Only the British would make up a rhyme “one for sorrow, two for joy” about a fairly solitary bird, though I’m reliably informed it was first assigned to rooks. At any rate, trust us to make things harder for ourselves. You don’t often see two magpies in close proximity, so I expect these two are a breeding pair. They’ve been hanging around a while, taking it in turns to make noises like football rattles and to sit on heat ducts in the cold weather. I’m not one for signs or omens, mostly because they tend to show themselves just when you are most desperate and vulnerable. But I’ll take this one today, even if it is only because I can’t help but smile at a pair of raucous, spied pied thieves.
Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017