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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday, 27 May 2013

One for sorrow? Hope not....

I`ve never liked magpies. There`s so much folklore surrounding them. In fact, even though I`m not really that superstitious, I spent most of my teens and twenties whispering: "Good morning, Mr Magpie, where`s your friend...? " every time I saw one alone--just because a friend convinced me that it would be bad luck if I didn`t. (Good grief--I`ve never admitted that to anyone before.)

What`s more--they make an earsplitting squawk and every day, they dive-bomb the bird table, scaring off the robins and bluetits.

But then yesterday,a baby magpie fell out of its nest into the garden.

For several hours, it cried out for its mum. And somewhere, high above, mum cried back. But when a fledgling can`t fly, there`s not a lot even a concerned mother magpie can do. And there`s really no wildlife equivalent of an RAF Coningsby escort back to base .

So we tiptoed close enough to check on the baby bird. It could spread its wings, but kept turning itself upside down and getting stuck there. We threw breadcrumbs, and left a little pot of water close by. Even tweeted for advice. `Leave it--they`re very resilient,` was one reply.`Pull the curtains, it`ll be gone by morning,`was another.

Hoping it might make some miraculous recovery, but fearing the worst, we left it sheltering in the undergrowth as night fell.

And this morning, having survived the dip in temperature, the lack of a nest, and a countryside garden full of prowling predators, it was still there. Still cowering; but quieter. Still turning itself upside down and round again. Loving a fighter, I googled for help. And then remembered covering a story once about the Cuan Wildlife Rescue centre in Much Wenlock.

Anna took my call, so we followed her advice, gently wrapping it in a tea-towel and placing it in a box on the back seat. Twenty minutes later we were in Cuan`s `casualty` department. Anna reckons the bird`s only a couple of weeks old--the third baby magpie she`s taken in recently. There`s nothing broken--but she thinks it probably had a bump on the head falling out of the nest, and needs painkillers and time. If it survives the next three or four days, she says it could have a chance. Either way for now, it`s warm and safe, and the dedicated, caring team at Cuan will do their best.

PS...and...oh dear..they did do their best, and even took baby Magpie to the vet. But he didn`t make it.The good news is...that loads more `customers` at Cuan DO make it...thanks to their skill, and love and care. So maybe think about them next time you see a bird or wildlife creature in distress? They need donations too, to carry on their good work. Thanks guys !

Read more about the team at Cuan House Wildlife Rescue here

From @just3nita on Twitter:

We had a magpie, found abandoned, for years. Dad built a run for it. We called him Budge. I released him one he was eyeing a 'tiding' of magpies. Never saw him again. Always say 'hi, Budge' when I see a lone magpie........he used to call the dog!

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