Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Magpie Air Attacks

These days we are more vulnerable to attack than ever. I've been temporarily without a car for a few weeks now, but surviving quite well, sort of taking me back a bit, to those early days before my motorised dependence had set in. And what with the staggering price of fuel these days, I'm saving a killing in my absence from the petrol pumps.

Had to fix a lady's printer across town the other day. I was on the way over, riding my bike past a small park in Auchenflower, when I was attacked from above, startling me quite a bit, but no real damage done. A stark reminder of the coming springtime and the dangers of magpie nesting season. Memories of earlier encounters with these common birds come to mind, from my first frightening experience of being swooped as a child, to the friendly ones across the street, that never used to hurt anyone.

Today, the second time around to install a modem, risking it as I again approached the park, I was prepared, or so I thought. Riding very slowly and looking all around, the black and white bird was nowhere to be seen and as I neared the end of the park, I thought I was home free, but then, all of a sudden, it hit me. Without warning came this sharp jolt to the side of my head with a surprising amount of force, then a few short squawks and a fluttering back up to the treetops. Dismounting and keeping a watchful eye as I walked away, I put a hand to my face to find that blood had been drawn.

Needless to say, I took a different way home, down by the river; but magpie season only lasts a few weeks. What is it that provokes these attacks from certain magpies and not others? Perception of threat seems not inherent, but arises only from past experience. Still, I now find the thought of another attack just a little more terrifying, don't you? Perhaps it's all in my mind.

Railway bridge over the Brisbane River


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe the magpie was just in a bad-mood... You live in a beautiful place.

8/24/2005 01:48:00 pm  
Blogger Joshua said...

Thanks, there are a few rare occasions of remarkable beauty.

But mostly it's just trick photography :P

8/24/2005 10:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, now there's a good reason to wear a bike helmet if I've ever heard one.

9/10/2005 01:20:00 pm  

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