Magpie fury 25/9/2012
Cranky magpies have drawn Slatts’ blood on consecutive days.
Yesterday, out of the blue on the Barwon’s southern bank: ”whack!!” in the lughole. No squawk, no flutter of wings, just a solid hit so hard it caused a rick in the neck. Of course, he got me in the lobe and blood splashed over the hi-viz jacket, where it will remain as a sort of battle scar.
Today, feathered fury followed me the length of an East Geelong street. I managed to duck and weave until he drew back-of-the-neck blood on his last sortie at the end of the street. Just a scratch really, but boy do they take the pleasure out of a bike ride on a sunny day.
A wet winter and spring and animal-loving idiots who feed them have ensured they’re in plague proportions in urban areas. As expected, the Sus Dept won’t do anything about them, merely issuing stupid ”avoid them” notices. How do you avoid them if you don’t know where they are? Inevitably, a kid will lose their hearing or sight and there’ll be much hand-wringing about protected species (in unnatural numbers) and prices to pay for intruding on their habitat.
I’d just like to harken back to my late dad’s recall of dealing with swooping magpies during his 1930s boyhood. Every country property had a shotgun, a rifle and a slug gun. Swoopers didn’t last.