The photo below shows part of a hawthorn hedge that runs up my front drive between mine and my neighbour's drive. Against the piece of fence in the hedge a Blackbird is/was sitting on eggs in a nest. I fed the Blackbirds this winter all through the snow and ice, with sultanas, chopped apples and mealworms and they have rewarded that help by nesting in my garden.
This morning as I got in the car and looked back up the drive, I saw a Magpie drop into the hedge and alight straight away with an egg in its mouth and an inspection found one egg missing from the Blackbird's nest - quite clearly the other three are now doomed.
My views on Magpies and crows in the countryside are quite widely known - along with Grey Squirrels, the bloody things are responsible for taking a huge number of both songbird and wader eggs and chicks and need to be annually culled. I have three Magpie nests within 100 yds of my house and quite clearly, judging by this morning's experience, my neighbourhood is now going to become a songbird-free zone thanks to these birds.
And yet still, I am told by countless wildlife lovers that this does not happen, not because they have practical experience in the matter as I do, both at home and on The Swale NNR, but because they've read it somewhere, and even if it does happen, well I should accept it as part of nature. Well I'm sorry but I value endangered songbirds much higher than I do over-common, thieving corvids and I can make a guarantee that those Magpies near me have now made a fatal mistake.