may be worth having him looked at by a vet, just to check him over. I echo Debi's remarks wholeheartedly, you know how I feel about your writing.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Ah Weens, you're a sweetheart too, thanks. No, I don't think he's damaged his legs - I think he hasn't yet realised that he has twice as much leg as he thought! Bearing in mind that he'd still normally be jammed into his nest with his siblings, there's not much opportunity to stroll around. I think they'll come into play once he fledges :)
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    I would send them the whole diary plus photos with a covering message. They need to see the real thing to know just how damn good it is. I'm sure it's right up their alley. If that fails, you could even try getting in touch more directly with the presenters. But let's take things one step at a time.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    ACCIDENTALLY PRESSED COPY AND PASTE FROM THE SPRINGWATCH SITE...SILLY ME!
    STARTS AT THE END OF THE MONTH APPARENTLY - BET THEY'RE LOOKING FOR WELL WRITTEN STORIES OF DEVOTION SUCH AS THE WHISKS AND WOODY SAGA.

    When and where is Springwatch 2011?

    The planned start date is Monday 30 May, at 8pm on BBC Two. This could change, but we will keep you informed here if it does. The new main location is the breathtakingly beautiful RSPB reserve at Ynys-hir in Mid Wales. Read more about Ynys-hir and why we chose it.
    How do I ask the team or the presenters a question?

    The best place to ask a question is on a relevant blog post. The messageboard is another way but it's easily swamped so it will be more likely to get lost. You'll need to have a BBC ID to do either (see 'How do I comment on a blog/messageboard' below).

    You can also email us or send a letter to:

    Springwatch
    BBC Broadcasting House
    Whiteladies Road
    Bristol BS8 2LR

    Please do note that while we try to read every correspondence we cannot reply or respond to all of them.
    How do I comment on a blog/messageboard?

    You'll need to register for a BBC ID first. There is more information and help on how to do that here. Then once you're set up, just log in and you can comment away.
    How do I send in a photo?

    We've set up a group on the photo-sharing site Flickr for all your photos of the season's UK flora and fauna. Flickr is a third party photo sharing site and is not run by the BBC.

    It's one of many places where you can showcase your wonderful photographs with other Springwatch fans and the nature-loving community.

    If you use other photo sharing sites, post us a link on the messageboard or the blog to let us know. You can also send us photos on the above postal addresses. But please note we cannot send them back or respond to all of them.

    To join the group, you need to be a member of Flickr, or sign up – it's free. Flickr's FAQ section is a good place to get more information about how the site works.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    And you could link to this blog on the Countryfile "Buzz" page

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t0bv/buzz
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    You could also try The One Show. And then you can talk to Matt Baker about his dancing.

    I'm looking forward to the next instalment of Woody's story.
  • Kaz
    by Kaz 2 years ago
    I look forward to reading your and Woody's adventure each day, how lucky he is to have you Whisks. I think you are a wonderful inspiration to all of us and your diary is so beautifully written. I'm convinced you will get these published, whatever avenue it may be xxx
  • Em
    by Em 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks, I have just happened on this blog and think it is wonderful - not only your writing but the amazing job you are doing for this bird. I do hope that you both succeed in his fight for survival.
    Btw my 9 year old says that velociraptors don't have beaks - they have jaws apparently!
    Keep us all updated, whatever happens. I can't believe there is anyone who is not touched by this blog.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Whisks. People are clamouring for you to publicise this. I too think that this is a special moment, but it's your moment. You and Woody. If you were to go for publicity a mention to the local press would probably get the local TV news crew round faster than a crude metaphor and your life would be ruined thereafter. So you do what you want, but take plenty of pictures!

    About the beak. I read somewhere that superglue can be used, but that may have been on a mature bird. I can't turn up any decent supporting google on it. (I'm supposed to be working, but can't be arsed today.)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Hi all, Update 4 included.
    Debi, Mark, Spangles - I'm overwhelmed by your encouragement! Thanks so much for the cheers and ideas. I really need to discuss with Jenny first, before going any more public on this as it's her story too and she should share some credit. I'll see what she says.
    Thanks kaz, but you'd do the same if someone proffered a baby bird on your doorstep.
    Em, thank you, and please thank your 9 year old for that useful piece of information about velociraptor jaws. I didn't know. There's a thing. We can rule out dinosaur now!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I'm not offering this as a serious thought, but it occurs to me that you could probably get John West to sponsor him if you were so inclined. (And thank God you aren't.)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Alan, not so sure about a TV crew clumping about my front room - might be OK if they were all blindfolded and sent the industrial cleaners ahead of them :) Also not sure about super-gluing his beak together - perish the thought!
    Spangles - if he carries on eating like this, it might not be such a bad idea!
    Mcallan - thanks for your comment on my wall - wonder why you couldn't comment on the blog? Yes, he was very woodpecker-ish in the early days, but we're still happy with the magpie diagnosis. Magpies are crow family, as everyone knows :) [What am I saying, 'early days'? It's only been a week. Blimey.]
  • Tenacityflux
    by Tenacityflux 2 years ago
    I have been silently admiring your struggle, but brings me in mind of 'My Family and other Animals,' where G D raised magpies, who learned to talk, apparently most corvids can; I did read a piece about a crow called Hoppity, who lived for 22 years after being raised in a similar way; lived in a box by the cooker and house trained himself; he used to make 'nests' out of everything he could lay his beak on, and had favorite TV shows, as I recall with was the Sweeney, and he would appear and do a special dance to the theme tune. So yes, they are very; he will probably teach himself to fly, and now he's imprinted on you, he will try and become like you, more than like a magpie; so watch your lap top!
    My husband is deeply envious, his dream would be to have a per crow, he has been trying to tempt one by our flats to eat from his hand, no joy yet, but they have reached something of an understanding. TFx
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I imagine that you don't really need to identify his species until you reach the point of selecting a local school for him. I can picture the difficulties in filling in the required form, though.

    Name: Woody Whisks
    Date of birth: Some time in early May 2011
    Place of birth: Unknown, but possibly third tree on the right as you look down the garden
    Sex: Undetermined as yet
    Nationality: Unknown, but possibly his/her parents were illegal Spanish or African immigrants
    Ethnicity: Black, cream, maroon, blue, green
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 2 years ago
    The change in a week is amazing - especially if you scroll through the pics quickly - as you say, you must be doing something very right!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 5 and next picture uploaded. Not sure why some pictures are squashed/elongated in one plane. He's not as dumpy as that!
    TFx, 22 years? Pardon? No, no, no, he must go back to the wild, we're clear on that one. Don't mind a visit every now and again (would like it - just to know he's all right), but prefer it if kids fly the nest to live happily ever after. Gor lumme. Got me worried now.
    Spangles, that image made me howl! We might have to consider his state of literacy as well - possibly special needs?
    SS - indeedy - it's lovely to see life telescoped in this way and be part of it.
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 2 years ago
    Oooh - the cutest picture yet. Definitely a Newcastle supporter. Walking - you must both be proud Mums...
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Spi - had to think what you meant about Newcastle!
    Update 6 there now. :)
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Lovely to read the updates - a little bit of bedtime reading :-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Weens, thanks for your lovely comment on my wall. Yes, I'm awaiting first flight with anticipation too. And no, no idea of gender. I don't know about all birds, but the ones I do know about, don't have any dangly bits to help the diagnosis - they're not aerodynamic, are they? So bits all tucked away inside. Think they're differentiated largely on comparision with the opposite gender (bigger/smaller body parts, spur, combs, etc), and on plumage - but he's still a bit short of that!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    You are absolutely right about his literacy levels. I hadn't thought of that. And I've realized he won't be able to sit at a desk like his fellow pupils, so it looks as though home schooling is the only answer after all.

    He looks so sweet! And how wonderful that he's walking.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 7 and today's photo. Pic still distorted on here; he's much chubbier than that.
    Skylark, glad you're still reading!
    Spangles, he might need a special school chair too, more like a branch.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    This is better than a soap opera. Coronation Tweet- Nestenders...erm okay- have ran out now. But I do look forward to your updates. xxx
  • Mcallan
    by Mcallan 2 years ago
    This is so heart warming! I really think it would make a superb serial in a magazine or somesuch! Why not contact Springwatch? or has someone already suggested that? I haven't read all the comments! Awaiting next installment eagerly!
    Mac
  • nats / nina
    by nats / nina 2 years ago
    Enjoying the story, great pics, and well done to you both.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 8 and new photo added. Can't believe the photo's squashed again - thought it was because I'd cropped them, but this one is untouched. Gah. Maybe it's my screen and they don't look squashed to others? Woody's almost perfectly spherical atm.
    Geri - that's so funny! Wish I could think of a pun, but only Hollyoaks springs to mind and that doesn't need any changes, does it?
    Thanks Mc, yes, I've had a look at the website and will look again just now.
    nats - that's great, and thanks :)
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Another charming account of Woody's day. I'm completely fascinated by him and can't wait to see what he does next.The pictures show how much he's growing. He obviously thinks you're his mum, and he couldn't have picked a better one :)
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Woody looks pretty much spherical n my screen- so perhaps it's just on some pooters. He reminds me of the 'pom pom pets' I used to make when I was young. He looks very un-frog-like now compared to only a week ago.
  • Andrew James
    by Andrew James 2 years ago
    DELETE DELETE - sorry - Geri, I must confess I've not been keeping up with the whole bird saga. And I just glanced up at my screen and saw the word "Woody", closely followed by what I thought said "porn porn pets", and...and... oh, dear.

    *creeps off stage left*
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    *laughs and points* :D
  • curlykats
    by curlykats 2 years ago
    A fantastic read and great pictures-can't wait to read more
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 9 appended. Thanks to those still reading :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 10 and photos. HE'S HOPPING!
  • conjensen
    by conjensen 2 years ago
    Gripping stuff- I keep tuning in for the next episode!
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Those still reading. Those still reading?? This is compulsive stuff. Now he's mobile you'll have to move all your things up out of reach. Oh no, that's human babies. Or is it, I wonder.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    OMG he walked! Are we sure he's a magpie now. I had a good laugh when you suggested he may be a penguin, how about an albratross, or a falcon, or a hawk, or an ......
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Well done, Whisks- he's a credit to you x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    ... and after a full day's hopping and walking, he falls asleep in my hand. New photo just added. Ahh.
    Thanks curly, nats, Mc, conjensen, Alan, Weens and Geri - glad to hear you're following :)
  • Tenacityflux
    by Tenacityflux 2 years ago
    Oh bless him, certainly must be a magpie, he has grown so fast! So he probably will speak, if you speak to him, I bet he'll learn his name or a few other choice words, so mind your p's and q's!
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I've just stumbled upon this article:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1173286/Theyre-scavenging-screeching-hooligans-bird-world-orphaned-magpie-stole-heart.html
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Awww, cute photo. Great to have a catch up of the last couple of days. You must be such a proud parent now he's walking ;-) Skylark baby has just got going with that last month and I can't turn my back anymore. Just be warned, the next step is opening all your cupboards and drawers and emptying them on the floor and pointing at indeterminate objects out of his reach with an insistent 'dat!!' which gets more and more screechy for every wrong object you pass him. Hee hee. ;-P
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Aw, Geri, what a lovely story. Thanks for posting it :-)
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I think the reporter and Whisks should get together to compare notes. What a lovely story, I'm hooked on bird stories now.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Hey, she/he is turning into superbird! I look away and she's a teenager!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Tfx, I always speak nicely - I think? Heaven knows what he'll pick up - children always mimic on the swear words you use 1% of the time and ignore the rest of the eloquence, don't they?
    Geri - fan-jolly-tastic article, thanks so much! Totally brill. So that's what's in store, eh? No mention of the poo. There never is :)
    Thanks, Skylark, I'll look out for the next stage. Human babies develop much more slowly than bird babies, don't they? Why don't you try for a bird, next time?
    Weens - jolly good idea! I had no idea how much fun and personality birds would have until I got chickens.
    John - kids, eh? Ain't that the truth?
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Popping in here each evening had turned into my regular treat. Can't wait for the next instalment. Strange about the resemblance/differences to magpies ie the colour of his braces. Like he's a negative image of the standard magpie ... yet also a positive version of their negative image as ruthless thieves. Ooer, missus. I think he's been 'sent' to you. *cue spooky music*

    (And now I can hear you saying, 'He's not the messiah; he's a very naughty boy.')
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 11 to polish off day 11 uploaded. Getting ahead of myself now.
    Aw Debi, that's lovely, thanks. Yes, aren't the braces strange? I saw a pic today where the braces were black. Wonder if it's a different species of magpie? Or could be an albatross, as Weens suggests. I think he might have been sent as well. Will include it in next update, thanks. He's not naughty yet - apart from missing the tissue placed under his blunt end :)
  • nats / nina
    by nats / nina 2 years ago
    Wow - i think that u would be really attached now !!

    You' ll miss the little man when he has gone or maybe he'll just want to stay with you--I bet he's going to visit you regularly xx ah what a experience
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    I never miss a day Whisks - loving the daily developments and amazed by the speed of learning. Great pics too - my fave is asleep in the hand.

    Geri - lovely article to share, thanks for that.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 12 added.
    Yes, nats, I'm definitely attached!
    Mark - thanks - nice to hear. I think that's my fave pic too.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    His development just over the course of the weekend is incredible.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Now you point it out, it is, isn't it? He's got some fine colours in those feathers now.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I don't miss a day, I've even got my mum hooked, she asks me eveyday what he's doing. You should write it up into a story like Marley and Me, and then they'd make it into a film. Absolutely love it, please keep up the updates.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    Amazing progress since I last looked in Whisks. Whatever this little bird turns out to be - and it looks more like a magpie every day - it would in natural conditions have been fully fledged and ready to flutter its wings by now had it had the benefit of two parents working together to provide natural food for it every few minutes of every single day.

    That you have brought him/her along so far is a triumph of love over the harshest laws of Nature.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    This is so lovely, and Woody continues to look adorable. I'm so glad that he's flourishing, and love it that he's talking to you. He did have a big weekend, didn't he? Yes, I expect he'll be going to Oxbridge by the end of the week and running the country by mid-June.

    My Collins Wild Guide to Birds rather usefully informs me that juvenile magpies have 'white feathers that look dirty'. Please don't tell Woody that as I'd hate to hurt his feelings. Or maybe it doesn't apply to him so he has nothing to worry about. It also says that young magpies 'fly after 24 days and stay with parents for a month or more'.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    I was scrolling down through your photos this morning and I couldn't get over how quickly he made the transition from something that looked like one of those joke plastic chickens to being fully feathered. How long did it take? A fortnight?
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Bless- he did look like a 'joke plastic chicken' didn't he? Awwww x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 13 added.
    Weens - that made me laugh, you mum asking for updates!
    Ama - I don't think he'd be fledged and flying by now in the wild - by my reckoning, he's not quite 3 weeks old - so first flight booked for the end of the week. So excited!
    Spangles - I didn't tell Woody about the dirty feathers thing - he's got such a lovely palette going and can't be expected to get everything right first time. Besides, he hasn't read all the books you have.
    Aonghus/Geri, thanks yes, didn't he look plastic? And dead? No one's more amazed than me by the turnaround.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    My mum has nuts out for the birds, and I bought her a bird house and she puts bird food in the bottom of it. They have a family of woodpeckers that visit, and lots of other types of birds of which I can't tell the difference, unless they have a red chest. BUT not one magpie, yet where I live, there are hundreds. Not too many during the day, but at twilight you can see them coming like a big black cloud and settle in the wood behind me. There must be fifteen magpies to a tree, and there are a lot of trees. Beautiful looking birds, but thieves, and very messy. Can they talk? Will Woody be talking? Oh, please can we have a pic of him smiling.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Today's photo added.
    Weens, we have a sudden and inexplicable magpie shortage here - any to spare? Oh hang on, I've got one right here :)

    I'm trying to get a photo of his smile but it's the devil's own job; all these pics are taken on my mobile phone and by the time I've faffed around and got it set up, the moment's passed. Added to which, there's a short delay between me pressing the button and the shutter clicking, so again, I often miss the moment. In this one however, he's almost smiling at me (he's looking up at me) but it's not quite the right angle. Will keep trying.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    It's a lovely pic- it's so sweet that he nestled into your shoulder. There's plenty of magpies around here..maybe they're just having a holiday.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Geri, I think they must be. It's most strange. It's very windy here - perhaps with those long tails, it's not good flying weather? Or they've been blown away?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I've got more than enough to share, Whisks you can take as many as you like.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    The white V on Woody's back reminds me of rugby league shirts - distant memories of watching Grandstand on mid-70s Saturday afternoons.
    As for magpie bad behaviour well...I blame the parents. Given the good influences surrounding him, I expect Woody to have impeccable manners, to repatriate jewellery stolen by his siblings and to say please and thankyou.

    p.s. he's gone international, a 'like' from a fellow writer in Brisbane. 8-)
  • Barb
    by Barb 2 years ago
    In the last picture he looks like he's got a black cloak with a fur trimmed hood.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Exactly what I thought, Barb! I love his downy white tummy.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 14 included.
    Weens, I may take you up on it if our own population don't muster soon.
    Mark, how nice of you to say so. I must admit to a penchant for shiny things myself so I may not be such a good influence. And he has a fan on the other side of the world? I'll tell him, he'll be thrilled.
    Yes, Barb and Spangles - his feathers are different all over his body - texture, colour and function. It fascinates me.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 15, folks. Gotta dash!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Today's photos added. Cry Fowl!
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Woody is now quite possibly the most famous magpie the world has ever known. You must be so proud!
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    You won't be the only one to miss him when he flies away, but I bet he comes back to visit.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    'Life is the true philosopher's stone.' C. Whisks, Oxford dictionary of quotations.

    As the son of a science writer, I can say with confidence that my dad would have been proud of that whole paragraph, CW.
  • Barb
    by Barb 2 years ago
    Just a thought, but he's going to be a teenager soon, isn't he.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v624/WitchBarb/random/funny-pictures-hope-it-was-fun-though.jpg
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    There are so many facets to this. I am currently getting my head around the fact that you will have raised a kiddie through to adulthood in a matter of weeks, whereas I've been 18 years at it and I'm still not done. Have you thought about uni yet?

    BTW. I think you get the award for the world's longest blog. I think I may be getting RSI scrolling through it.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    What happened? Did you take him to the exercise class with you? (Would he have needed his own tiny leotard?) Did you leave him behind? And if so, did Poppy leave him alone? I shan't feel happy until I know!

    Oh, and I agree with John about your wonderful description of how little bits of strawberry become bits of Woody. Beautifully expressed.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 16 and today's photo added.
    Aw shucks, Debi, do you think so?
    Weens - he's not going out on his own until he's at least 30 :)
    John - thank you so much. From what you've said about your dad, I'd like him loads.
    Barb - we're well past that stage, thank you very much! Do you know what they are? Woody didn't have all that fluff, but they've certainly got the crow family beak. Oh gawd, now we're swapping baby photos.
    Alan, yes, it's fun having it happen so quickly - little time to get bored. As for uni - yes, if he can get a scholarship. Perhaps Newcastle?
    Spangles - Poppy was out in the end, so that was all right. A leotard? Tee hee. Nooo, they don't make them small enough and he'd be rubbish at weights.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I am relieved to know that everything worked out well in the end. No, I can quite see what you mean about the little chap struggling with weights.

    What a lovely pic of him having a snack.
  • Mcallan
    by Mcallan 2 years ago
    He would go down a storm at Newcastle Uni with his colours! This is the best thing on the Cloud Whisks! I think when he eventually flies the cloud will be awash with tears!
    Mac
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 17 and first perchy pic.
    Thanks Spangles, they don't design gym exercises with birds in mind, do they? Oh! You know what I mean.
    And Mac? Wow, mega thanks, praise indeed. Off to lie down and fan myself. Wow :)
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I can see that you are going to be the type of parent that sleeps with one ear open and won't go to sleep properly till your babies are snugly tucked up in bed.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    AND I hope you are not going to stand behind the door with a rolling pin when he goes on his first date. Is he a he or a her?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I saw this and thought you may be interested.
    Countryside Tales Annual Short Story Comp

    Story: 2000 wds. Theme: A Country Story (do not use the theme as your title). Fee: £3 (free to subscribers of Park Publication magazines). Prizes: £75/£25/£15. Details: web PARK PUBLICATIONS U.K., 14 THE PARK. STOW ON THE WOLD., CHELTENHAM, GLOS. GL54 1DX TEL: 01451 831053 E-mail : enquiries@parkpublications.co.uk
  • trafalgar
    by trafalgar 2 years ago
    Whisks, I haven't commented on this so far but I've been following Woody's story every day. It's beautifully written; by turns funny, evocative, clever and totally delightful. You must publish! And I agree with others, 'Life is the true philosopher's stone' is up there with the best writing I've come across, thought-provoking and wise. Well done.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 16 plus photo.
    Weens, you are a star, what are you? I shall look at that comp forthwith. And yes, I'm afraid I sleep with loads of ears open already.
    trafalgar - thanks so much. It's lovely to hear that people are still reading.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    We knew he was an intelligent little chap, but to respond so swiftly and accurately to Michelle Obama's instructions is truly extraordinary. Did he have anything to say about Obama's speech in Westminster Hall or has he reserved judgement for the time being?

    By the way, please tell him that I'm most impressed by his wingspan.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Tee hee, no he snored through Obama's speech, sadly. Thanks, I'll tell him of your admiration, but before long he'll be able to fly down and you can tell him yourself!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I'll look forward to that!

    His response to the Obama speech seems to chime with that of some political commentators, who found it polite but bland. What a clever little Woody he is.
  • Rebecca Holmes
    by Rebecca Holmes 2 years ago
    Wow - Whisks - I've not been on the Cloud much recently so have only just caught up on Woody's progress. Adding to what Weens said earlier, Countryside Tales also do an article comp, though I think the word count's limited to something like 1500.
    A while ago I read a piece by Frieda Hughes in the Times about raising a baby magpie and how she felt when he eventually left. From what I remember he stayed with her into adulthood and had a habit of perching on people's head, which those who weren't used to him found quite disconcerting.
    Keep us all posted and entertained (I'm sure you will)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Rebecca, yes both Geri and Secretspi found that article and posted it for me - one in the Times and the other in the Daily Mail (which shows that you can sell the same story twice). She wrote it well, didn't she? Can't wait for the stage when he tries to fit cat biscuits into the toaster :)
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Yes Woody's going to be much fun when he tries flying off with stuff. :D

    I passed a magpie on the way home from the school today- and noticed for the first time how very long their tails are. (obv I already knew what a magpie looked like). It's not until you know one (kinda) personally, that you really look at them though.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    I've just thoroughly enjoyed catching up on Woody's biography, Whisks. What a sturdy little guy he's grown into since I last looked! And so brave, too, putting up with the attentions of giant chickens and cats! He's not going to pop his clogs on you now, I'm sure, so it looks as if you'll have a resident maggie in your menagerie for this summer at least.

    Before commenting here, I went into the kitchen to make coffee and as I filled the kettle, a magpie flew across the window and landed in the cherry tree. A few days ago, because of a neighbour's constant complaints about leaves in her barren little garden, my beautiful eucalyptus had to be felled, leaving a rather depressing view of other people's fences and sheds from my kitchen. So sad. However, seeing a maggie fly-past cheered me up no end; got a good reminder of what Woody will look like in a few weeks' time.

    It occurred to me that as magpies take the eggs of other birds in Spring, it might have been an idea to feed Woody on raw egg early on - concentrated protein and probably a part of his natural diet. That might seem like cannibalism to you though, Whisks but anyway ... you're doing a grand job. He grows quite beautiful. It'll be lovely to see him spread his wings.

    Such an interesting blog. Thanks for writing it m'dear. xx
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks. All the time I've been away (with only my laptop and IE) I could only read down to the start of First Update on your charming, alarming, and quite disarming blog on do-it-yourself magpie. So I'm only just catching up with the little fellow's early memoires, which must surely be called, 'Fit to Bust - mealworms and mammaries save magpie misery'. Lovely story, but I'm only halfway through so far; I hope it all comes out right in the end. (It seems to be all coming out right in the end, quite regularly at the moment.)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 19 and new photo added.
    Yes, their tails are as long as their bodies, hey, Geri? Glad you feel you 'know' one!
    Ama, yes, I hate it too when people fell trees and leave everyone with a view of buildings and bleugh. Trees support so much wildlife - I have a huge oak outside my office window so I can see halfway up into the canopy - it's teeming with life.
    Thanks Tony, that's really funny! You're so clever with alliteration.
  • curlykats
    by curlykats 2 years ago
    That's a worrying photo! Hope Tabitha had plenty to eat today! Great to catch up on the updates.
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    I'm sure you must realize, from all the interest above, how much joy you and Woody are bringing into our lives. Thank you.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks, your fabulous daily updates are read nightly here and never disappoint.

    I can't believe such a beautiful bird really poos at all.
    I can't believe such a beautiful cat would do any harm.
    And I can't believe this story will remain unpublished for long.

    oh yes...nearly forgot - I can't believe the females are the bossy ones ;-)
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Finally caught up with the whole story so far and everyone's comments. Great writing Whisks, as usual, not to mention the dedication as a fostermother. But what a cliff-hanger you've left us on with 'that' picture and the casual: I put him on the grass. Tabitha watches him intently but he preens, unconcerned... Fingernails all around Cloudland must be practically non-existant by now.

    I enjoyed Spangle's (and others') concern about Woody's education. I came across this, which you might find useful:

    http://theavenue.org.uk/activities/magpies-pre-school/

    But if that's too far to travel, I hope you trace his family tree eventually so you can do home-schooling. If you do, it occured to me that you might get some help from a branch library.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Curly-wurly, tee hee!
    Cadidore - thank you kindly. Hope your Camelin is thriving somewhere.
    Mark - your points: birds do indeed poo; few people admit it :( Tabs hasn't done any harm *yet* but she is, well, a cat. And thanks for the 3rd sentiment - I've put out a few feelers, but no replies yet.
    Tony - as Curly - tee hee! All's well so far. I shall have to look into pre-school, family trees and branch libraries - thanks for the heads up.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 20 / Day 17 added. Thanks to those still reading. Wx
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    I think we will need a video of you running around the garden flapping your arms to encourage the youngster in to the air. Sound would be good :-)

    Seriously, have you any advice about the next stages??
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    It seems to me (but I may be wrong) that Woody already has strong survival instincts because he dashed under the car at the first sight of another bird.

    This blog keeps making me think of Derek Tangye's books. He wrote about the cats and donkeys that shared his life in Cornwall but he also wrote about a gull in Evening Gull and later in A Gull on the Roof; and about a pet Muscovy duck called Boris in A Drake at the Door. He is one of the great examples of how to turn the experience of living with animals into full-length, compulsively readable and highly successful books.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I think he'll be alright ya know. Magpies don't really have many predators other than cats... so you may want to get Tab to teach him other cats can be bullies.Maybe you could play hime videos of Magies finding food. Do they forage? Or do they just steal the lunch of the smaller kids- he's going to be a hefty teenager by the time he flies the nest so perhaps he'll be alright relying on brute force and ignorance..seems to work for a lot of human teenagers anyway.
  • Mcallan
    by Mcallan 2 years ago
    Just finished latest saga! Woody is a star...so you must be a starlet! Brilliant stuff Whisks....such a charming tale told with real warmth. He does look very Magpieish!
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Spangles has just made me think of Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell and later filmed with the Born Free duo. It's wonderful, the book complex beyond words and it makes me cry (yes me). Oh sh**.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    You may have a friend for life, Whisks. I saw an article on the net recently about how a baby eagle was fed via an 'eagle' sock puppet so it would never associate a human face or voice with being fed. Not that I would ever suggest you should have done any such thing - I actually only read the article after asking somebody about Woody. Apparently bird behaviour tends to be shaped by a few formative impressions.

    The reaction of your hens to a bird flying overhead reminds me of a plump, rather lazy marmalade tom we had called Marmaduke (original, eh?). Marmaduke spent most of his life in the sock cupboard only making the occasional foray outdoors. One day I and my father were chatting out in the front garden while Marmaduke coiled himself around our legs. A flock of geese passed overhead and when I glanced down there was no sign of him. I eventually spotted him - peering out from under a bunch of dockleaves a good twenty yards away. The whirr of wings had obviously triggered some ancient survival instinct. I had no idea he could move so fast. I don't think he did either!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks for your support chaps; I worry that the friend who warned me might have been right; since I feed him, I'm his prime carer, not the chickens, and he's more likely to learn from me - and I'm not frightened of big birds in the way that he should be. He might notice dangerous things, but not react quickly enough to save his life. I'm just making this up as I go along; like most parents?
    Alan - video? no chance.
    Spangles? Why thank you. I've never read Derke Tangye - must add him to my wish list. I don't yet know how Woody's story ends. It might be today, it might be twenty years from now.
    Geri - I do hope you're right. He's not worried by cats, that's another thing. It's me who stiffens when one gets too close!
    Mac - I wouldn't be a star without you lot cheering me on, so the congratulations revert to the sender. Isn't that nice?
    Alan (again) - you old softie, you. I've never read that either - couldn't bring myself to as a child as I knew how upset I'd be :( Course, it may have a happy ending, I don't know?
    Aonghus - it's a worry. I want him to live long and happily, but I'm not really kitted out for an indoor bird - carpets, soft furnishings, that sort of thing? I sometimes fancy one of those scottish backhouses, though - where the family lived in one half and the animals in the other.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I have this mental image of Woody flying free, looking for a piece of newspaper to poo on.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Yes, wouldn't that be funny, Weens? Never thought of that! I'd hoped he'd realise it only pertained to indoors - but perhaps he'll fly to a park and search out those reading their papers ...
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Today's photos added. Wx
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    My how he's grown. When you think back to that little jelly baby shaped thing that he was when you found him and look at him now, well all I can say is he has very good taste in picking a parent.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    I've been a bit busy this week so only just caught up on all of Woody's doings. Can't believe how much he's grown and developed in such a short time. And I loved that bit of writing about 'alchemy in action'. I've never thought about it quite like that but it's so true. Thanks for another great read :-)
  • Barb
    by Barb 2 years ago
    A scooter, Whiskers. That's the answer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbeXSsF_uw0
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    The Woody and Whisks show continues to entertain and enthrall.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks – following up on the New Scientist stuff about Magpie self-awareness, have you seen this example of crow family genius? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8029933.stm
    My daughter tells me that magpies can even pick simple locks!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    That is astonishing, John - at first, I thought it was a well-practiced routine - which was astonishing enough; then I read the blurb which implied it was a one-off. Even more astonishing! I may have a young genius on my hands. Gulp.
    Weens - yes, jellybaby is very apt!
    Skylark - glad you're still with us, thanks.
    Barb - no. Just, no.
    Thanks, Debi :)
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Don't fret Whisks, remember the article Geri shared - the bird left the 'nest' when the time was right. I expect Woody will collect a shiny £1 coin, fly it to the shop, take a broadsheet, read it, do the crossword, write to the editor and then poo in the paper before recycling.

    As for flying.....http://youtu.be/FCjlubLJcxk (Happy ending and true story)

    Alan - if you ever watch the film above, do have some hankies at the ready.
  • MinxieAD
    by MinxieAD 2 years ago
    I'm on Firefox, so can at last catch up! It's great to see Woody doing so well. From the first pic where he looked so sorry for himself to now he's made amazing progress. I can understand your concerns about his entering the real world; all parents have those. All you can do is give him the best start you can and wish him well when the day comes. That day is going to be full of mixed emotions for you I feel. It'd be nice if he did fly back for visits, just to say hello. Don't forget he'll have a lot of instinct when it comes to preditors too. I believe that he'll do well and have his own magpie family, all thanks to you! This really is an amazing blog! I can't believe I had to become a 'fox' to sneak up on you all!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 21 added.
    Mark - yes, I think he'll have a fetish about newspaper by the time I've finished with him! And what a truly lovely bit of film!
    Minxie, I do hope you're right. Thanks for your encouragement; we're all winging it!
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    He's quite a little climber isn't he? I didn't realise baby birds were so agile..but then in the wild they wouldn't reach adulthood if they weren't little toughies would they? Loving these little updates, Whisks x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Geri. I'm assuming that he'd still be in his nest at this point - which is a ball of sticks - so should be able to balance and hang on, at least, when he goes for forays. It's a long way down and no way back up - as he found a couple of weeks ago!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    What a nail-biting episode that was, Whisks! Glad we finished up with a nice cosy, back to domesticity bit. Lovely.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Today's photo added.
    Thanks Tony, Yes, it was a *bit of a day* yesterday. He's more and more active today; growing up as we speak.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    High drama indeed! I came on here for a bit of lulling pre-bedtime and found myself perched on the edge of my seat. Great stuff. Glad all birds were accounted for afterwards :-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Skylark - tee hee :)
    All peeps - I went out for a family lunch today - and have just got back - at 9pm. Woody came too (of course) and had a full fun day - including First Bath - but I'm too zonked to write it up now as other members of Animal Farm needs seeing to as well. Will do it tomorrow. Thanks for sticking with us - those that are! Wx
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Ok, hun- quite understandable. Glad mum and son had fun family day- catch up tomorrow then. xxx
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Saturday's events sound uncomfortably dramatic! I'm glad everyone survived to tell the tale.

    I love the idea of Woody going with you for a family gathering. I can picture him at the table with a tiny white napkin wrapped round his neck, and in front of him is a small plate bearing some beautifully garnished worms.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 22 plus photo added. Sorry for delay, chaps - unavoidables.
    Yes, Spangles - lovely image (especially the worms) - but Woody has a *black* bib - built in! So useful for showing up spilt food!
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Now he's starting to look like a magpie.

    I can't tell you how much I'm loving this. I can't wait to read each day's installment. It's the highlight of my day. The whole cloud is madly in love with him.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you lovely Weens for your endless support. It means so much to know you're out there and listening.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hee hee, what a lovely installment. Love the image of Woody 'meeting the family' :-)
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    At least one new milestone a day. Each time I see a magpie these days, I feel a special affinity, thanks to Woody Whisks.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Tee hee, yes Skylark, it was indeed a family introduction - he may be with us longer than anticipated.
    Thanks Debi, I'll tell him he's a good ambassador; I'd never given them a second thought until now - it's been quite a ride - woohoo!
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Weens - you're spot on. Woody has us wrapped around his wingtip.

    The lunch date was a great read but the bath scene just made me roar. He's such a smart bird.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Mark, he's surprisingly smart - he watches and learns and remembers and applies. His bathing in the spilt water was such a surprise - but it didn't come from any memory bank, he made it up on the spur of the moment; which is amazing in itself. I only recognised what he was doing because I've seen the chickens in a dustbath.
  • trafalgar
    by trafalgar 2 years ago
    What a delight the story of Woody is, Whisks, and how well you tell it. I laughed out loud at the bathing scene, he must have loved his first bath. More, please.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Wonderful! Clever little Woody. Clearly, your family is now his family too. And congratulations to him for flying, even a little way.

    Weens, you're absolutely right about us all being in love with him.
  • Wrathnar the Unreasonable
    This is such a compelling read, well-written and very enjoyable. When I was a kiddie, I was a terrible one for bringing home distressed animals. I had some successes with birds and mice, and some tragic failures with a toad and a crayfish.
    The mice thing happened when I spotted a adult mouse that had been run over by a tractor. There was a hole nearby, and when I put my ear to it, I could hear a high-pitched squeaking noise. I thought that the 2-dimensional mouse might be a mother, and the squeaking might be from distressed babies, so I dug them out and took them home. I fed them by soaking a bread crust in milk, and shaping little nipples along it. I kept them in a waste-paper basket until they reached full size, then released them into the wild.
    I rescued the crayfish when the Darent river dried up in the drought of nineteen seventy-something. I only had a bucket to keep him in, and no idea what to feed him on - no internet in those days. Feeding turned out not to be a issue - he died almost straight away.
    Did I ever tell you about my toad rescue service? Hawley Road runs parallel to the Darent river, and one day as I passed I noticed that the road was covered in squashed toads. Toads live on dry land, but migrate back to the river of their birth to spawn. This meant they had to cross Hawley road, and since they're quite slow, their survival rate didn't seem to be very good. So I fetched a bucket and spent the day ferrying them across, getting some decidedly odd looks from passing humans!
    The next day I went there again, and was amazed to see several mums and their kids ferrying toads in buckets. They'd seen what I was doing and had decided to join in. Many years later, I saw a article in the newspaper about people doing the toad rescue thing in Hawley, and how the idea had spread, becoming common practice all over the country. And it was me wot started it!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    How toadally amazing, Wrath. Gives me a lift just reading about - er... giving toads a lift.

    More great stuff from the pen of the ornathological pediatrician. Write on, Whisks.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    Well done, Wrathy! You must be so proud of starting the Toad Rescue Service all those years ago, obvisly :-)

    Whisks, the family lunch is a lovely chapter in Woody's young life. Quite an experience for everyone involved and what a clever little fellow he is ... taking a bath on his own initiative. Instinct is simply amazing isn't it?

    Springwatch has started now so will your story get a mention on there? Hope so.
  • curlykats
    by curlykats 2 years ago
    Lovely, sounds like he had a grand day out.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Awwww. That's all I ever say when I read this blog; ''Awww''- for all the baby birds and mice and toads.

    I watched Spring Watch last night, intently waiting for Woody's appearance. Perhaps he'll be on tonight......
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    Hello again
    Been away for the bank holiday weekend to a reunion and couldn't wait to get home to find out how Woody is... the photos are wonderful.
    Thanks for asking about Camelin, he's exhausted at the moment having just got to the end of his third adventure!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 23 added: two days for the price of one! New photos, of course.
    Thanks trafalgar, Spangles, Wrath, Ama, curly, Geri and Cadidore. I'm thrilled to little bits that you still like him as much as I do and that you're still reading; every day is an adventure. Wrath's toad rescue deserves a special mention too - step forward, that man; take a bow.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Oh good, I hoped we'd have a double dose of Woody's adventures today! He really does sound too sweet for words, and I love the image of him hopping upstairs to ask for some food. Give it another week and you'll hear the fridge door opening, followed by sounds of lots of rummaging, then the slapping together of two slices of bread as he makes himself a cheese and pickle sandwich.

    I wonder if mother birds have as much fun with their nestlings as you are having with Woody? Although you may give a hollow laugh at the idea of it being 'fun' when you have to clear up magpie poo and keep a watchful eye on the foxes. Thank heavens the cats aren't interested in him. I wonder if it's because he smells of you, which protects him because it marks him as being part of the family?
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 2 years ago
    Still following Woody's adventures, too. He is doing wonders for my perception of magpies - I have to say that I wasn't at all keen on them before with their ungainly way of hopping around - and they can be quite vicious - I once witnessed a nasty attack on a smaller bird. But that's not in the forefront of my mind any more when I think of magpies.

    I wonder if it might make sense to start a Part 2 of this blog as it's getting quite long to scroll through and even taking a while to load up?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    SS, I take your point about splitting this blog, but thing is, a kind friend has linked it to the BBC Springwatch page on facebook so creating a Part2 complicates matters. That post gets buried in no time underneath all the other Springwatch stuff, but he resurrects the link occasionally to give it another run out. Perhaps when Springwatch is over?
    It's nice that you're seeing magpies differently - we can't chose the body or species we're born into, can we?
    Spangles - that's the other thing - I've run out of pickle! Oh no! Love the idea of him rummaging in the fridge. Of only he were as keen on housework as the state of his stomach.
    I think Poppy's not bothered as she's used to strange species co-habiting with her; Tabitha is much more frisky with Woody and I have to watch her. It might be that he confuses her because he's in the 'wrong place' - i.e. indoors. Or it could be that he smells of me/us/the house, as you say.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    Wow! Climbing the stairs in search of Mummy! Soon he'll be flying after you and I reckon you'll be steaming your carpets for a while Whiskers! And Ooooo! Linked to Spring Watch via Facebook? *sits up straight; whiskers shivering with glee* (No, MY whiskers ... not you Dear!)

    Soooo pleased to hear his fame is spreading Whisks. I hadn't gone to Spring W on-line as I felt I'd never get off it once hooked but I'll definitely go to FB; see if I can share your blog with my FB friends (all real-life family and friends and 99.9% of'em nature-nuts).

    Nasty experience for Woody ... getting a hefty peck on the head from Pearl Guinea but I guess she thought he needed to learn a lesson: "Hey, Kiddo, keep your head down out here. Not everyone's your friend y'know!" Better to learn from Pearl than - in the last moments of his sweet life - from Pixie!

    Aaaaawwhhh! Wish I hadn't had that thought! I'm off to FB now. Catch up tomorrow. XX
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    I love him climbing the stairs in search of Mum/food (same thing, I suppose). It's like something out of a Disney cartoon - the pathos. Great to hear it's linked to Springwatch. Well done!

    As regards scrolling down, if you're at the top and hit the End key you jump straight to the bottom, where hitting the Home key takes you straight back to the top. The quickest way to find Whisks' latest entry in the middle is to left-click and hold on the scroll bar, and drag it up or down to the right place. That's really quick.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I love the image of him climbing the stairs too. Would it be possible to try and get a pic of him doing it..could I see a pic of his cat box bedroom too? I know- greedy girl craving for more photos. I just think it's so sweet that his bedroom is a cat box. Is he shut in at night...how do you keep the cats off him?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Our little boy is growing up. Climbing the stairs, well I never. What next? He'll be feeding himself if you're not careful, lol. Good news about springwatch. This definitely deserves more than just being on the cloud. It's begging for a bigger audience, and deserves one.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 24 added with today's photos.
    Yes Ama, he's very wary of the guineas now - just as well!
    Tony, Ama, Geri and Weens - thanks, yes, it pulls at my heartstrings to see him flapping at the top of the stairs - all that way on his own! I'll try and get a better photo of him in his cat box bedroom (as well as on the stairs); there is one or more already - Update 2 shows it - I leave it open during the day but put the top on at night because of the cats. And to keep him in one place until I'm awake again!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    That's an awfully big glass of wine for a small bird! He is having a wonderfully adventurous childhood and adolescence, isn't he? The other magpies won't believe him when he's grown up. 'Yeah, right,' they'll say, when he describes going to the pub. 'And you lived in a cat box? Pull the other one, mate.' 'No, no,' Woody will reply patiently. 'Look at this website. See? That's me, and that hand belongs to my mum. I still go home every Sunday for lunch.'
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    He certainly isn't going to be afraid of people. In fact he could add modelling to Spangles list of acheivements.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Woody Goes to the Pub - another great episode. Ta, Whisks.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    It's an exciting life for a little bird. I can't imagine Woody wanting to fly away now, Whisks; he'd be bored in no time!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 25 loaded with more photos (plus 2 taken at Geri's request).
    Spangles, Weens & Tony, yes he'll be a worldly magpie in some ways, and terribly naive in others. It's a worry. He has yet to meet someone who is nasty to him so he thinks we're all family. Not sure what to do.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Ah, we crossed in the post, Ama. He needs to fly away though, doesn't he? Not too far, of course - the oak in the garden would be all right. But not Spain, or somewhere like that. He's learning a lot of some things and nothing of others. I suppose that's what happens with all of us. He'll be a bit backward when mixing with other magpies, even if he does know how to order his own drink in a pub.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I hope he's feeling better by now. If not, do you have any Rescue Remedy? You could dilute it in water and get him to drink it. xxx
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    There was nearly a riot yesterday on my Facebook wall when we couldn't get on the Cloud for our daily Woody fix. Hope he's ok. You've got me feeling a bit anxious now. Hmmm - wonder what happens if I link direct to here from Facebook ...
  • Pnut Cat
    by Pnut Cat 2 years ago
    i lyking tihs birdy coz hims r not noms pnutz. Hims can viz it mi twee hifn hims wontz.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 26 plus photos.
    Thanks Spangles, yes, I think we have the answer to his problem - all OK now. Must remember Rescue Remedy, though.
    Thanks Debi - wow! What happens?
    Pnut Cat - it's nice to have friends in the forest, he would like to come visit your tree, thank you.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Good you sorted out his crop. When do you start him on rotting flesh? (Like you see them devouring bits of raod-kill.) Just asking.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Just had my Woody catch up after a few days away, some enforced by a clear sky (no cloud). So, flying a few feet with confidence is it? Excellent. If there's any one thing on my mind about this wonderful bit of history it's that he think's the world is a safe place. Bunging him in with the chickens and the guinea is a good move.

    Perhaps pnut cat could give him survival lessons. Like those retired SAS types who lecture unfit overweight TV personalities on how to do rugged and dangerous things. Unlike unfit overweight TV personalities he won't be able to get a stuntman to do his stuff for him.
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    You can hear the sigh of relief from far and wide that Woody's alright. Debi's link onto Facebook works brilliantly. Woody will have a whole new fan base by tomorrow.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I was going to tell you about all the complaints on Facebook. People were so upset at not being able to read your bird diary ...but Debi beat me too it. It wasn't just complaints, it was more like a demo!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Tony - does roadkill hang around long enough to go rotten? S'pose in some circs. Yuk. He's on his own with that one.
    Alan - it worries me too :(
    Cadidore and Weens - what about facebook??? MarkR kindly linked it - so Debi's really gorn an dunnit too? Wow oh wow. Group hug. Thanks, all.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    OK Whisks, 'fess up - which one of you is the messy eater? More development, more excitement, more fun reading this.

    Debi's link to Facebook will have really widened the audience - the adoring public just grows and grows. :-)
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    He's so clever and developing so quickly. I wonder what next week will bring x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 27 with photos.
    Mark, it wasn't me, honest!
    Geri, I hope he'll get a job soon. Oh, since you asked, his bedroom is in the background of the wilting picture - I put the lid on at night.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I'm so pleased that Debi has put the link up. I've always said that this deserves a bigger audience. Who knows what could come from that. This weekend I'm at my folks. I've read them the whole diary and shown them the pics, and now my mum is as hooked on Woody as the rest of us. One more fan to add to the total. Keep going Whisks, your fan base is growing.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Woody is on Twitter too now. How appropriate is that for a baby bird???
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Weens, you are a love. And so are you, Debi. Yes, it's highly appropriate; I've told him of his fame, but he just smiled and gurgled :)
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    "He can blink each eye separately." It's called winking, Whisks - he's getting fresh with you!
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Just caught up on Woody's doings - turns out I've not looked in on him since Tuesday. Did try on Friday but the Cloud wasn't working for me - sounds like others had problems too. To answer the human housetraining question, our eldest was potty trained at 2 and a bit but over a year later he's still not completely accident free....let's hope Magpies are quicker on the uptake ;-) How do I look for Woody on facebook? And Twitter? Or is it just a link back to this blog? Thanks for more wonderful bedtime reading, Whisks. Night, night all :-)
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Mmm – a coming-of-age tale with a winking magpie.
    My daughter spent most of last summer doing what you're doing with a baby giraffe in South Africa.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Gosh - what size is her cleavage, John?!!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    I was just struggling to accommodate the image of a giraffe perched on her shoulder.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Well, she did spend a number of nights cuddled up with the giraffe in his pen. Sadly, he didn't survive, but the reason he didn't survive has given her the theme for a thesis on ungulate nutrition, and the possibility of improving welfare in captive browsing animals.
  • Amarantha
    by Amarantha 2 years ago
    Just looked on Baby Bird's progress but not getting the latest photos of Woody here. *Sigh!*

    Woody is a super-star now so I'll go take a look at his recent publicity photos on face book. Meanwhile, his daily diary is a joy to read here Whisks. You are an amazingly devoted Mum.

    One thing that seems to be recurring regularly is his regurgitation of vegetable food. Forgive me for what I'm about to suggest because I've never reared a wild baby bird from such desperately tiny beginnings as you have, but from all my observations of birds in the wild, I have never seen a member of the crow family feed its nestlings on anything other than a high protein diet. Maybe a vegetarian or omnivore regime is not for him?
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Perhaps he should have his own Facebook page! In the meantime, I'll keep linking to here on my wall and on Twitter. Suggest other Cloudies do the same. Woody needs to go viral.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Ama - you can see the blog but not the photos? Oh no! Are you on Firefox? I.E. argues with Cloud posts. As for his diet, you're quite right - I've reduced the plant content of his diet and he's much better. I should have said. And his poos are better too. I only included it as I see crows et al eating bread, cake, potatoes, whatever is thrown out to them, so assumed they must take some back to their babies. Also, there's probably the odd leaf stuck to insects, so they ingest that whether they want to or not. And berries - I've seen magpies eating berries. I think. But he's better with only a small vegetal input, so that's his diet now. Animal protein and fat with a garnish. And I've cut back on the grit too. It's all trial and error.
    John, big respect to your daughter! Sounds like a gal after my own heart.
    Tony, I don't think he's old enough to be contemplating funny business!
    Skylark, thanks for the potty training info - so I've not failed yet then :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Crossed with you Debi. You are a complete star. Thanks so much. I don't know that much about facebook; or Twitter, for that matter. Another learning cliff so soon? Gulp :)
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Don't panic, dear Whisks. Just keep on doing what you're doing.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 28 and photos added. Not panicking, dear Debi - and doing what I'm doing. :)
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I've been busy for the last few days but I'm so glad that all is well in Woody and Whisks land. Brilliant that he's learnt to feed himself. I love the pic of Woody on your foot and the back of Poppy's (?) head.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Still loving your daily Woody files - along with all the other Woodyphiles, here. On a serious note, have you had any expert advice yet on whether or how Woody could ever be released into the wild? Coluld he learn to survive? Would he live long enough to get the chance to learn? It probably wouldn't be his lack of fear of humans that could land him in hot water, but his non-acceptability to other large birds, not to mention four-footed preditors, if left to his own devices.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Debi's beaten me to it yet again, I was going to suggest his own facebook page. Great minds think alike, but in the meantime, I shall do as Debi suggests and print a link to this diary. Another day, another great read.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    If you look under the last post, just before the comments begin, you'll see icons for Twitter, FB, Blogger etc. If people have one or more of these, you can just click and the link will magically appear on your site. Takes a second and couldn't be easier.

    Next step: Woody goes for world domination. You heard it first here. All aboard.
  • MinxieAD
    by MinxieAD 2 years ago
    I know I said this last time, but this is such an amazing blog. Because it took me a while to be able to rejoin Woody's progress because I didn't have Firefox I can see such big improvements in him every time I look in. Your little boy is growing up! I don't think he is going to want to leave with the meals you're feeding him. Loving the pics too. Ooohhhh... now he's on Twitter too! There's no stopping him now !
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Awwwwwwwwwww! I love the photos too. xxx
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Hey! He'll have an NVQ in beak skills soon! In my childhood, we had a book by Konrad Lorenz about the behaviour of jackdaws and the way they learned. Whether any of his books are still available, I've no idea. He also wrote a brilliant book called Man meets Dog, again from a behavioural point of view.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I'm reliably told that Magpies, like Myna birds, can be taught to talk. Now that would really make Woody more special than he already is, and he'd be able to say hello when he comes back to say Hi. BUT you have to train them, as you would a budgie.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks peeps, I appreciate your continued interest.
    Tony, no, I've not taken expert advice on rehabilitating magpies. Is there such a thing? Gulp. Better look it up.
    Debi - really? Duh, I've seen them but never knew what they do. There's a thing.
    Minxie, Spangles, Geri - thanks for your kind words.
    Johno - Yes! I read Konrad Lorenz as a teenager and also Niko Tinbergen - I'd forgotten them, thanks for the reminder.
    Weens - That's interesting! I've no idea how you train a budgie. Woody will probably learn the theme tune to Eastenders first; he likes TV.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 29 and photos just added :)
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    That was one scary day! Youngsters don't dwell on their near misses – I hope you got some sleep.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    Phew Whisks; fine line between protection and the necessary freedom to grow/fly the coop. Your Woody journal is growing beyond an enchanting and compulsive blog. It's now a potentially fine book/radio broadcast/film — or all three.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Cor! That was a scary one. I thought we'd lost him for a moment.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Hopefully a good lesson, well learned. Heart-in-mouth time, though. Was it really a 4" wall he flew over, or should that hve been a 4' wall? (Maybe it's just the Cloud and you typed ' but it appeared here as ", like £ and $ replacing each other.)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks - it was indeed a scary day - this might have been the end of life as I know it.
    Johno - they don't, do they? Yes, I slept - once he was back safe and sound.
    Pim - why, thank you. I wonder if it would be less 'complusive' if the end were known - as would be the case in a book? Dunno.
    Weens - you and me both, kiddo.
    Tony - oops - mea culpa. Twas indeed a four foot wall and twas also all my mistake in the typing. I've been out of imperial too long, that's the trouble; I forget what's what. Might even be a five foot wall. High, anyway - but low enough to see over. If you're over four feet tall.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Yes, Whisks, dwelling on mortality comes gradually. When I was twelve, and on holiday in Rome, I was nearly run over by a Ferrari. I was more excited about it being a real Ferrari than worried that I might not have survived to tell anyone that fact. I can just imagine Woody boasting about the size of the fox and the height of the wall.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Yes, you're right. I never saw danger either - just the possibility of fine stories once I was out of the situation.
    And Woody's been back out today, checking out the venues and making sure they're suitably impressive.
  • Liss
    by Liss 2 years ago
    This warms the cockles of me 'art <3
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    I think he's pushing his luck, personally, not with the predators but with you. You have enough patience to run patience courses for patient saints needing to develop their patience. I salute you.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Oh sweet Debi, I do have days when I turn the air blue and throw things. Days like that, the cold callers had better watch out, that's all I can say.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Right, I'm not coming round your place selling crash helmets for birds. And Debi's right. I, too salute you.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    John - that's an idea; do you think there'll be a market for avian crash helmets? Thank you, kind sir. I know you'd do the same.
  • Andrew James
    by Andrew James 2 years ago
    It's what walnut shells were made for!
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    It's like reading Wind in the Willows or something. A lovely diary entry full of naughty foxes and retaliating magpies- do you think the big magpie was punishing Pixie for Elfie's antics?
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    I guess Woody needs a few scrapes to learn how to avoid danger, but cripes, that was a close one.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Whisks. Debi is right. You could give patience lessons to oysters. Let's just hope your pearl makes it.

    You have created this comic image, in my mind at least. He just fails to clear the wall, there is a small thud and a few moments later he walks round, muttering to himself "What a stupid place to put a wall"

    Anyway, so long as you both keep ducking and weaving.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Woody's just been taken by a crow. I'm more upset than I can say. RIP my delightful little bird.
    I'll write it all up later. Not now.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    NO! Oh, Whisks, I'm so, so sorry. I am in tears, so can't begin to imagine how you are feeling. What emotional agony it must be.

    I realize it is far too early for what I'm about to say to have any consolation for you, but maybe later on it might help: you gave the little chap 29 days of complete love, patience and fun. It was a very special relationship, and if not for you he would have died 29 days ago. You did something wonderful for him, and it sounds as though he did something wonderful for you in return.

    Take care, sweetheart. xxx
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Oh my gosh - breaking news. Thank you dear Spangles - I was also in tears. I went out to search one more time, on the off-chance that the crow dropped him or he got away or something - it's happened before; and then I eventually heard little answering caws, fought through the stinging nettles, brambles - and I have him back! He did indeed escape!
    Whew oh WHEW!!! Earlier I'd found a single blood-stained feather of his (magpie but smaller) - now I have the whole bird back!
    He's shocked and battered, but essentially OK!
    Sorry for worrying everyone. Feel silly now. Must tend to the sick and wounded. Gosh, what a shock! Thank you God.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    There's no need to feel silly! Thank God he's OK. But are YOU OK? Double brandies all round, I'd suggest.

    It seems to me that Woody is a very resilient and determined little character who has now faced danger at least three times and survived. He's most definitely here for a reason. Perhaps we will soon see him taking his place in the Cabinet at Number 10?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Brandy? This morning's been so action-packed, I've not even had breakfast yet!
  • nahual
    by nahual 2 years ago
    That's very sad, Whisks... so sorry. Haven't commented on your blog but been reading regularly. Was looking forward to da little guy's first coherent post! :(

    Chin up, m'dear. As Spangles says, you gave it your best shot and he surely had a happy time, however short by our standards.

    Tough old world for a fledgling.

    xx
  • nahual
    by nahual 2 years ago
    lol... well there ya go... Woodie Houdini! :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    nahual, thank you. It certainly is a tough old world for a fledgling - one of the million thoughts that went through my mind earlier. It all happened in an instant. Must really go and see to the war-wounded. People have been so kind.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Oh Whisks. What a trauma! Poor you. I'd say, Poor Woody, too, but I don't suppose he can read yet. Please pass on my sympathies and congratulations on his escape and tell him I'm expecting lots more 'mots justes' from him as his picture gallery continues to grow. Hot sweet tea for breakfast, I think, to calm things down - and you ought to take some yourself, Whisks. So glad he's safely home again.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    Blimey Whisks, hugely relieved for you and Woody. Short of keeping him inside is there any other way of keeping him safe until he's big enough to see off crows etc? Anyway, feet up, a fag and a drop of brandy for you both. Your wonderful story continues.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Oh my Gosh- oh...I just saw your first comment on the home page..did'nt see the update until the page loaded- which took a lifetime. My heart's going-I'm on the verge of tears.. then I see he's escaped the crow. Bloody hell- I need a lie down. xxx
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Only just caught up with this and so have had the low and the high in relatively short order. Phew! A close call. The crows know he's around now, so you'd best be watchful for a while.
  • Wrathnar the Unreasonable
    There seems to be a cat watching Woody in most of the pictures, trying to look nonchalant.
  • Rebecca Holmes
    by Rebecca Holmes 2 years ago
    Only just caught up, too, so spared the trauma, but it must have been incredibly upsetting for you at first, and not exactly fum for Woody. Still, look at it this way - he's probably learned an extremely useful lesson today which will serve him well in the long term. Hope he's up for a treat tonight. And hasn't he grown?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Hi all, thank you so very much for your kind words earlier and I feel such a fool, getting it wrong (but a happy fool to have my kid back).
    I normally write up the day's events as they happen, then edit them up the next morning and post; this morning, events overtook me so I didn't get to post yesterday's news. In penance and because it's only fair to tell you what happened, I've included today's drama as well.
    Prepping it now.
    Bless you all.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    There we are. Update 30: yesterday and most of today, including this morning's drama.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Just catching up with Woody's doings again - that was a bit of a hairy one. Glad it worked out fine. Have to say, I'm finding this fascinating from the point of view of the developmental leaps and hiccups he's experiencing. It's like children in fastforward. Mine have also had scary experiences (not being chased by foxes!) that have freaked them out enough to set them back for a few days or a few weeks. It's a worrying thing being a parent!
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    The important thing is that he's OK. Also - as somebody else pointed out - that he's learnt an important lesson. Not that it was the first time he's been attacked by a crow. I'd forgotten that this happened right after he was born. Whisks mentions it in the first entry.

    I'm guessing this will all stop once he's fully-grown and too big to push around.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Before my mother said Good morning, she said, 'Have you checked the bird diary yet?' I hadn't even turned on my computer yet, give me chance mother and then you weren't yet on. All day she's driven me mad to 'keep checking'. Eventually, after your posting, I read it to her. Both she and I were becoming more upset at the thought of Woody being lost. Phew! Things woked out alright. Thank goodness. I suppose she'll learn who not to trust naturally, but I want to thump these birds taking advantage of her friendly nature.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Just tuned in and found all the ups and downs of the day. What can I say? I hope you both roost well.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Whisks - you must be exhausted with the fretting and the relief, but what a joy to have Woody back and safe again. I am so pleased for you both and thrilled to read he's eating and sleeping - WHAT ABOUT YOU?

    Take care, both of you and I hope Fate makes tomorrow a nice quiet one in contrast to the drama of the last few days.

    Oh yes, I think Spangles has it right with 'complete love, patience and fun'
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Phew (today's overworked word), what an account. I hope you've both just about settled back to normal - whatever passes for normal in the Whisks menagerie. I loved, 'Now he’s sitting on the back of my chair as I type. Must remember not to lean back' - that WOULD have been an ironic end to the day! So glad it ended happily.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I've just read yesterday's and this morning's drama to my husband...I guess he'll be hooked now too. I hope Woody grows into the biggest magpie your local crows have ever seen and he teaches them a lesson! It would be great if he did learn to talk. You could teach him some great insults to hurl at crows. Yeah- that'll teach 'em.

    xxx
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Oh! Tears here too as I read this unfolding. Woody's story is packed with drama but we don't want tragedy, thank you very much. So relieved. He must have more lives than a cat.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I agree, Tony, about the 'must remember not to lean back' comment! :)

    Whisks, I hope you and the young 'un are back to normal this morning. I thought about you both a lot yesterday. Did you feel as though you aged several years in one morning? If so, I hope you are now back to your youthful self.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you everybody, I'm bowled over by your response. The drama continues. I'm loading Update 31. I don't know if he has a charmed life or a death wish. My nerves are shot.
  • Wrathnar the Unreasonable
    Just read about the crows - scary! For some reason that bit wasn't on here when I commented earlier about the cats. I've always thought crows were sinister-looking, but i never knew they were so agressive! Glad Woody survived.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    The tension is too much. For goodness sake keep him in for a few days until those who had a go at him think he's gone. Not sure I'd worry too much about letting him do what's natural (he's had a wonderfully unnatural life so far). Don't suppose long jessies (spelling?) they use for falcons are an option?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Wrath - no worries - the world is full of predators when you're only three inches tall.
    Pim - he wasn't supposed to go out this morning - he went exploring through a small window, all on his ownsome. I knew nothing about his expedition until I heard the crows and magpies. And foxes. And guineas. And chickens. What's a bird to do?
    He's sitting on my shoulder right now, asleep *again*. Not sure about tying him in, although I won't let him go out without me for now; I didn't even let him out this morning. :)
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    I googled a sec ago out of curiosity. There's a lengthy and detailed account of how to rear corvids at this address -

    http://wildlife1.wildlifeinformation.org/S/00Man/AvianHusbandryTechniques/UKBHusbIndTech/HR_Av_Corvids.htm.

    Maybe somebody already put it up? Anyhoo, it says you shouldn't release a magpie et al back out into the wild until it's five or six months old in order to avoid bullying by other birds.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    Looks like you're going to be taking care of Woody for a while yet!
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Whisks. The stress and tension is getting to us, so you must be in big trouble.

    At some time you are going to have to move him to an aviary in the garden, assuming you are releasing him. Somewhere fox safe, of course. Do you have such a place? I'm guessing he can't go in with the chickens.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Aonghus, that link didn't work for me, but I googled avian husbandry anyway. Seems most of the advice, is *don't*. Too late for us - he's part of my family now and we're part of his. I can't just turf him out and tell him to get on with it, can I?
    Alan, yes, the plan was to move him in with the chickens, but only when he can feed himself. He's still not very good at it.
    He's hardly left my shoulder all morning, clinging on. Apart from his earlier excusion, that is.
    Those branches on top of the henhouse shown in a photo a few days ago, are my 'spare branches' - interesting shapes that can become perches as the need arises. I'll rig one up for him when the time comes, high.
    Tony - your comment on that photo, btw, was funny :)
    Also Guero - walnut shells for crash helmets? What a wonderful idea.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Thanks for another splendidly written update. Perhaps Wood thought, since he went out the door last time and got mugged, maybe things wouldn't be so bad through the window. I know when our cat asks out and sees it's raining hard when we open the back door, he declines and walks through the house to be let out the front instead!

    I had suspected what Aonghus has found, he really needs to be protected until he is fully matured. It would be lovely to think the other magpise were protecting him from the crows, but it's much more likely they were joining in the bulleying. We get adult magpies coming to our bird-table and none of them takes kindly to another trying to land on the table while they are on it.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    http://wildlife1.wildlifeinformation.org/S/00Man/AvianHusbandryTechniques/UKBHusbIndTech/HR_Av_Corvids.htm

    This is the same address only it works OK - unlike the last one.

    Six months isn't definitive. Basically you wait until the end of the Summer after they've moulted their first coat of feathers.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    I reckon the injuries are consistent with bullying rather than an actual attempt to kill him - the avine equivalent of giving him a black-eye. If that's any consolation. Which it probably isn't.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I think, Whisks, you need to have a serious word with your cats. They can't just sit around and watch their adopted sibling get bullied like that. They should be defending the garden from pesky crows!
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Be still my beating heart. Poor Woody. Bullied not once, but twice. You'll have to give him an extra special treat to buck him up, and a big hug from all his cloudie friends. He has become a big part of my daily ritual, almost one of the first things I do is check in on him. So according to Aonghus's info, you have him for a few months yet. Goodo, we don't have to say goodbye any day soon.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 32 and yesterday's photos added.
    Tony - I think you might have something there - my cats do the same thing: just because it's raining outside one door, doesn't mean it's raining outside every door.
    Aonghus, thanks for the link - that ol' cunning full stop, eh? I should have spotted that. Very interesting info. Does indeed look like we're mates for a while longer.
    Geri - I've had a word with the cats. Thanks for the reminder.
    Weens - he's asked me to thank you for the hug and says you're a big part of his life too. An unusual life, in magpie terms :)
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Thank heavens Woody has lived to fight another day. And long may he continue to do so!
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Reading today's update it occurs to me that Woody's only understanding of English comes from you. Everytime you say don't do something, he promptly does it. I expect you give him a nice stroke or a cuddle immediately after and a bit of friendly chat. Perhaps he simply has the meaning of "don't" the wrong way round.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    It seems he's caught on - window or door, outside is dangerous. For the time being that's no bad thing. When the time comes, when he's mature, if it's still a problem, maybe using the chicken cocp as a half-way house will help.

    So not only can you use Woody in place of a necklace, he also makes a handsome magpie-bracelet.

    Re the poo-ing, have you considered a nappy, or a little pair of snuggies? Better on his knickers than yours.
  • BlueDiamondMist
    by BlueDiamondMist 2 years ago
    Wow, I've just read this - how fab! You need a gold medal; they're not easy to look after.

    I went to the lakes over the weekend and I was sat by a lake, minding my own business, when I hear all this commotion behind me in the trees. As I went over to investigate there were about a dozen tiny little birds (not sure what they were but they were smaller than a blue tit), and one large crow. They were attacking the crow and I guessed that the crow was after one of their young. I went over to try and frighten the crow away when (to my horror) it grabbed a little bird and flew up into the tree. I was too late.

    I felt so sorry for the little birds, they tried their hardest to save one of their own. I know that it's nature but I'd rather they didn't do it where I can see.

    So it's nice to see you're doing a better job of keeping our wild birdies alive!

    I'll keep popping in for updates xx
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Spangles - it's a miracle; several. No guarantees in or of life, eh?
    No Alan, despite appearances, I'm not a juvenile myself. He gets a stern talking to when he does something I don't like, but he's just over a month old and has only been mobile for the last fortnight. Give him (and me) time to adjust!
    Tony, I'm introducing him to the coop for short periods but he's not self-sufficient enough yet. And I tried a nappy on a chicken once. Didn't work, no, not at all.
    Blue, thanks; that's interesting about the little birds taking on a crow? Wonder what they were? Long-tailed tits (pinky and always in flocks), Goldcrests or Firecrests (smallest birds in Britain), or wrens (never seen a flock of any of these)? If there were lots of them, I'd guess Long-tailed Tits - very pretty and always on the move - the flock swarms into a tree, cleans it of bugs and moves off, constantly fluttering.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks, just catching up again and relieved that Woody has survived not one but two attacks. You've written some pretty powerful stuff and got a lot of people rooting for Woody. Hope, for your sake and his, that you have a few quieter days now...Boring has its benefits :-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 33 and photo added.
    Thanks Skylark - yes indeed, there's a lot to be said for 'boring' - a nice quiet little life where nothing happens :)
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    In Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad wrote of a legendary guano island. A place of fable where fortunes could be made from harvesting the vast quantities of bird poo.

    I just thought I'd mention the commercial possibilities. If he's staying, that is.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hmmm, holidays are a tricky one. I've seen plenty of adverts for people offering holiday accommodation for dogs and cats while you're away but not seen one yet that invites magpies...Have you go any friends or relatives who would be able/willing to help out?
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 34 and photos added.
    Yes Alan, good point. If only I had several flocks living indoors, it'd be a goldmine :)
    Skylark, I've asked around but no takers yet. He needs regular feeds and some living warmth. I'm still hoping he'll be in the henhouse by then and that they'll accept him. He's still such a baby though!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Thanks for another great update. I particularly liked: "sorts through my jewellery with diligence, picking up and putting down elsewhere according to his own filing system." You come up with some delightful turns of phrase.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    This is fast becoming the must read each day. How I wish someone would pick it up and print it, it truly deserves to be in print. When the day comes that Woody flies away (sob!) you should get it submitted pronto.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    Keep an eye on your jewellery Whisks. Don't Magpies have a reputation for stealing rather than sorting shiny things?
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    You know, I love the part where you balance the love stuff with the realities of nature, red in tooth and claw. But, like you, we're all still rooting for Woody. Hope you manage to sort out going away. Right. Off to do another Facebook link.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    WAITING FOR THE OMNIBUS EDITION. Sigh...
    I've just heard from the lovely Whisks who has lost all internet access. BT tells her that she should be back on line by Thursday. However, she is up to date with her blog and I can report that Woody is fine. We'll just have to wait for the detail in the omnibus edition later this week.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Thanks PK. Some of us will be getting withdrawal symptoms by Thursday! Still, perhaps Woody needs a rest from being constantly in the (bird)limelight.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    THURSDAY? I think we should all sign a petition and get it sent off to BT pronto. No daily Woody tales, doesn't bear thinking about.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Dear all,

    BBC 2 Springwatch tomorrow night has a film on culling corvids - a proposal by some. I'm posting comments and links to Springwatch Web and Facebook sites back to this blog to share Woody's (and Whisks') side of the story.
    Feel free to do the same. 8-)
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Thursday? Thursday??? Say it ain't so.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Anybody who really can't hang on until Thursday could check out NOT THE LATEST WOODY MAGPIE UPDATE:

    http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/members/profile/104/blog-view/3989
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Another "Not the Latest Woody Magpie Update" has been added, if anyone's interested. It's here:

    http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/members/profile/104/blog-view/3989
  • Mcallan
    by Mcallan 2 years ago
    Hi Whisks. Just spent 30 mins catching up with Woody. That was heart in the mouth stuff!
    Need a lie down now!
    Mac
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    It's THURSDAY!!!

    8-)
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    That was my first thought this morning too.... it's Thursday.... Woody will be back. REALLY looking forward to the next installments.
  • Autumn
    by Autumn 2 years ago
    Sincerely hope BT do better in Whisks' area than up here...... it doesn't bear thinking about if not fixed today!
    Have to go out to opticians soon - but it's OK because I can get the updates on my mobile!!!!!

    :-)
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    Frustrating news from Whisks. BT chap who is 'not a pole-climbing operative' so can't fix a wiring problem says she might not be connected for 2-3 days! All well and one or two Magpie nuggets for everyone to look forward to — but, alas, not yet.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEk! What is BT trying to do to me. I have withdrawal symptoms, althoughTony is filling the breech admirably.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    No connection to web takes its toll,
    Leaving Whisks in a bit of a hole.
    'Cos BT's in a spot,
    And though their man is not,
    All her readers are left up the pole.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Since the wait is to be prolonged there is now a third entry in "Not the Latest Woody Magpie Update". See:

    http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/magazine/read/not-the-latest-woody-magpie-update_3989.html
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Hi all, I'm now thankfully back on-line. Without phone line, internet, email, Cloud for a week, it's been a long haul. Thanks so much for your comments (which I've only just been able to see) and for keeping the flag flying - for Pim being Postmaster-General and to Tony for getting it eerily correct! I've been writing daily updates in my lonely garret and diligently taking photos, but been unable to post at all. I even tried on a couple of friends' computers, but they didn't have Firefox which meant I couldn't even load the blog.
    To save overloading peeps' goodwill, I propose uploading them in two-day batches until we're all caught up. Deal?
    Thanks for sticking with this. I've just uploaded Update 35; reading it through, I see what a lot has happened in a week; but I can't tell you just yet. Oh no indeedy!
    Thanks again to Woody's fans - he's pleased as punch. And lots of love to you all for hanging on in there.
    Whisks x
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Ah, thank the powers that be, you're back and all is well in Woodyworld. A magpie hopped onto my balcony yesterday and again this morning - never happened before. I found myself asking him if he knew how his kin was getting on. See what you've done to me? I always used to be away with the fairies; now I'm talking to magpies.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I know exactly what Debi means. We have a lot of Magpies around here, and I've always viewed them as pests. Now I'm looking at them from new eyes. We missed you Whisks, more than you know. Tony filled the breach admirably, but there's no thing like the original. Welcome back.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Welcome back indeed Whisks, we want to hear all about what the little lad has been up to. It was fun speculatinng in my 'Alternative Version' but we want the real thing now.

    A Lovely double-epeisode. Glad he's beginning to get used to the hen house and the residents are beginning to accept him. Sounds like they'll have to get better at dodging, though.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hooray! You're back! Lovely to hear what Woody's been up to - been suffering withdrawal symptoms like everyone else. Look forward to catching up on the rest of his week.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Ahhh, a round of applause for all of us. I worried that you'd all have lost interest. Nice to be back and lovely see you all again. Next double episode tomorrow.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    I know- this week's been torture, Whisks! So lovely to hear about You and Woody again. Can't wait til tomorrow. He's so sweet- really I don't know how I'll cope when he flies the nest never mind how you'll feel!
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    How fabulous to have both of you back.
    Loved the double episode - laughed my head off at Errol getting a 'present'.

    Tough love - was that what BT were up to?
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    As everyone else has said, it's wonderful to have you back and to start to catch up with Woody's latest adventures. And as usual you've left it on a minor cliffhanger. Did you relent and let Woody back indoors? Did he stay out all night with the girls and Errol? Did you get any sleep or did you lie awake wondering if he was OK? I need to know!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 36 added - another omnibus edition. Thanks once more for your comments my lovelies. Can't tell you what a thrill it is to share this unfolding story with you all.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Another great installment. I ring my mum everytime you put something new up and read it to her over the phone. She insists I ring her as soon as you put something up. Even my dad is starting to get interested now.

    I have a couple of questions for you. Will his tail feather that the crows ripped out, grow back? and at what age do you think he'll fly away (sob sob)? I have a feeling that he won't fly away and you have him for the rest of his natural.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Great. I loved the imperturbable BT man. It's probably in their Health and Safety Manual: When confronted by excentric customers treat them as normal. Try not to antagonise them. He probably could have scaled the pole but was anxious not to hang around longer than he had to.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    He's a budding gardener too! How sweet x
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    How lovely to get a double edition two days running.

    How is Poppy? I hope she's feeling much better by now. And that she continues to thrive, as well as the rest of the brood.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 37 with another two days catch-up just added.
    Weens - you really make me smile - love the thought of your parents tuning in as well; I'm sure they're as lovely as you - please thank them for their interest. Your questions? Yes, I expect the tail feathers to grow back. I've just had a little look under his petticoats and no sign yet, but dropping feathers - like dropping hair - is normal and they'll be replaced in the fullness of time. As for when he leaves home? Don't really know, but rumour has it, about five months. Aonghus dug out that piece a while back that said autumn, after first full moult. And the story that SS and Geri found also seems to bear that out. I'll be sobbing too! Then again, he might be a house magpie for ever?
    Tony, yes, I wondered that too. Also, I forgot to thank you for your ditty a few posts ago - you're so good with your verses.
    Geri - indeed! Although I think he'll be a long time waiting for some of his planted prizes to grow ...
    Spangles, thank you. I hope there'll be two-day editions until I catch up with myself. Poppy's recovering well, thanks. Sore, but improving, thank goodness.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Whisks, do we know yet whether Woody is male or female. I have this image in my head of you bringing up a whole brood of baby magpies!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Woody seem to be fending off the opposition quite well now, and knowing when discretion is the better part of valour. I loved it when he 'peels away like a hurricane with an engine on fire and darts for the house', wonderful! That paragraph about you having a good poo clean-up was uncannily like my fictional version, wasn't it? How weird is that?
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    There are so many golden nuggets in those last posts, I can't quote them all. I'd just be copying and pasting the lot. The other characters play such a vital role in the Woody saga too. Poor Poppy. No one else could be writing this the way you do. (Though Tony's had a damn good crack at it.)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Weens, noooo! I'm not sure we ever will unless I catch him in flagrante delecto. Birds don't have dangly bits around the trousers (aerodynamics and all that) and I read that the only way to sex magpies is that the women are more bossy. He's just a sweetiepie.
    Tony, indeedy - didn't I say you'd got it uncannily accurate? Thanks for the bigging up.
    Debi, you're such a tonic sweetpea. Thank you. Poppy is a darling too.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I hope you are sending this off. It's hard to believe that no one has yet picked it up. My mum said to me on the phone tonight, she hasn't been so interested in anything like this in a long long time.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    He's practicaly all grown up! I'm loving the photos you upload too. Such a sweetie x
  • Mcallan
    by Mcallan 2 years ago
    Back up to date again. Woody is a star and so is is his mum..:)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 38 added. Sorry for delay, chaps - been unavoidably detained all day.
    Weens, thanks, m'dear. We'll have to wait till the end of the story - if there is one?
    Geri - yes, he's a pickle and no mistake - into everything these days.
    Mc - thanks too. I'm not such a star.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    OMG! You're going to finish up with an aviary.

    Just a thought about the blue jay though. Can it fly? If not, how would its mother get it back to the nest? I may be completely wrong here, but surely the only thing she could do for the moment, is feed it.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    That's the thing Weens, I really didn't know what to do. I didn't mention in the blog the trips back home to get food and each time I returned, it was on the same twig I'd left it. Yes it could fly - it could have gone somewhere else, but didn't. I chose the branch carefully, making sure there was a 'staircase' to the canopy if that's where it wanted to be. It wasn't in nearly such a helpless, poorly state as Woody, but it had been separated all day, was wet and cold and we weren't even sure exactly where it had come from, since the person who nabbed it had pushed off for the day. Oh I don't know; snap decisions have to be made, and I think in retrospect, it was the wrong one. Still feel bad.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    This is getting spooky. I saw a jay fly past our window and I swear it was on the day you've just blogged about.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Spooky-wooky, Debs! First you're talking to magpies on your balcony, then jays are whizzing past. This episode was on Saturday but really continues on to Sunday - it was a Blue Jay weekend for me, never mind what else I had planned. Did you see one on Sunday as well?
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Just had a big catch up - the very British BT man gave me a laugh :-) How are you feeling now Woody has 'moved out'? Empty nest syndrome? Sorry couldn't resist ;-P Hoping little bluejay has a happy ending...poor little thing shivering on a branch. At least he/she has you to look our for him/her.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Well if Woody's moving in with the girls at least it will leave room indoors on your shoulder for BJ until he gets settled. It was probably too late to do anything other than keep BJ once he'd first been brought home. I've heard that parents will often refuse to take their fledglings back once they have the smell of humans on them (nothing personal - sweetie-pie. Oh, I did laugh at that bit of your story!).
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Please don't feel bad about BJ. You're a woman who can feel for a Widow Woodlouse. You did what felt right at the time. Who knows what the upshot would have been if you had just abandoned him/her?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Like Tony says, don't feel bad. If it could fly it could have found his own way home but it probably knows it couldn't have find a better home if it tried. I just hope Woody doesn't feel he has his nose pushed out, but knowing what a lovely mummy you are, that probably won't happen.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 39 just added.
    Thank you for your supportive words, Skylark, Tony, Debi and Weens. I felt just awful about BJ and didn't want to post this part of the Little Bird story, but I'm glad I did and now it's over with. We're back to just Woody and me. And the cats, chickens, guineas, foxes ...
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    It sounds as though you did all you could to help little BJ. After all, you weren't the one who swept him up and carried him off. You tried to reunite him with his family and you tried to find their location from your neighbour. In East Sussex we have an almost one-man-band wildlife rescue service and it says on their website that baby birds that are apparently abandoned should be left alone as most of the time they are perfectly OK and their parents are near.

    I loved the bit about you asking Woody if he was OK and the BT man answering. You probably made his day!
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 years ago
    The Call of the Wild, eh? Pity. At least you didn't have to go through the part where he played loud rock music till three in the morning!
  • karen
    by karen 2 years ago
    Whisks, I have loved your little bird diary and I can feel the tears pricking my eyes at the thought of Woody taking to the skies.....................sorry, excuse me a minute while I find a tissue...........................that's better! Whatever his decision, you've done the best for him and all being well, he'll lead a normal magpie life and probably have babies of his own one day! As Aonghus says, at least you didn't have to go through the teenage angst part...............Perhaps he'll keep in touch and pop in from time to time to sit on top of your computer screen!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Keep in touch on the computer! That's it, Karen! It works with my son. We only ever find out what he's up to by checking FaceBook. But this was last Sunday. What's happened on Mon and Tue? Is he still around today? Oh the suspense. Keep 'em coming, Whisks.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Who says he's gone, eh? Hm? Hm? I choose to look on this episode as him asking to go to an all-night party and me asking for the name and address of the parents who will be hosting it - then I'll see. He might have had his first thought about freedom, but this isn't him buying a flat and getting a job in Tangiers, oh no. But thanks for the parental support, Karen, Aonghus and Tony; it was a grim weekend, that' for sure. Glad you're hanging on in there with me.
    And Spangles - I appreciate your comments; I'm feeling better about the whole thing now I've 'fessed up - although haven't yet phoned to see how BBJ is. Don't want to hear bad news.
    I also thought that was funny when the BT man answered instead of Woody :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 40 and new photos added.
    Thanks to all those still reading and commenting. This is growing like Topsy!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    'He vacillates between babyhood and maturity all the time.' Yes, I know just how he feels, and I don't have the excuse of being a teenage magpie.

    I love the image of him roosting on the top of the bedroom door. It reminds me of Cats in the Belfry, a wonderful book by Doreen Tovey, in which she describes her grandmother's tame owl, Gladstone. He perched on the top of the bathroom door so anyone using the bathroom had to do so with the door open and with Gladstone staring down at them, often with a dead mouse in his claws. So Woody has a long way to go!

    But bless him for knowing where his new bedroom is, and being happy to sleep there.

    By the way, I envy you for being able to sleep with the windows wide open. We can't, because if we open our windows too wide our cats take flying leaps out of them into the garden below in the middle of the night, then yowl to come back inside.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    I say, your chickens do themselves proud, don't they? Hard-boiled eggs, pineapple, raddish and cucumber salad... I'd pass on the Whiskas, myself, but it sure beats a couple of hanfulls of corn flung on the ground. Glad Woody's trying to assert himself with the pigeon. Is it just a ferral pigeon or is it the much bigger woodpigeon? Our woodpigeons plump up the chests and momentarily spread their wings while simultaneously thrusting forwards towards any young pretenders, to scare them off the bird table when they are feeding. They'll do it to other woodpigeons, too. It's a bit like watching a close- range joisitng tournament when they both start thrusting at each other.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Aw, don't feel bad about BBJ. You did what you thought was best and there was only a moment to make the decision when he turned up on your doorstep. It may have been already too late to reunite him even then.

    I loved your comment about the jewelery lost since 1999 - can I borrow Woody to find a few bits and pieces for me ;-P
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Next update loaded, peeps!
    Must read that book, Spangles - sounds fun.
    Tony, The chickens don't get to eat the eggs - just the hard-boiled shells! It's a wood pigeon btw - I've taken a few photos but none of them any good. It's a biiiiiig pigeon to a little magpie! He's very brave.
    Skylark, I'll put it to Woody whether he'd like a career in jewel recovery - might be just up his street - although you may not have it back for long!
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Aw! Our baby has moved out of his cot into his first bed, and doesn't seem to be complaining, bless him. He's growing up. Can't you find a way to keep him as a baby?
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Another goodun. Keep 'em coming.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    He's a little superstar!

    Did he eat the wasp? If so, I wonder if wasps lose their sting when they're dead or whether they have a nice Tabasco-style kick.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 42 and new photos added.
    Weens, kids never stay young for long - always grow up faster than we think, eh?
    Thanks Tony - got a shot of the pigeon at last .
    Spangles - I don't think he's eaten the wasp yet, and interesting point about the wasp/tabasco, but one I hope not to be able to answer any time soon!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    I'm a bit worried about how Woody swoops straight in through the patio doors. I hope you keep them fairly grubby so that when they happen to be closed he won't try to swoop straight in anyway, not realising they are there. Where was Woody when little Miss Magpie came calling? Those are particularly good photos you have posted today, btw.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Yes Tony, I keep my doors nice and grubby - it's hard work, I can tell you. Woody was looking the other way when Little Miss Magpie tipped her cap - she stayed close to her mum and he was busy stashing a raisin down my neck. Boys, eh? Thanks re the photos!
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    The wasp! The wasp!!! This minute examination of magpie behaviour is unique, Whisks, it really is. I hope you can keep up this level of sharing.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Debi, I completely agree. It's fascinating to read about magpie behaviour like this. And I think the wasp should get a Best Supporting Actor award. Posthumously, of course!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 43 - a two-day omnibus to almost catch up.
    Indeed, Debi and Spangles! The WASP! Not everyone's had one gently tucked into their ear! I'm finding it fascinating - an new day, a new dilemma; glad you do too :)
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Lol, Spangles re the Wasp Oscar! And PHEW, Whisks on the latest installment. Obviously remote magpie raising is even more fraught than being in loco parentis, in loco, so to speak. I love the bookcase-larder - I guess he's cutting out the 'Read, mark, learn' and going straight for the 'inwardly digest'; establishing a sort of food library, maybe?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Phew! My heart was beating there, so I can imagine what yours must have been doing. He had quite an adventure. I have this comical image in my head of the whole street chasing him, plus the cats and the fox. Thank goodness he's home, safe and sound.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Loved the wasp bit - would not have loved digging one out of my ear! As a few others have commented, it's so fascinating learning about magpie behaviour and development through your blog. And so interesting too because it's really all that different from the child development that I'm immersed in at this end - apart from the learning to fly bit, of course ;-) My youngest (13 months) is going through a phase of taking my silver watch off me whenever he can. As soon as he spots it on my bedside table, or on my wrist, he wants it. Then if he manages to get it, he toddles around the house finding different places to 'put' it. I have to follow after or I end up losing my watch for days on end. I probably shouldn't let him have it in the first place but it's so funny watching him with it :-)

    Glad Woody found his way back safe and sound. What lovely neighbours you have.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    *not* really all that different, that should have read.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    365 comments! Isn't that some kind of birthday? Sorry the respite care was so stressful, but relieved to hear all's well.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I forgot to say that my mum thinks all the things you find on yourself, like a pocketful of flowers, are presents he is bringing you. Could be.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks peeps, I didn't think I'd have anything to say, not being there an' all, but it turned out I did.
    Yes Tony, I wonder about this need to cache food, especially since he's never experienced a shortage of it. He remembers where he puts things too; days after I've forgotten, he'll go and retrieve something.
    Weens, don't forget the crows chasing him as well - there's always the crows. Yes, maybe the flowers are presents, but I feel it's more like putting his treasures in a safe place - 'hang on to this Mum, will you? I might need it later.'
    Skylark, I'm amazed that you too are bringing up a magpie! We should swap notes. Have you thought of leaving open an upstairs window so he can come and go? Oh no, then your watch might disappear forever. Bad idea, that.
    Debi, the respite was lovely for me - and I still have my twinkly toes, although I was careful not to choose red - birds see red very well indeed :)
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Heavens, what an adventure! You already know this, of course, but I have to say what wonderful neighbours you have. I look forward to reading about your reunion with young Mr Woody Whisks. I wonder if he'll greet you rapturously or give you the cold shoulder for a while. Can't wait to find out!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Or maybe even 'raptor-ously'
  • karen
    by karen 2 years ago
    My goodness Whisks, the stress is too much, I'm switching on my computer with a mixture of excitement and apprehension at the next adventure....................fascinating insight into the life of an adolescent magpie!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 44 posted - now we're up to date! Phew.
    See Spangles? He wasn't miffed at all. VG Tony :). Thanks Karen - I'll be writing 'Coping with Stress' after this :)))
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    So that's all right, then!

    Great pun, Tony!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Re large open windows to fly through. Wouldn't a small one (too small for a cat-burglar) with a windowsill, allow Woody to land first and then hop up to the opening and slip through. If you've got such an orifice, you could try it out with him beforehand. Thanks for the latest great episodes. I like his stone cat olive stash. Has he tried poking about under either of the furry cats?
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hee hee Tony :-)
    Whisks, phew, glad all is well :-) Another update that had me laughing out loud - "He hitches a lift on my shoulder for the ride home, disgorges the snail and tucks it in my shoe. My foot is still in my shoe." - hee hee :-D
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Briliant reading Whisks, I'm still loving the daily updates.
    I'm half traumatised by Woody's trials and half charmed by his fabulous ways.
    What a complex and clever bird he is and although you must be bushed, you should be so proud of what you've done and written.

    You deserve an MBE for your services to the magpie community.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks peeps, tbh, I'm amazed you're still with this story - completely gobsmacked, and deeply humbled and chuffed.
    Tony, I don't have such an orifice, sorry. I'm leaving an upstairs window wide open but he hasn't made use of it yet. Other peoples' yes - but not mine.
    Skylark, that poor snail without its shell. I hope he ate it (I think he did) to put it out of its misery.
    Mark, I really appreciate your words and continued support - I did watch that episode of Springwatch with the magpies while I was incognito, so thanks for flagging it up to others.
    I'm minded of what was said in the early days - the world doesn't need another magpie - and recall when I realised I wasn't a 'big picture' person, but a 'detail' person. I don't suppose I've made an iota of difference to the magpie ecosystem in general, just to one little bird. That's good enough for me.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 45 and photos, summing up yesterday, just loaded. :)
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Love the comparison to Mrs Merton and Malcolm! ''Get back in your box room'' :D
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    That detail is what makes this diary (and you) so special. We're so used to focusing on the macro - global crises, universal suffering, life and death on a huge scale. Then we come here and realise that every life is unique and matters. Thanks for reminding us.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Debi, wow, what a lovely thing to say, thank you, I'm very touched.
    Geri, tee hee - yes, I can see Woody & I sitting side by side on the sofa eating peanuts and arguing over the TV :)
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    My mum was so upset with herself yesterday after having broken a tooth. She's had a chain of things go wrong with her teeth. I rang her to read yesterday's installment. By the end she had cheered up completely and was laughing at Woody's antics. She (and I) can't wait to see this in print. It's charming and delightful and you can tell by the responses that you get that it has captured everyone's heart.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    What a lovely way to express it, Debi. Yes, I'm with you on that. Reminds me of the starfish/beach story - can't possibly save them all and make a difference....but it makes a difference to those that were saved. And MarkR summed up beautifully too - half traumatised, half charmed. My heart was in my mouth reading tonight - glad he's not flown off yet. Whisks, we keep reading because you write it all so entrancingly :-)
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    I've run out of superlatives for all this. I just sit back in wonder and let the saga flow over me. I don't mean saga as in the latest edition of a soap. I mean SAGA as in heroic and Viking. It's a great, living, perilous, but life-affirming story, Whisks. And Debi's point above sums up why.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    You *are* lovely, thank you for making me feel I'm not alone in all this!
    Weens, I'm tickled pink that your mum follows Woody's story and ouch about the broken tooth! Oil of cloves rubbed on, that's the thing - an anaesthetic if ever there was one.
    Skylark and John, this has really taken me by surprise and I do appreciate your comments; I've gone all pink and silly.

    Funny old thing - this is rough-and-ready writing, not polished, agonised over, tinkered with. I note down odd/funny/scary things as they happen during the day, then work them up into a few coherent paragraphs, and publish the next day. I try to make sure that I haven't repeated myself (I see I have today - 'light fades' - oh, the shame), check for typos and that's that. Bosh, job done. Oh, and I do spend time trying to get an interesting photo for the day as well.
    No time to ponder the turning of a sentence (some days I've barely time to brush my teeth) - it's like writing a daily column - whatever else is going on in my life, I need to phone my copy in. It's been an interesting exercise in writing quickly and getting it down; regularly.
    I've learnt a lot from this process, so thank you very much for letting me do it. If I hadn't had an audience, I'd have missed a day here and there, and it would have slid and slid until I was so out-of-date I'd have given up.
    Credits all round. :)))
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    ... Which isn't to say that I don't put a lot in to it because I *do* - I'm living and breathing this blog all day long - thinking of things to say, angles to explore, etc. Whatever I'm doing, Woody's not far from my mind - nor my shoulder, for that matter. What I tried to say, is that the writing has to go live the next day, whatever state it's in - so it forces me to be quick. *This* discipline is what I've found interesting; it's not something I'm used to. Beginning to witter, so stopping right away.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 46 added. Wx
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Grouting the windowsill with humus - marvelous! I love the way you always put a positive light on things - he cleared the mantlepiece of clutter! And he's teamed up with Tabitha against Pidge - providing airforce backup to the ground patrol - impressive. You continue to delight, the pair of you.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks, Tony - he's a total delight to me, except when he rearranges my belongings to suit himself and I find pate in the plughole. And thanks too, for all your splendid captions to my Woody photos - they make me smile. :)
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    Whisks,
    If only there had been daily filming of this wonderful story. What a documentary! Nevertheless, it s a great, publishable story.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 47 added.
    Ta Pim; I do have a little bit of film but my video camera is on the blink so not much. I wonder if it would work as a book? Isn't it more suited to a serial? Also, I don't yet know how long it's going to be: I haven't seen him for the last hour, although I've heard him so I know he's around. OMG, there's a crow. Best check on him!
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I agree with all the other comments, and especially those talking about the wonderful details. I'm fascinated by the way Woody's natural magpie instinct has asserted itself quite independently of what goes on around him. Lovely!
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Now my dad wants to know what's going on everday. We are loving it and are disappointed when we get to the end. You always leave us wanting more.

    Interesting re the other Magpie though. I wonder if he/she will come back. Would a female magpie be more tolerant of a baby magpie than a male one would.

    Yes, certainly it would work as a book. I'd buy one in a heartbeat, and my mum keeps asking when is it going to print as she wants to buy the book. Now dad is interested too, so that's another copy. Your writing is a dream to read, charming, heart warming and in parts frightening, and now we all feel part of Woody's life. You can tell him he has lots of cloudie aunts and uncles.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    It must be made into a book, Whisks. It wouldn't have to be just a repeat of these serialised episodes. It could be structured in a number of ways. With an underlying chronological order, but with chapters devoted to different aspects - learning to feed, learning to fly, exploring, finding and hiding things, adventures with hens, guineas, foxes, cats, crows. Or you could open with Woody firmly in (semi-)permanent residence (if that's how it pans out) and tell his story in flashbacks. Or maybe, if it pans out differently, you could start with the day Woody flies off for the last time - but hopefully, by the end of the book, you'd be able to say that it turned out not to be for the last time but that he still visits from time to time. Who knows? - but it surely must be written?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I don't think you should change a thing, the title maybe, but that's all.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you kind peeps.
    Spangles, yes his hoarding is quite amazing, isn't it? There's no shortage of food in his life yet he does (don't I know it - there's magpie food in my socks, my trousers, my ear ...)
    Weens, lovely to hear that the Weens family are with us and I'll certainly pass your message on when he wakes in the morning. The other magpie was odd; I don't actually know what sex Woody is and may never do so unless I catch him clarifying things, but the encounter was in the oak where I've seen an adult and a juvenile before. Perhaps she's eyeing up his prospects for her daughter?
    Tony, when, if, how the story ends may well shape the 'book'. I do seem to have written a lot of words and it would be nice to do something with it in the fullness of. At present however, I feel it could 'end' any minute; but maybe it won't? I'm going with the story for now to see where it leads. Thanks for the suggestions. Don't want to tempt fate.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    It's your humour I love - hummus grout, pate in the plughole, washing line garrotes - like someone said above, you always find the positive and get us laughing along with you. A book, most definitely, to join the chicken stories, but for the moment, I'm just loving the way the story unfolds day by day. Interesting what you said about the discipline of writing quickly with limited time to edit. I hadn't really given it much thought until you mentioned it - I log on, another Woody episode is waiting, all is well with the world :-) I think it just shows what a talented lady you are that you've managed to sustain it for this long and maintained the same high standard throughout. Not an easy task!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 48 just added.
    What lovely things to say, Skylark. If it weren't for you lot reading, I wouldn't be writing, so the compliments boomerang back to you.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    I like how Woody is equally at home measuring his food in imperial and metric units. Smart cookie, that bird.

    I should think you must be beginning to feel like Fagin by now, waiting to see what treasures the Woody Dodger will bring home next.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Oh Tony, you are a smarty-pants - no, the imperial/metric muddles are entirely mine, not Woody's. The inside of my brain is like his treasure trove - all sorts of things jumbled up.
    And it's not so much what he's bringing home, as what he might be taking away. Who knows where my stuff will end up? It's a worry that comes out in tomorrow's instalment, which is already written, pending nocturnal dramas. He is a little Woody Dodger though - must remember that one!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 49 added. Plus radish photo. Tempting, eh?
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    I think it would work just fine as a book as it is. The pacing is flawless, thanks to the ups and downs that are are intrinsic to the natural life of a wild creature. (Even though his 'wildness' is debatable.) All it needs is a proofread. It's entirely to your credit, dear Whisks, that it works as well as it does in what, in reality, is a first draft. Perhaps this is Woody's real gift to you.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    "As long as he doesn't poo down [the washing on the line]. He does." I love it! And using your keyboard as a trampoline: you are the queen of simile. Write on, Whisks.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Couldn't agree with Debi and Tony moe
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    M'Dear Whisks,

    Agree with Debi; it's a natural for publication. And if you wanted to add a tad more of how it's affecting/changing/enhancing your life...
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Debi, you fluster me! Thank you so much. There's benefit in writing quickly, eh? Yes, I see mistakes as I read back at leisure, but I leave them for authenticity; however, I'll certainly address them if or when ... :))) I see this diary as more of a team effort - without all you lovely Clouders cheering it on, it wouldn't have grown as it has. Thank you one and all.
    Tony, you always find something nice to say; lovely, 'preciate it.
    Pim, thank you. I try to keep myself out of it as far as possible, although I realise I can't excise myself completely as I'm part of Woody's story. It's a delicate balance; why would anyone be interested in my life which is one of minutiae, rather than car crashes, murder and explosions? However, I will think on - books are about transformations, aren't they? Yes, indeed I will think on and adjust accordingly.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 50 just added.
    Also meant to say, Weens, your tireless affirmations are great to hear. Thank you.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    and you deserve every syllable of it.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Just read your latest installment to mum, she saw an injured bird laying on the lawn and kept an eye on it for an hour, then the mother turned up. Mum said she was disappointed. After being hooked on this, she would have taken it in. It would never have occured to her before.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Another Woody update before bed. Lovely :-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Aw Weens lovely, that's lovely. Glad the real mummy came back; we hope she's able and wants the job. Bringing up your own young is one thing. Bringing up another species' young is something else; a huge learning curve - but life-affirming, it has to be said. I'm happy to have done it, but I wouldn't wish for it - know what I mean? Good on your mum for even considering it. :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Oops, Skylark, crossed with you. Thrilled you're still reading. Sleep tight, don't let the magpies bite.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    All these life and death decisions in the garden! We've had a few baby blackbird dilemmas. Do you think he'll ever learn to touch-type? Seriously, I think the keyboard fascination must be Woody imitating Mum. Night Night.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 51 just included. Yes John, I think you might be right!
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    I'm beginning to hear the Archers theme music when I tune in to each installment of 'What Woody did Next' - an everyday story of country folk. He seems equally at home on Shank's Pony as he is piloting his own version of a spitfire - and he's given a 'dog-fight' a whole new meaning! I wonder if your neighbours bribed him with the victoria sponge to spare their poor pooch, or if he just decided he was entitled to the spoils of victory. A delightful account, as always.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    Yesterday, we had glorious weather (for a change), so I sat in the garden watching the birds in the wood behind me. There were loads of magpies. I've always looked upon them as noisy, dirty birds, but now my opinion has completely changed and I sat watching them play with a smile. However, they were not in my good books when they were cavorting on my roof, wearing what sounded like hob nail boots, at five thirty this morning. Our Woody is becoming quite adventurous now, tormenting dogs, whatever next?

    Mum and I have been discussing where Woody can go when you go away. The place you took the first poor littl e bird to, who told you off for not putting him back in the tree, would they take him for two weeks. Have you any stately homes near you with a bird garden? (My parents live in the grounds of Harewood House, and they have a fabulous bird garden). Alternately, try ringing the RSPCA, they may know of someone with an aviary in their garden etc, or come up with an idea. Hope that gives you some food for thought.

    Reading your daily diary entry, is the highlight of our day and my mum must ring me two or three times asking if it has been posted yet before you put it up. Whilst reading it to mum, it occured to me, it would make a fabulous audio book too.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    Having spent a week underground it is nice to be back for a refreshing fix of Woody.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Somewhere around, I've got some old behaviour modification charts – for people! You might need something similar for that delinquent magpie.
  • Gerilyn
    by Gerilyn 2 years ago
    Just caught up on a few days worth- it's a lovely distraction to the trials and tribulations of my real world. Excellent. Thank you x
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Hee hee, you've just hit the terrible twos, hee hee. Distraction is the key. Tell him not to, and he'll just want to do it more. Got a copy of Toddler Taming if you want to borrow it? Hee hee ;-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Yes Tony, he's such a happy, optimistic little bird - getting in pickles, the world is his playground; apart from when those nasty crows come a-calling.
    Alan, we're delighted to refresh you; thank you.
    John - Delinquent? Woody? OK, maybe.
    Geri - nice to hear from you and hope that your real world is better than your last world.
    Weens, I can confirm that magpies do not wear hobnail boots and they're very clean - why, Woody has several vigorous baths a day just for fun and is parasite free (I'd know, believe me). 5:30 is dawn this time of year, as I'm sure you know :) and the birds are up and about and at it.
    You're very kind to worry about his accommodation whilst I'm away, as is your mum (thank you Weens's mum). I'd been hoping/wondering if he'd be independent by then and be able to sleep outside overnight. Kids grow up so quickly these days. My henhouse is a kind of aviary already, but he felt too confined there even for a day when I went away recently. However, events tonight may make all that redundant. He's been missing for seven hours and it's dark. I'm worried sick.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Sorry Skylark - crossed with you. Do you ever stop worrying about them, do you think?
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Oh, so sorry to hear Woody's gone AWOL. If he's roosting up a tree somewhere he should be quite safe until morning. Here's hoping.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    I'm certainly hoping Tony. Thanks.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Oh, I hope he gets back soon or you're going to be awake all night, worrying. Thinking of you both. xxx
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks, Debi. I hope he's going to come in and tell me all his exciting adventures in the morning. In the meantime, my windows remain open.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    He's growing up. It's his first all nighter.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Whisks, love the updates of the last couple of days. Brilliantly written.

    I hope your sleep has been momentarily disturbed by the laying of a beak on your pillow and that now you're dreaming of how you're going to break the news that he's grounded.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Ten o'clock now on Tuesday morning. Still nothing.
    I'll still post yesterday's entry a little later when I've checked through it.
    Thanks, Weens. Fingers crossed.
    Mark - how I'd love that.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Goodness me, I'm only away from the Cloud for a couple of days but Woody manages to pack in several adventures in that time. I hope he's back home with you by now. xx
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Still no sign??? Going out today. Hope there's good news when I get back. Hugs.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Update 52 loaded with the last pictures.
    It's 11:37am. Still no news. Thanks for your wishes.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    I don't say these things lightly. Not often anyway. Fuck!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Alan; heartfelt, heartfelt. I've certainly thought it. Sometimes it needs saying.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    We're all waiting with you. xxx
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I never swear, but I'm with Alan. I bet you've not had a wink of sleep. If wishes would bring him home, he would be with you rigjt now. As john says, we are all waiting with you.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    All of that goes for me too. I have sent up a few prayers on your behalf and on Woody's. xxx
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you, John, Weens and Spangles. Still no news. I'm as flat as a flat thing.
    Must push off to exercise class shortly but will leave upstairs windows open just in case; and ask neighbours to keep an eye out for bags marked 'Swag' leaving the property. Hell, I might give class a miss. Sooo not in the mood.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Thanks, as always, for such good writing, Whisks, as Woody's horizons expand. We must hope that he has found stronger attractions than those that have been nurturing him so wonderfully these past 52 days. Little Miss Magpie may well have been the lure and Woody would obviously be a fine catch for any young corvine debutante. Look out for a invitation to her coming-out party or perhaps even to a wedding breakfast. And just maybe, in the fullness of time, you'll be a grandmama. Let's all keep hoping so.
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 2 years ago
    It must be such a strange time for you, Whisks. I'm with Tony - maybe it really was time for him to expand his horizons. But I really, really hope that you get some sign of him soon.
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    I was wondering, after your comment about other people not knowing Woody's special. Could you ring his leg? It would set him apart from the others. Hope he's home soon... keep logging on and checking.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Tony, for trying to cheer me up. In my heart, I know he's still too young for that, but I could be wrong. I hope I am. Oh, and I've had him 55 days, btw! You've been so kind - and all those captions too, they've really made me laugh.
    SS, it's a very strange time in limbo, not knowing; fearing and hoping at the same time. Thank you.
    Cadidore, I'd love the chance to ring his leg! It's a good idea, if he ever comes back - a sort of 'if found, please post back to ...'? It's a very good idea - if nothing else, it might make someone pause before killing him. I shall investigate tomorrow, on the offchance.
    Thanks people. xxx
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    He's probably having a whale of a time. Try to keep positive Whisks, the whole cloud is waiting with you. Pets, who'd have 'em! If wishing would bring him back, he'd be sat on your shoulder right now. All we can do is hope and pray. If only you could get a sign that he's OK but spread his wings to broaden his horizon.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Oh, sweetheart. I'm not going to utter any cliches or platitudes. There's nothing I can say that you won't have said yourself.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Weens. I'm happy for him to go live his life, but I do wish I knew that's what it is. Oh, I know there are greater perils in the world than wondering about the fate of one little magpie; but right here, right now, it's all there is.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Debi. I know. I do.
  • Liss
    by Liss 2 years ago
    This is a good thing, chances are he is exploring and he sounds a hardy little chap. He's had a great start with you Whisks, and I am positive he will bounce back through (or into) your door very soon! xxxx
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Liss. I do hope so. It's like when your Leo disappeared. Not knowing is awful. Shall I go out? Shall I stay in? What if he's hurt? On the bright side, if Woody's hurt somewhere, there'll be someone along shortly to help him on his way. Believe it or not, I hope that too.
    Hey, he'll be back tomorrow and then I'll feel really silly!
  • Liss
    by Liss 2 years ago
    Better to feel silly and have him back. I heard Leo on a walk yesterday and my dad said I'd eventually stop listening out for him, but I know I never will. xxx
  • trafalgar
    by trafalgar 2 years ago
    Have'nt caught up for a while - with my slow connection it takes over 20 minutes to download blog and contents, now.

    I 'm sure Woody will return soon, if only for a flying visit - but, as he grows, that may be all you can expect. Love him as you (we) do, you know better than most that he's a wild creature. Every time I've read these blogs I've had Randy Crawford's
    'One Day I'll Fly Away' running through my head. And that, sadly, is how it should be.
    Be of good heart, Whisks, love. You and your little bird are in a lot of prayers just now. God bless.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thanks Liss; I lost a cat in 1987 and still miss him; but I think he came back as my Poppycat now.
    Trafalgar, I had no idea it took so long to load! Thanks for sticking with this. He's only two months old and not supposed to leave until five months - but what do the books know, eh? I'm still jumping at the sound of magpies :)
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Whisks, I've only just caught up with yesterday's news. Keeping everything crossed. And no, I don't think you ever stop worrying about them. Mine are still close by most of the time but when I think about the teenage years to come and the freedom that I must allow them to have, the thought terrifies me right now. Hope Woody comes home soon. xxx
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    Our nearest and dearest went out last night for the first time without being under the watchful eye of either myself or Mrs Tony. Fortunately we were reunited safely at the end of the evening, so all was well - and our son got his car back from the garage today so he won't have to borrow ours again. :-)
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    I've organised a Badger vigil here for the black and white bird x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Skylark, so do I, so do I. Thanks, lovey.
    Tony, it does make me think what I put my Dad through, when I went gallivanting. *I* knew I was fine and the rest was just details. What goes around, comes around, eh? Oh, you were talking about your car?
    Mark, that's so kind and made me smile. Please thank the badgers; black-and-white creatures unite; and bloomin' soon, please!
    No news yet, FWIW.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    No, you don't stop worrying. One of our brood is off to Chennai in India for a year, next month, and I guess the sleepless nights will start again. With you, CW.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Not knowing is such a two-edged sword. Knowing that you might never know is harder still. Wind under your wings, Woody, where ever you are.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Oh John, is it worth it? Can't do other than care, I suppose. I spent months in India, aged 19. Generally, we come back safe, sane and older. Thanks for being with me. I'll be with you, too.
    Debi, I'm filling up. I've only just shut the patio doors - at 11 o'clock. The windows are still open, although he should be in bed by now.
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    I've been aware of a heavy, sad feeling and wondered what it was all about. Then I realized it was about Woody's absence. I don't know what to say except that I'm thinking of you both and praying for Woody's safe return. xxx
  • karen
    by karen 2 years ago
    Oh Whisks, I've just logged on after a couple of days absence and read your blog - I suppose it's inevitable with a wild bird that the call of the wild will be strong but it doesn't make it any less painful. I bet he's found a flirty female who's leading him astray but I'm sure he'll return to visit and you've given him such a wonderful start in life. Fingers crossed you'll find him perched on top of the door or sitting in his favourite tree this morning waiting for you. x
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Last update just added.
    Thank you Spangles and karen and all the lovely people who've shown their support. I can't tell you enough, what it's meant to me. You've had me in floods of tears.
    In all fairness, I should add a little bit more and not leave you on pins - because this just happened, just now, as I logged on to share the last instalment of his story:I heard what sounded like a magpie downstairs, indoors, coming my way. I rushed down.
    I'll whisper this as quietly as I can. HE'S BACK! And HE'S FINE!
    Looks like I might wrap up this on-going story tomorrow instead of today. Or perhaps the day after.
    My fairy story came true.
    All is very well with my world :))) XXX
  • Spangles
    by Spangles 2 years ago
    Thank heavens for that!

    I wonder what he's been up to. My guess is that he went on a playdate with Miss Magpie and he was worried that he'd sound like a softie if he said he'd got to go home because his mum would be worried. So he stayed out, pretending to be brave while secretly longing for home and a couple of radishes. Eventually, being a clever young chap, he found someone's computer, hopped about on the keys until he found the Cloud, then hopped about some more and pulled up this blog. Then he read it (yes, of course he can read after all those hours sitting on your shoulder!), realized he was breaking his mum's heart, and came home.
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    I've just read this. Yippeeeeeeeee! Good ol' Woody. I had such a heavy heart yesterday and now it's lifted again. Did I or did I not say he's gone out for his first all nighter. He's obvously caught the eye of a temptress Magpie. I really thought you wouldn't see him again. I know how pleased I am, so can only guess how you must feel. As long as he's well and fit. You won't worry next time, you'll know he's just gone for a jaunt.
  • Cadidore
    by Cadidore 2 years ago
    What a relief. Maybe Woody knew the 4th was Independence Day and thought he'd try it for a while. At least you know now he knows where you are and how to get home. x
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    Woody – you stupid idiot! How can you do this to your mother! Just you wait until you have a brood of your own to worry about. Now, give her a bit of TLC and a slice of worm. Go on, for heaven's sake, young magpie – make it up with her and you might not be grounded for the week!
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    I wrote that in relief before reading the installment you wrote before he came back. And now you've got me crying. I know it came out of a dark place – and I know you've had your fair share of those, not just with Woody – but the transfigured picture of his world you paint touches more chords than I can express.
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    M'Dear Whisks,

    I'm so pleased and relieved for you. The blighter! Time to accept, I guess, that he's no longer a 'little bird' but a big teenager flexing muscles and checking out the independence thing. Is the ringing idea, which seemed good to me, a possibility? Anything to save you (and us!) from any more emotional trauma.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    A poignant episode. I'm so glad we had the sneak preview of tomorrow's edition, first. I'm so thrilled to know he's still safe and sound and still knows where home is!

    I wrote these lines this morning, having gone to bed thinking of a line you wrote last night, which seemed to have a metaphorical significance. I hesitated to post it and I'm so glad I waited. Perhaps some day these lines will be relevant, but not just yet, and not with any sense of finality.

    The patio doors are closed.
    The heat of the day had lingered long
    As the western sky dimmed slow to dark,
    And the open doorway was an enduring portal,
    A link to the world of nature beyond –
    A world that had fused with the mundane and humdrum within,
    That had transcended a natural divide
    And blended the two in one.
    The call of the wild
    And the tender fondness of one who cares
    Melded.
    Briefly.
    Granting life,
    Receiving joy.
    And now
    The patio doors are closed.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 years ago
    So, he's back and in one piece. I think a large part of the corporeal body that is the Word Cloud has been holding its communal breath over the fate of this small creature. It seems a question may have been answered. That question being, how does he return to the wild, as he surely must one day.

    God, this is corny, but it seems like maybe he was born free and will make his own way in the world by his own choices; and you'll have to let him. He always will know where to come for a nice cup of tea of an afternoon.
  • Debi
    by Debi 2 years ago
    Woody has left me speechless. You have no idea how rare that is.
  • karen
    by karen 2 years ago
    Phew, what a relief, I've been worrying about Woody all day. I guess he's doing what all teenagers do, exploring the world but still coming home to see Mum for a cuddle and a cuppa or a radish, when life gets hard. Perhaps he will return to the wild but still come back too his childhood home from time to time - I guess none of us has had any experiences of hand reared magpies to compare! I shall be turning on the computer tomorrow to await the next instalment.....................
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    At least he's unlikely (unless he's been visiting washing lines, of course) to bring back a bagful of dirty washing – our usual gifts from our offspring.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Echoing what Spangles said earlier, I've been in a very odd, heavy mood all day and all because I couldn't stop thinking about Woody. And made worse by a very busy day at work meaning I couldn't even sneak onto the Cloud during breaktimes to check on updates. Only a fraction of what you must have been feeling, waiting and not knowing. Then I came on here tonight to check for an update, loading the blog straight up, and the first thing I read was your update. I know you wrote it as Woody's happy ever after but I still felt bereft by the end, and yes, in tears too. Then I read all the comments since I posted last night, feeling more and more upset, and then, wow, yours saying he came back - wow, that was a bit of a rollercoaster! So, so, pleased he's back, I just can't express how much :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) Amazing how much lighter I feel already - I hope you gave him a good telling off before his first cuddle ;-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    What can I say but thank you? You've heaped support on in spades. It's been such an emotional day, from one extreme to the other and back again in a blink and you've been unbelievably steady bricks in all this. I'm overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers (not that you are, but it's a pleasing quote).
    Spangles, you could well be right. He must have been a long way away, as it took two days to find his way home.
    Weens, indeed, such a relief and now I know he can survive on his own, I won't fret so much next time. I don't doubt there will be a next time. Yes, I will fret. But you know what I mean.
    Cadidore, yes, I do know now, and it's wonderful to know. He's going back to the wild in stages, which is how it probably should be. It's so great to know he can manage on his own. And even more great that he wanted to come back.
    John, you had me in tears all over again. That is worthy praise from a story-teller such as you. I was lucky to have such rich material to work with.
    Pim, yes he's definitely a teenager now. All night parties, wopping off to India on a whim with a rucksack and a few quid with no idea how to do it. It puts such a different light on parents.
    Tony, what a beautiful, moving poem - it had me sobbing all over again. Thank you for thinking of us. Yes, the patio doors is such a metaphor. I feel it whenever I have to close them. I'll keep your poem for when the time comes.
    Alan, yes Elsa didn't leave home all in one go in 'Born Free' - she came and went and came back, gradually extending the periods. I suppose I did the same thing as a young whisk. It's the way of things and it's fine. As long as he's all right. I do hope you're breathing again and thank you for holding it.
    Debi - you've left me speechless - you don't know how rare that is! Thank you, sweetpea :)
    Karen, yes, it would be perfect if he lives a full magpie life and returns from time to time to tip his cap and tell me all's well.
    John (again), he might not bring back dirty washing, but he certainly creates it!
    Skylark, I'm so touched that you and Spangles identified so strongly with his story. He came back just before I posted what I'd written so in the interests of authenticity, I still posted what I'd planned to post - but it wouldn't have been fair at all, not to tell you he was back - that's why it's all been a jumble today. But glad you read it all in sequence - which was the order I lived it in.
    And Aonghus (by wallpost), I'm very cheered up, very cheered up indeed. Thank you.
    Still think you're all amazing.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 2 years ago
    I think it's group hug night, tonight, Whisks – for all of us. I have a friend whose hugs generally involve breaking a few vertebrae and wiping the contents of her nose on your shirt, and yet her hugs are still the most lovely hugs. And so I guess you'll be looking forward to a few more wasps in the ear and poo down your collar...
  • Barry Walsh
    by Barry Walsh 2 years ago
    M'Dear Whisks
    Hope you've grounded him for at least tonight. Can't help thinking that the stronger (and longer) the bond of time in your company, the more likely he will be to return when he does start flitting off.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Yes, John, a Group Hug all round, I think. Already started gathering the ear and collar adornments.
    Pim? He's fast asleep on top of the boiler in the kitchen as we speak (10:45pm). He can sleep wherever he likes tonight, as long as it's indoors. OK? :)))
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Whisks - what a relief for you and many others. I'm sooooo pleased he's back and safe and I did sneak a lunchtime update at work to see he was back. Phew.

    Your post was amazing - beautiful, uplifting and heart-breaking. I'm with John and others on that one.

    Sleep tight the pair of you. Gurgle a little, preen a little and deposit insects and food about each other's person as you see fit. I expect he'll snore and you'll smile 8-)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Goodness Mark, you've reminded me I'm still up (it's midnight). How did that happen? Thanks so much for caring and for your words on what I'd intended to be Woody's requiem; it turned out to be precititate but I didn't know that when I wrote it last night in tears. Literally, at the moment of posting today, he appeared. He's snoring on the boiler right now and I'm definitely smiling. I'll be snoring any minute. Whacked out with the emotion of it all. Both of us. Night night, sleep tight.
  • MarkR
    by MarkR 2 years ago
    Sleep well and don't over-radish the poor mite tomorrow - you'll be showering him with love and magpie nibbles.
  • Tony
    by Tony 2 years ago
    A precocious young magpie called Woody
    Shouldn’t venture so far away, should he?
    “You sure gave us the frights;
    “Why’d you stay out two nights?”
    Couldn’t find his way home again, could he?
  • Weens
    by Weens 2 years ago
    We shall all sleep easy tonight. (I'm on American time this week and I'm just turning in. It's 4.05am, but 10.05 in my head in Kansas City) I just wanted to see if it was true and I hadn't dreamt it. I must admit to shedding a tear to hear he was home. You make a comparison to Elsa the lioness. Even she came home for visits, and brought her family once she had one. It's so comforting to know that he will come back if he's been away, and you won't bite your nails down to stubs because you know he'll come home when he's had enough. Much love to you Whisks and a stroke for Woody.
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 2 years ago
    Haha Tony, brilliant :-D
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    I did indeed sleep well Mark, thank you - until 6am when a small black-and-white person jumped all over me. That reminds me - please thank your badgers for their vigil - it obviously worked!
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Tony, I agree with Skylark, that's a lovely clever limerick! Thank you muchly. He stayed away two nights but I'll let you off for the sake of the rhyme :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    Thank you Weens, yes, it's wonderful to know he can survive when he's out there alone. He was ravenous when he came home though! We appreciate the love and the stroke :)
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 years ago
    I've decided to split this blog since it's getting large and some people are having difficulty reading it.
    The continuation, Magpie Days, is found here: http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/magazine/read/magpie-days_4126.html

    Thanks again to everyone who's still with Woody. Round of applause, and great claps on the back :)))
    Whisks
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