"One for sorrow, two for joy…" is a popular rhyme associated with the magpie - a bird of much myth and legend. An unmistakeable member of the crow family, it can be seen almost anywhere.
Category: Crows and Shrikes
Average lifespan: 5 years
Conservation status Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2021). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
The magpie is one of our most familiar birds and the source of much myth and legend: 'one for sorrow, two for a joy...' is a rhyme that many children learn. Magpies are, in fact, small crows, and are omnivorous, feeding on carrion, invertebrates, and chicks and eggs. They are sociable birds and are often seen 'chattering' noisily in small groups across many habitats, from gardens to parks, and heaths to hedges. During spring, the males help the females to build nests by bringing materials which they then arrange. They are famous for collecting all kinds of objects, particularly anything shiny, to decorate the nest.
The Magpie can be found in most gardens of the United Kingdom.
A category of Magpies whose habitat can only be found at St. James’ Park.
Courtesy: The Wildlife Trust and NUFC
Exclusive: The Newcastle United playmaker has opened up about his life off the field and why his family and constant self talks to get better every day has driven him to best form
By Lee Ryder Chief Newcastle United Writer
Miguel Almiron finds himself surrounded by a haul of trophies and accolades that would fill up any mantelpiece after a dream season so far.
For a laugh, he picks up his Premier League player of the month and hoists it as if it were the World Cup or Ballon d'Or. It's a moment that he was clearly trying to savour and celebrate.
With a smile as wide as the Tyne Bridge his happiness and belief is there for all to see and if you could bottle it up, market it and sell it, you'd be a millionaire. And Almiron, a pre-takeover signing, really is big business at the minute.
Before becoming a marquee £21million signing for Newcastle, Almiron once bit his MLS winners medal at Atlanta United as if he was testing if it was real gold. But what's very real at the moment is the stardust he is sprinkling across Premier League pitches and catching everybody's eye.
The 28-year-old has landed the Premier League player of the month, Match of the Day goal of the month and PFA player of the month. And the frightening thing is, Miggy admits he still has two or three gears to crank up.
It's already eight goals for Almiron this season and I know as we live and breathe during the interview, I'm talking to the best player in the country right now. The positivity is crackling off Almiron like static electricity at the moment.
Those from afar have miscalculated that Almiron's champagne form is a reaction to Jack Grealish's intoxicated slurred insult back in May when he claimed team-mate Riyad Mahrez had "played like Almiron" on the final game of the season against Aston Villa which won the title for City.
With just one goal to his name this season, Grealish must wish he was playing like Wor Miggy at the moment. But the back story to his success this season, in the words of the Toon star himself, has never been about the City midfielder. His motivation lies elsewhere.
Instead he dedicates his fine form to being happy at home with his long-time partner Alexia and 17-month old son Francesco plus the support of Eddie Howe and his coaching staff who have taken things to "a new level" according to the playmaker.
Reflecting on the Grealish incident for the first and what will be the only time, Almiron told Chronicle Live exclusively: "All that incident did really was highlight that when that type of thing happens here it shows the greatness of the Newcastle supporters.
"I actually did not pay too much attention to the comments at first I will be honest because I prefer to just get on with my job and do my work in silence. I just get on with my work and the only thing that matters to me is to improve myself.
"When you achieve things in life it only comes through hard work and sacrifice anyway, especially in football, it's never through words. At the time when the (Grealish) stuff all came up, I was then filled with happiness and pride with the way the Newcastle supporters rallied around me.
"They showed their support at that point and it was really important."
Almiron also wanted to make it clear he has no grudge with Grealish, he said: Almiron said: "Would I shake his hand the next time we line up to play Man City. Yes. "Yes, I would.
"Of course, I'd shake hands with him, whenever we play against Man City without a shadow of a doubt.
"Like I have said and as I keep on insisting to people Jack Grealish is a great player and I just wish him all the best
"Throughout my career and for as long as I have played football, as long as I remember I have never really paid attention to what people say to me off the field. You just get on with your own job and that's it."
Off the field, Almiron enjoys what he calls the "special moments" in life. His partner Alexia is with him at games almost kicking and heading every ball from the Milburn Stand, a constant rock of support.
When the adrenaline burns off after matches you won't find Almiron enjoying a Brown Ale or rolling around the bright lights of the city centre either.
With a smile Almiron dedicates his best form to family life: "Spending time with your loved ones is always important.
"To be honest I'm a pretty quiet and reserved as a bloke really. I am not one for having big nights out or parties.
"I just enjoy spending time with my family. On a normal day after training we might take my son to play at the park or for a walk, we might go for a coffee.
"To me those moments are the really special ones in life and what I live for."
Almiron then adds: "For a footballer, it is always really good when you are settled at home.
"It's great because you perform well and your performances are everything. Footballers who perform well on the field always tend to be happy in their life off the field.
"I am fortunate in the sense that I have my partner who has been with me a long time. She is always there for me and accompanies me all the time.
"One year and seven months ago we had a real blessing come into our lives when our son was born.
"Now for me, life is incredible, when you return home to see your son and partner greeting you is a pleasure.
"It is such a pleasure to spend time with her and my boy."
As Almiron packs up all of his awards he is keen to admit one thing. The Paraguay captain says: "Without even a thought I'd trade all of these awards around me now to deliver a major trophy for Newcastle United.
"Eddie Howe has taken us to a new level and changed the mentality of the whole group.
"I can mention all the coaching staff but another important part that often gets overlooked is the medical team, support staff and physios.
"They do a great job all of the time and are unsung sometimes, not just for me for all the lads as well."
When asked if the glorious month of October, which included a brace at Fulham and goals against Brentford, Everton, Spurs and Aston Villa was his peak level, his tone becomes a little more serious and workmanlike.
Almiron said: "I have just one objective on a daily basis - to try to get better than this so I can help the team."
Everything Eddie Howe said on Chelsea, Callum Wilson, injuries and World Cup squad By Lee Ryder and Ciaran Kelly
Eddie Howe on Bournemouth cup draw
“It's crazy how things unfold...the draws always spark games of real interest and it's really good for us to be at home. It will be a difficult game.”
Eddie Howe gives Callum Wilson illness update
“We will wait and see. He has been trainings eparately from the group this week. He had an illness so he has been away from the group. He's been working well but I need to make a decision if he's fit enough to play”
Newcastle's plan during the break
“The players' schedule will be that they are given some downtime, Howe said. Roughly about a couple of weeks they will be away. That will be their choice what they do and then they will come back and start a mini pre-season for four weeks. I will be working, resting, a mixture of things and planning what we do when we come back.“
Eddie Howe on Callum Wilson's call-up
"It's an amazing thing for him individually and I'm sure his family. Callum has had a difficult career. It's not always been about the successes. He's had huge successes and he's risen from the lower leagues to the Premier League and now the national squad at a World Cup. It's been a brilliant thing for me to witness first hand. When you see how it's been achieved, you see it's been through dedication, consistency to his work, a really positive mindset. Even sometimes when he got injured, his first instinct was always, 'I'm going to come back better' and then he put the work in to come back better so it's not just talk with Callum. He actually delivers. He's got a way of scoring goals, a uniqueness about him, so I'm delighted for him. I hope he can go and make a real impact."
Eddie Howe reacts to England call-ups for Wilson, Trippier and Pope
“It's great for us. We're very proud of our international players and we try and provide a place where players can excel and [do well and hopefully get called up for their international teams. I'm delighted for all the players. Of course, there are always two sides and I'm disappointed for some others that have missed out. The players that will go go with our best wishes and we hope they really do well for themselves and their families.“