Spring has Sprung!
The grass has ris,
I wonders where that birdie is…?
Trust me on this, I know where the birdie is, he’s chortling ‘Death From Above’ as he swoops toward my bike helmet. It’s magpie season, and this year, it’s early.
The shock of it was so unexpected that I nearly fell off my bike. In fact, the little bugger hit me three times before it dawned on me what was happening. As I wobbled along, one hand raised above my head in frantic circles, I shouted “You’re a month early! It’s too early!”
He wasn’t in the mood to listen. He had a job to do, and he was doing it. Nothing personal of course. Of course.
A couple of years ago I tried inventing some Magpie Deterrents. They had some limited success. Here is example #1:
I found a Mr. Bean mask and strapped it to the back of my helmet. My workmates convinced me that it would work. They probably didn’t think ‘anyone’ would be stupid enough to do it in the first place. It got me a lot of attention from passing drivers, many of whom did slow down long enough to share their thoughts with me. Some of the insults were actually quite funny, but not at the time. Did the mask work? No. It did not work in slightest, in fact it only made the magpies angrier.
One magpie in particular, a real nasty piece of work, who haunted a large gum tree near our local Hungry Jacks really had it in for me. I had to pass that tree fairly regularly, and it didn’t matter who else was riding or walking by, he seemed hell bent on nailing me every time. In spite of my best efforts to deflect his attention towards passing school children, or little old ladies with umbrellas, he wanted nothing more than my eyeballs on the end of his beak.
One time, I actually snuck through his heavily guarded patch, and was under the last stand of shrubbery right on the outer limits of his kingdom, my eyes peeled for the black and white marauder. I must have waited there, statue like, for about 5 minutes, and there was no sign of him. I smiled as I straddled my bike, “Tricked the pea brained pest!” I thought with a certain amount of smugness. There was a flurry of black and white feathers, followed by the all too familiar sound of a beak smacking into the top of my helmet. The little rodent had been sitting on a branch right above my head.
It all came to an end when he started attacking people in the Hungry Jacks carpark. His stellar career came to a sudden halt, a victim of a corporate hit probably… or maybe they had the brains to call in a wildlife carer to remove him to a less populated part of the world.
Next week, there will be over a thousand of us on our bikes hitting the highway south to Brisbane. I’m predicting that there will be some very tired magpies hanging from their tree branches after we’ve passed through. It has occurred to me that the organisers of this event must have a sick sense of humour.
But I’ve been back in the shed tinkering with some new inventions. I’ll let you know how they go next week.