On March 25, the magpies had made the floor of their nest.
By April 6, they had a roof. It's slow going (or so it seems), but considering that trees are not yet budding, and I woke up to a snowshower this morning, the birds seem to be right on time.
A couple of mornings ago the magpies were making quite the fuss, loudly screeching their characteristic "cat-alert" (which is a bit like a machine-gun firing). I looked out and saw no cat. I looked up at the birds and their nest, and for a brief moment, saw a white, furry face poke out between the twigs of the nest. The cat was well-hidden within the nest so no point in taking a photo. Eventually, the cat left (I missed when and how), and the magpies resumed building in peace. (Cats in magpie nests is not a good thing; one neighbor's cat (Buster's mom, actually) got caught in one and in her struggle to free herself, injured herself. Humans trying to pry her loose, ended up having to cut the nest apart, twig by twig. It was like trying to go through rock, I was told.)
In other news: I found out today that my local grocery store, a mere 75 meters (246 feet) from my door to theirs, is closing in a week. Their lease is up and they aren't earning enough to stay. I'm going to miss them.