I love Magpies in their smart attire, so confident and intelligent, the showmen of the crow family. They come to the pond to drink, to feed on fish food and, later on, newly emerged tadpoles. They teeter like tightrope walkers on the hanging bird feeders, their long tails balancing them. They chatter and creak in the sun-dappled trees and gather in noisy convocation. They never fail to make me smile as they swagger about importantly looking for all the world as if they're 'walking the estate.' They are elegant, eye-catching clowns with bright alert dark eyes but when one of their young is kidnapped by a passing crow all the Magpies around – parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and relations - create a deafening cacophony that continues for hours.