For many years we’ve been going on holiday to the same place on the coast of south west France and there have always been numerous magpies on the property where we’ve stayed. This year there wasn’t a single one. A friend who lives in a very rural area not far from Poitiers told us they had all disappeared from that area too. On our return home to the UK we noticed that whereas the magpies had previously come into our garden and often disturbed us with their noisy squawking, we’ve not seen a single bird in weeks. As far as I'm aware magpies don't migrate and are permanent residents so where have they all gone?
I'm I right in thinking they used to be quite rare many years ago, it was quite an event to actually see one, now they are everywhere. The same goes for the Jay, there are loads of them over our local park these days.
We use to have a number on a daily visit routine, and it was a pleasure watching them in our garden, especially if there were any squirrels about. Now that you mention it, and over the last month or so, I cannot recall seeing any magpies about in the area, perhaps they have succumbed to the dreaded bird flu :O(
In September they may "Flock" strangely they are not gregarious birds but they can all get together in September. I remember the first day I saw this it was quite unerving maybe 100 on my and my neighbours roof.